Twenty-one bat enthusiasts met at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science on March 1, 2018 for the Mississippi Bat Working Group’s annual membership meeting. The agenda included research and monitoring updates along with reporting on the MBWG’s 2017 accomplishments and plans for the coming year.
Founding member Chester Martin recognized six members for their contributions to the MBWG’s mission:
Deb Waz received the Education / Outreach Award for her efforts to expand bat education throughout the state by creating new educational materials, helping encourage other educators to get involved, and expanding her own knowledge of bats by volunteering with the MBWG.
Chazz Coleman and Katelin Cross were recognized with a Research / Conservation Award for their efforts to significantly expand our knowledge of bat populations and distributions throughout the state through field work and the compilation of countless historic bat records. They also support annual mist net events by scouting netting locations.
James Austin and Kelly Morris received the MBWG Service Award for coordinating the development of a statewide bat conservation document. This process has included coordinating among multiple agencies, private conservation organizations, and non-profit organizations to create a plan that can guide research, management, and funding of bat conservation actions in the state of Mississippi. They also have furthered the mission of the MBWG through mist netting efforts around the state.
MBWG Secretary/Treasurer Amber Floyd was awarded the Chester O. Martin Award for her service to the group. Her contributions include building the msbats.org website, improving the group’s fundraising abilities, and assisting in coordination of group events.