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Letters from a Young Bat Scientist-No. 2

“Bat Girl” Alexis Valentine is putting a bat detector in a bear box in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

July 20, 2014

Dear Dr. Tuttle,

How are you? 🙂  I hope your trip went well. I got my first permit so I can go and put up a bat detector in the Park. Riley is helping me. The Park intern built a bear box to put it in so it will be safe. I am looking for any changes in the amounts of cave bat species. I’m looking to see if WNS is affecting the number of cave bats in my area. When summer is over Riley is going to let me come to the UT bat lab and show me how to read the different bat frequencies by using the computer bat software. I’m excited cause I’ve never looked at echolocation patterns before.

Talk to you soon.
I♡ bats.
Alexis “Bat Girl”
Gatlinburg, TN

Alexis Valentine “Bat Girl” with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park intern who built the bear box to protect her bat detector.

The trip Alexis was referring to was to Bulgaria photographing bats catching prey. A month later, we traveled to the country of Brunei on the island of Borneo to photograph bats living in carnivorous pitcher plants. Alexis followed our blogs during our travels and commented with the enthusiasm of a passionate bat researcher!

September 14, 2014

Hi Mr. & Mrs. Tuttle,

Hope your trip is going good.

I love the Woolly bat. He is sooo cool. The theme of our history fair this year is leadership & legacy. I want to do my project on your work and how you started the bat conservation group. Would you be willing to answer a few questions for me about how you got started with bat conservation? It would be like an interview with the real “Bat Man” for my project.

If yes, I can email you my questions.

I’m still working on my bat research in the Great Smoky Mtns. National Park. I’m getting ready to see Riley at Dr. McCrackin’s lab to look at my data from the detector. Hope I get some good results. I’ll send you pictures.

What bat are (you) going to encounter next?

“Bat Girl”

The next blog will include the questions and answers for “Bat Girl’s” interview of  “Batman.”

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Michael Lazari Karapetian

Michael Lazari Karapetian has over twenty years of investment management experience. He has a degree in business management, is a certified NBA agent, and gained early experience as a money manager for the Bank of America where he established model portfolios for high-net-worth clients. In 2003 he founded Lazari Capital Management, Inc. and Lazari Asset Management, Inc.  He is President and CIO of both and manages over a half a billion in assets. In his personal time he champions philanthropic causes. He serves on the board of Moravian College and has a strong affinity for wildlife, both funding and volunteering on behalf of endangered species.