Meet Kristen Lear: A Bat Conservationist, Ph.D. Candidate & A National Geographic Explorer
Today, we are super excited ya’ll to meet Kristen Lear, a bat conservationist, and environmental educator. She got her start in bat conservation at age 12, when she built and installed bat houses for her Girl Scout Silver Award project in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, she has traveled the world, including the US, Australia, and Mexico, to learn how to protect endangered bats and to share her passion with the public. She is currently earning her Ph.D. in Integrative Conservation at the University of Georgia. She also leads bat house projects and helps kids and classrooms with their own bat projects.
As a bat conservationist, Kristen seeks to develop practical, equitable, and meaningful solutions to bat conservation challenges through collaborative research, partnership with local communities, and public engagement and outreach. Kristen kindly agreed to join us on the Reading with Your Kids podcast to talk about her passion for science communication, empowering the next generation of scientists, and supporting women and girls in STEM/STEAM.
More about Kristen Lear
Bats are Her passion, both professionally and personally. Broadly speaking, Kristen’s research and professional interests lie in bat conservation.
In 2011 She received a B.A. in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University. While at Ohio Wesleyan, I worked for two summers as a field research assistant studying the pest control services of bats in central Texas pecan orchards (under Tom Kunz’s Ph.D. student Elizabeth Braun de Torrez). She also completed my Senior Honors thesis work there, which focused on the effect of bat houses on bat activity in pecan orchards, and species preferences for bat house design.
She is also passionate about public outreach to raise awareness and appreciation of bats and their conservation. Engaging with the public (including local community groups, social media communities, policymakers, etc.) is a vital part of conservation and is an aspect of my own work that She strives to continually build upon and develop (including through some creative avenues!). Finally, through her mentoring and youth activities, She hopes to encourage greater diversity in STEM, increase science literacy among the public, and support the next generation of scientists.
Learn more about Kristen Lear on her website:
Connect with Kristen Lear on Social Media
Interview Talking Points & Questions:
- How did Kristen become a bat conservationist?
- She talks about her research and professional interests in bat conservation.
- What is a bat house? How does building a bat house benefits bats?
- Why are people so scared of Bats?
- How kids and parents can help bats?
- How to talk to your kids about bats?
- check out Kristen’s website for some amazing resources on bat conservation.
A big thank you to Kristen Lear for joining us and for sharing her passion with us!
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Have great Saturday listeners!
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