Submitted by Dan on Jun, 11
Catching Bats at Ontario Bio Blitz
Today I'm helping lead one of the walks on bats. I'm very excited to see any bats: big browns, little browns, there may be horny bats, red bats- I just don't know, but I'm jazzed! Any bat is a good bat. One of the most profound experiences I've ever had was catching my first short tailed fruit bat in Costa Rica and it was just like this magical thing to meet this charismatic little cutie that you'd never see if you didn't have a net. It made me love Costa Rica for the rest of my life. So, tonight I'm going to take 85 people out and catch a bat. People who haven't met a bat before are going to fall in love with them. You can't not- they're so cute! They're gonna love bats forever. I work as a science educator. It's not so much about the animals, it's about the experience people have. I think it's important that people have a valuable experience here today. For example, recycling is a pain, but if you see how it's important to the environment, then it really touches you. If you're invested on a visceral level because of an experience you had as a kid, that's when the conversation happens. It's neat to catch animals- but to me, the real importance is hundreds of people having an experience like the one they will have today at Ontario Bio Blitz.
How is this object or story important to you?

I think Citizen Science is a great movement because it supports science. We took that for granted in Canada, and the Harper government tried to take it away. It was crippling. Whenever I got the chance to get on the news and talk about science I was like, "This is something we need to change". People who aren't scientists learning to do science is the best way to conserve science at large.

What does it add to the story of Toronto?

A lot of people who come to Toronto haven't been here for very long. I've only been here for five years. I'm still learning about the things that live here and getting connected to Toronto. My roots don't go so deep in Toronto yet. But, as a newcomer, I feel like I belong.