CHS student builds bat houses along river for Senior Project
When people think of Nevada wildlife, bats definitely aren’t the first animals that come to mind. Jason Elder, a senior at Carson High School, has an explanation for this.
“Bats are kind of low-key,” he said. “But you can sometimes see them on a clear night.”
Elder is hoping to bring bats into the spotlight this spring as he completes his Senior Project.
Elder’s project entails creating between five and 15 “bat houses” in order to attract bats to the Carson River area.
Bats typically live in areas like caves and trees during the day. However, swelling populations and widespread building threaten these bat habitats.
Bat houses are a great solution to this problem, and as a result, a number of organizations, such as Bat Conservation International, have been formed in order to promote bat conservation.
Using information from organizations like BCI, Elder is developing a design for his wooden bat houses, which he hoped to have in place by the end of March.
According to Elder, bats can now be found living under bridges along the Carson River and help the environment in that they aid plant pollination and control the insect population – a special concern for people who live near the river.
While many seniors complete projects that have been done before – like learning to play the guitar, teaching a class or writing newspaper articles such as this one – Elder’s project is the first of its kind.
When asked how he came up with his idea, Elder jokes, “Well, I saw a Batman commercial one day …”
Elder said when he began researching bats, he “didn’t know anything about them.” He has, however, always had an interest in nature.
“I’ve always liked to learn about animals,” said Elder, who would like to be a zoologist one day. “After research, I decided bats are pretty interesting.”
Elder’s project is unique in that it is both interesting to him and helpful for the environment.
“Not only would it help solve a mosquito problem, but also provide a habitat for some bats and balance the ecosystem,” Elder said. “I am sure this project will help me to explore the field and help the environment at the same time.”
Janine Stone is a senior at Carson High School. As part of her senior project, she is writing several articles for the Whatever page, including a series on projects of her peers.