Indiana State University Newsroom

Annual bat festival to feature live species

August 28, 2012

The sixth annual Indiana Bat Festival will take place on Sept. 15 and will feature live bat and bird programs, talks by leading experts in the field, children's activities and more.

The free event, hosted by ISU's Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation, will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the ISU Science Building and from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. at Dobbs Park on the east side of Terre Haute.

The festival will feature booths by local organizations, an inflatable cave, face painting, silent auction and bat-related merchandise. Speakers include Rob Mies of the Organization for Bat Conservation, Tim Carter of Ball State University, Kevin Murray of WEST and others.

"There are a variety of activities for both adults and kids. Everybody that comes can learn something," said Joy O'Keefe, director of the Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation.

Speakers will present about a variety of topics, including bats of Indiana, bat habitats and the effects of white nose syndrome. An emphasis will be placed on how to create an artificial roost for bats and the benefits of doing so, said O'Keefe. She said the festival typically draws in more than 1,000 members of the community.

O'Keefe, who has studied bats for 13 years, said it's a great way for people to understand the "latest and greatest" findings in bat research.

"At the Bat Festival, that information is in an easy-to-understand format rather than scientific jargon," she said. "There is something for everyone."

For more information, please visit

Questions or those interested in sponsoring the event can contact Joy O'Keefe at or 812-237-4520.

Contact: Joy O'Keefe, director of the Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation and assistant professor at Indiana State University, at or 812-237-4520.

Writer: Bethany Donat, media relations assistant, Indiana State University Office of Communications and Marketing, or 812-237-3773.