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Area college student finds eight bat species at Nahant Marsh

Allyson Smithson, a Rock Island High School graduate, took full advantage of a research program at the wetland this summer.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Allyson Smithson will be a freshman at Iowa State University for the fall semester. This summer though, she spent time at the Nahant Marsh, taking part in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participating (LSAMP) summer research program.

Smithson joined us live Thursday, August 19th to talk about her experience. She detected the vocal presence of bat species through, 'acoustic song meters,' according to Nahant Marsh Research Coordinator Jimmy Wiebler. 

"I sat around different monitors around the park just to see what species of bats there are or where just to have a good indication for protection reasons and just so the park has an idea of what they're working with," Smithson said Thursday.

She found eight of nine Iowa bat species. The Indiana bat she found there, is federally endangered.

The 305-acre marsh is located not far from Credit Island on the west side of the city. It's the largest urban wetland on the upper Mississippi River. To learn more about about internship opportunities and the marsh in general, click here.