UCO’s Selman Living Lab Invites Community to Free Citizen Science Day for Bats, Astronomy and More

UCO biology lecturer Harold Cleveland, Ph.D., shows a young scientist a lizard during the 2014 Citizen Science Day at the UCO SLL.

UCO biology lecturer Harold Cleveland, Ph.D., shows a young scientist a lizard during the 2014 Citizen Science Day at the UCO SLL.

The University of Central Oklahoma’s Selman Living Laboratory (UCO SLL) will host Citizen Science Day from 1-10 p.m. April 18 at the laboratory located just south of Freedom in northwest Oklahoma. The event is free, open to the public and no advance registration is required.

Citizen Science Day offers science lovers of all ages the opportunity to discover how they can impact the world of science. The event introduces attendees to bird spotting and identification, invasive plant identification, bat biology and identification, astronomy, and more.

“It is going to be a fun and fast-paced day. Citizens will learn all about the prairie and its inhabitants plus get to spend a nice day outside,” said Rebecca Pace, Ph.D., manager of the UCO SLL.

The UCO SLL is a field research and teaching facility located in the rolling hills and plains of northwestern Oklahoma. It is the official field station of Central’s Department of Biology. The laboratory provides a wide array of natural environments, including large bat caves for research and teaching.

Experts in their respective fields will lead each session. The schedule is as follows:

1-1:30 p.m.: Check in
1:30-2 p.m.: Introductions
2:30 p.m.: Group departs for UCO SLL research area
3-5:30 p.m.: Sessions on herpetology, botany, ornithology and water quality
5:30 p.m.: Picnic dinner on the prairie
Dusk: Bat biology and observation
9 p.m.: Session on astronomy
10 p.m.: Closing

Those who plan to stay for the entire day should bring a picnic dinner to enjoy alongside other guests.

Sleeping accommodations are available in the UCO SLL bunkhouse. Space is limited and should be reserved no later than April 14 by contacting Pace at rpace2@uco.edu. Those staying overnight should be prepared to leave the bunkhouse no later than 10 a.m. Sunday.

Campsite reservations are available through the nearby Alabaster Caverns by calling 580-621-3381. Fees vary, and the caverns have no affiliation with the SLL.

To view driving directions to the UCO SLL, visit www.uco.edu/cms/sll and click on “Location” in the left-hand navigation. The drive is about 2 1/2 hours from the Oklahoma City metro and 3 1/2 hours from Tulsa. is about 2 1/2 hours from the Oklahoma City metro and 3 1/2 hours from Tulsa.

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