Our History

Over beers or coffee, no one can recall, Bernadette Kuhn, avid climber and botanist for the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) at Colorado State University (CSU), was discussing her climbing adventures with bat biologists Rob Schorr and Jeremy Siemers, also with CNHP. The three had just spent a day rappeling into caves looking for colonies of bats and Bernadette suggested that climbers could be a good resource for finding bat roosts because they sometimes encounter bats during climbs. 

Bernadette and Rob kept batting (pun intended) the idea around about developing a collaboration between climbers and bat biologists, when the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) at CSU announced funding to support novel partnerships like this one. Enlisting the aid of an expert practitioner in human dimensions and natural resources, Shawn Davis (then of the Human Dimensions in Natural Resources Department at Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU), they applied and were awarded a SoGES Global Challenges Research Team in 2014. 

Bernadette, Rob, and Shawn used the funding to coordinate meetings among climbers, bat biologists, and land managers from northern Colorado. In these meetings, the groups discussed the value of collaborating, the challenges and opportunities of collaborating, and how this initiative should grow. Thankfully, all participants were excited about the collaboration and the Climbers for Bat Conservation project was born.