YOUNG Soraya is Brimbank’s very own bat girl.

The St Albans Secondary College year 12 student received a scholarship from the Earthwatch Institute to go on a week-long “bat expedition” in Castlemaine.

Soraya said she applied for the scholarship after being encouraged to do so by her teacher Ms Mortimer.

Soraya, 17, was one of eight students from across Australia selected for the bat trip.

During the seven-day trip, Soraya and the other students helped a University of Melbourne PhD student to collect and record data.
“We got to deal with the bats personally — rather than just watching, we really got the chance to get into the field and experience fieldwork first-hand.

“We also set up bat detectors in the bush or along a road to record bat calls to see how many bats were in the area.”

In addition, the students travelled to Bendigo for a day to observe flying foxes.

Soraya said she hoped to pursue a career as an environmental lawyer.

“I think anyone interested in the environment or sciences should apply for an Earthwatch Institute scholarship because it opens so many doors and really can help students answer questions about their future career.”


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