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Showing posts from December, 2014

Carol Vesely: Mother, Scholar, and Caver

Vesely, at the time was forty-one when Andrew Todhunter quoted caving historian Ernst Kastning in his 1998 article saying that she was "the epitome of the gung-ho woman caver in this country ... right there with the best of the men ... [and] can outdo a lot of them." In her twenty-one year cave resume at the time she had already made at least a thousand trips to 350 caves and 15 countries. She was the chair of the National Speleological Society's Survey and Cartography Section and had surveyed more than 75 miles of underground passage worldwide.
Until that time, Vesely worked as a substitute teacher in Monrovia, CA, and was a dissertation shy of a Ph.D. in cognitive developmental psychology. She held two part-time jobs too but changed that when she became a full-time mother. Her two-year-old son, Brian and husband would wait above ground to support her leadership underground.

Before Brian's birth, Vesely caved three months a year; averaging fifty or s…

Tech companies work to attract women to STEM sciences

“We need more girls and women to get involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). There just has to be a heightened awareness ... It just takes all of us shouting on the topic.” Nicole Anderson, the executive director of philanthropy at AT&T said. Fifty-seven percent of girls said if they pursued a STEM career they would have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously, found a recent study of girls and STEM careers by The Girl Scout Research Institute found. Suzanne Harper, chief girl experience innovator for Girl Scouts said that science courses don’t teach how STEM careers improve the world and this lacking information keeps female students from pursuing science careers. Influncers "tend to push girls toward fields that are not STEM fields” Nixon-Saintil, director of education for the Verizon Foundation said. Three quarters of middle-school aged girls express an interest in science yet less than one percent of high-school aged women select computer sci…

Nath (Nathalie) Lasselin

Lasselin is a technical diving instructor with numerous certifications and a revered, award-winning photo director who specializes in underwater filming. Her films have been critically acclaimed and have received numerous awards at international festivals as well as having been released on DVD and television in over 25 countries.

In 1995 she founded "Pixnat Productions," a photo direction rental equipment company that specializes in underwater films and more recently has become a production house for documentary films. The is also the President of "Explorations Aqua Sub Terra," a non -profit organization for the protection of the underwater and underground world.

Explaining her love for karst she says “it may seem strange to have such a passion … [but it’s] like looking at the very source of life on which, in the end, we all depend. Looking for and understanding connections between different karst systems is key to protecting the groundwater and health of neighborin…

13-year-old girl, Malavath Poorna, is the youngest climber to scale Mount Everest

She is the 9th standard student of AP Social Welfare Residential Education School/College for Girls, Thadwai, Nizamabad District. Pooran joined in VI class in APSWRE School in 2010 and never considered that she would travel up to Himalayas. Poorna was one of the youngest to conquer Mt. Renock (17,000ft) on 10th November 2013 too.
Being trained by Gowlidoddi and Bhongir rock climbing school of Treanscend Adventures Pvt. Ltd. and the experts of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute located South of Sikkim, her level of confidence and both mental and physical skills are strong. Even when there was no sign that she would be chosen out of 20 SWAEROES to climb the Mount Everest, she explains how she understands the toughness of scaling the Everest. She said "I have some idea of it after trekking the Mt. Renock. I will prove it." After accomplishing the feat she said: "Climbing the Everest was certainly more difficult than I thought – but my willpower to prove that a tribal girl…

Women in History Now Recorded!

In Feb. 2014 about 600 volunteers in 31 venues around the globe stood for something EWLS believes in: representing and recording women in history. These amazing volunteers answered a call for the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, a massive multinational effort to correct a persistent bias in Wikipedia, which is disproportionally written by and about men. 
At a time when Wikipedia is becoming increasingly influential, “it’s really tangible to be able to fix something that is visibly wrong,” says Jacqueline Mabey, a co-organizer of Saturday’s Edit-a-Thon. "The event seemed like a new kind of consciousness raising that was very goal-oriented ... It was aimed at writing women into history in a new way for the digital age—by giving more women the awareness and tools to take matters in their own hands." says Casamento, a masters student in American literature at Brooklyn College who participated in the effort.
Read all about the effort and some of the recorded women artists a…

Young Girl Who Falls to Her Death into a Yucatán Cave Unlocks Mysteries of the Americas

The first face of the first Americans belongs to an unlucky teenage girl who fell to her death in a Yucatán cave some 12,000 to 13,000 years ago. Her bad luck is science’s good fortune. 
In 2007, a team of Mexican divers discovered an immense submerged cavern they named Hoyo Negro, the “black hole,” that contained the nearly complete human skeleton of the girl and a bed of prehistoric bones. Together these remnants may help explain an enduring mystery about the peopling of the Americas. The earliest Americans were a rough bunch. It appears that these men fought among themselves—often and violently. Women were much smaller than the men, with signs of malnourishment and domestic abuse.

Merry Christmas From the Ladies of Tumbling Rock Cave

In 2013 Nancy Aulenbach, Scout Aulenbach, Kristen and, Sue Aughey attended the 6th annual Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. decoration of the Christmas Tree. on a BFF Trip.

This roughly 15 or so foot-tall tiered stalagmite that stands prominently inside Tumbling Rock Cave and is apply named The "Christmas Tree."It takes about an hour or more to reach from the main entrance.

"Even when not lit up with lights, the tiered stalagmite is a truly impressive sight." says Dean Wisemen, NSS member. "Great care is used during the decoration process so as not to physically touch the formation." Wiseman explains.

The crowning achievement of the event is really what follows next. "Following the Tree Lighting, an anti-graffiti party [commences] to raise awareness of inappropriate impact on caves." Wiseman says.  Last year volunteers were treated to some hot spiced apple cider along with gingerbread caver cookies sporting helmets with headlamps. 
Wiseman …

Bat Biologist Aimee Hart

Because of her vast research on bats and her involvement in bat research and knowledge in our community, many people call her when they find dead bats around their house or under a car. She is able to stuff the bats with cotton and use them as examples when she gives talks around the country.

Sophie Harrison sheds light on cave-dwelling fauna

University of Adelaide PhD candidate Sophie Harrison used gene sequences of cave-dwelling pseudoscorpions to compare related specimens and discovered that species living in different aquifers evolved separately. Previously, specimens were allocated to one of the two genera based on a single physical difference in pincer shape, but Ms Harrison's work indicates this is incorrect. "Our results show that the pseudoscorpions studied invaded [aquifers and voids] in complete isolation from one another, and subsequently evolved in isolation too—like birds and bats both evolving wings," Ms Harrison says.


Jen Guyton Aims to Conserve Bats in the Face of Ebola

Jen Guyton studies bats and thinks that conservation is especially important in th face of Ebola. Read her story in her new blog post "African Bats: Conservation in the Time of Ebola."

Read More: here

Dr. Nancy B. Simmons Announces New Bat Species: Thyroptera wynneae

Nancy B. Simmons, Curator-in-Charge, Department of Mammalogy, Division of Vertebrate Zoology and Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School leads the "Dr. Simmons' research group" which focuses on systematics and evolutionary biology of bats (Chiroptera). 
On Thursday Nov. 20 she announced the finding of a new bat species named Thyroptera wynneae. This is Peruvian Disk-winged bat discovered in 2014 by an international team lead by Paul Velazco of the American Museum of Natural History. This new species was discovered in an area already known to be home to two other species of Disk-winged bats, suggesting that local diversity of these tiny, specialized insectivores may be higher than previously suspected.
You can find her book "Bats: A World of Science and Mystery" which presents these fascinating nocturnal creatures in a new light. Lush, full-color photographs portray bats in flight, feeding, and mating in views that show them in exceptional detail…

Top Canadian cave diver Jill Heinerth Presents for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society's spring speaker series on April 30, 2014.

Heinerth obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts at York University in Toronto and had a successful career in graphic design. But at night and on weekends, she traveled to Tobermory, Ont. to scuba dive or teach others to dive.

Taking the first of many brave steps, Heinerth eventually chose to give up her career, sell her business and all her personal belongings and move to the Cayman Islands to pursue scuba diving full-time.

“I knew I needed to find a way to get out of the four walls of my office and blend my creative interests and background with my desire to be underwater,” she says.

With hard work and persistence, she was not only successful in becoming a professional scuba diver, but also conquered the roles of filmmaker, writer, underwater photographer and creator of the We Are Water project. She's also been awarded the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration.

“I wanted to be an astronaut,” she says, “but a young girl at that time really wasn’t encouraged to follow that pat…

Laura Demarest is Nominated Awesome

Earlier this month an anonymous submission came into EWLS. The letter expressed that Laura Demarest is "an extraordinary women caver and leader." This person went on to tell us why: Demarest (once called Laura Young) works in Sullivan County as the watershed coordinator for the Soil and Water Conservation District. She graduated from Franklin College with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She first went to Bluespring Caverns for an overnight adventure with her science club while in eighth grade where she became hooked on caving. At 15 Demarest became a tour guide at Bluespring Caverns and continued to work there periodically even when she was visiting home from Franklin College. Demarest has been involved in the exploration of Binkley cave in recent years and has been a major player in helping extend the cave to 41+ miles making Binkley cave the 7th longest cave in the country. "Her dedication to this project, as well as other projects including the revived exploration of…