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Showing posts from 2015

QUOTE: Marie M. Daly

"Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging."

Marie M. Daly (1921–2003), Biochemist & the first African American woman in the US to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Carole Devillers, Social Media Reporter has been with EWLS for two whole years!

Devillers is an internationally published photographer, writer, and caver with several articles in the National Geographic magazine, and photos in Reuters News and various books. In 2009 she co-created an on-going long-term project of exploration, promotion, and conservation of the caves of Haiti, which became a touring exhibit in 2014 right after she was featured in the Women Cavers Guidebook & Magazine. Carole is passionate, dedicated, and experienced and her contributions to EWLS make her a valuable asset on our team. We are glad to have you Carole! Thank you for supporting women in caving. #womencavers #ewls #speleology

Read more about Carole here:

Hazel Barton Discovers Important Bacteria in Underground Lakes

National Park Service scientists anchored by microbiologist Hazel Barton study a series of underground lakes, which were discovered in the 1960s and aren't home to any animal life or even easily detectable microscopic organisms in Wind Cave. However, Barton discovered scarce but highly important bacteria in the lakes. She's beginning to analyze about six years of data to understand the bacteria survives, answer questions about how it interacted before multicellular organisms came along, and find new sources of antibiotics. "It has the potential to answer a lot of questions that we have in biology that you can't answer anywhere else because you have levels of complexity," she said.

To gather the necessary samples, caving experience is crucial: It takes more than two hours for even the most adept cavers to reach Calcite Lake, the nearest body of water. "It's certainly not a route for the inexperienced," said park service scientist Marc Ohms. Because …

QUOTE: Marie Curie

“We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

Marie Curie, Physicist & Chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Women Scientists Support Natural Trap Cave

Julie Meachen, the Natural Trap Cave excavation project chief paleontologist, is beginning to release details of some of the researchers' discoveries. Although no new species have been discovered, she said her project is more focused on recreating the floral makeup of the area over time.

Gretchen Hurley, a geologist with the Bureau of Land Management's Cody field office, who manages the project at Natural Trap Cave said that bones are remarkably well-preserved due to the climate in the bottom of the cave and protection it provides from the elements.

Read more about the progress of Natural Trap Cave here:


#ewls #womencavers #ScienceWomen #WLeadership

QUOTE: Elizabeth Blackburn

“I didn’t want to just know the names of things. I remember really wanting to know how it all worked." 

Elizabeth Blackburn, Biological Researcher at the University of California awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine.
#ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Liz Rogers - Underwater Cave photographer

Liz is a Australian cave diver and Underwater Cave photographer. She is apart of the Cave Diver Association of Australia in Mt Gambier region. She takes five hour dives west of Melbourne for regular weekend trips to provide perfect opportunities for underwater cave photography with in the crystal clear freshwater within the Australia waters. Liz enjoys diving in the salty waters outside of the Queenscliff for living near a temperate ocean it means the occasional winter trips with in the tropics that become partially mandatory. She has won several underwater cave photography awards and also has had several publications some of her publications that her photography has been published in has been the Alert Diver 2012, The Weekend Australian Magazine January 2012, and the underwater speleology: Journal of the Cave Diving section of the NSS in January 2012. Her publications of her excellent underwater cave diving photograph go back to Sports Diver Magazine in 2009. If you would like to chec…

Top 10 Cave Gear Pins

Check out our Pinterest page to see more great gear posts:

#ewls #womencavers #speleology

QUOTE: Rosalyn S. Yalow

"If women are to start moving towards that goal, we must believe in ourselves or no one else will believe in us; we must match our aspirations with the competence, courage and determination to succeed."

Rosalyn S. Yalow, Medical Physicist and a co-winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine for development of the radioimmunoassay technique. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Etcia Goldberg hides her children in a cave to survive the Holocaust

Etcia Goldberg hid her children in a Ukraine cave in for 344 days during the Holocaust. "She drew upon strong inner resources to keep from giving into despair -- telling her children stories about their homeland, celebrating their birthdays, speaking of dreams for the future.” writer Danielle Wolffe said. When Etcia left them in the cave to gather food and other supplies, they knew there was a strong chance she would be murdered above ground before she returned. Wilffe interviewed both children, now in their 70's, and both were emotionally affected when they spoke of those long hours.


#ewls #womencavers #speleology

Young Lady Survives the Holocaust in a Cave

Mania Golberg hid in a  Ukraine cave for 344 days during the Holocaust. Just before that, she and her brother Dunia had to endure a major trauma. They had to flip the bodies of dead women massacred by a river in search for their mother. Danielle Wolffe wrote that “[We read stories like this not]  merely because people physically endure; but to learn from other people's spiritual endurance, to prove to ourselves that if had to contend with such horrors, we would retain the fragile seed of our humanity."


#ewls #womencavers #speleology

QUOTE: Gertrude B. Elion

"In my day I was told women didn't go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn't."

Gertrude B. Elion, Biochemist & Pharmacologist who shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

QUOTE: Chien-Shiung Wu

"It is shameful that there are so few women in science... There is a misconception in America that women scientists are all dowdy spinsters. This is the fault of men. In Chinese society, a woman is valued for what she is, and men encourage her to accomplishments yet she remains eternally feminine."

Chien-Shiung Wu, Experimental Physicist who made significant contributions in the field of nuclear physics. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Kid cave opportunity

A visit to the Cave of the Mounds — likely a favorite field trip for many schoolchildren — is an everyday activity for kids taking part in Camp Brigham there.

The daily cave experience is true of any of the eight week-long camps, which have themes such as “Wild Safari” and “Life in the Past.” However, the cave visits were particularly meaningful for last week’s geology-based camp, GeoJourney. It’s one of the more popular camps because it is at the core of the experience of Cave of the Mounds, said Kim Anderson, operations manager.

“The cave has many more surprises than you learn on a normal cave tour,” said Gabe Pitzen, 10, a GeoJourney camper who will be a fifth-grader at Chavez Elementary School. “I like that we get to go into the cave every day and there’s different activities every day.”

Margaux Bress, 12, who will be a seventh-grader at Hamilton Middle School, said she also enjoyed the trips into the cave and its constant 50-degree temperature.


QUOTE: Gertrude B. Elion

"Don't be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don't let others discourage you or tell you that you can't do it."

Gertrude B. Elion, Biochemist & Pharmacologist who shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Women Scientists Publish Description of 1.7mm Cave Snail

As tiny as 1.7 mm, a snail whose relatives live exclusively in the deep recesses of caves, provided a sensational discovery from the depths of Nodong cave, South Korea, back in 2000 for its collector, J. S. Lee. It is the only cave-dwelling representative of the family of hollow-shelled snails in the whole of Asia with its closest relatives known from as far as Croatia and Northern Spain. The scientists, Adrienne Jochum, Bern University and Natural History Museum Bern, Larisa Prozorova and Mariana Sharyiool from the Far Eastern Russian Academy of Sciences and Barna Páll-Gergely from Shinshu University, published its description in the open-access journal ZooKeys.


Top 10 Cave Lady Decor Pin

Find more great ideas on our Pinterest page ...

#ewls #womencavers #speleology

QUOTE: Maria Mayer

“If you push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking risk, really amazing things can happen."

Maria Mayer (1906 – 1972), Theoretical Physicist & Nobel laureate in Physics for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. She was the second female Nobel laureate in physics, after Marie Curie. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Veteran’s Salute to EWLS Vice President Khalvin Cook

Besides women cavers who are vets, EWLS would like to thank all the men out there that support women cavers and especially veterans! Khalvin Cook is a Navy veteran and retired Navy Seal. He works to support women cavers and serves as Vice President of EWLS. Khalvin was introduced to organized caving in 2010 when he met Lisa our president. He has been a major force of support for our organization and we are very happy to have him! Thank you Khalvin for your service.

For those men who also support women cavers, use the hashtag #WeLoveWomenCavers and thank you all veterans for your service!
Read more about Khalvin here:

Veteran’s Salute to Woman Caver to Hannah Davis

Hannah Davis is a US Coast Guard veteran and a lifelong caver. She currently works for the USGS as a hydrologic tech. She says "I get to do a lot of awesome science. I am proud to be a woma
n veteran, caver and scientist." Thank you for your service Hannah! #ewls #ScienceWomen #womencavers #speleology

Veteran’s Salute to Woman Caver Lynn Wayshner Ott

Lynn joined the Army in 1976, where she trained as a Military Police Officer trainig a military police dog. She was sent to Germany where she reconnected with Phil Winkler and his family, though she got started caving much earlier. She began caving in her second year of college while at Montgomery College, Rockville, MD via Geology class where she was introduced to caving on trips led by Jim McCloud and Patrick Connor. Here she became secretary of the MC Geology Club and Sligo Grotto and she coordinated trips almost every weekend.

“My first caving trip was Sinnett-Thorn at OTR in 1972. Jim got me to crawl into tight wet spots and soak up all the water!!!! All were total suck-ins!” she said with a smile.

She became a member of the NSS in 1973.  In the early 1980's due to a physical injury, this inspired her to get involved with Cave Rescue with the Eastern Region NCRC where she took various basic and national level courses and later became involved with with setting standards for Se…

Rene Chavez and Denisse Argote Tell all about Chichen Itza’s Grand Kukulkan Castle Pyramid

Scientist, Rene Chavez and Denisse Argote from Mexico’s National Anthropology and History Institute were part of a group of scientists from the Autonomous University of Mexico that discovered a sacred sinkhole cave, known as a cenote, under Chichen Itza’s grand Kukulkan Castle Pyramid, which could shed new light on the ancient Maya civilisation.

Mexico’s Kukulkan pyramid is one of the new seven wonders of the ancient world, renowned for its perfect astronomical geometry. “We know that in caustic areas, its surroundings have subterranean waters. So, taking into account the concept of the maternal womb, the origins of life and water which is the original of life, we have a double meaning which is very significant. Therefore, taking all these concepts into account we link it with a step to the sky in magical and religious thinking,” said Argote. #speleology #ScienceWomen #womencavers #ewls WLeadership

Read more here:…

QUOTE: Rachel Carson

“In nature nothing exists alone."

Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964), Marine Biologist and Conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement
#ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Rene Ohms: Sustainability Hero

Before Rene Ohms was the the chief of resource management at Devils Tower National Monument she was a Physical Science Technician at Jewel Cave National Monument where she formed and became the first chair of the Jewel Cave National Monument "Green Team" in 2010. Her innovation and leadership changed "how park employees view the importance of [conservation] issues." Park employees began to integrate energy conservation and sustainability ideas into all park operations. Then, she coordinated efforts that led to the park's success in becoming a member of the Climate Friendly Parks Program (CFP) in 2013. Rene's efforts lead the park to complete greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and develop a modified environmental management system (MEMS) and CFP Plan, in order to attain CFP status. Jewel Cave was the first park to successfully complete a MEMS/CFP Plan. Besides this, Rene coordinated and lead CFP workshops to help other Black Hills area parks make their way to…

Scary Stories of Mammoth Cave by Colleen OConnor Olson

She has been a Mammoth Cave National Park ranger since 1992. Here she has heard many spooky tales from my fellow cave guides and explorers. These modern day oral traditions have been recorded for your reading pleasure and also to pass down American-cave history. Scary Stories of Mammoth Cave is a collection of nineteenth and twentieth century fiction, historical and more recent first hand accounts of unusual experiences by National Park Service employees, cave explorers, and scientists.


#ewls #womencavers #speleology

Mary Kay Carson's "The Bat Scientists" paves a way for children to understand that caving can be a career

Carson explains that men and women who study bats aren't scared of the dark or bothered by a bit of smelly guano. And they certainly aren't afraid of bats. They are fascinated by them, with good reason! Bats are the only furred animals-mammals-that can fly and many communicate and hunt using ultrasonic echolocation, gather in enormous colonies of millions, and live for more than 40 years. Many bat species are threatened with extinction and scientists work to save them.

Although Carson is not a caver, she ventured into the caver's world to truly understand it before writing the book. She spent a lot of time watching the evening emergence of millions of Mexican free-tailed bats at Bracken Bat Cave in Texas while we were down there researching the book. She also took a cave trip inside. She is a science major who served in the Peace Corps and enjoys writing children's books the most. "When I returned to the US [from the Peace Corps], I looked into science writing pr…

QUOTE: Rita Levi-Montalcini

“Above all, don’t fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.”

Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909 – 2012), Awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with colleague Stanley Cohen for the discovery of nerve growth factor.
#ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Elen Feuerriegel: Cave Photographer & Explorer

Elen Feuerriegel, 2015 Extraordinary Women Leader featured in this year’s EWLS magazine is also a 26 years old PhD Fellow at the Australian National University who studies Paleoanthropology. She is one of the six women cavers who discovered Homo Naledi. Her background consists of caving, rock climbing, and excavating fossils in mine shafts. She has a solid grasp of anatomy and is small to fit through the tiny of crevices that sit between the surface and what turned out as treasure trove of bones. When she started Her PhD, Elen didn’t think it would go anywhere until one day when she and the team she was on helped uncover Homo Naledi. It all started when She had responded to a posting on Facebook seeking small cavers. She stated "It's important that our achievements as women become more public. It sets the stage for very young girls to go into fields like this, without having to worry about discrimination or their own capabilities, because there's this legacy of women who …

Janell Canon's children's book "Stellaluna" tells the story of a sweet bat baby

Baby bat Stellaluna's life is flitting along right on schedule-until an owl attacks her mother one night, knocking the bewildered batlet out of her mother's loving grasp.  The tiny bat is lucky enough to land in a nest of baby birds, but her whole world has just turned upside down. Literally.  Stellaluna's adoptive bird mom accepts her into her nest, but only on the condition that Stellaluna will act like a bird, not a bat. Soon Stellaluna has learned to behave like a good bird should-she quits hanging by her feet and starts eating bugs.  But when she finally has an opportunity to show her bird siblings what life as a bat is like, all of them are confounded. Anyone who has ever been asked to be someone they're not will understand the conflicts-and possibilities-Stellaluna faces.


#ewls #womencavers #speleology

Jami Kelly: Ranger & Future Cave Archaeologist

Jami Kelly plans on being an archaeologist someday and she is attending college to become one. Besides this, she recently became a ranger for the Timpanogos Cave National Monument. Jami was born in Glendale, Arizona, but grew up in Salt Lake City being fascinated by the outdoors where she hiked up any mountain she could. Jami enjoys teaching people about outdoor survival but her main passion is protecting nature. She loves cave archaeology and troglobites.

“Jami is new to caves but has caught the fever!” said the moderator of the Timpanogos Cave National Monument Facebook page. “She is blending her passion for archaeology with the underground.She reads everything she can get her hands on regarding cave archaeology.We expect great things from this new ranger!”Great work Jami. Thank you for being an extraordinary woman caver. #ewls #womencavers #speleology #ScienceWomen #WLeaders SOURCES
Interview TCNM Facebook Manager
TCNM Facebook Page
Image: National Park Service

Top 10 Caver Costume Pins

Check out all of our awesome pins here.

Quote: Dian Fossey

"Dreams seldom materialize on their own.”

Dian Fossey (1932 – 1985), Zoologist, Primatologist, & Anthropologist who undertook an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups over a period of 18 years.
#ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Top 10 Coolest Bat Eyewear Designs

Here are some of our favorite pics from the EWLS Pinterest page. Enjoy ...

#ewls #womencavers #speleology

1. Backstage at Rochas F/W 2014, Paris Fashion Week

2. Gothic Bat Costume Glasses at

3. Found 0nly on Pinterest

4. Forever 21 Fall 2010

5. 1990's High Quality Bejeweled Bat Cat Eye Sunglasses from Rusty Zipper

6. 2010 design Anna Zasada by Jacek Zajac

7. Costume Party Sunglasses from

8. Lara Stone wearing Peggy Guggenheim’s bat sunglasses shot by Karl Lagerfeld for Harper’s Bazaar, September 2009

9. Bat Eyewear by Fakoshima

10. A design by Meadham Kirchhoff at London Fashion Week Spring 2014

QUOTE: Rosalind Franklin

“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.”

Rosalind Franklin, Chemist and X-ray Crystallographer who made contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
#ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Christine Grosart: Caving Photographer, Diver, & Leader

Article by Tabitha Rossman, EWLS Photography Blogger

Christine Grosart is our winner of this year’s photography contest. She is also a record breaking cave diver in the UK, a paramedic by trade and a qualified cave leader on adventure trips. She contributes to the documentation of cave exploration though film and photography. She said “There’s no better feeling than shooting video in cave passage you found and showing it to the local cavers, knowing you are the only people that moment in time to have ever seen it. That’s special.” Christine has produced several articles for various caving and diving publications and designed her own website to promote caving though education and photography. The adventure trips she hosts through Wet Wellies focus on quality, education and inspiration. She hosts caving trips in the Mendip Hills near Bristol and the South Wales with qualified leaders. So, if you are interested in cave diving in the UK, you should attend one of these trips (link below). …

Meredith Hall Weberg

A Google search will reveal the long history behind the caving career of Meredith Hall Weberg. Her imprint is sprinkled all over the caving community and reveals a long-standing dedication to serve - especially as an advocate for cave conservation. Here are some of the things the EWLS team found: Meredith was the former president of BATS Grotto and the editor of the 2003 NSS Speleo Digest. She is an integral member of the Virginia Cave Board and the NSS Virgina Region (VAR), where she wore and continues to wear hats such as the Virginia Cave Board Education Committee Chairperson and the VAR Conservation Co-Chair. She has served the VAR in many capacities, organizing conservation projects such as the 2015 VAR Easter Restoration Weekend, and organizing VAR Meetings, such as the 2015 Spring VAR. She is the former editor of the BATS News and a regular contributor to many other speleo-publications including the Blue Ridge Grotto's Carbide Dump and The New River Valley Grotto's Mud…

QUOTE: Jane Goodall

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

Jane Goodall, Primatologist, Ethologist, Anthropologist, & UN Peace Messenger
#ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

3 Tips to backing up your photos

By Tabitha Rossman, EWLS Photography Blogger It’s always good to have a back up for your back up as well especially for your digital negatives. When I fist got in to photography that was one thing I wish I knew before I lost all my photos that I was really proud of. Here are three simple tips that I hope help you in your cave photography career: 1.Find a system and keep it simple by scheduling time to organize, print and display. 2.Back them up on an external hard drive 3tb or higher depending on how many photos and space you tend to use up. 3.You can also for a more cheap alternative you can back up your photos and files on to storage sites like drop box or burn them on to CD (if you still use blank CDs.) #ewls #womencavers #speleology

Paleontologist Julie Meachen Speaks About Wyoming's Natural Trap Cave

Paleontologist Julie Meachen at Des Moines University says the 20,000 year old animal remains found in Wyoming's Natural Trap Cave's 15-foot wide 80 feet deep entrance could provide clues to how climate change might have caused many species to disappear from North America after the last ice age. Researchers are studying genetic material they've recovered and comparing it to that of modern-day animals. Two summers of digging have uncovered the remains of cheetahs, camels, horses and lions.#speleology #ScienceWomen #womencavers #WLeadership #ewls


QUOTE: Lise Meitner

"Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration”

Lise Meitner (1878 – 1968), physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls