Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2015

Congradulate Tabitha Rossman

Tabitha is being featured as an Extraordinary Woman Caver (EWC) in this year's annual publication that launches in April. Tabitha is the EWLS Photography Blogger. Her posts run weekly on Instagram where she shares
photography techniques and especially how photography can impact conservation issues. We are so glad to have you Tabitha. Congrats! #ewls #womencaver #speleology

Stay up to date about our annual event and publication distribution at the EWLS 2015 Facebook Event page.

Photo Credit: Amanda Labrado

Cave Surveying and the Role of Photography

Photographs help provide information and realism as well as emotions that are felt by the explorers. Pictures of the survey stations, cross sections, of animals, or tiny speleothems help document the environment and the surrounding area of the cave that is being surveyed. Compact cameras are used for easy and quick documentary photographs. Professional cameras on tripod with several flashes and lights from helmets too. Pictures taken while surveying are then downloaded and stored in to a netbook. Each photo will be connected within a database and directly located to the survey in order to have a more geographical and visual references of every location surveyed.

Dr. Francesco Sauro, University of Bologna, Survey and Photography instructor
Photograph by Tabitha Rossman, Mesilla Valley grotto Survey Team and EWLS Photography Blogger

#ewls #womencavers #speleology

Congradulate Jennifer Macalady

Congratulate Jennifer Macalady. Jennifer is being featured as an Extraordinary Woman Caver (EWC) in this year's annual publication. As the Associate Professor and Geomicrobiologist for Penn State University (PSU), an Astrobiologist for the PSU Astrobiology Research Center, and Director for PSU Center for Environmental geoChemistry and Genomics, she aims to bring speleology to be better understood and studied in mainstream science. We are glad to have you Jennifer. You deserve it!

To keep updated on the annual event and publicaiton distribution visit our Facebook AGCT 2015 Event Page.

#ewls #speleology #womencavers

Photo credit: Dan Jones

Inspire Children With Caving

Watch these two young girls and a boy join their parents in a caving exploration in France in this Youtube video. There is a very nice background music during the cave exploration. How I wish I could have done this in my childhood! These kids are LUCKY!!! Take your kids underground and reveal to them the mystery and beauty that lie underground as well as teach them not to be afraid of crawling through narrow passages in the dark!

* The video is in French, so if you don't understand, you can start at 2:10 when they arrive on site.

Submitted by Carole Devillers, EWLS Social Media Reporter

AGCT Event Aug. 7-9 Near Natural Lava Bridges

Less than a mile away from the entrance of Guler Ice Cave are a series of natural bridges formed when most of the lava tube collapsed except for a few strong spots. The bridges are only a short walk from a small parking area and include several hiking trails that you can use to thoroughly explore the area.

Visit our Facebook events page to stay up-to-date on event info here.

Image Credit: James L. Greger Jr.

#ewls #womencavers #speleology

Congratulate Elen Feuerriegel

Elen is being featured in our annual publication this April as an Extraordinary Woman Caver (EWC). Elen was one of the 6 women scientists who recovered and cataloged than 1200 hominid fossil elements in the South African Rising Star Cave. Congrats Elen. You deserve this!

Stay tuned on the distribution of our annual publication and event by joining the Facebook event here: 2015 AGCT Facebook Event Page

#ewls #womencavers #speleology

Photo Credit: Scott Williams

The Importance of Cave Photographers

In the book “Protect Our Caves” published by the National Caving Association we find that “Photography plays an important role in conservation for it helps increase awareness of the beauty of caves, and demonstrates the destruction from which they suffer. Sadly photography can also pose a threat, and even reputable photographers have taken, and have had published, pictures demonstrating poor conservation practice … Additionally, photographers and their models have caused damage in their eagerness to obtain a better picture. The taking of photos is rewarding, but special care is essential owing to the close proximity to formations that is invariably involved.” When it comes to cave photography, never cross tapes and watch yourself and your model at all times. You can also be an act of benefit by taking pictures of damaged formations as well to document the need for cave conservation.

#ewls #womencavers #speleology

Congratulate Christine Grosart​

This Extraordinary Woman Caver (EWC) will be featured in this year's annual magazine in April. In 2009 Christine broke (and holds) the female UK cave diving depth record with a solo 64m deep. She also founded WetWellies Caving, a small business that introduces caving to the public and offers technical caving skills for cavers. Congrats Christine. We are so glad to have you and share your amazing story. You deserve it!

In the meantime don't forget to join the Facebook AGCT event to stay up to date with magazine distribution and event news here: 2015 AGCT Facebook Event Page

Photo credit: Nathan Boinet

#ewls #womencavers #speleology

Nina Fascione Serves to Protect Bats

Nina Fascione has been a wildlife conservation professional for more than 25 years. She is currently Vice President of Development at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, D.C., where she oversees the organization’s efforts to raise funds from major and planned gifts, foundations and corporations for strategic conservation work. From 2010 to 2012, Nina served as Executive Director of Bat Conservation International, where she guided the Austin, Texas-based organization in its efforts to protect bats and their habitats around the world through innovative programs that blend education, research and conservation.

Nina had previously been Vice President for Field Conservation Programs at Defenders of Wildlife, where she managed Defenders’ largest division, with 30 staffer members at nine regional offices dedicated to endangered species and habitat conservation. She has also held positions with the Wildlife Habitat Council and the Zoological Society of Philadelphia.

Nina serves on the steer…

AGCT Event Aug. 7-9 Near Guler Ice Cave

Besides the nearly 1000 caves available near our fantastic event, Trout Lake offers a public show cave called Guler Ice Cave. Deep in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest a few miles west of Trout Lake on Hwy 141, this cave captures the winter snows and ice all summer long. Guler Ice Cave is close to the parking area. It has a wooden stairway and extremely slick ice at the bottom. It was a summer-long source of ice for the early inhabitants of the area, and still provide a great respite from the heat of summer. In fact, even on the hottest days you may want a jacket or long sleeved shirt when you descend into their icy bowels.

Visit our Facebook events page to stay up-to-date on event info here.
Forest Service Website
Image Credit

Cave Photography and Considering Humidity

Tabitha Rossman, EWLS Photography Blogger, is moving from New Mexico to Washington. Here is what she has found as she considers caving in this more humid environment: “I found an interesting and helpful article for some who live in areas where there is a lot of humidity in caves. I have been in a more dry heat and dusty cave element [in New Mexico]. I was doing a little bit of research and thought that this site could come in handy when it comes to getting photos in a wet, humid environment. Please share how you deal with humid environments while doing cave photography at”  Photo by Tabitha Rossman

Top 10 Healthy Caver Treats

Find more great ideas on our Pinterest page ...

AGCT Event Aug. 7-9 Offers Fantastic Views

Trout Lake has some really amazing views of Mount Adams, waterfalls, and wildlife. Check out some amazing hiking trails here.

Visit our Facebook events page to stay up-to-date on event info here.

The Basics of Cave Photography

By EWLS Photography Blogger Tabitha Rossman

Cave photography is all about trial and error. Some of the basic gear you will need is a tripod, shutter release, spare batteries, and a flashlight (3 sources of lighting). However if you have three external flashes that are also slave units, they will set the rest of them off at the same time. Cave photography is a lot like night star photography. There are a lot of long exposures that will take a long time and drain your batteries, so always have a backup if in case you need to stay longer to keep working on it.

This week, I wanted to try a few things out in a commercial cave but I forgot to bring my shutter release. I did manage to get a few good photos out of it. It was tricky during spring break (lots of people). Next time, I want to get a day permit so I can take photos when no one is there. Some commercial caves like Carlsbad Caverns now allow flash photography. Always make sure with others because a few do not allow flash photograph…

Welcome Laura Demarest, 2015 EWC

Right now the annual EWLS magazine is in process of being created. I will be announcing each Extraordinary Woman Caver (EWC) as their bio is completed for the publication. Today I would like you all to congratulate Laura Demarest for being the first to have hers completed. Be prepared for 8 more announcements and the most extensive woman's publication coming to you this August! In addition to this, I would like to thank photographers Tim Hartman, April McKay, Greg & Val McNamara, Joe Kinder, Carrie Green for providing such great images for her bio.

Photo Credit: Greg & Val McNamara

Margaret W. Conkey, is one of Discover magazine's "Fifty Most Important Women in Science"

Conkey has been carrying out a field research project since 1993 to understand the possibilities for open air archaeological evidence called "between the caves," since it is intended to contextualize archaeological evidence of art and material culture found in French caves with support--from two grants from the National Science Foundation, one from the France-Berkeley Fund, and several from the Stahl Endowment. To date, the team has recovered more than 3000 identifiable lithic artifacts differentially distributed within a 260 square kilometer transect.

Discover magazine chose to include her among its "Fifty Most Important Women in Science" for her archaeological work. She uses modern ideas—notably feminist theory—to interpret images and objects from what she calls "deep time"—the Paleolithic era or late Ice Age when humans made the first known images we consider art. The most famous of cave art is found in the Lascaux caves. The paintings have been tradi…

Marianne Russo the Vertical Easter Bunny

Marianne has been an active caver and NSS member since 1982. Now retired, she spent her profession career as an archeologist, managing the Sacramento office of the California Archeological and Historical Resources Inventory for 25 years. She has participated in numerous field surveys and excavations and has taught summer field schools. Marianne has also served as Chairman and Secretary of the Mother Lode Grotto and Vice-chair of the Western Region of the National Speleological Society. She has assisted in training many novice cavers and teaching vertical caving techniques through the years. Marianne also is a National Cave Rescue Commission Instructor who has helped conduct numerous cave rescue training seminars.


Windsurfing near the AGCT Aug 7-9 Event

If your visiting you might as well enjoy the exciting windsurfing just 40 minutes away from Trout Lake, WA in Hood River. Meanwhile, join our event page to stay up-to-date here.