South Dakota

This past weekend I went to Jewel Cave and Wind Cave with some of my fellow interns thanks to the efforts of EFTA (Environment for the Americas).  We went to Jewel Cave first, which was an impressive cave system whose walls are covered in calcite...

Jewel Cave keeps me both mentally and physically busy during the work week. In addition to photo monitoring and structure mapping, there are always side projects that need to be done. One such project was installing a 2500‘ PVC drainage pipeline to empty out water...

Recreational caving is new to me. Sure, I’ve poked around in small caves with a flashlight, but they’d either end or become crawlways that I didn’t feel comfortable going through. Prior to this summer, my favorite cave visit was to the Wabasha Street Caves in...

I spent most of this week in park wide training for first season park service staff but at the end of the week I led a hike on the Chilkoot Trail with the goal to reach several sample sites. When I was not in training...

City-slickers like me have grown up around timid and (mostly) non-threatening animals such as livestock, deer, waterfowl, small birds, and squirrels. The beasts we do live with are our domesticated dogs and cats. Anything more exotic than those live in zoos and are relatively docile...

This summer is jam-packed. Even though Jewel Cave is a small monument, the resource management (RM) team is tasked with a broad range of important work. Aside from our daily duties, we’re available to assist with cave emergencies, maintenance projects, search & rescues, and decontamination....

In only two weeks, I’ve learned a plethora of details about Jewel Cave National Monument. Before you get your hopes up, no, the ‘jewels’ that cover the cavern walls aren’t rubies and diamonds, but various crystalline forms of calcite. In its entirety, Jewel Cave is...

Hello, my name is Maaz Fareedi and today (as I’m writing this) is my birthday. I celebrated by taking a scenic drive from Minnesota to the small town of Custer, South Dakota. Many wouldn’t consider a 10-hour drive through ‘fly-over country’ as a great way...