Image: Explorers Club Flag photo. Front (left to right) John and Tama Cassidy, me, and Kyle Voyles; in back (left to right) Michael Gowen, Jon Kalman, and Ty Spatta. Jason Ballensky and Bob Richards not in photo. Credit: Ty Spatta.
This is the 2009 Cactus Canyon Cave Biodiversity Inventory Project. We are in the forth year of our work in northern Arizona. This work is also part of my dissertation research. Also, we have had the distinct honor of having this expedition recognized as a Flag Expedition by the Explorers Club.
We will be working in one of the most remote canyons on Grand Canyon's North Rim. This project will involve a combination of canyoneering, rock climbing, and backcountry camping. We will be working five caves in this canyon for nine days. Our study will involve inventorying biodiversity by sampling cave-dwelling arthropods using an array of sampling techniques, characterizing bat use using an AnaBat ultrasonic detector, as well as completing the maps of two caves. In addition to our biodiversity inventory objectives, we will also be completing a full inventory of each cave. We will assess geology, hydrology, paleontology, and archaeology.
Kyle "Jefe" Voyles – Co-Principal Investigator/ Expedition Lead (No. 1). Kyle has been working in this part of the country for the past 10 years. He is Level 3 Cave Search and Rescue and is also an aid climber. He is responsible for project logistics, and all technical aspects related to rope work and canyoneering.
Jut Wynne – Co-Principal Investigator/ Science Lead (No. 2). I will be coordinating all aspects related to data collection.
Jon "Doc" Kalman – Safety Chief/ EMT/ Natropathic Doctor (No. 3). Jon is from San Diego and thanks to the recommendation by Christina Colpitts, our Medical Specialist from the 2008 Atacama and Rapa Nui work, we were fortunate enough to have Jon on our team.
Jason Ballensky – Cartographer. No photo available.
Tama Cassidy – Field Technician.
John Cassidy – Field Technician.
Michael Gowan – Field Technician. St. Simons Island boy and co-owner of Southeast Adventure Outfitters, Michael is an experienced rock climber and has spent many years working in the southwestern U.S. It has been 15 years since he was last in this area.
Bob Richards - Cartographer. No photo available.
Ty Spatta –Field Technician/ Work horse. This Indiana native can carry more gear than most mules. While trying to aid in shuttling bags through the rugged canyons we worked in, I learned first hand how much gear this man was carrying.
Special thanks to Dr. Neil Cobb, Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, NAU and Dr. Brett Dickson, Center for Environmental Science and Education, NAU for advisement and guidance in data collection and processing, and Mr. Charles Drost, USGS-Southwest Biological Science Center, Flagstaff for providing equipment, and logistical support.