We've had a variety of inquiries for Arizona cave information. Here are some samples of what was asked and what information we could distribute.
USGS Biology study.
A PHd candidate biologist with USGS contacted our group looking for a bat cave in a specific region of Arizona. He was looking for a site to study for his thesis. We were able to help him locate a cave that contains a Townsend's Long-eared bat maternity colony, (as well as three other roosting species) and helped him set up long-term access to the site.
NASA cave detection project.
NASA is interested in developing remote sensing equipment to locate caves on other planets. They feel that caves are a good place to look for extraterrestrial life. One method to do this is to take thermal photographs and look for variances in temperature from blowing caves. A researcher on the grant contacted our group to see if we had plotted cave locations in an area of Arizona where NASA had already taken some thermal photographs. Unfortunately, the area where they took their photos did not contain any known caves. But, by searching our database we were able to find a few caves that blow cold air and would be excellent sites for this project.
Grand Canyon National Park / Kaibab Forest Paleontoligcal Question.
Recently some bison that normally are found in the National Forest around the park had been ranging inside the Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP). This new behavior was curious, so the park contacted a Paleontologist with Northern Arizona University to gather more information. The Paleontologist contacted our survey to find out if there were known caves in that area so that he could look in those caves for bison bones to estimate ranges. Our survey was able to provide information on a few pit-entrance caves on Forestry land just outside the park, that would be ideal sites to look for historic and prehistoric bison bones.The research is currently in progress.
Hiker looking for a cave map.
A hiker contacted our group to see if he could get a copy of a map to a cave located in the Grand Canyon. All information relating to Grand Canyon caves is very sensitive and can not be distributed without consent from the park. We were able to give this hiker the name of who he could contact at the park for cave information. Also, cave maps are copyrighted works and we would only be able to share a map with the permission of the author. We track distribution criteria for all the cave maps in our collection.
US Forestry archaeology inquiry.
An archeologist with the South Kaibab forest contact us to help him locate cave archaeological sites on his section of the forest. We were able to give him locations and other information on two caves that he did not know about. One of the caves was right in the middle of an area that was scheduled for controlled burns. This would have adversely affected this unique cave archaeological site. He was able to cancel the burn for that area and protect the site.
Paleontoligcal Graduate Student inquiry.
A NAU graduate student and her sponsoring professor contacted our group to see if we knew of any Arizona caves that contained tiger salamanders which she could study for her thesis. We were able to identify a cave that contains a salamanders, and helped her set up long-term access to the site.