Interns at the cave
Three college interns are working at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve this summer. Marie McKenzie, a Geography major from University of Hawaii-Hilo, and Ron O’Brien, an agriculture major from the same institution, are working on aspects of the tortoise project, under support of the Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES). Marie is studying the tortoises’ utilization of the habitat, in terms of food choices, movements, and sleeping sites. Ron is looking at seed dispersal and germination rates, and developing techniques for making compost tea and other fertilizers from their dung. Mary Coulombe, an environmental education major from Northern Arizona University (see article above) is coordinating educational programs and conducting studies of visitor use patterns and opinions. We look forward to future newsletter articles reporting their findings.