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Antioch Interns Experience "Time Vertigo"

December 29, 2015

Antioch interns Melissa Rudie and Steven Taylor take a rest from clearing invasive kiawe trees.

“’Time vertigo’ is what David Burney calls the strange feeling of seeing so many different time scales at once.  With your eyes alone you can see half a million years of history as soon as you walk into the cave.” So wrote Antioch College intern Melissa Rudie in her final report and blog for her educational experience at Makauwahi Cave Reserve.

Steven Taylor and Melissa were the latest of many interns over recent years at the Reserve.  In his report, entitled “Meeting the Past on a Pacific Island Adventure” Steven described his whole progression from when he landed at the airport until he left eleven weeks later.  One of his favorite parts was his opportunity to make friends and work with our two Niihauan employees – Joe and Keaka Kanahele.

Their reports really sparkle with details about the place where they have just finished working.  They have learned much about everything from finding fossils to growing rare native plants to caring for tortoises ranging in weight from less than two ounces to nearly 200 pounds. Our interns help us stretch our small budget for staffing and maintenance.  For our volunteers and visitors, they represent an infusion of youthful energy and new ideas.

When two more students from Antioch arrive in a few weeks that will make eight from Antioch in the last three years.  We have also had in this period, students from Vasser, Fordham, Cornell, and Pace University.  The Reserve has also hosted students from several branches of the University of Hawaii, and last year, two graduate students from the University of Zurich researching our tortoise herd.

You can get more details about our internships, graduate research opportunities, and other educational programs (or make a donation to help these programs if you would like) at You may also want to check out their postings on the Makauwahi Cave Reserve Facebook page.


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