This time on The Children’s Hour, we’re joined by three cave biologists who are researching life underground. Dr. Diana Northup is a Visiting Associate Professor, BiologyProfessor Emerita, College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences at the University of New Mexico, Jenny Hathaway is the biologist inside Dr. Northup’s laboratory, and Ryan Ozatalar is an undergraduate studying biology, graduating in Spring 2023. 

We will learn basic facts about caves, like how they are formed and where we can find them. Plus Dr. Northup and her team are on the cutting edge of biological discoveries inside caves. We find out about microbes and extremophiles which inhabit all caves, even ones with air that is toxic for humans. 

Learn a lot more about caves and Dr. Diana Northup in PBS Nova: The Mysterious Life of Caves.

The National Park Service has also created a Kids Guide to learn even more about caves. is where to find out more about the National Speleological Society. Do you live in New Mexico? is how to reach the local Albuquerque grotto.

This episode is mixed with great music, and was produced by Christina Stella, with help from Eli Henley and Katie Stone. Our program was recorded at the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque New Mexico. Our engineer was Chad Scheer.

© 2023 The Children’s Hour Inc.

All photographs © Kenneth Ingham and used with permission.


Playlist: Caves Alive

Cave BabyThe MudcakesCave Baby2008 Schwatmark
The CaveRecess MonkeyDesert Island Disc2013 Recess Monkey
Climb a MountainWalkin' Jim StoltzThe Web of Life1996 Wild Wind Records
Digga Dog Kid (feat. Caspar Babypants)The Harmonica PocketSundrops2015 The Harmonica Pocket
Wind Up ToyPodington BearPlayful2014 HUSH
I Am A CaverDan WellingNational Speleological Society Collection1975 National Speleological Society Collection
The Mycelium Underground NewsThe Okee Dokee BrothersBrambletown2023 Okee Dokee Music
SpelunkerFarmer JasonNature Jams2012 Hip-O
Golden HourPodington BearSpringtime2016 HUSH
The Tunnel SongCheech MarinMy Name Is Cheech the School Bus Driver1992 Ode 2 Kids
Cave of WondersThe Pop UpsGiants of Science2018 Pop Up City Records
UndergroundCaspar BabypantsJump for Joy!2017 Aurora Elephant Music
Underground BoundKristen TaylorNational Speleological Society Collection1975 National Speleological Society
Squirrel CommotionPodington BearThe Box Set2008 HUSH

Thank you Sponsors