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Cavers Mailing List     № 17471

Fwd: Cave and karst news and announcements from NCKRI

Автор: Bulat Mavlyudov
Дата: 02 Nov 2020

-------- Пересылаемое сообщение --------
От кого: George Veni <>
Кому: George Veni <>
Дата: Воскресенье, 1 ноября 2020, 23:13 +03:00
Тема: Cave and karst news and announcements from NCKRI

Dear Friends,


COVID is increasing around the world again, and so there is not much news to share. I hope you and your loved one remain well through this crisis. Here is the news:


Student and Job Opportunities

  • Summer Course: Puerto Rico’s Caves and Culture


Various News

  • New Maya Cave Rock Art Report Available
  • Sharks Added to the List of Mammoth Cave National Park Fossils, USA 


Conferences and Meetings

  • Announcing: 23rd National Cave and Karst Management Symposium, Texas, USA
  • List of Upcoming Cave and Karst Meetings


Please contact the people and organizations listed below for more information, and feel free to share this message with anyone who may be interested.






Summer Course: Puerto Rico’s Caves and Culture


This summer course is designed to introduce students to caves, and their influence in Puerto Rican culture over millennia. Students will learn the fundamentals of cave development, the influence that caves have in Puerto Rican culture (and other Caribbean countries), and explore theoretical models to study the interaction human-geology. The tentative course dates are 25 May to 9 June 2021 and are subject to change.


The application deadline is 1 November 2020 so apply quickly by going to https://www.jmu.edu/global/abroad/programs/jmu-puerto-rico-geology.shtml




New Maya Cave Rock Art Report Available


In the Realm of Rain Gods: A Contextual Survey of Rock Art across the Northern Maya Lowlands, is a new open access (free) report you can download from https://www.mdpi.com/2571-9408/3/4/61. The abstract of the report follows:


“Regional rock art studies have provided insight into the role of caves in Maya ideology and worldview. In addition to the content of the imagery itself, the placement or siting of rock art with respect to natural and cultural features within the cave environment can reveal much about the function and meaning of cave use practices. This comparative analysis of rock art emphasizes contextual considerations with a discussion on the spatial and symbolic relationships between images in individual caves. Rock art in the northern Maya lowlands is commonly associated with watery areas and pathways leading to pools in caves. Across the northern Yucatan Peninsula, watery caves witnessed the rites and rituals of religious practitioners who appealed to the rain gods. Rock art scenes throughout this region were often devised and positioned in ways that reveal or are consistent with this unique and pervasive emphasis on rain and agricultural fertility in religious practice.”




Sharks Added to the List of Mammoth Cave National Park Fossils, USA 


A team of paleontologists, cave specialists, and park rangers at Mammoth Cave National Park have discovered a trove of fossil treasures that has yielded one of the most diverse Mississippian shark faunas in North America. At least 40 different species of sharks and their relatives have been identified, including six new species. Rare preservation of three-dimensional skeletal cartilage documented in Mammoth Cave allows us to understand the anatomy and relationships of these ancient sharks.   


The discoveries in remote cave locations within the park were made during an ongoing paleontological resources inventory that began in November 2019. Mammoth Cave is known for a variety of ice age mammal fossils as well as ancient marine organisms. 


The 325 million-year-old fossil-rich limestones of the Mammoth Cave System were formed during the Late Paleozoic, during a time period known to geologists as the Mississippian Period. The park staff reported a few fossil shark teeth exposed in the cave walls of Ste. Genevieve Limestone in several locations. Fossil shark specialist John-Paul (JP) Hodnett of the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission was recruited to help identify the shark fossils, which were primarily teeth and fin spines. Since most of the skeleton of sharks is composed of cartilage, rather than bone, the skeletons of sharks are rarely preserved as fossils.  


Hodnett and park staff, quickly discovered and identified many different species of primitive sharks from specimens in the rocks lining the cave passages in Mammoth Cave. More than 40 different species of fossil sharks and relatives have been identified from Mammoth Cave specimens in the past 10 months and the fossil survey continues.  Among this fossil shark assemblage, there appears to be at least six fossil shark species that are new to science. Those species will be described and named in a forthcoming scientific publication.  


Most of the shark fossils have been discovered in areas inaccessible to visitors on cave tours, but park staff are preparing photographs, artists’ renditions, and three-dimensional models for the visitors to view and explore in park exhibits. A new painting showing some of the Mississippian shark and invertebrate fauna from Mammoth Cave has been completed by paleoartist Julius Csotonyi and was premiered to the public on October 14 to celebrate National Fossil Day 2020: 



In addition to this rich diversity of primitive sharks at Mammoth Cave, two partial cartilaginous skeletons of different species of sharks were also found within Mammoth Cave. One specimen was discovered by a caver with the Cave Research Foundation and the other has been known by the park guides for years. The preservation of cartilage in layers of Paleozoic rock is a very rare occurrence and moved the team to thoroughly document these specimens. National Park Service geologist Jack Wood lugged equipment through narrow cave passages to capture photogrammetric images of the two rare specimens. Wood produced 3-D models of the cartilaginous shark remains which are posted on the National Park Service website.  


Paleontological resource inventories, similar to the one underway at Mammoth Cave National Park, have helped to document fossils in at least 277 different national parks throughout the United States. National Park Service Senior Paleontologist Vincent Santucci said, “Paleontological resource inventories are fundamental to the management of non-renewable fossils. These inventories enable us to establish baseline fossil data capturing the scope, significance, distribution, and management issues related to park fossils. Many new and important fossil discoveries are tied to field inventories, as demonstrated at Mammoth Cave National Park, expanding our understanding of the fossil record in the national parks.” 




Announcing: 23rd National Cave and Karst Management Symposium, Texas, USA


I heartily invite all cavers, cave owners, cave conservancies, cave managers, cave researchers, and cave lovers to the 23rd biennial meeting of the National Cave and Karst Management Symposium (NCKMS), to be held in San Marcos, Texas on 1–5 November 2021.


Karst is a type of landscape featuring caves, sinkholes, sinking streams, and springs.  Roughly 20%, or 53,720 square miles, of Texas is karst, including the urban corridor of Waco through San Antonio. NCKMS meetings are scheduled at different locations across the United States in order to highlight local karst resources and management issues.  The last (and only) one held in Texas since their beginning in 1975 was in New Braunfels, in 1989.  Our state’s population (and number of caves!) has grown rapidly since then, leading to inevitable management conflicts.  Typical presentations and workshops during the week focus on research, resource management, stewardship activities, education communication, and sustainability.  Sessions, field trips, and workshops often provide many examples in both show cave and wild cave resource management, and are open to the general public through day passes. Various tours, field trips, and other great activities are planned.


We hope like heck that the COVID-19 pandemic has run its course by next fall, and we are planning this conference as “normal.” But we are also preparing to scale back and offer a virtual conference if necessary, much like the 2020 NSS Virtual Convention. We’ll make that decision sometime later in 2021. 2021 is also the International Year of Caves and Karst. We plan on many public outreach activities during our conference, live or virtual, so stay tuned by following https://symposium2021.nckms.org/.


We hope to see you in the Texas Hill Country next November!


Jim “Crash” Kennedy
Organizing Chair, 2021 NCKMS




List of Upcoming Cave and Karst Meetings


If you are interested in any of the following events, contact the organizers directly to learn if they are still planned as announced below.


1)              British Cave Research Association Science Symposium, 14 November 2020, (virtual meeting), http://bcra.org.uk/forum

2)                  Frontiers in Karst Colloquium - A reactive transport framework for understanding geochemical transformations in karst systems. Karst Waters Institute, 17 November 2020, (virtual meeting), to register: https://uark.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0lde6rqz0tH9f8ZhhVE9VeWwXORDYDR_-k

3)              Visual KARSYS Online Course, 2-3 December 2020, https://www.visualkarsys.com/ 

4)              ALCADI 2020: International Symposium on History of Speleology and Karstology (ALps, CArpathians and DInarides), 5-8 December 2020 (Gorizia, Italy), contact:

5)              1st Karst Science Forum, postponed to 2021 (Bucharest, Romania), https://www.eris100.ro

6)              International Course and Field Seminar: Characterization and Engineering of Karst Aquifers, postponed to 2021 (Žabljak-Durmitor Mt., Virpazar-Skadar Lake in Montenegro, and in Trebinje in Bosnia & Herzegovina), http://www.karst.edu.rs

7)              7th International Course Characterization and Engineering of Karst Aquifers (CEKA), postponed to 2021 (Montenegro: Žabljak-Durmitor Mt., Virpazar-Skadar Lake, and Bosnia and Herzegovina: Trebinje), http://www.karst.edu.rs

8)              14th International Symposium on Pseudokarst, 22-25 April 2021 (Świętokrzyskie [Holy Cross] Mountains, Poland), https://14pseudokarst.wonders4you.com/

9)              US Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Meeting, May 2021 (Nashville, Tennessee, USA), https://www.usgs.gov/mission-areas/water-resources/science/karst-interest-group-kig-2020-workshop?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

10)           Australian Cave and Karst Management Association Conference, 3-7 May 2021 (Wellington Caves, New South Wales, Australia), for more information:

11)           European Cave Rescue Association Meeting, postponed to late spring or November 2021 (Cantabria, Spain), https://caverescue.eu/ecra-meeting-2020-cantabria-spain/ 

12)           36th Brazilian Congress of Speleology, 3-6 June 2021 (Brasilia, Brazil), http://36cbe.org.br/

13)           2nd Columbian Congress of Speleology, 8-13 June 2021 (Hagia Sophia, Boyacá, Columbia), https://espeleocol.wordpress.com/iicce2021/

14)           Karst Waters Institute Frontiers in Karst: Sulfuric Acid Weathering, postponed to mid-summer 2021 (San Vittore, Italy), https://karstwaters.org/conferences/sulfuric-acid-weathering/ 

15)           28th International Karstological School “Classical Karst”: Regional Karstology - Local and General Aspects, 14-18 June 2021 (Postojna, Slovenia), https://iks.zrc-sazu.si/en/

16)           EuroKarst 2021: The European Congress on Karst Hydrogeology and Carbonate Reservoirs, 22-24 June 2021 (Málaga, Spain), http://www.eurokarst.org/

17)           Karst Record IX (KR9) Conference, 11-14 July 2021 (Innsbruck, Austria), https://www.uibk.ac.at/congress/kr9/news/2017/kr9-postponed-to-2021.html.en

18)           18th International Congress of Speleology, 25 July – 1 August 2021 (Savoie Technolac, Le Bourget du Lac, Savoie, France), http://uis2021.speleos.fr/ 

19)           Central Asian Speleological Forum, postponed to August 2021 (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), https://speleo.kg/en/news/first-circular-speleo-ca-forum-2020/

20)           34th International Geographical Congress karst sessions: Global Karst Critical Zone and Land Use Planning in Karst, 16-20 August 2021 (Istanbul, Turkey), https://www.igc2020.org/en/KARST%20COMMISSION.html  

21)           International Association of Hydrogeologists 47th Congress, 22-27 August 2021 (São Paulo, Brazil), https://iah2021brazil.org/en/

22)           19th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology, 28 August - 4 September 2021 (Catania, Italy), http://www.19isvetna.com/ 

23)           International Association of Hydrogeologists 48th Congress, 6-10 September 2021 (Brussels, Belgium), https://iah2021belgium.org/

24)           Fort Stanton Cave Science Conference, September 2021 (Socorro, New Mexico, USA), https://geoinfo.nmt.edu/FtStanton/home.cfm

25)           26th International Cave Bear Symposium, 30 September - 3 October 2021 (Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, Germany),

26)           6th EuroSpeleo Protection Symposium, 26-30 October 2021 (Isle of Vilm, Germany), contact

27)           Speleo Kamaraton, 29 October – 1 November 2021 (Marina di Camerota, Salerno, Italy), http://www.speleokamaraton.eu/

28)           23rd  National Cave and Karst Management Symposium, 1-5 November 2021 (San Marcos, Texas, USA), https://symposium2021.nckms.org/  




George  Veni, PhD

Executive Director, National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI)


President, International Union of Speleology (UIS)


NCKRI address (primary)

400-1 Cascades Avenue 

Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220 USA

Office: +575-887-5517

Mobile: +210-863-5919

Fax: +575-887-5523



UIS address

Titov trg 2

Postojna, 6230 Slovenia





Bulat Mavlyudov

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