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Cave and karst news and announcements from NCKRI


Active member
Dear Friends,

Since 2013, NCKRI has managed what is generally called The Sinkhole Conference. It is the longest running international conference on karst engineering and environmental issues. I?m excited to start this news message with three important new announcements about the next Sinkhole Conference. Below is the list of topics for this message, followed by the details:

The Sinkhole Conference
? The 16th Sinkhole Conference: Call for Abstracts and Registration
? The 16th Sinkhole Conference: Beck Student Scholarship Call for Applications
? The 16th Sinkhole Conference: Beck Student Scholarship Call for Donors

? Karst Field Studies Courses: USA

Various News
? Petition for the City of Austin, Texas, to Honor the Late William H. Russell
? 2019 Call for the EuroSpeleo Protection Label
? New Book: Karst Groundwater Contamination and Public Health, Beyond Case Studies
? France HABE Prize - Prix France HABE - Premio France HABE

Conferences and Meetings
? TransKarst 2019?3rd Asian Trans-Disciplinary Karst Conference: Philippines
? Karst Session at the Regional Geomorphology Congress: Greece
? British Cave Research Association Field Meeting: UK
? International Congress: 80th Anniversary of the Cuban Speleological Society
? GSA 2020 Southeastern/Northeastern Joint Section Meeting: USA
? Protected Karst Territories ? Legislation, Tourism, Monitoring: Bulgaria
? 6th Annual Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop: 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.

The 16th Sinkhole Conference: Call for Abstracts and Registration

The Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, generally called ?The Sinkhole Conference,? is the longest-running international conference of its type. Since 1984, engineers, geologists, hydrologists, land managers, biologists, and many others have gathered at these meetings to exchange cutting-edge information on karst and its many benefits and challenges.

The call for abstracts is now open for the 16th Sinkhole Conference. Abstracts may be submitted until 15 July 2019, after which will be the time to submit your papers to accompany your abstracts. The papers of past Sinkhole Conferences have made those proceedings highly sought and widely cited. We expect the proceedings of the upcoming meeting will be the best yet.

The 16th Sinkhole Conference will occur on 20-24 April 2020 in fabulous San Juan, Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico offers a tropical karst landscape and a vibrant historical and cultural venue unlike anything seen in rest of the United States. Many people are already talking about attending the conference as part of a vacation, and we are helping to make that possible.

The conference will be held in the lovely Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel, located in the historic heart of the city. Unlike previous conferences, your registration will include your breakfasts and lunches, in addition to the other usual amenities. Also, your discount conference room rates will extend to three days before and after the conference, in case you want to stay longer and enjoy a vacation.

For all of the details on the conference, including information on how to prepare and submit your abstracts, visit http://www.sinkholeconference.com/.  Remember, the deadline is 15 July 2019.

The Sinkhole Conference is managed by the National Cave and Karst Research Institute and with tremendous assistance from a diverse team of karst experts from around the country who join us to form the Organizing Committee. On behalf of the 16th Sinkhole Conference Organizing Committee, we look forward to receiving your abstracts and seeing you in San Juan next year!


The 16th Sinkhole Conference: Beck Student Scholarship Call for Applications

The Sinkhole Conference was created in 1984 and led for many years by Dr. Barry Beck. In his memory, the conference now offers the Beck Student Scholarship. Students awarded a Beck Scholarship will receive free registration to the conference and up to $1,000 reimbursement for travel expenses, as well as certain special recognitions and other benefits. Scholars from the previous Sinkhole Conference are recognized at http://www.sinkholeconference.com/Beck-scholarship. To apply for the scholarship, visithttp://www.sinkholeconference.com/how-to-apply-for-the-beck-scholarship.


The 16th Sinkhole Conference: Beck Student Scholarship Call for Donors

The Sinkhole Conference funds one Beck Student Scholarship for each conference, but more than one scholarship can be offered with your support. Six were awarded last time! Attending The Sinkhole Conference can be a life-changing experience for students by opening their eyes to state-of-the-art knowledge, and important professional contacts and opportunities. To help change a student?s life for the better, we ask and encourage you to donate to the Beck Scholarship. All donations are tax deductible. For details on how to donate, visithttp://www.sinkholeconference.com/How-to-sponsor-the-scholarship.


Karst Field Studies Courses: USA

This is our final friendly reminder that the registration deadline for a KFS course is April 29. As a reminder, the courses for the summer 2019 season are:

Cave Archaeology and Rock Art, June 2-8, Dr. George Crothers and Dr. Natalie Uomini
Exploration of Mammoth Cave, June 9-14, Mr. Bruce Hatcher and Mr. David Kem
Cave and Karst Resource Management, June 23-27, Mr. Joel Despain and Dr. Pat Kambesis
Caves and Karst of Florida, July 28-August 3, Dr. Jason Polk

Reserve your spot in a course by clicking on any of the ?Register? buttons on the KFS website (www.karstfieldstudies.com). Courses may be taken for graduate, undergraduate, or continuing education credit. Courses may also be taken for fun as non-credit workshops. Visit the website for more information about the program, course descriptions and schedules, how to register, or instructor bios.

If you have any questions please contact Dr. Leslie North at leslie.north@wku.edu.

Stay up to date on all the latest KFS news and announcements by following us on social media through Instagram @karstfieldstudies, Twitter @KFSWKU, and/orFacebook/WKUKarstfieldstudies.

Lastly, please help us spread the word about the program by forwarding this message to your colleagues, grotto members, staff, students, friends, and any other parties you feel may be interested in the program courses!

Hope to see you this summer!

Leslie A. North, Ph.D.


Petition for the City of Austin, Texas, to Honor the Late William H. Russell

Cavers, cave scientists, and cave managers lost a great friend, mentor, and inspiration when William H. Russell died on 21 March 2019. His efforts to explore, map, study, and document caves, especially in Texas and Mexico, are legendary. While he discovered Sistema Huautla, what is now one of the deepest and longest caves in the world, he was critical to the discovery and the public and governmental awareness of the vital importance of caves and karst aquifers to the communities of central Texas, USA. As a result, over 100 people so far have united to sign a petition to the City of Austin, the capital of the State of Texas, to:

1. Rename the Blowing Sink Research Management Area as the William H. Russell Karst Preserve and engage the local caving community as the most knowledgeable stakeholders in further exploration and documentation of its karst resources.
2. Issue a proclamation that June 30th is William H. Russell Austin Cave Heritage Day.

This action is worthy of support from anyone interested in caves and karst anywhere in the world. Even if you didn?t know William Russell, his actions elevated us all. This proposed honor further elevates us and recognition for the high value of caves and karst resources. For more information about William Russell and to sign the petition, visit http://chng.it/XmWjgcmzkc.



Active member

2019 Call for the EuroSpeleo Protection Label

Dear caving friends,
The European Speleological Federation (FSE) and its European Cave Protection Commission (ECPC) is very pleased to announce the launching of the 2019 Call for the EuroSpeleo Protection Label. You can find the application form on the FSE website: http://www.eurospeleo.eu/en/commissions-en/cave-protection/ecpc-activities/eurospeleo-protection-label.html (deadline for applications 30 June 2019).

Application form in Word:http://www.eurospeleo.eu/images/stories/docs/ECPC/ESPL_Application-2019.docx
Application form as Pdf:http://www.eurospeleo.eu/images/stories/docs/ECPC/ESPL_Application-2019.pdf
The aim of the EuroSpeleo Protection Label is to support active cave protection in the speleo clubs, committees, national commissions, etc., all over Europe and to share this knowledge throughout Europe.

For this reason many cavers and speleological structures are identifying specific solutions which can then be shared with the whole European speleological community, in order to adapt these cave protection solutions for application in other European countries.
The FSE / ECPC would like to recognize quality projects which can help to find better solutions for cave protection among the speleological community by awarding them the EuroSpeleo Protection Label. This award should also involve financial support to allow continuation of the important work that has been carried out by the awarded clubs, committees and commissions, because we all need to preserve the speleological heritage for the next generations.

Please consult the website for all further information and technical rules.

NOTE: There is a typo error on the form in version 1: the date was 2018 instead of 2019! The deadline for applications is 30 June 2019

www.eurospeleo.eu <http://www.eurospeleo.eu>  <http://www.eurospeleo.eu>


New Book: Karst Groundwater Contamination and Public Health, Beyond Case Studies

This book, edited by W.B. White, J.S. Herman, E.K. Herman, M. Rutigliano, sheds new light on contaminant transport in karst aquifers and the public health implications of contaminated karst groundwater. The papers included were presented at a conference held in early 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and range from lengthy reviews on contaminant transport mechanisms to short articles summarizing research findings. The conference addressed a variety of topics, such as contamination sources, the hydrogeology of contaminant transport, the storage and release of contaminants, and the health impacts as well as the epidemiology of contaminated water supplies drawn from karst aquifers, and gathered perspectives from experts in different disciplines, including hydrogeologists and public health specialists. Although there is a wealth of literature on specific instances of karst groundwater contamination, this book offers an integrated conceptual framework for the public health impacts of karst groundwater, making it a valuable resource for a broad interdisciplinary readership.

For more details and to buy a copy, visithttps://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319510699.


France HABE Prize - Prix France HABE - Premio France HABE

The France HABE Prize is awarded by the Commission of Karst and the Cave Protection of the International Union of Speleology (UIS).

Its purpose is to promote the protection of karst and caves for generations to come. Their natural legacy are proven sources of increasingly rich information about the history of our planet and humanity, enabling people to act more thoughtfully, efficiently, and sustainably for the future of our environment.Nominations must be received by May 20, 2019.

For more information:


TransKarst 2019?3rd Asian Trans-Disciplinary Karst Conference: Philippines

Following successful meetings in Vietnam and China, the 3rd Asian Trans-Disciplinary Karst Conference will be held in Bohol, Philippines, on 7-10 September 2019. Abstracts are now being accepted until 10 June 2019 on a wide variety of topics that include:

? Karst Science (Flow and solute transport in karst, innovative metrology, modelling, speleogenesis, geology).
? Water management and protection in karst environments (Contaminant migration and chemical behavior, polluted sites management on karst, case studies and new methodologies)
? Disaster risk reduction, mitigation and management related to karst (floods, collapse/subsidence, mines, tunnels and engineering infrastructure, cave rescue)
? Agriculture and Tourism Applications (Case studies and best practices)
? Caving activities (cave maps, expeditions, case studies, best practices)

Registration for the conference is open now. Register before prices increase on July 8th! The conference includes a day-long field trip to the famous Chocolate Hills and other splendid karst features. One special feature of the conference will be series of invited instructional lectures on topics ranging from cave science and management, to cave rescue and photography, taught by the International Union of Speleology.

To register, submit your abstracts, and for other details, visithttps://www.transkarst2019.com/.


Karst Session at the Regional Geomorphology Congress: Greece

This important session on karst geomorphology will be held in Athens, Greece, on 19-21 September 2019. It is being organized by Francisco Gutierrez, Christos Pennos, and Aurel Persoiu. Below is a session description. Abstracts are now being accepted. The deadline for abstracts submission is 15 May 2019. To send your abstract, register for the conference, and other conference details, visitwww.rcg2019.com.

Karst landforms are mainly the result of geochemical and hydrogeological processes acting on soluble substratum, either carbonates or evaporites. The resulting landscapes are widespread around the globe, covering around 20% of the ice-free land surface, and including numerous properties of outstanding universal value. Understanding the peculiar geomorphology and hydrology of these environments is essential to prevent and mitigate a great deal of environmental and engineering problems associated with them (e.g., sinkholes, water over-exploitation and degradation). Moreover, karst caves contain some of the most valuable paleoenvironmental records of the continental realm. This session aims to bring together researchers working on karst geomorphology and related topics.

Special attention will be given to the following themes: (1) driving agents and scales of karst dissolution; (2) impact of active tectonics on cave architecture; (3) karst deposits and their paleoclimate record; (4) karst in high-solubility evaporite rocks; (5) impact and hazards in karst environments; (6) paleokarst.


British Cave Research Association Field Meeting: UK

This weekend field meeting on 29-30 June 2019 is entitled "Hypogenic Caves of the North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark". This is a joint meeting of British Cave Research Association (BCRA) and The North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark (NPUGG). It will be based at Nenthead Village Hall, Nenthead, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3PH, United Kingdom.

The attendance fee is ?10/day or ?15 for the weekend. The meeting will comprise a series of talks and field visits. Bunkhouse accommodation has been reserved nearby and should be booked in advance. Camping and camper-van hookups are also available.

This joint field meeting will be an opportunity for cavers, cave scientists, geologists, mine history specialists, quaternary scientists and local residents to gather and share knowledge and enthusiasm for this special but relatively little-visited location. There are several fine cave systems in the North Pennines but the region is most notable for hosting the longest and most complex maze caves in Britain. In contrast to the majority of British caves which are epigenic (formed by descending waters) the maze caves are of hypogenic origin, that is they were formed by rising waters. As such they have no connection to the present land surface and are only accessible because they were intersected by lead miners.

For further information, please see the attached info sheet and booking form, which are also being posted to our News Forum at http://bcra.org.uk/forum. The documents includes timetable, and information on how to book and pay for your place in advance. For late information, the best place to look is probably our Facebook page at http://bcra.org.uk/facebook


International Congress: 80th Anniversary of the Cuban Speleological Society

The Cuban Speleological Society invite you to come to Caibari?n, Villa Clara, Cuba, on 19-23 February 2020 to celebrate their 80th anniversary. Workshops, sessions, expositions, exhibitions, and many more activities are planned. Papers are accepted until 30 September. For more information contact:congreso80aniv.sec@gmail.com.


GSA 2020 Southeastern/Northeastern Joint Section Meeting: USA

[Note from NCKRI: The announcement below is not outwardly about caves or karst, but the session organizers would very much like to includes sessions, trips, and other activities about caves and karst at the meeting and so you are encouraged to submit proposals.]

We are excited to announce the Geological Society of America (GSA) 2020 Southeastern and Northeastern Joint Section Meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia, USA, on 20-22 March 2020. A planned community designed for pedestrians, Reston is located outside of Washington, D.C., and is situated at the Fall Zone and the transition from the southern to the central Appalachians. The area is rich with interesting historical, cultural, and geologic attractions: the Great Falls of the Potomac are only 20 minutes from the Meeting, the Smithsonian National Museums are only 40 minutes away, and numerous bistros, restaurants, and shopping on a safe pedestrian mall are just out the door of the Hyatt Regency Reston.

For this Meeting, we are seeking proposals for Technical Sessions, Symposia, Field Trips, Short Courses, and Workshops that encompass the breadth of eastern geology from tectonics of the Appalachian orogen to coastal geology, from groundwater and hydrogeology to landscape evolution, geology and public policy, and much more.

Proposal submissions must include:
? Title of Session/Field Trip/Short Course/Workshop
? Principal organizer (name, affiliation, and email)
? Co-organizers (names, affiliations, and emails), if applicable
? Identification of proposal as Theme Session, Symposium, Field Trip, Short Course, or Workshop
? Preference for format (oral or poster), if applicable
? Short description (50 words or fewer)
Please submit your proposal electronically, or email your submissions to the appropriate Chair(s) listed below by 1 June 2019.

More information about the meeting is available athttp://www.geosociety.org/GSA/Events/Section_Meetings/GSA/Sections/se/2020mtg/home.aspx?_zs=Qq8Pe1&_zl=C2Fj5.

Thank you for your ideas; we look forward to seeing you in Reston in 2020.


Protected Karst Territories ? Legislation, Tourism, Monitoring: Bulgaria

Dear colleagues,

The Experimental Laboratory of Karstology of the National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography - BAS is organizing the sequential International Scientific-Practical conference on karst: ?Protected karst territories ? Legislation, Tourism, Monitoring? (September 29 - October 2, 2019, Sofia, Bulgaria). The Conference is preceded by a Working meeting of the ProKARSTerra-NET: Scientific-practical Network for sustainable development of karst territories in the context of global changes (on the example of model karst geosystems) (September 28, 2019, Sofia, Bulgaria).

ProKARSTerra-NET is a basis of a new strategy for sustainable development of karst territories. It will also be the subject of a roundtable included into the working program. We expect the conference to become a tribune of lively discussions and original draft decisions. For the participants and guests we are also planning a Post-Conference Scientific Excursion entitled "Karst masterpieces in the poorest region of the European Union" (October 3-15, 2019). The conference is one of the events of the Anniversary International Forum ProKARSterra`2019(http://prokarstterra.bas.bg/forum2019).

Please distribute this information to all colleagues and institutions interested in karst and caves.


6th Annual Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop: Texas, USA

The Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop is centered on the collection, processing, analysis and evaluation of hydrologic and geologic field data. It serves as an excellent introduction for aspiring geology, hydrology, and environmental science students, as well as a refresher for seasoned professionals.

The Workshop was created to bring students and professionals together in a field setting for a hands-on learning experience. This is a special opportunity to work with leading researchers and practitioners from across the state and nation. Participants have the opportunity to explore many different techniques for collecting data from soil, rock, and water media. This includes drilling rigs, surface and borehole geophysics, stream gauging, water quality instruments and more.

Participants can select from the various modules depending upon availability. Please note that participation may be limited in some modules for safety reasons, to maintain a high participant/coordinator ratio, or for resource protection.

The Workshop will take place at and around Cave Without a Name near Boerne, Texas, USA, on 4-6 October 2019. Most activities will be centered at the campsite and pavilion. For more details and to register visit https://hydrogeoworkshop.org/.


List of Upcoming Cave and Karst Meetings

1)            Hypogea 2019: The International Congress of Speleology in Artificial Cavities, 20-25 May 2019 (Dobrich, Bulgaria), http://www.hypogea2019.org/
2)            2019 National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section International Cave Diving Conference, 24-26 May 2019 (Lake City, Florida, USA),https://nsscds.org/evetns/2019-nss-cds-international-cave-diving-conference/
3)        Karst Field Studies 2019: Five courses offered, 2 June ? 3 August 2019 (Florida and Kentucky, USA), [www.karstfieldstudies.com]www.karstfieldstudies.com
4)            48th French National Speleo Congress, 7-10 June 2019 (La Ciotat, Marseille, France), https://www.facebook.com/FFSpeleologie/
5)            International Association of Hydrogeologists Karst Commission Geo Trip: Carpathian Karst, 15-18 June 2019 (Romania and Serbia), www.karst.edu.rs.
6)        27th International Karstological School "Classical karst": Karst Hydrogeology - Research Trends and Applications, 17-21 June 2019 (Postojna, Slovenia),http://iks.zrc-sazu.si/en/
7)        National Speleological Society Convention, 17-21 June 2019 (Cookeville, Tennessee, USA), http://nss2019.subworks.com/.
8)          35th Brazilian Speleological Congress and 50th Anniversary of the Brazilian Speleological Society, 19-22 June 2019, (Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil),http://www.cavernas.org.br/35cbe/.
9)            Man and Karst Conference, 24-26 June 2019 (Ragusa, Sicily, Italy),http://www.cirs-ragusa.org
10)      British Cave Research Association Field Meeting, 29-30 June 2019 (Cumbria, UK), http://bcra.org.uk/forum and http://bcra.org.uk/facebook
11)        Symposium on Caves, Karst, and Subterranean Environments: Cuba, 1-5  July 2019 (Havana, Cuba), http://www.cubambiente.com/
12)      Symposium: Challenges for Subterranean Landscape Conservation in the World's Karst Regions, 10th World Congress of the International Association of Landscape Ecologists, 1-5 July 2019 (Milan, Italy),http://www.iale2019.unimib.it.
13)      National Speleological Congress of Switzerland, 9-12 August 2019 (Interlaken, Switzerland), https://sinterlaken.ch/en/
14)      4th Summer School on Speleothem Science, 11-17 August 2019 (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), https://www.speleothemschool.com/.
15)      German Annual Speleo Meeting,15-18 August 2019 (Nesselwang, Bavaria, Germany), www.vdhk.de
16)      TransKarst 2019: The 3rd Asian Trans-Disciplinary Conference, 7-10 September 2019 (Bohol, Philippines), http://www.transkarst2019.com/.
17)        ArmConference 2019: Caves as Natural and Cultural Monuments, 11-13 September 2019 (Yerevan, Armenia), http://armconference2019.com/
18)        25th International Cave Bear Symposium, 18-22 September 2019 (Paklenica National Park, Croatia), nadja.kavcik@univie.ac.at
19)      Geological Society of America Convention, 22-25 September 2019 (Phoenix, Arizona, USA),http://www.geosociety.org/GSA/Events/Annual_Meeting/GSA/Events/gsa2019.aspx
20)      13th EuroSpeleo Forum, 23-26 September 2019 (Sofia, Bulgaria),https://esf2019.speleo-bg.org.
21)        46th IAH Congress ?Groundwater Management and Governance Coping with Water Scarcity? (Topic 7: Karst Hydrogeology), 23-27 September 2019 (Malaga, Spain), http://www.iah2019.org/topics-and-sessions/
22)      6th Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop, 4-6 October 2019 (Boerne, Texas, USA),https://hydrogeoworkshop.org/
23)        National Cave and Karst Management Symposium, 7-11 October 2019 (Bristol, Virginia, USA), http://nckms.org/2019-symposium
24)      13th European Cave Rescue Meeting, 15-17 November 2019 (Istanbul, Turkey), https://caverescue.eu/13th-european-cave-rescue-meeting/
25)      International Congress: 80th Anniversary of the Cuban Speleological Society, 19-23 February 2020 (Caibari?n, Villa Clara, Cuba), for information contact congreso80aniv.sec@gmail.com.
26)        16th Multidisciplinary Conference on the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, 20-24 April 2020 (San Juan, Puerto Rico),www.sinkholeconference.com
27)        UNESCOkarst 2020: Conservation of Fragile Karst Resources, 18-22 May 2020 (Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA), https://unescokarst2020.com/
28)        19th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology, 29 August ? 5 September 2020 (Catania, Italy), http://www.19isvetna.com/
29)        18th International Congress of Speleology, 23-29 July 2021 (Lyon, France),http://uis2021.speleos.fr/