Cave and Karst News for January 2024

Upcoming deadlines:

NCKRI hopes you had very happy hole-e-days and a merry karstmas. We want to thank everyone for joining us in a wonderful 2023 and are excited about all the upcoming 2024 initiatives and events.

As a reminder, if you would like add any upcoming events, deadlines to the NCKRI News, email us at [email protected] or reply to this email.


21st International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology

Galapagos, Ecuador

April 10-20, 2024

6th Rocky Mountain Geobiology Symposium

Socorro, New Mexico, USA

April 20, 2024

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Astrobiology Science Conference

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

May 5-10, 2024

Characterization and Engineering of Karst Aquifers

Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

May 26-June 1, 2024



February 15, 2024




[email protected]

Funding Opportunity:

William L. Wilson and Diane C. Wilson Scholarship in Karst Science

The scholarship ($2500) is open to any student who is currently enrolled in, or has been accepted into, a master’s degree program at an institution of higher education in the United States. This year’s deadline for all application materials is February 15, 2024.



January 21, 2024

Weekly Stipends:



Job Opportunity:

Summer Scientist in Parks Position

Summer Scientist in Parks applications are open! All opportunities close on January 21, 2024. This year there are multiple positions that are related to caves and karst in National Parks. Check your eligibility before applying. Start dates vary from May to September 2024.

Cave and Karst Related Positions


January 28, 2024





Job Opportunity:

Summer GeoCorps Positions

Summer GeoCorps applications are open! All opportunities close on January 28, 2024. This year there are multiple positions that are related to caves and karst in different National Forests across the USA. Check your eligibility before applying.

Cave and Karst Related Positions

Northern Illinois University REU Summer 2024 in Mexico Yucatan Karst

In the summer of 2024, our team will embark on an investigative mission

concerning groundwater resources in the karstic Yucatan Peninsula. This

research initiative, generously funded by the National Science Foundation, extends a warm welcome to undergraduate students deeply passionate about the realm of water science and karst. Eight selected students will actively engage in research projects under the guidance of our faculty mentors, forging collaborative connections with Mexican scientists and fellow students in and around the vibrant locale of Cancun, Mexico. This comprehensive program unfolds across a span of eight weeks, comprising three distinctive segments. The inaugural phase commences at the Northern Illinois University (NIU) campus in DeKalb, Illinois. Here, participants will hone their research skills, craft robust research plans, and immerse themselves in the intricacies of the water resources within the Yucatan Peninsula. During this period, comfortable on-campus accommodations will be generously provided.

The program's second phase takes place in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula. Here, students will work in close tandem with our esteemed faculty mentors and collaborate with Mexican scientists while taking up residence in local housing. This immersive phase offers a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the rich historical and cultural heritage of the region.

Upon the successful culmination of the program, participants will return to NIU, where they will meticulously analyze the data they have collected and eloquently present their research findings. We are especially keen to encourage applications from students enrolled at community colleges and other academic institutions that may have limited access to research opportunities.

Feel free to contact for more information:

Melissa E. Lenczewski (She/Her) (aka MEL)


Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy

Department of Earth, Atmosphere, and Environment

Fulbright ASEAN Research Scholar 2023

Presidential Engagement and Partnerships Professor, 2021-2026

Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL 60115

[email protected]

Cell/SMS/WhatsApp/Telegram: +1-815-762-5452.


The First ASTM Karst Standard

ASTM D8512-23 - Standard Practice for Preliminary Karst Terrain Assessment for Site Development

From the ASTM Karst Subcommittee:

We are proud to announce the publication of our first subcommittee standard under ASTM D8512-23 - Standard Practice for Preliminary Karst Terrain Assessment for Site Development. This standard would not have been possible without the dedication of Mr. Robert Denton (Task Group leader) as well as the assistance and guidance of Ms. Jeanne Asquith and Dr. George Veni, along with input from our entire ASTM D18.27 Karst Subcommittee. 



This is an amazing accomplishment for our subcommittee that held our first official meeting in June 2020. Congratulations to all that helped with this process!  

While Dr. George Veni was working at NCKRI he dedicated many hours as the Karst Subcommittee chair. We would like to thank the subcommittee for all their hard work. This standard will aid real estate developers in their initial assessments of a site in karst terrain.

New Mexico Tech Cave and Karst Studies

Graduate Student Update

Zoë Havlena spent part of October and November at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she was working with Dr. Heather Graham extracting biomarkers from cave gypsum. Zoë is 3rd from the left, picture with (L to R) Heather Graham, Gabriella Weiss, and Fred Seguin, as well as one of the mass spectrometers that she used that is nicknamed "Dora the Exploris". Hear more about Zoë’s research at the upcoming Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) in May.

Introduction to Cave Geology (GEOL0289) Student Work Featured on Sciworthy Stories

As part of the NMT class Introduction to Cave Geology (GEOL0289), students write accessible summaries of scientific papers to show understand. Two of these summaries are submitted to Sciworthy and published online.

The article "How Do Mountains Affect Earth's Climate?", written by Riley Heath, talks about how chemical weathering of carbonates (limestone) effects climate.

"Scientist Described a Couch Potato Cave Salamander Called the Olm", written by Elijah Henderson, describes how researchers tracked olm movement in caves.

Help Us in Our Search: Consider Nominating

Director Search NCKRI Headquarters in Carlsbad, NM

Help us in our search by nominating qualified individuals.

New Mexico Tech seeks a dynamic and entrepreneurial-minded leader to serve as the Director of the National Cave and Kast Research Institute (NCKRI). The leader will ensure the Institute’s focus in the following functional areas: further the science of speleology; centralize and standardize speleological information; foster interdisciplinary cooperation in cave and karst research programs; promote public education; promote national and international cooperation in protecting the environment for the benefit of cave and karst land forms; and promote and develop environmentally sound and sustainable resource management practices. Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Research the selected hire will oversee all facets of Institute management and planning.

To learn the specific responsibilities:


Here are some of the upcoming cave and karst related events. You can also add this google calendar. If you would like an event added, contact [email protected].

February 2024

National Speleological Society Board of Director Nominations

1 February 2024


GSA Call for Proposals

1 February 2024


The William L. Wilson and Diane C. Wilson Scholarship in Karst Science

15 February 2024


Special Issue for International Journal of Speleology

28 February 2024

Request for Submissions

To see more go to our online calendar

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If you have cave and karst news that you want to share, please send an email to [email protected] or click the link above. Include your contact information and details that you would like us to share such as an event, date, pertinent links, and a short description.

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The National Cave and Karst Institute is a research center of New Mexico Tech. NCKRI was created in partnership with the National Park Service, State of New Mexico, and the City of Carlsbad to be a nexus of research, stewardship, information and outreach for caves and karst while fostering interdisciplinary collaborations. Our mission is to promote and facilitate cave and karst research, education and sustainability.

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