UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis

Events and meetings

Karst & Cave related events and meetings

Welcome to Rio Rancho, New Mexico

     The 76th Anniversary of the NSS is being celebrated in June, not July, of 2017, just beyond and west of the Rio Grande, with the awesome Sandia Mountains (and a watermelon-shade at sunset) rising >10,600 feet to the east above the high desert floor. Rio Rancho, home of the Santa Ana Star Center, is our location for the 2017 NSS Convention. It is a thriving community, the third largest in the state with a population of over 90,000, and lies just north of New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque. 

     At first, we thought that we could welcome cavers with a hot-air balloon, but that would be too expected. Instead, following an official speech or two, as the sun rises over the Sandia Mountains early on Monday morning, June 19, our 2017 NSS Convention will open with an astonishing blessing and offering by Zia Pueblo members. The Pueblo’s talented Toya family will present an incredible Eagle Dance accompanied by drum, flutes and chanting—an experience many New Mexicans have never observed. 

2017 - Red or Green

     Our theme, Red or Green 2017, besides rhyming, is likely going to cause bewilderment. Red or Green? is New Mexico’s official state question. Whenever we walk into a New Mexican restaurant, we are asked this question. It refers to which taste of New Mexico chile a customer prefers. We figured cavers coming to New Mexico should be prepared. If the customer doesn’t know the answer, he or she can answer, “Christmas,” which is both flavors of chile. However, the best tactic is to ask which is hottest or mildest for the day. 

30 Years since the Tularosa Convention

     A vigorous generation of cavers has been eager to pursue another convention on our home territory. New Mexico caving country contains not only the tremendous limestone caves of the Guadalupe Mountains that many are familiar with. Other extraordinary caves and karst display rare, diverse qualities in character that we hope to share with cavers from near and far. In bygone years, guest cavers from the former Soviet Union, Italy, France and South Africa have seen our world-class lava tubes and ice caves in El Malpais National Monument and shared caver goodwill in our gypsum wonders. 

     A shelter alcove at El Morro National Monument exhibits early graffiti, a 1605 signature of Don Juan Oñate, who escorted the first Spanish settlers to our state. We anxiously await the opportunity to present cavers the array of New Mexico’s cave and karst qualities as well as its natural history. 

     After investigating needs and requirements for a convention, the Sandia Grotto narrowed its sites to a terrific space at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Members of the Southwestern Region joined us in a partnership to host this 2017 New Mexico NSS Convention. 

A Passport Won’t Be Required

     Some folks don’t recognize New Mexico as being one of the 50 states. They think they need a passport to visit or an airmail stamp on a letter. It was one of the last in our country to become a state in 1912, just a few months before Arizona. Some citizens of the U.S. either don’t know their geography or U.S. history or may not listen when we say, “New Mexico.” The Mexican border is about 300 miles south of Albuquerque with many illustrious New Mexican towns and ghost towns surrounding us. We hope cavers will explore many of these intriguing spots along their journeys to and from the 2017 New Mexico NSS Convention. 

     Therefore, we hope to give you a Passport to New Mexico when you arrive in order to join us for a rare opportunity to find the lost state and travel between worlds. Only in New Mexico can people journey from ancient cities lost in time to a bustling spaceport, from white sands to badlands, from traditions rooted in the past to technologies geared to the future. Visitors don’t want to miss a chance to stamp their passport to adventure. 


  • BEWARE of the Sun. SAVE your SKIN. Bring shade that can be staked down secure of summer breezes.
  • Stay inside or up in the forest during the day – it will be too hot to be hanging around camp.
  • Summer temperatures cool off by 6 p.m. with temperatures dropping as much as 30°.
  • The air is dry, not humid.
  • If you are out in the sun during the day, wear a wide-brimmed hat, use minimally SPF 30 sunscreen and apply often, and wear light clothing that covers the skin. Avoid consuming too much alcohol in the sun; instead, Drink LOTS of WATER.
  • Bring a hammer or mallet and use heavy-duty tent stakes or screwdrivers to secure tents. DO NOT forget to stake your tent in place.
  • Be aware of crawly critters – this is the desert.
  • Lastly, listen for the pleasurable sound of howling coyotes off in the foothills.

More details in Meeting Calendar

25th International Karstological School “Classical Karst”: Milestones and challenges in Karstology

Topic and Goals

Each year since 1993, International Karstological School (IKS) "Classical Karst" has been organised, covering many aspects of karst research. The basic idea of the School has been to present the state of the art in selected topics and promote discussion between participants via set of lectures, poster sessions and related field trips to the area of Slovene Classical karst.

Research in the last 25 years has contributed to new findings in many fields of research within karstology. Therefore, the 25th IKS is an opportunity to review major milestones in karstological research, stress the research advances in the last 25 years and define challenges and perspectives for the next generation.

The topics of the 25th IKS will include a wide range of karstological issues. The work will also include fieldwork. The sessions are briedly described below. Within each session, invited keynote lectures and selected lectures of other participants will be held. As a number of lectures per each session is limited, other contributions will be presented as posters.



  • Speleology (moderator: F. Gabrovšek)
    The session tends to light up new techniques and results in characterisation of cave systems and cave environment, and present the recent progress and challenges in conceptual and numerical models of speleogenesis.
  • Karst Geomorphology (moderator: A. Mihevc)
    The session will be devoted to geomorphology of both the Classical karst and to variety of karst morphologies worldwide. Speakers will present the new knowledge about karst surface features as well as new methods and techniques. The session will be supported with the field trips to the best examples of the karst features.
  • Subterranean Ecosystems (moderators: T. Pipan, J. Mulec)
    Subterranean ecosystems include both air- and water-filled underground habitats that are deep or just a few meters (or even less) beneath the surface. They are characterized by the absence of light and specialized fauna with typical troglomorphic characters. Microorganisms represent with their interactions an integral part of all ecosystems and participate at all key geochemical cycles.
  • Karst Hydrogeology (moderator: M. Petrič)
    Karst aquifers have complex and original characteristics. Specific research methods are required for studying their structure and functioning. Understanding of the principles of groundwater flow and transport processes is essential for assessing capacities and planning protection of these important water resources.
  • Karst Record (moderator: N. Zupan Hajna)
    The purpose of the session is to present the importance of karst and caves as a significant source of information about the processes and the time of sediments deposition and of the use of different investigating and dating methods that allow the determination of age and insight into various geological, geomorphological and speleological events in the past. The focus will be on the presentation of the latest research of sediments from Classic karst of Slovenia.
  • Development Challenges on Karst (moderator: M. Knez)
    Planning without a thorough understanding of the environment and consequently a vision of its development is not sufficient. We build foundations for the rational planning of activities on karst based on good karstological research, as much in individual fields of karstology as in interdisciplinary studies (water, construction, tourism, ecology, protection).
  • Karstology (moderator: T. Slabe)
    We will attempt to advance karstology with a discussion about the success of its previous development and consider the direction of its further development (comprehensive karstology, fields of karstology, regional karstology, important researches, karst preservation and presentation, karstology as an independent branch of science); the development of karstology education; the organization of karstology and its role within the society, as well as international connections and cooperation in karstological research.

More details in Meeting Calendar

APRIL 29-30th, May 1st, 2017

Varenna, Villa Monastero – Lake Como (Italy)

Three main sessions, which will be held in English, are planned for the celebration:

  • The award of an acknowledgement to the memory of Salvatore Dell’Oca by Università degli Studi di Milano – Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra “Ardito Desio”- for his instrumental activity to the development of speleology after the end of World War II;
  • The 120th anniversary of the foundation of the Gruppo Grotte Milano, one of the very first speleological groups in Italy, still actively operating;
  • Libraries transition from paper to modern technologies, new technologies in cave survey and scientific research.

Speleologists and cavers are invited to participate in this 3rd International Symposium, which is organized at Villa Monastero. This area, also well known for its superb speleological sites, is home to the cave of Fiumelatte, visited By Leonardo da Vinci in the XV century and also recorded in the Atlantic Codex.

More details in Meeting Calendar

Introduction and welcome

Following from the highly successful meetings in Bergen, Norway (1996), Krakow, Poland (2000), Montpellier, France (2003), Baile Herculane, Romania (2006), Chongqing, China (2008), Birmingham, UK (2011), and Melbourne, Australia (2014), the 8th International Climate Change:  The Karst Record (KR8) conference will be held from May 21st-24th, 2017 at the University of Texas, Austin, USA.

The KR8 meeting will bring together scientists from around the globe to share the latest progress in the rapidly developing field of cave-based paleoclimate research.  The conference will kick off with an icebreaker on May 21st and consist of three full days of scientific programming (May 22-24) with oral and poster presentations, organized around six themes, optional mid-conference workshops and fieldtrips, and a Texas style conference dinner.  In addition, several optional pre- and post-conference fieldtrips will visit the karst regions of central Texas, west Texas, and southern New Mexico.  Also associated with the meeting, will be a pre-conference workshop on “Best Practices in Speleothem Science” (May 21st).  Finally, some may be interested in sticking around following KR8 to attend the 2nd North American Workshop on Laser Ablation, to be held at The University of Texas at Austin on May 25th – 27th 2017

The Organizing Committee is pleased to invite interested researchers, students, and educators to attend the conference!  We look forward to seeing everyone in May 2017!

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Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Creating a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment for people of all races, ethnicities, religions, nationalities, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations is a priority of the KR8 organizing committee. We believe increased diversity will benefit our scientific community by providing a wider array of perspectives and approaches to address ongoing and future challenges in a changing world. We invite and welcome participation of people from all backgrounds and expect all attendees to act in the spirit of mutual respect, inclusion, and encouragement.

More details in Meeting Calendar

Spring 2017 SMRI Technical Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Make plans on your schedule to participate in the Spring 2017 Albuquerque conference 23-26 April 2017!

The (REVISED 21 FEB) S2017 Conference Announcement is available here, and contains the basic conference schedule and hotel information. The optional Technical Class subject will be "Well Integrity Management for Salt Caverns".   

Click to see the 17 Feb list of technical paperstech class schedule, (and more field trip details will be posted here in coming days). 

The Conference Announcement will be emailed the week of 20 February, with member registration starting 20 February.  Non-members may register starting 14 March.  

SMRI thanks the following sponsors of the Spring Albuquerque 2017 SMRI Conference:

GOLD: Geostock Sandia LLC, Sonic Surveys, Inc., and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

SILVER (1):  Agapito Associates, Inc.,  Cavern Solutions, Inc.,  and  RESPEC

BRONZE:    Lonquist & Co. LLC,  Ratigan Engineering and Consulting,  Sabine Storage & Operations, Inc., Seal-Tite International, and SOCON Sonar Well Services, Inc.

Only (1) Silver Albuquerque conference sponsorship is still available as of 16 February 2017. If you are interested in being a spring OR fall conference sponsor, please click here for details.


SMRI Spring 2017 Conference Registration - Member registration will start 20 February 2017, Non-Members start 14 March.

More details in Meeting Calendar