UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis

I am very sad to report that Urs Widmer died this morning in Switzerland. He developed pancreatic cancer last year. Urs was an excellent caver, an incredible cave photographer, and a great friend to caving in general and to many cavers around the world. To those who didn’t know him, you may recognize him as the founder and co-owner of Speleo Projects, which for many years has produced gorgeous calendars with large format cave photos from around the world by the world’s best cave photographers. Speleo Projects is arguably the first truly international caving company by not just widely selling its books and goods internationally, but also because Urs collaborated closely with many people globally to exchange and especially create new books and materials. In the U.S., the book that Urs and Speleo Projects are best known for is Lechuguilla—Jewel of the Underground. Through his publishing business and talents, he supported the production of many excellent books, newsletters, and journals, giving of himself, his creativity, and experience whenever possible. In 2006 he received the Spelean Arts and Letters Award from the NSS for his great achievements and contributions as a cave photographer and publisher. Urs served as a member of Bureau (governing board) of the International Union of Speleology (UIS) from 1993 to 2001. He co-organized the wonderful 12th International Congress of Speleology in 1997 in Switzerland, published its beautiful 6-volume set of proceedings, and gave vital assistance to many other congresses and conventions. Urs is survived by his wife and business partner Sue Widmer, and a worldwide caving family who will miss him.



George Veni, Ph.D.
Executive Director
National Cave and Karst Research Institute


Speleogenesis Team and the Speleogenesis Community join Urs' family in a deep sorrow and will miss him.