2013 Course Schedule
|Karst Geology||June 2-8, 2013||Dr. Art Palmer|
|Karst Geophysics||June 9-15, 2013||Dr. Lewis Land|
|Cave Photography||June 10-14, 2013||Dr. Dave Bunnell|
|Karst Hydrology||June 17-21, 2013||Dr. William B. White. and Dr. Nicholas Crawford|
|Cave Biology and Ecosystems||June 17-21, 2013||Dr. Dave Ashley|
Karst Geology is a cave-intensive course that concentrates on the following topics:
- Regional geology and origin of karst.
- How Mammoth Cave formed.
- How water moves through karst regions.
- Solution of limestone (a bit of chemistry here, but presented in a user-friendly way).
- Limestone strata and how to recognize them.
- How the structure of the limestone affects the cave pattern.
- Cave "formations" and what they tell us.
- How to reconstruct the former paths of water flow through the cave.
- What the cave tells us about the geologic evolution of the surrounding region.
- How Mammoth Cave relates to caves elsewhere in the world.
This course was initiated in 1980, and since this time participants in the course have ranged across a wide spectrum from avid cavers to professional scientists. Many of the best cavers in the country have taken the course, and often there are participants from foreign countries. The majority of the fieldwork will be underground. Although the goal of the course is to learn geology, a true appreciation of the cave requires some rigorous off-trail experience. Participants must be in very good physical condition. A prior geology course and acquaintance with caving is desirable, but neither is required. The general timetable is outlined below.
- Sunday evening, June 2 (7-9 p.m.): Introduction to the course.
- Monday: Group discussion in the morning (sounds stuffy, but there are lots of photos, maps, opportunity for group participation, etc.) Afternoon: surface field trip. Evening: visit to the Historic section of Mammoth Cave (about 3 hours, easy walking).
- Tuesday: Group discussion in the morning, trip to Mammoth Cave in the afternoon (mainly walking, partly on tour trails, partly off).
- Wednesday: Group discussion in morning, fairly rigorous off-trail trip to Mammoth Cave in afternoon. The cave trip will involve a bit of crawling and stooping, and some modest climbing (about 5 hours).
- Thursday: Group discussion and demonstrations in the morning, two short cave trips in the afternoon (Gt. Onyx Cave and Crystal Cave), both easy walking. Demonstration of scientific techniques. Group picnic in evening, with a chance for individuals to show slides of their favorite caving areas.
- Friday: Short discussion in the morning, long cave trip to the Flint Ridge Cave System in the afternoon, extending into early evening. This will cover a lot of ground, with some crawling and modest climbing.
- Saturday: Brief closing comments in the morning. For those who can stay, and who want to work off some energy, there will be an optional cave trip to a remote part of the cave system. This will last about 8-9 hours and involves crawling, climbing, and various other contortions.
Registration Options: Non-credit workshop, CEU, Graduate or undergraduate.
Instructor: Dr. Art Palmer
Dr. Arthur N. Palmer is former director of the Water Resources program at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oneonta, where he is Professor Emeritus of Hydrology and Geochemistry. He and his wife Peggy have been involved with cave and karst studies for several decades. Much of their research has involved the geology of Mammoth Cave. Together they have written many articles and books on the geology and origin of caves. Art is the author of A Geological Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park and, most recently, Cave Geology. He has received the Science Award from the National Speleological Society, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Karst Waters Institute, SUNY Chancellor's Awards for teaching and research, and a Distinguished Teaching Professorship. He is also a fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has received the GSA Kirk Bryan Award for his work in cave science. Art and Peggy are co-editors of the book Caves and Karst of the USA, prepared for the International Congress of Speleology held in Texas in 2009.
Digital cameras have surmounted film cameras in every field of photography, and cave photography is no exception. The instantaneous feedback of digital photography is a great learning tool for the cave photographer, enabling photos with better lighting and encouraging experimentation and creativity. This course will focus on multiple flash photography in sections of Mammoth Cave, with subjects ranging from close-ups, speleothems, action shots, passages, entrances, and big rooms. Electronic flash, flashbulbs, natural light, show cave lighting, and LED lights will all be used as light sources, singly or in combination. Various optical and radio slave trigger systems will be used in class exercises. Students will also learn basic and advanced techniques for processing their images in Adobe Photoshop, and at the end we will craft a short multimedia presentation displaying the best of the week's photographic efforts.
For students with vertical caving skills and equipment there may be an opportunity for a special photo trip to nearby Fisher Ridge Cave System on Saturday the 15th after the official class has ended.
Requirements: Good physical condition for yourself and a digital camera that permits manual control. You should have at least one external flash with a slave unit (or more if you have them), and a tripod. Contact instructor if uncertain about your camera. Students are highly recommended to bring a laptop computer with them, especially if they have Photoshop or other image-processing software installed.
Registration Options: non-credit workshop, CEU, undergraduate.
Instructor: Dr. Dave Bunnell
Dr. Dave E. Bunnell holds a doctorate in Psychophysiology from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He did research in human sleep for 10 years at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and 2 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. Currently he produces the National Speleological Society News, does contract graphics and digital pre-press work, and sells cave photos for editorial use. Dave has been taking photographs in caves worldwide for over 30 years and has shot in virtually every type of cave environment. He has won numerous awards for his photos and is widely published in books and magazines. He has a popular educational website about cave formations, The Virtual Cave, which features his cave photography (www.goodearthgraphics.com/virtcave)
The course has three components: formal lectures, field demonstrations, and field trips. Two 1.5 hour lectures are given each of the five mornings of the course. These cover the theory of ground water flow in karst aquifers, the movement of contaminants in karst aquifers, ground water chemistry in carbonate rocks, methods for tracing water, mechanisms and risks associated with sinkholes, and the development and evolutions of karst aquifers. The technique for tracing water using fluorescent dyes will be developed in detail in field demonstrations. This will include dye injection, collection, measurement and interpretation. Geophysical techniques, particularly microgravity and resistivity will be demonstrated. Field trips will provide direct observation of many of the features and environmental issues discussed in the lectures. Students completing the course may leave with a broad understanding of the behavior of drainage basins in carbonate terrains, the functioning of karst aquifers, and the evolution of these aquifers over time. On the practical side, students will be aware of problems of water supply, water quality threats, and sinkhole-related problems in karst areas. The course will also provide training in geophysical and water tracing methods for the investigation of real world problems in karst terrains.
Registration Options: Non-credit workshop, CEU, graduate or undergraduate
Instructor: Dr. William B. White
Dr. White is a professor emeritus of geochemistry at The Pennsylvania State University where he is affiliated with both the Department of Geosciences and the Materials Research Institute. He holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from Juniata College (PA) and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from Penn State (1962). He is a registered professional geologist in Pennsylvania. Dr. White has been engaged in research on karst for more than 50 years. The work includes both laboratory investigations and field studies. The field studies include the Mammoth Cave area, Puerto Rico, and the Appalachian karst of Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. This karst work has resulted in more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. His books include Geomorphology and Hydrology of Karst Terrains, Karst Hydrology: Concepts from the Mammoth Cave Area, Encyclopedia of Caves, and Benchmark Papers in Karst Science. Dr. White has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in cave geology at Penn State and has supervised 18 M.S. and Ph.D. theses on karst subjects. He has traveled widely to examine karst regions in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and China.
Lecturer: Dr. Nicholas Crawford
Nicholas Crawford currently serves as an affiliate senior hydrologist for the Crawford Hydrology Laboratory at Western Kentucky University, where he helps design and supervise karst groundwater flow investigations. He is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography and Geology and the former Director of Crawford Hydrology Laboratory and the Center for Cave and Karst Studies. He has written over 200 articles and technical reports dealing primarily with groundwater contamination of carbonate aquifers, and is the recipient of more than 200 grants and contracts for hydrological research on environmental problems of karst regions. Dr. Crawford is the recipient of the 2006 Western Kentucky University Distinguished Professor Award, the 1985 Outstanding Achievement in Research Award, and the 1996 Professional Public Service Award. He is a Fellow and Honorary Life Member of the National Speleological Society. He received the Kentucky Outstanding Geologist Award in 1998 from the American Institute of Professional Geologists and the Karst Science Award from the Karst Waters Institute in 2005. As a consultant specializing in carbonate aquifers for the past 28 years, Dr. Crawford has worked on numerous groundwater contamination problems for private firms as well as federal, state, and local government agencies.
Cave Biology and Ecosystems
This course explores the ecology of cave and karst habitats. It includes a focus on biotic and abiotic factors affecting cave organisms, cave microhabitats, trophic interactions, and evolutionary adaptations. Field activities will emphasize miniprojects that relate to cave ecology. Students will gain experience monitoring abiotic factors that impact cave organisms. We will utilize non-lethal monitoring protocols to assess distribution and abundance of a variety of organism found in the Mammoth Cave karst ecosystem. Students will present the results of their miniprojects at a symposium on our last day of class.
Registration Options: Non-credit workshop, CEU, graduate or undergraduate.
Instructor: Dr. Dave Ashley
Dr. Ashley received his PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1980 with a focus in parasitology and invertebrate zoology. He is currently a Professor of Biology at Missouri Western State University with teaching and research interests in cave ecology, parasitology and invertebrate biology. He is a member of the Missouri Academy ofScience (a Fellow, and former chair of the Conservation and Speleology Sections), National Speleological Society (former Life Sciences Associate Editor- Journal of Cave and Karst Studies), Missouri Speleological Survey (former member of Research Council), Missouri Cave and Karst Conservancy (Founding Member), and Carroll Cave Conservancy. He is also a member of the Springfield Plateau Grotto and Pony Express Grotto. His research projects have included surveys for animal parasites, monitoring studies of Ozark cave invertebrates (such as the Tumbling Creek Cavesnail) and monitoring studies of the state-endangered fringed prairie orchids and their hawkmoth pollinators. Dr. Ashley teaches Evolutionary Ecology, Field Natural History, Invertebrate Zoology, Entomology, Medical Parasitology, Cave Ecology, Ozark Cave Biology (at St. Louis University's Reis Biological Station), Beginning and Intermediate Cave Exploring, and Beginning and Wilderness Canoeing.
This one-week short course will provide a broad overview of the application of geophysical methods to engineering and environmental problems associated with karst terrains. Classroom lecture and discussion will address both active and passive geophysical methods, and the advantages and disadvantages of each technique. A specific emphasis of the course will be the application of electrical resistivity (ER) and microgravity methods to karst investigations. Students will have the opportunity to develop hands-on skills in the field deployment and use of ER and microgravity instrumentation, and the use of geophysical software for data processing and interpretation.
Registration Options: Non-credit workshop, CEU, graduate or undergraduate.
Instructor: Dr. Lewis Land
Dr. Lewis Land is a karst hydrogeologist with the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR). He serves as the Bureau's liason with the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI), and as the Institute's lead geophysical investigator. Prior to his career as a hydrogeologist, Dr. Land spent eight years in the petroleum industry exploring for new oil reserves in the Mid-Continent and Rocky Mountain regions of the US, and o?shore West Africa. He received his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his doctoral research included submersible investigations of submarine sinkholes in the Straits of Florida. Before coming to work for NCKRI and NMBGMR in 2002, Dr. Land spent two years with the North Carolina Division of Water Resources conducting electromagnetic surveys of aquifers beneath the coastal plain of North Carolina. Dr. Land's current research focuses on regional investigations of karstic aquifers and associated phenomena in southern New Mexico. He is a past president of the New Mexico Geological Society, and served for five years on the NMGS executive committee.