Conferences and Publications
KWI hosts a variety of conferences on caves, groundwater, public health, and more!
Join us for the KARSYS course, a web-tool for modeling karst aquifers in 3D. The course will be held on May 20th, 2020 in Reston, Virginia at the USGS headquarters, and on May 22nd, 2020 in Bowling Green, Kentucky at Western Kentucky University.
KARSYS is developed for geologists and hydrogeologists working in karst regions, in order to address questions related to aquifers and groundwater in a very pragmatic and concrete way. It enables 3D modelling of karst aquifers by synthesizing all standard geological and hydrological data and coupling a series of simple hydraulic principles.
The course is sponsored by the Karst Waters Institute and it is free of charge, thanks to the Cave Conservancy Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey and Western Kentucky University. There is a limited amount of space so hurry up and register today.
For information regarding the Reston, VA location contact Dan Doctor at email@example.com.
For information regarding the Bowling Green, KY location, contact Katarina Kosič Ficco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of the Karst Waters Institute has announced that Dr. Stein-Erik Lauritzen, Professor of Earth Science at University of Bergen, Norway, will be the recipient of the 2020 Karst Award. This prestigious honor has been given annually since 1999 to a scientist who has made significant contributions to the field.
Dr. Lauritzen has made seminal and ongoing contributions to the field of speleothem science and the study of glacier ice-contact speleogenesis. He and his students and colleagues have helped to build an understanding of paleoclimate in the terrestrial realm.
The award will be presented at the Climate Change – the Karst Record IX (KR9) Conference at Innsbruck, Austria, 12-15 July, 2020. Information on the meeting can be found at https://www.uibk.ac.at/congres
The William L. Wilson and Diane C. Wilson Scholarship in Karst Science recognizes the significant contributions of the late William (Bill) L. Wilson, who tackled some of the most difficult karst science questions in Florida and elsewhere through his consulting company, Subsurface Evaluations, Incorporated. To stimulate the development of new, energetic, motivated, and creative karst scientists and to remember Bill Wilson and his dedication to karst science, the scholarship was established by Diane C. Wilson in his memory. The scholarship includes a one-time award of $1,000. The scholarship 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, 2020. Information on how to apply can be found at the Karst Waters Institute website Wilson Scholarship Page. Additional information can be had through email to Dr. Janet S. Herman ( ).
The next KWI Annual Meeting will be held at GSA Headquarters in Boulder, CO on March 28, 2020.
If you are interested in attending, please contact Harvey DuChene at email@example.com with the header “KWI Annual Meeting” for more information.
Event: Annual Karst Waters Institute Award Dinner honoring Wil Orndorff
Date and Time: Saturday, March 30, 2019, 5:30 pm (There will be live music by One-Eyed Jack at Rising Silo from 2-5pm before the dinner, and continuing later in the evening)
Location: Rising Silo Brewery, Blacksburg, Virginia
Cost: $40/person ($50 per person after March 15)
The Karst Waters Institute (KWI) is pleased to announce that the Karst Award recipient for 2019 is Wil Orndorff of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Please join us on Saturday, March 30, 2019 for presentation of the award, a presentation by Wil, and a casual fundraising dinner at the Rising Silo Brewery in Blacksburg, Virginia to benefit KWI. A portion of your entry price supports the Wilson Scholarship for students. Tickets for the event are $40 apiece ($50 if purchased after March 15), and include full dinner buffet featuring:
KWI looks forward to seeing you at the Awards Dinner to celebrate Wil’s award, hear a presentation by Wil on his work and adventures, and enjoy an evening of conversation and companionship with fellow scientists and friends.
please contact Benjamin Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Wil Orndorff:
A native of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Wil Orndorff drank karst water while looking for caves on the family farm where he was raised, as well as within and around the adjacent abandoned quarry. Introduced to the formal caving world at the age of 18, his interest in caves, karst waters, and geology grew into both a career and a life-long passion. With a bachelors degree from Johns Hopkins and a masters in geology from Virginia Tech focusing on Appalachian tectonics in hand, Wil entered the professional karst world as a self-employed consultant performing karst analyses of the potential impacts of a proposed high voltage power line corridor on karst springs and bat habitat along its path. These analyses included multiple dye traces in cave systems developed in the limestones of middle Ordovician age that host many of Virginia’s larger cave systems. This work gave Wil the credentials needed to secure his dream job as a karst specialist with the state, where he became Virginia’s second karst protection coordinator when Terri Brown, his supervisor, returned to graduate school, leaving large shoes to fill. This job became Wil’s career, and afforded him the opportunity to do the work he loved protecting the resources he cared about. The nature of the job turned Wil into a jack of all trades karst who wears many hats: geologist, hydrologist, conservationist, educator, explorer, and, increasingly, biologist. Wil has had the opportunity to work with a long list of experts across this spectrum, including among many others John Holsinger, Dave Culver, Dan Doctor, Dave Hubbard, Jim Kennedy, Mike and Andrea Futrell, Phil and Charlotte Lucas, Chris Hobson, Roy Powers, Matt Niemiller, Bill Balfour, Larry Smith, Rick Reynolds, Carol Zokaites, Bob Denton, Tom Malabad, Joel Maynard, Shane Hanlon, Joey Fagan, Jerry Lewis, Madeleine Schreiber, Mike and Katarina Ficco, Dan Fong, Karen Powers, and of course his wife and partner in crime, Zenah. One of the most satisfying parts of his career has been seeing folks who worked with him while in college or graduate school like Ben Schwartz and Ben Hutchins achieve great success in the academic karst world, albeit in Texas for those two. Wil has authored or coauthored papers on dye tracing, karst aquifer dynamics, site occupancy by stygofauna, epikarst recharge processes, speleogenesis,conservation planning, utility corridor evaluation, ecology of Gray bats, response of bat populations to White Nose Syndrome, and biogeography of cave invertebrates. His work has resulted in the establishment of two natural area preserves protecting significant caves, and additions of several tracts containing significant caves to existing preserves. Through the VA DCR Office of environmental project review, Wil has helped to avoid or mitigate impacts to hundreds of caves with the help of the Virginia Speleological Survey, with whom he is a director at large in his spare time. Wil’s current projects include the hydrology of ebb and flow karst systems, dynamics of the phreatic aquifer of the Shenandoah Valley, use of the landscape by Gray bats, revision and development of natural community definitions for karst systems, Cenozoic landscape evolution in the central Appalachians, and the biological inventory of Virginia’s designated significant caves. Wil lives in Blacksburg, Virginia with his wife Zenah, in a home frequently visited by their two grown daughters Travertine and Naomi, as well as the usual caver riff raff.
The William L. Wilson and Diane C. Wilson Scholarship in Karst Science recognizes the significant contributions of the late William (Bill) L. Wilson, who tackled some of the most difficult karst science questions in Florida and elsewhere through his consulting company, Subsurface Evaluations, Incorporated. To stimulate the development of new, energetic, motivated, and creative karst scientists and to remember Bill Wilson and his dedication to karst science, the scholarship was established by Diane C. Wilson in his memory. The scholarship includes a one-time award of $1,000. The scholarship 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 1, 2019. Information on how to apply can be found at the Karst Waters Institute website Wilson Scholarship Page. Additional information can be had through email to Dr. Janet S. Herman ( ).
Students, are you interested in working on a karst-related internship this summer? The Geoscientists in the Park program through the National Park Service has a karst hydrology internship opening this summer at the Buffalo National River, in Harrison, Arkansas.
Calling out regional cavers, karst scientists, and anyone else who’s interested in all or any matter related to caves and karst: Join us for an afternoon sharing latest research, exploration, and/or conservation projects, with a regional focus. We will have mix of short talks and a poster session. After the symposium, we will head to the Morgantown Brewing Company for drinks and light fare.
For more information and to register for the event, please visit our registration page. Please RSVP by November 1, 2017 so that we can put together a list of talks and finalize the room details. Logistics and more information are available here.
Please let either of us know if you have any questions. Looking forward to seeing you in November.
Associate Professor, Geology Program
West Virginia University
Assistant Professor, Geography Program
West Virginia University
KWI is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 15th Sinkhole Conference and 3rd Appalachian Karst Symposium! As one of the most successful and well-known international meetings on karst science and engineering, the conference will be returning to the Appalachian region in 2018, to be held at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia April 2-6, 2018. Abstracts for presentations and corresponding papers published in the conference proceedings will be accepted through August 31, 2017 (draft papers due Oct. 1). For more information and abstract submittal, please visit www.sinkholeconference.com.
The KWI Karst Award is given annually to an outstanding member of the cave and karst community. The 2017 Karst Award honoree is James R. Reddell.
James spoke at the awards banquet on March 4, 2017, at 6:30 pm, at The Price Center in San Marcos, Texas, and was presented the award at a dinner banquet, during an evening of celebration and conversation about the awardee and our fascinating karst resources.
James gave a presentation titled:
The Cave Fauna of Texas: 1995-2015
If you missed the event and would still like to make a donation, please send a check to:
Karst Waters Institute
P.O. Box 4142
Leesburg, VA 20177
Or, pay vial credit card or PayPal (for instructions on how to pay with a credit card, click here)