Yearly Archives: 2023

Tribute to Bet White, longtime KWI Associate

Will and Bet White at a Karst Waters Institute planning session in 1998.

Will and Bet White at a Karst Waters Institute planning session in 1998.

Elizabeth (Bette or Bet) White, age 87, died on August 29, 2023.  The karst community mourns the passing of a passionate colleague and supportive friend.  Dr. White was born on March, 9, 1936, in Stowe Township, west of Pittsburgh.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1958 and took a job with the Pennsylvania Department of Highways.  She married Dr. William B. (Will) White in 1959 and moved to State College where she entered graduate school at Penn State.  She received a Master of Science degree in 1969 and a Ph.D. in 1975, both in civil engineering.  She was employed in research positions by Penn State’s Materials Research Laboratory and Department of Civil Engineering.

A focal point of Bet’s life was cave exploring which she began late in her college career.  She and Will explored caves up and down the Appalachians, in Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and many other states as well as in Europe and China.  Much of this exploration was in support of scientific research that resulted in some 44 technical articles and one book.  She was active in the caving organizations the National Speleological Society, the Butler Cave Conservation Society, and the Cave Research Foundation.  Bet was instrumental in supporting the activities of the Karst Waters Institute (KWI) whose mission is to improve the fundamental understanding of karst water systems for professionals and the public.  As part of that effort, Bet contributed her time and talents to KWI’s goal to communicate and disseminate information to the public.  She served as the Publication Sales Associate for three decades, promptly sending out KWI publications in response to mail-in and online book orders.  Her dedicated service to the karst science community helped advance a broad understanding of karst.

Call for applications: the William L. Wilson and Diane C. Wilson Scholarship in Karst Science

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 $2,500.

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, 2024. Information on how to apply can be found at the Karst Waters Institute website ( Additional information can be had through email to Dr. Janet S. Herman (

KWI and VDCR Cave Biology Workshop

(in association with the 2023 Convention of the National Speleological Society)

When: Friday, June 23 (7 p.m.) through Sunday, June 25 (5 p.m.), 2023

Where: Front Royal, VA

Cost: $200 USD (lodging included, scholarships available)

Leaders: Wil Orndorff, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation; Dr. Julian Lewis and Salisa Lewis, Lewis and Associates Bioconsulting; Dr. Zenah Orndorff, Virginia Tech

Description: The Karst Waters Institute and the Natural Heritage Karst Program of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will be hosting a pre-convention cave biology workshop in Front Royal, Virginia. The Cave Conservancy Foundation is a cosponsor of this event. Participants will receive classroom instruction in cave biology, including an overview of the invertebrate cave fauna commonly encountered in the Central Appalachians, cave ecology, field observation and collection methods, permitting and legal issues, specimen preservation, and molecular techniques. Field exercises will be conducted in local horizontal caves and at other surface karst sites (e.g., springs, sinkholes) to learn how to recognize habitats and try out some of the field collection methods. Under the guidance of the instructors, participants will sort and label specimens from field exercises for distribution to taxonomists, and students will be co-listed as collectors along with permitted instructors.

Lodging at a state park cabin is included in the $200 registration fee. Cabins will be available to participants starting Thursday night, June 22. Scholarships are available to defer a portion of the cost. Please email for more information or to register for the workshop. KWI and VDCR wish to thank the Cave Conservancy Foundation for their generous support of this event.

New, open-access hydrogeology textbook available by KWI board member Neven Kresic

Written by Neven Kresic, author of several best-selling books on groundwater, Hydrogeology 101 is a college textbook introducing basic concepts in groundwater science and engineering with 16 lectures, the duration of a typical one or two-semester course at American universities. With hundreds of full color figures and photographs, it covers Introduction to Hydrogeology, Groundwater Use, Porosity and Hydraulic Characteristics of Porous Media, Groundwater Flow, Aquifers and Aquitards, Groundwater Recharge and Discharge including Springs, Flow in Unsaturated Zone, Groundwater Chemistry, Groundwater Contamination and Remediation, Field Investigations, Groundwater in Water Supply, and Groundwater Drought in California Case Study by Alex Mikszewski.
This college textbook is available for free download, and reposting for non-profit uses by all interested.