Author Archives: Karst Waters Institute

GSA Topical Session on karst contamination, health, and public policy

KWI is pleased to share upcoming opportunities for abstract submissions for the 2022 Geological Society of America Meeting in Denver, CO:

GSA Topical Session T211. Natural Contamination, Natural Hazards, Health Risk, and Public Policy: Success stories and models for managing, communicating, and updating policy to address health risks of natural contamination and hazards.”

This session is not strictly about groundwater or private wells. It is about naturally occurring contaminants and their public health impacts, including success stories of those who were able to change policies as a result of the challenge. The goal of this session is to come away with practical ideas that attendees can use in their work to protect public health. The session is sponsored by four GSA Divisions, and the organizers hope T72 will attract presenters who can share lessons learned about the application of geology to public policy and public health.

The electronic abstracts submission form opens May 1
Abstract submission deadline July 19 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
Denver Meeting Website

Session Description
This session will consider how managing the public health risks from natural hazards and contaminants are addressed differently than manmade contaminants. Available resources, policy, and educating the public are all handled differently. Share your successes.

Session Rationale
Manmade contaminants gain public attention in the press. Federal programs provide insight and oversight to delineate plumes, clean up contaminants, and provide affected residents with clean air, water, and earth. Many geologists are employed by environmental consultants to deal with these contaminants. Yet
according to USGS (DeSimone, 2009), the most common well water contaminants are naturally occurring. In 2013 Wake County, NC implemented a program to notify private well users about risks of man-made contamination, and in the ensuing 6 years tested several hundred wells for the synthetic organic
contaminants associated with such sites. The county’s 2016 review of a decade of well testing found that over 10% of tested wells exceeded the drinking water standard for uranium, while only about 1% exceeded drinking water standards for manmade contaminants. Comparison of the uranium testing data to detailed geologic mapping revealed that 20-30% of the wells in an area covering ½ the county, an area underlain by Pennsylvanian granitic intrusions, were likely to be contaminated with uranium or other radionuclides, a finding in accordance with DeSimone and others, 2009.

The fact that these contaminants are naturally occurring complicates and limits the ability of well users to mitigate their health risks. Wake County is not alone. It is estimated that approximately 15% of the US population obtain their drinking water from private wells (U.S. Census Bureau (USCB), 2009). Taking the USGS and USCB estimates together, approximately ten million people in the US are currently exposed to unsafe levels of naturally occurring contaminants in their drinking water, yet there are no federal programs to provide resources to educate or assist these users of unregulated wells. Well water is not the only pathway of exposure to contamination from naturally occurring contaminants. Session proponents would like to learn from others who have dealt with natural hazards or contaminants and the following: limited resources while managing public health risks; risk relative to public investment in resolving natural vs. manmade contaminants and hazards; models from natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes; successful policy responses; outreach campaigns; and lessons learned.

 

Call for submissions for the Karst Waters Institute Karst Photo Contest

Whether you’re an amateur or a professional photographer, you can help us illustrate karst features and processes for a wide audience including technical professionals, educators, and citizens wishing to learn more about karst.  Dive into your collection of photographs from karst regions around the world and submit your best images to our first-ever Karst Waters Institute (KWI) Karst Photo Contest.  Your images (with full attribution) could be featured on our web site at https://karstwaters.org/educational-resources/ or in social media or other KWI communications intended to help others understand, appreciate, and protect karst resources.  Our goal is to use images to illustrate and, therefore, better communicate facts about karst.  We seek imagery to illustrate the karst landscapes (geomorphology), geology, hydrology, biology, and cultural history of karst systems.

Enter your photos until midnight February 15, 2022.

DETAILS OF COMPETITION

Prizes

  • 1st place prize is $500.
  • 2nd place prize is $250.
  • $50 prizes will be awarded for one outstanding photograph in each of the five categories: karst landscapes (geomorphology), geology, hydrology, biology, and cultural history.

The winners will be contacted via the email address provided during entry.  Public announcement of the winners will be made at the KWI Annual Awards Ceremony in late March 2022.

Selected photos will be displayed as part of a slide show at the KWI Annual Awards Ceremony.

Rules

  1. By participating in this Photo Contest you grant the Karst Waters Institute (KWI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, the right to publish your full name and photographs on their web site and in their social media without compensation, notice, review, or approval. Author will be cited whenever a photograph is used.
  2. Photo submissions may come from anywhere in the world, but the location of the photograph must be reported.
  3. A short description of the subject of the photo must accompany the image. The subject being illustrated must be clearly explained in words.  Word limit is 100 words.
  4. All photo submissions must be JPEG file format. Resolution should be about 300 DPI.  File size must be less than 10 MB.
  5. File names should include your name and photo location. (i.e., JaneBrown-FloridaCollapsedSinkhole.jpeg)
  6. Each individual is limited to no more than 10 submissions for this year’s competition. Submit only one photograph with each email (see below).
  7. Individuals must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
  8. All photos must be original work, taken by the entrants. No third party may own or control any materials the photo contains, and the photo must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person.
  9. Individuals officially affiliated with KWI (Board of Directors, Institute Officers, Associates, and Emeriti) and members of their families are not eligible for this competition.

Judging

Photographs will be anonymously judged based on the quality of the image as an illustration of the karst feature or process being documented.  A component of the quality of the submission is the clear explanation in words of what the image illustrates.  Judges will be five members of the KWI Board of Directors and three non-affiliated colleagues with experience in photo-judging competitions.

Successful photographs will be those showing technical excellence (well focused, sharp, well exposed) and compositional choices that make the photograph memorable and those that clearly illustrate the karst feature or process being described.

Winners will be announced at the KWI Annual Awards meeting in March 2022.

Submission

  • Photographs must be in JPEG or .jpg format.  Resolution should be about 300 DPI.  Files size must be less than 10 MB.  Higher resolution images may be requested by KWI for use in outreach materials.
  • Photo submissions may be in horizontal or portrait format.
  • The photographer’s name must not be visible on the photo itself.
  • Submit image and description by email directly to jherman@virginia.edu.
  • Submit one photograph per email.  An individual may submit multiple photos (up to 10, see Rules above) but may submit only one photograph per email.
  • The photographer’s identity will be stripped from the image for the judging process.
  • KWI reserves the right to disqualify any entry that is deemed inappropriate or does not conform to stated contest rules.

KWI’s $2000 Wilson Scholarship now accepting applications

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 $2,000.
  • 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. Ph.D. students are not eligible for this scholarship.
  • This year’s deadline for all application materials is February 15, 2022.

Information on how to apply can be found at http://karstwaters.org/scholarship/. Additional information can be had through email to Dr. Janet S. Herman (jherman@virginia.edu).

Frontiers in Karst Colloquium Spring 2021 seminar #2

The first Karst Waters Institute Frontiers in Karst Colloquium for the spring semester is coming up next week. You have to register in advance to attend (details below).
In collaboration with the NSF-funded Carbonate Critical Zone RCN, we are hosting a series of seminars focused on critical zone processes in carbonates. Presentations will be made by invited speakers from across the range of disciplines within CZ science, particularly highlighting contributions by early-career scientists. Presentations will be approximately 30 minutes long with 10-15 minutes afterward for questions and discussion.

 

Wednesday, March 31 – Mechanical vs chemical denudation in Mediterranean carbonate landscapes and the global-scale effects of carbonates on biodiversity

8 am Pacific / 11am Eastern / 5 pm Central European / 11 pm China

Dr. Richard Ott (German Research Centre for Geosciences Potsdam)

 

For those who cannot attend live, the seminars will also be recorded and made available on the Karst Waters Institute website (https://karstwaters.org/conferences/frontiers-in-karst-colloquium-series/).
Attendance is free and open to anyone. Prior to attending the seminar, you must register at the following link and further details will be sent to your email. Note that you will have to have a zoom account and be logged into it in order to join the meeting.

 

Save the Date! March 27, 2021 – Karst Award for Dr. Annette Summers Engel

How it started? How it’s going! One Speleologist’s Journey into Darkness

Photos of Annette Engel

Please join us for the 2021 KWI Awards Ceremony and Karst Award for Dr. Annette Summers Engel.

Date: Saturday, March 27, 2021
Time: 2:00-4:30, with lecture at 3:15 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Savings Time; UTC-04:00)
Venue: Zoom (you must register using one of the forms below)

The Karst Waters Institute is pleased to announce that the Karst Award winner for 2021 is Dr. Annette Summers Engel of the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. Please join us on Saturday, March 27, 2021 for presentation of the award, a presentation by Annette, and networking opportunities with other karst/cave scientists. Click here to learn more about Dr. Engel.

KWI looks forward to seeing you at the Awards Ceremony to celebrate Annette’s award, hear a presentation by Annette on her work and adventures, and enjoy an afternoon of conversation and companionship with fellow scientists and friends. The meeting is from 2:00-4:30, with the awards lecture at 3:15 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Savings Time; UTC-04:00). A detailed schedule is provided below.

To register, please click on the appropriate link below:

Student Registration (free – the $10 cost has been covered via donations from KWI Board Members)

Professional Registration ($20)

Both forms will eventually take you to a Zoom registration link upon completion. You must complete the final part of the Zoom registration page to be able to attend the meeting – you will receive a Zoom link for the meeting and confirmation from KWI President Janet Herman once your registration is complete. For security reasons, only those who have registered can attend the meeting. If you do not already have a Zoom account, you can make one at that time. Registration closes immediately prior to the start of the meeting.

Schedule of Events

Time EDT Event Host
2:00 Welcome and what is KWI, including introduction of Board of Directors and Officers Harvey DuChene, Chair, Board of Directors
2:05 Plans for today’s event Janet Herman
2:10 Sulfuric acid weathering conference announcement Jenn Macalady
2:15 Critical Zone lecture series announcement Matt Covington
2:20 KWI Distinguished Service Award Janet Herman
2:25 Announcement of 2021 Wilson Award Janet Herman
2:30 Past Wilson winners research updates Janet Herman
2:40 Get to know who is here – breakout rooms (thematic)
3:10 Introduction of 2021 KWI Karst Award Recipient – Annette Engel Harvey DuChene, PJ Moore
3:15 Lecture and Q&A:  How It Started? How It’s Going! One Speleologist’s Journey into Darkness Annette Engel
4:00 Group discussion of activities in karst science (ask anyone in the room anything)
4:30 End

Once registered, you can join the meeting at any time.



Frontiers in Karst Colloquium Series – 1st seminar (spring 2021)

The first Karst Waters Institute Frontiers in Karst Colloquium for the spring semester is coming up next week. You have to register in advance to attend (details below).
In collaboration with the NSF-funded Carbonate Critical Zone RCN, we are hosting a series of seminars focused on critical zone processes in carbonates. Presentations will be made by invited speakers from across the range of disciplines within CZ science, particularly highlighting contributions by early-career scientists. Presentations will be approximately 30 minutes long with 10-15 minutes afterward for questions and discussion.

 

Wednesday, February 24 – Weathering of rock to regolith: The activity of deep roots in bedrock fractures

8 am Pacific / 11am Eastern / 5 pm Central European / 11 pm China

Dr. Elizabeth Hasenmueller (St Louis University)

 

For those who cannot attend live, the seminars will also be recorded and made available on the Karst Waters Institute website (https://karstwaters.org/conferences/frontiers-in-karst-colloquium-series/).

Attendance is free and open to anyone. Prior to attending the seminar, you must register at the following link and further details will be sent to your email.

2021 Wilson Scholarship Applications now open

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, 2021. Information on how to apply can be found at the Karst Waters Institute website (http://karstwaters.org/scholarship/). For additional information, contact Dr. Janet S. Herman (jherman@virginia.edu).

Frontiers in Karst Colloquium Series – 2nd seminar

 The next talk in the Karst Waters Institute Frontiers in Karst Colloquium is coming up soon! In collaboration with the NSF-funded Carbonate Critical Zone RCN, we are hosting a series of seminars focused on critical zone processes in carbonates. Presentations will be made by invited speakers from across the range of disciplines within CZ science, particularly highlighting contributions by early-career scientists. Presentations will be approximately 30 minutes long with 10-15 minutes afterward for questions and discussion.
The second talk will be:

 

Tuesday, October 20 – What has the greatest effect on tree water use: A prescribed fire, a hurricane, or a solar eclipse?

8 am Pacific / 11am Eastern / 5 pm Central European / 11 pm China

Dr. Steven Brantley (The Jones Center at Ichauway, UGA)

For those who cannot attend live, the seminars will also be recorded and made available on the Karst Waters Institute website (https://karstwaters.org/conferences/frontiers-in-karst-colloquium-series/).
Attendance is free and open to anyone, though we are limited to 300 participants. Prior to attending the seminar you must register at the following link and further details will be sent to your email.