Appalachian Karst Symposium – 2024

Save the date!
4th Appalachian Karst Symposium
November 7-10, 2024, Lewisburg WV

The Valley and Ridge from Peters Mountain (Photo: Dorothy Vesper)

The Valley and Ridge from Peters Mountain (Photo: Dorothy Vesper)

The Appalachian region is a significant area of karst geology and is well investigated by both cavers and scientists. This meeting would be an opportunity for interaction between academics, students, cavers, conservation groups, and state/local agencies to review the new scientific knowledge and discuss issues in the region.

Specific aims for the meeting:

  • Present and discuss new research in the region
  • Encourage interaction between different disciplines – biology, exploration, geology, hydrology, paleontology, archaeology, etc.
  • Identify ongoing and coming issues for the region
  • Provide networking opportunities for people interested in Appalachian karst issues


The technical sessions will include a combination of invited and volunteered talks. The final technical session will be based on submitted abstracts. In addition, there will be poster sessions, flash talks, a mid-meeting field trip, and a joint banquet with the WV Cave Conservancy.

The tentative schedule:
Thursday, November 7th

  • Meeting starts ~ 4 PM
  • Welcome & meeting overview
  • Opening reception with posters

Friday, November 8th

  • Keynote speaker, technical sessions, poster session

Saturday, November 9th

  • Full day field trip to see research sites in the region
  • West Virginia Cave Conservancy Banquet with Keynote speaker

Sunday, November 10th

  • Morning technical session
  • Optional afternoon field trip


The symposium will take place in historic Lewisburg WV located in the beautiful Greenbrier Valley of the Appalachian Valley and Ridge Province. The meetings will be held
at the Roland P. Sharp Alumni Center at the WV School of Osteopathic Medicine. The alumni center is fully accessible and offers plenty of parking.

A mid-meeting field trip will highlight the karst of the Greenbrier Valley, developed in its namesake Greenbrier Limestone (Mississippian). Participants will learn about the overall karst geology of the area and recent advances in science and exploration. Stops will include stratigraphy, surface karst features, and local show caves.

An optional, post-meeting field trip will be available and focus on speleogenetic processes in an easily accessible, local wild cave.

Historic Maxwelton The Coliseum (Photo: Nikki Fox)

Cavers light up The Coliseum in Historic Maxwelton Sink Cave. (Photo by Nikki Fox)


Participants in the meeting will be invited to contribute to a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal.


Wil Orndorff (VA DCR Natural Heritage Program) & Dorothy Vesper (West Virginia University)


The conference is co-sponsored by Karst Waters Institute and the West Virginia Cave Conservancy. Other organizations who would like to contribute to the meeting or student/teacher scholarships, please contact us.

If you would like to be included on the mailing list for this event, please fill out this form.

For more information, please contact