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.