Current Best Practices: Intro to Speleothem Repair

This is the pilot for a series of online modules that explore current best practices in cave conservation and restoration. Expanding from the philosophies and techniques described in our peer-reviewed volume, Cave Conservation and Restoration (Hildreth-Werker and Werker, NSS 2006),each module teaches minimum-impact methods focused on specific tasks to mitigate anthropogenic impacts in caves.

Guads Caves: Restoration and Formation Repairs 2018–2020

Decades of human visitation into caves have caused moderate to severe impacts. We have been actively working on restoration and formation repairs in Carlsbad Caverns, and Lechuguilla, Cottonwood, Virgin, Hidden, Black, and Little Manhole Caves. I will be summarizing those efforts, as well as introducing some of my new inventions to facilitate formation repairs.

More Important Than Ever: Conservation Education During COVID-19

This presentation shows how conservation education can be integrated with traditional school subjects to create a program that meets the needs of teachers and students, with the added benefit of inspiring students to care about cave conservation. Additionally, this presentation features video footage of in-person programs conducted just prior to the pandemic, providing an inside view of the conservation education work done by CaveSim.

Who Will be Dead after we Save the Bats

A proposed treatment for white-nose syndrome (WNS) involves the application of UV‑C light to cave surfaces to kill the causative agent of WNS, the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. Our goal is to determine if such treatment will have detrimental effects on native cave bacteria due to its high energy level output. Partnering with the NPS, we cultured bacteria from caves in Lava Beds National Monument (California), Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, and Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky).

Lint Management in Kartchner Caverns

Before tunnel and trail construction began at Kartchner Caverns State Park, a development team spent years monitoring the cave’s natural microclimate and inhabitants, while also researching other tour caves. This research culminated in a careful development process, using baseline data and lessons learned from other tour caves to minimize impact. One aspect of this process was the future mitigation of lint build-up, both along tour trails and deeper in the cave. The development team put systems in place in order to prevent a large-scale lint problem: systems to prevent lint, to manage lint, and to clean up lint.