UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis

Dear Friends,

In this time of global tragedy with the COVID-19 crisis, NCKRI is happy to bring you news that is not only helpful but uplifting. This message includes the newly available proceedings of the Sinkhole Conference, and a special classical music composition by Pete Fine.

We continue to send you our best hopes that you and your loved ones are well.

Here is the latest news:

Various News

  • The Journey: A Musical Composition
  • International Year of Caves and Karst: New Materials in Preparation
  • Call for Nominations: Geological Society of America Karst Division Awards

Conferences and Meetings

  • The 16th Sinkhole Conference: Proceedings Now Available!
  • Virtual Student Scholars Symposium: Deadline 17 April!
  • 19th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology: Postponed
  • 28th International Karstological School “Classical Karst”: Cancelled
  • List of Upcoming Cave and Karst Meetings

Please contact the people and organizations listed below for more information, and feel free to share this message with anyone who may be interested.



The Journey: A Musical Composition

These NCKRI messages focus on cave and karst news. While this is not exactly cave-related, caver Pete Fine is an excellent composer of classical music, including the anthem of the International Union of Speleology. Rather than sit at home and just wait for the COVID virus to pass, he wrote this lovely 35-minute composition to share and brighten everyone’s day. Pete explains:

 “For a musician, there is an added sacrifice that comes with trying to do one's part in controlling the devastation we are dealing. That is, giving up the ability to perform or rehearse music with other musicians. Fortunately, besides being a performer on my instrument, guitar, I am also a classical composer, and no virus can stop me from creating music.

The Journey started as a project to not be bored with being mostly indoors and isolated from friends. Within a week, I had a fully orchestrated 35-minute symphonic score, in 6 distinct movements that remind me of the wonder, beauty and mystery of a long trip into Mother Nature.

I hope many of you will enjoy it and although I enjoyed being creative with the accompanying images, I hope it will inspire your own images and emotions. It is all about the music, for me.

Stay healthy and safe.... and thanks greatly for listening.

Pete Fine


  • Part 1 Departure; Hills and Valleys
  • Part 2 Sunrise; The Animals; Sunset
  • Part 3 The Mountains
  • Part 4 The Creek
  • Part 5 Rainstorm; Evening
  • Part 6 Destination; Return Home

Total Time: 35 minutes

Scored for:

  • 2 Flutes
  • 2 Oboes
  • 2 Clarinets
  • 2 Bassoons
  • 4 French Horns
  • 2 Trumpets
  • 2 Trombones
  • Tuba
  • Strings
  • Timpani (3 drums)
  • 2 Percussionists (Cymbals, Snare Drum, Triangle, Tambourine)

International Year of Caves and Karst: New Materials in Preparation

Planning for the International Year of Caves and Karst (IYCK) continues with more partners and events. Posters, a video, and other materials are being created and will be released in the coming few months. Meanwhile, the informational leaflet and the Planning Guide are already posted on www.iyck2021.org The leaflet has been translated into Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. It will soon be available in Chinese, as will the Planning Guide. If you would like to translate these documents into your native language to better promote the IYCK, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Remember, the IYCK will be the biggest and most important speleological event ever, but only if you participate. If your organization is not listed on the IYCK Partners page or your events to support the IYCK are not on the Events page, then send in your logo, website, and event details. To get involved, download the IYCK Planning Guide from www.iyck2021.org to learn all you need to know about how to join the IYCK.

The IYCK has incredible potential to advance speleology in many and great ways, but only if we all work together to make it possible.

George Veni, PhD
Executive Director, National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI)
President, International Union of Speleology (UIS)

Call for Nominations: Geological Society of America Karst Division Awards


It's that time of year to submit nominations for Karst Division Awards for the 2020 GSA Meeting by April 30th!

Please find more info on the awards here (or see attached document) and use this link to submit your nominations or apply for an award here (or you can use the attached forms).

Please let us know if you have any questions and we look forward to serving you and the Division in the coming year!

Thank you and best wishes,

GSA Karst Division Management Board

The 16th Sinkhole Conference: Proceedings Now Available!

Dear Friends,

As previously announced, the 16th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst (more commonly called The Sinkhole Conference) has been rescheduled to 12-16 April 2021 at its same location in San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, we have now published the proceedings as NCKRI Symposium 8, which is available at http://www.nckri.org/about_nckri/nckri_publications.htm. While you are there you are welcome to download other NCKRI conference proceedings and reports at no cost. If you have difficulty accessing the website (which we are updating in part to improve access), you may also download the proceedings from the Karst Information Portal www.karstportal.org.

This 370-page proceedings volume contains 40 peer-reviewed papers organized under the following headings:

  • Resource Monitoring and Management,
  • Geophysics and Remote Sensing,
  • Engineering/Geotechnical,
  • Hydrology,
  • Geomorphology/Formation of Karst and Sinkholes, and
  • GIS/Mapping and Management.

The postponement of the conference allows the opportunity for you to submit papers to present and publish in the second edition of these conference proceedings, which will be posted with the conference next year. Here are the deadlines for papers for the second edition:

  • July 24, 2020: Abstract due
  • July 29, 2020: Authors notified of abstract acceptance
  • October 19, 2020: Draft papers due
  • November 23, 2020: Authors provided with review and comments
  • December 21, 2020: Final papers due

For more information and to register for this world-leading conference on engineering and environmental management issues in karst, go to www.sinkholeconference.com.

George Veni
16th Sinkhole Conference Co-Chair

Virtual Student Scholars Symposium

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society, is offering a new event for students:

Virtual Student Scholars Symposium (VS3)

This live Zoom event will occur on 14 May 2020 from 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. US Eastern Daylight Time. The symposium will feature:

  • Oral and Poster Student Research Presentations
  • Monetary Awards for the Top Presenters
  • Presentation Feedback from Distinguished Scientists and Engineers
  • Career Preparation Webinars
  • Keynote Session

While this is not a symposium specifically for caves and karst and is open to all scientific fields of study, it is an opportunity to present cave and karst research at an internationally prestigious form. Students in graduate, undergraduate, or high school worldwide may submit an abstract by April 17 to participate. Students will be invited to register upon abstract review and approval. VS3 is limited to 100 student participants.

19th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology: Postponed

Dear friends

The 19th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology, which was due to take place in Catania, Sicily from late August to early September this year has been postponed for 12 months (to August-September 2021).

The difficult decision to postpone the event has been made by the symposium organising committee, in consultation with the Commission on Volcanic Caves, in recognition of the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and also the uncertainty about when the many factors critical to staging (and also attending) the symposium might return to normal.

The decision has just been announced on the ISV-19 Website and will also be advised by email to everyone who had registered or pre-registered.  For those who had finalised their registrations, the message will also outline the refund arrangements.

At this stage, the Commission’s intention is that the 20th ISV would still be held sometime during 2022.

Stay well, stay safe.


John Brush
UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves

28th International Karstological School “Classical Karst”: Cancelled

We are sorry to inform you that the 28th International Karstological School “Classical Karst” won’t be organized in 2020. You are kindly invited to participate in 2021, when we will keep the planned topic about regional karstology. The School will also be one of the main activities of the International Year of Caves and Karst. Thank you for understanding. https://iks.zrc-sazu.si/en/

List of Upcoming Cave and Karst Meetings

If you are interested in any of the following events, contact them directly to learn if they are still planned as announced below.

George  Veni, PhD

Executive Director, National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI)
President, International Union of Speleology (UIS)

NCKRI address (primary)
400-1 Cascades Avenue
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220 USA
Office: +575-887-5517
Mobile: +210-863-5919
Fax: +575-887-5523
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UIS address

Titov trg 2
Postojna, 6230 Slovenia