Va Cave Week

Presented by friends of the Virginia Cave Board

This year we are celebrating Virginia Cave Week
June 14 - 20, 2020


Cave Week Theme

"The Karst Landscape"

Let's hear it for Virginia Cave Week!

Virginia Cave Week promotes an understanding of Virginia's caves and the surrounding limestone habitats known as karst. Sponsored by the Virginia Cave Board, the week is used to highlight a specific theme related to karst and provide resources and educational opportunities to engage the community in conservation efforts. Educators are encouraged to involve their students using in-class activities and visitation to the state's numerous commercial caves

This Web site is a resource for material related to cave and karst education. Check out the different tabs for information and links having to do with caves, karst-related education, class-room activities, virtual caves, and more. Enjoy.

Symposium on Caves
June 20, 2020 at 2pm

The New Market (Virginia) Library is excited to announce its first foray into offering lectures online. While the library is still closed, they are attempting to offer classes that you can view from the comfort and safety of your home—no masks required!

The June program was offered through a partnership between the Virginia Cave Board and New Market Library. Each year, the Virginia Cave Board celebrates Virginia’s caves and karst landscapes. Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebration this year was a virtual Symposium on Caves, offered on Saturday, June 20 from 2:00–4:45. Three back-to-back classes, interspersed by 15-minute breaks were offered for live viewing. The programs were free of charge. You can view the recorded presentations by clicking on the link below each description. Enjoy

“Zooming Into Caves: Protecting Both Caves and the Citizens who Visit”
By Dr. Dan Doctor and Meredith Hall Weberg

The Virginia Cave Board, an all-volunteer advisory body, and appointed by the Governor is administered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Natural Heritage Program. They work, both independently and in partnership to protect and educate the public about Virginia’s biologically rich and environmentally sensitive caves and karst. During this session, participants will learn more about Virginia’s caves and publicly accessible sites across the state where visitors can explore caves for themselves, as well as the work that the Cave Board does to protect the natural environment.


“What’s Beneath Our Feet: The Geologic History of the Shenandoah Valley Karst Region”
By Dr. Dan Doctor

This presentation will provide a general overview of the geologic history of karst development in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and will also explore some implications for managing the rich water resources within the karst landscape.



“The Secret Life of Caves”
By Wil Orndorff

Virginia is home to hundreds of species that live only in caves, with many of them known only from Virginia, and sometimes just a single cave. The degree of geographic restriction exhibited by cave animals is the result of the patchy distribution of limestone in the state, with each area serving like a little island of karst in a sea of non-soluble rock. This lecture will feature the “critters” that live underground in our region, as well as proper stewardship of caves and karst to protect these populations.
Presenters, Dr. Dan Doctor and Meredith Hall Weberg are both members of the Virginia Cave Board. Dan Doctor received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in karst hydrogeology, and currently serves as a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He has conducted geological mapping and specialized studies of Virginias karst areas for more than a decade.
Meredith Hall Weberg is a caver. She is retired from the federal government and loves caving with her free time. In addition to serving on the Cave Board, she edits the newsletter and helped make the Virginia Cave and Karst Trail a reality.

Will Orndorff is the Karst Protection Coordinator for the Virginia Natural Heritage Program in the Department of Conservation and Recreation. He holds a master’s degree in Geology from Virginia Tech with an emphasis on structural geology and tectonics. His work involves the use of dye tracing and other methods to characterize karst waters, especially in the context of habitat protection for rare stygobiontic fauna. He also takes part in the biological inventory of Virginia’s caves to develop a larger and more representative database on which to prioritize conservation decisions.



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Webmeister: David Socky


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