ICS Awards Fort Stanton Cave Study Project



FSCSP wins 2013 International Award: "a shining example for all members of UIS to follow"

“Excellent exploration is conducted with excellent science, and follows top standards for cave protection.”



The Fort Stanton Cave Study Project (FSCSP) has been recognized by the prestigious International Congress of Speleology at their recent week long conference held in Brno, Czech Republic. The organization meets every four years in different parts of the world. The 2009 conference was held in Kerrville,Texas, and previous to that France, Greece, Spain and China are other nations graced by these internationally known scientists and cavers. FSCSP board member John Moses was present at the banquet where the award was presented and asked some of our team members in the audience to stand and be recognized. UIS President Andy Eavis presented the award for the 2013 prize in exploration.

The ICS is organized by the International Union of Speleology (UIS) every four years and, without exaggeration, represents the world’s most significant speleological meeting. It is an event that connects the scientists engaged in studying karst and all phenomena of their formation and development with the voluntary speleologists. More than 400 papers were presented and 1,200 participants from 61 nations participated in this year’s event. Citing the most significant cave exploration projects which have taken place between the 15th ICS in 2009 and this year’s 16th, the honorable mentions included the famous Hang Son Doong Cave project in Vietnam (world’s largest cave passage) and the K’oox Baal, Mexico underwater cave (4th longest underwater cave in the world).

The selection process is done during the ICS week when the awards chair approaches people from around the world who are knowledgeable about exploration or other award topics in order to collect a good list of nominees. An international panel then reviews the nominees and makes their selection. As with the NSS, the nomination details and discussions are confidential. The next 17th ICS will be in Sydney, Australia, in 2017.

We understand that some of the reasons the Project received the award is our combination of science work (resistivity, gravity surveys, bat work on multiple projects, hydrology and micro-biology to name a few) with some really hard core survey work plus multiple digging activities. Of course the decade old discovery of Snowy River was a key element and emphasized the variety and strengths of our team members. Management of the overall project, the science, engineering of the new access portal, plus everything that has been included in reports was considered. Most of the NSS Southwestern Region helped at one time or another on construction of the access portal.

Project Director Steve Peerman stated, “This award is a tribute to everyone who helped out the project in any capacity over the last several years. From those who helped transport materials for the Mud Turtle access portal, to those who conducted the exploration efforts, to the scientists who supported our efforts, to the agencies who gave the framework for us to achieve this distinction, to those who worked behind the scenes and those at the forefront of discovery – it is a testament to their support and perseverance.”

President John Corcoran also noted: “The spirit of this project is volunteerism in support of the Bureau of Land Management, The Conservation Lands Foundation, the National Forest Service, the wonders of an incredible natural resource, and long-lasting fellowship and dedication of cavers and researchers.”

Chuck Schmidt, BLM Roswell Field Manager shared in the excitement: “I congratulate the FSCSP for the well-deserved award they received from the International Congress of Speleology. We are honored to partner with this group of truly dedicated volunteers, and look forward to many more monumental discoveries of this unique natural resource. The Fort Stanton Cave and the Snowy River passage have provided a rare opportunity to discover the awe of nature, and to learn about the wonders of natural processes that developed the cave. The efforts of the FSCSP have brought this information and knowledge to the world, and I am humbled by their efforts.”


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Rev. 11-23-2013
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