NSS 2021 Convention ~ June 28-July 2* Register

International Year of Caves and Karst

The North America's National Speleological Society is a member of the Union Internationale de Spéléologie (UIS). The UIS is a global, non-profit, non-governmental organization which promotes interaction between academic and technical speleologists of a wide range of nationalities to develop and coordinate international speleology in all of its scientific, technical, cultural, and economic aspects.

International Year of Caves and Karst

Karst is a type of landscape that covers an estimated 20% of the world's land surface. Karst is created by dissolution of bedrock. On the surface it takes many forms, which makes it difficult for the average person to recognize. Some are dramatic and scenic. Much of karst landscapes are also hidden from view in caves.

Caves and karst are home to many of the planet's most diverse, important, and rare ecosystems, supporting ecological diversity above and below the ground. The world's most significant cultural and archaeological sites often are found in karstic and nonkarstic caves. While caves and karst benefit all societies, they also present some unique challenges.

In collaboration with our global family of cavers, the UIS has declared 2021 to be the International Year of Caves and Karst.

International years celebrate and inform the world about important topics, many of which are not known to the general public. Caves and karst occur around our planet but few people understand the great value of caves to humanity. Fewer still know what karst is.

Over the coming months, the NSS and the 2021 NSS Convention will be announcing many events designed to teach our nation about the challenges facing caves and karst, and how these systems contribute to the lives of billions of people every day. We hope you can join us in this international year of celebration!

To learn how you or your grotto can get involved with the International Year, as a person or as a group, please visit the UIS site at iyck2021.org/.

Cave Diver