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The World Below: An Introduction to Caves and Karst

Have you ever heard of karst? It is a terrain that covers 20% of the earth’s land surface. You have certainly heard of caves, which are the quintessential feature of karst areas. Caves and karst are generally unrecognized as vital resources. However they sustain about 700 million people with drinking water, hold some of the richest archaeological and paleontological remains, contain many of the most bio-diverse regions, and are even targets for settlement and the search for life on other planets. Everyone on Earth probably benefits from caves and karst. Learn how you are connected to the world below.

Dr. George Veni is an internationally recognized hydrogeologist specializing in caves and karst terrains. He is the owner and principal investigator of George Veni and Associates (GVA), conducting multidisciplinary environmental karst management research throughout the United States and in several other countries since 1987. In 2007, he took a hiatus from GVA to serve as the Executive Director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute until he retired from the position in 2023 and returned to GVA. He has chaired 19 international and multidisciplinary karst conferences. From 2002-2022, he was a member of the governing board of the International Union of Speleology, serving as President for the final five years and organizer of its International Year of Caves and Karst in 2021-2022. He has been a doctoral committee advisor for geological, geographical, and biological dissertations at five universities in the US and Greece, taught karst geoscience courses as an adjunct professor for Western Kentucky University for 12 years, and taught karst science and management workshops internationally for NCKRI. Three cave-dwelling species have been named in his honor. He has published and presented over 290 papers, including six books, on hydrogeology, biology, and environmental management in karst terrains.

This program will take place both in-person (at 12:30PM) and online (at 1PM), via Zoom. The in-person event will be held at Pinnacle Living at 45 Forts Ferry Road in Latham, NY, it is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available at the in-person meeting before the speaker’s presentation. Current paid CDHS members will automatically receive an invite to the on-line meeting via email.

ANY ONE WHO IS NOT A CURRENT PAID MEMBER of CDHS CAN Attend. Send an e mail request to: CDHS.Albany@gmail.com. Please send the request several days prior. Or you may log onto our Meetup page: https://www.meetup.com/Capital-District-Humanist-Society/ then click on JOIN, then click on ATTEND, and use the RSVP function, and the link will be available.