We are excited to offer several workshops during the 2017 National Cave and Karst Management Symposium.  Space is limited in many of the workshops, so be sure to sign up early. 

Comprehensive Bat Management and Survey Techniques Workshop for Karst Systems and Surrounding Landscape, Eastern and Western United States

Presented by Patrick Moore of Mitigation Surveying Services, LLC.
Length: 2-day: Sunday, October 15 – Monday, October 16
Cost: $100
Class size: minimum – 5, maximum – 30

Bats are an integral part of karst systems and various landscapes across the United States, providing numerous ecosystem services to the regions in which they are found. The cavernicolous bat populations of the eastern United States have been decimated by White-nose syndrome (WNS). Recently, the fungus that causes the disease (Psuedogymnoascus destructans) has been found on western bat species for the first time. With the threat of WNS, habitat destruction and turbine mortality, it is more important than ever to monitor bat populations and cave/landscape use, using proven survey methods. This workshop will focus on giving landowners and land managers the necessary tools to make decisions regarding bats on public and private lands. Points of discussion will include: conducting bat surveys using various methods, provide a framework for managing threatened and endangered bat species with regards to the Endangered Species Act and state statutes, karst and landscape management techniques (while some bats are cave obligates, foraging habitat is essential to healthy populations), general species identification and biology, and networking between peers for ready access to information.

The workshop will be a two-day event, starting Sunday, 15 October. Participants must sign up by 22 September, with a minimum of five (5) participants. If the minimum is not met, the more basic course will be set for 9-5 on 16 October. The class on 15 October will allow participants to gain a more in-depth understanding of acoustic monitoring and species identification, with a field component taught at The Nature Conservancy’s Kings River Preserve on Sunday night that will feature both mist-netting and acoustic deployment. Those with current rabies vaccinations are welcome to handle, or learn to handle, captured species.

Monday, the course will include the following (strategies taught here will be inclusive for landowners and managers for both eastern and western United States): bat biology/life history and basic identification, cave survey techniques (population monitoring and timing, count methods, how to fully survey a cave, harp trap surveys), landscape survey techniques (mist-netting, basic acoustic hardware and software, basic acoustic deployment/monitoring and basic species identification), threatened and endangered bats and what that means for you, managing for bats underground and above, and providing a network of individuals from which to gain information or assist in various survey/management/modeling techniques. As this workshop will provide a large amount of information in a short amount of time, our goal is to provide you with a framework of basic knowledge, and a network of biologists, to assist you in karst management decisions relating to bats.

Dye Tracing for Cave and Karst Management

Presented by Tom Aley and Shiloh Beeman of Ozark Underground Laboratory
Length: 1-day: Monday, October 16
Cost: $25
Class size: 25

The Ozark Underground Laboratory has conducted about 4,000 groundwater traces in the US and abroad. Based on this experience, and using examples from the Ozarks and elsewhere, this course will focus on the critical importance of groundwater tracing investigations, recharge area delineations, and vulnerability assessment in cave and karst management. The course will cover basic characteristics of the tracer dyes and important factors to consider in selecting tracer types and quantities as well as practical sampling techniques. The course will also cover basics of how the tracing work is integrated into recharge area delineations for important caves and springs and on strategies for vulnerability assessments. The course will include lectures and discussions and a field visit to some of the one hundred springs in Eureka Springs, where the town motto is “The City that Springs Built”.

Reducing Sediment from Unpaved Roads Using Environmentally Sensitive Road Maintenance Practices

Presented by Dr. Stacy Williams of the University of Arkansas Center for Training Transportation Professionals, Brenda Rowell, AEDC, Division of Rural Services, and Clay Knighten of The Nature Conservancy Arkansas Field Office
Length: 1-day: Monday, October 16
Cost: Free
Class size: not limited

The State of Arkansas has developed an “Arkansas Unpaved Roads Program” to create a better unpaved county road system with a reduced negative impact on water resources in Arkansas by focusing on best management practices (BMPs) that reduce the impact of sediment and road runoff to streams, rivers, and drinking water supplies while reducing long term unpaved county road maintenance costs. The Program provides BMP training for the construction and maintenance of unpaved roads and provides funding to Arkansas counties for priority unpaved road improvement projects through a grant program available from the Department of Rural Services. In order for Arkansas counties to qualify and receive funding from the grant program, county road maintenance personnel must participate in a training course that provides training on Environmentally Sensitive Road Maintenance (ESM) practices. These training courses are held each year in various locations across Arkansas.

An ESM training course targeting northern Arkansas counties will be held in Eureka Springs on Monday, October 16, concurrently with the 2017 NCKMS. While the course does not focus explicitly on karst landscapes, much of northern Arkansas is karst, and applying ESM practices in this region benefit karst dependent species, subterranean habitats, and groundwater. While the course is directed at Arkansas county personnel, the ESM principles and practices discussed in this workshop are based heavily on methods developed by Penn State’s Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads Studies, and the techniques can be applied more broadly in other U.S. regions. The techniques will also be useful for karst resource managers that interact with unpaved roads personnel in their respective regions. NCKMS participants will have an opportunity to learn more about ESM practices, discuss techniques with local road crew personnel, visit an impaired road segment, and develop a road segment improvement plan. For more information, please see the links below to the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Program Administration Manual and video.

Click here to follow link to Manual
Click here to follow link to Video

Database Development and Management

Presented by Scott House of Cave Research Foundation Ozark Operations
Length: 1-day: Monday, October 16
Cost: $10
Class size: minimum – 5, maximum – 20

Tired of creaky old, complex databases that don’t meet your cave management needs? This workshop will focus on using FileMaker Pro to create your own custom databases. Participants will learn how easy it is to create and modify databases that put you in control. We will use sample databases already in use by the Missouri Speleological Survey and Buffalo National River to learn the ins and outs of simple relational databases that can tie locational information to monitoring and faunal records as well as text records. We will also learn how easily data can be imported or exported for a variety of purposes in a variety of formats.

As a class we will then work together to create a new database for a situation in need. Participants will leave with a sample database to use. Participants will need to bring a laptop with Windows 7 or higher.

For example: the Missouri Cave Database has over 7000 main table records, over 5000 related records on cave maps, over 2500 related use monitoring records, over 14,000 related text reports records, and over related 27,000 faunal records – all linked together.