Cultivating a Climate of Cave Conservation Awareness

Project Dates

Stalagmites are incomparable archives of paleoclimate information. Methods to extract past climate information from speleothems are necessarily destructive; sampling occurs along the growth axis. As the popularity of stalagmite paleoclimate science grows, development of sustainable sampling methods for these nonrenewable resources is necessary to balance the needs of science and cave conservation. Here we collect information from scientists and cave managers to develop current "best practice" guidelines for sampling. The final output will be a peer-reviewed methodology assessment, giving managers and scientists a place to start when wanting to sample in a more conservation-friendly way. Additional outputs (interpretive educational products, workshops, a stalagmite sample archive, etc.) will be developed through collaboration with stalagmite paleoclimate labs and cave/karst managers worldwide.