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Cave Conservancy Foundation 2020-2021 Program Cancelled

Due to financial impact cause by the Coronavirus restrictions, it is necessary for the Cave Conservancy Foundation to cancel the already advertised 2020-2021 Fellowship program. The Foundation regrets any inconvenience that this may have caused and hope that we can renew the program next year.

20?? Academic Fellowships Announcement
Since 1997 the Foundation has offered 39 fellowships, totaling $368,000. Many professionals have been involved in the selection process but special recognition is warrant for Dr. David Culver and Dr. Horton H. Hobbs who proposed and developed the program and had led the program since its establishmen. In 2015 we welcomed Dr. Annette S. Engel on board as the contact for graduate fellowships (M.S. and Ph.D.) replacing retiring Dr. David Culver. In 2016 we are saden by the passing of Dr. Horton H. Hobbs III and we welcome Dr. Daniel W. Fong as our contact for undergraduate fellowships. .

The Cave Conservancy Foundation will award an Undergraduate Fellowship in Karst Studies for $6000, a M.S. Graduate Fellowship in Karst Studies for $7000, and a Ph.D. Graduate Fellowship in Karst Studies for $20,000. Any study of caves and karst in any field, including but not limited to archaeology, biology, engineering, geography, geology, and social sciences will be considered. The research can involve any cave and karst areas, including those outside the United States. Applicants must be full-time students at a U.S. college or university.


Applicants for the undergraduate fellowship must include a letter of intent, a research proposal (not exceeding 5000 words), a letter of support from the undergraduate advisor, and undergraduate transcripts. E-mail applications, with “request receipt” notation to: dfong@american.edu and cavecv@aol.com The complete application must be received by May 1, 20??. The award will be announced by June 1, 20??. For more information contact Dr. Daniel W. Fong, via e-mail at dfong@american.edu. .


Applicants for the graduate fellowships (M.S. and Ph.D.) must include a letter of intent, a curriculum vita, a thesis proposal (not to exceed 5000 words), graduate transcripts, and two letters of recommendation, one being from the thesis advisor. E-mail application, with “request receipt” notation, to: aengel1@utk.edu and cavecv@aol.com. The complete application must be received by May 1, 20??. The award will be announced by July 1, 20??. For more information contact Dr. Annette S. Engel, via e-mail at aengel1@utk.edu.

If it is necessary to mail the application send it to: Cave Conservancy Foundation; Attn: Fellowship Program; 13131 Overhill Lake Lane; Glen Allen, VA 23059. Mailed material should be received at least one week before the E-mail due date to allow time for distribution. Please E-mail the appropriate above cited contacts that mailed material is being sent.

The Fellowship in Karst Studies Announcement.doc is no longer used. Please use this page for preparing your application.

Fellowships awarded for 2019 .

2019-2020 CCF Academic Fellowship in Karst Studies, Undergraduate Fellowship Level

Levi Trumbore, University of the South (Department of Biology).

“Cave Biodiversity of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park”

2019-2020 CCF Academic Fellowship in Karst Studies, Ph.D. level

Lauren Ballou, Texas A&M-Galveston (Department of Marine Biology)

“Assessing the biogeographic distribution of anchialine cave fauna using Typhlatya (Crustacea: Atyidae) and Remipedia (Crustacea) as model taxa”

Proposal Abstract: Anchialine caves are present throughout the world and host a diverse array of stygobitic fauna. The distribution and general ecology of anchialine fauna remains largely unknown due to the limited accessibility of submerged cave systems. Developing a better understanding of the distribution of these species will provide key insight into their evolutionary and biogeographic history. The major objectives of this proposal are to determine the phylogeographic partitioning of anchialine cave fauna on a regional scale (with model genus, Typhlatya) and a global scale (with model Class, Remipedia). Within both groups, extensive morphological and genetic analyses will be conducted to elucidate relationships amongst species. In addition, the feeding ecology of Remipedia will be examined to better understand the trophic dynamics and ecological adaptability within these extreme habitats. Anchialine ecosystems are highly susceptible to pollution and are located in rapidly developing touristic regions throughout the world. Thus, identifying the local and global distribution capabilities of these fauna will be critical for developing conservation strategies.

2019-2020 CCF Academic Fellowship in Karst Studies, M.S. level

Anna Harris, Western Kentucky University (Department of Geography and Geology)

“Quantifying the impacts of timber harvest on karst systems in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska”

Proposal Summary: The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is home to a dynamic and vulnerable karst ecosystem. Karst in the Tongass is distinct, supporting significant micro and macro regional ecosystems: well-developed old growth forest, prodigious salmon streams, and muskeg peat. This fragile ecosystem sits at the nexus of timber harvest, climate change, and US Forest Service land management practices. While anthropogenic impacts on karst terrains are well studied, few studies have been conducted regarding the implications of deforestation on karst, specifically on heavily managed landscapes in a temperate rainforest. This study will compare forest regrowth, natural flow regimes, water qualities, and sedimentation in two karst watersheds: an old-growth forest that has never been logged and a previously logged, second growth forest. Climate data will be recorded at 10-minute intervals, to calculate throughfall and infiltration rates. High-resolution data will be collected for pH, temperature, specific conductivity (SpC), and turbidity, also at 10-minute intervals, at each of the major springs in each watershed. Grab samples for cations (Ca, Mg) and alkalinity (HCO3-) will be collected to statistically develop a relationship with SpC and calculate dissolution rates within each watershed at high-resolution. Cesium 137 (137Cs) and lead 210 (210Pb) will be used to date sediment in caves from each system. The sediment dates to determine sedimentation rates, which will be correlated to previous timber harvests and management practices. These data are expected to show how timber harvest has affected the nature of these karst systems. Given the societal and scientific value of the study area, the scarcity of karst research in the Pacific Northwest, and the co-sponsorship of the US Forest Service, this study is a valuable contribution to a growing body of data with relevant practical applications.

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