Jim C. Werker and Val Hildreth-Werker, Division Chiefs
Jim C. Werker and Val Hildreth-Werker have been improving techniques in cave conservation and restoration for over 30 years. They both bring research and development backgrounds to cave and karst conservation—Jim, as a mechanical engineer in tooling design, fabrication, pressure safety, and materials research—and Val, as a commercial medical photographer and outdoor training advisor. Jim and Val teach international seminars and workshops in cave conservation and management.
Together, they develop environmental photomonitoring systems for surface and subsurface environments. Val and Jim coordinated and edited Cave Conservation and Restoration, a comprehensive, award-winning volume describing field-proven techniques in state-of-the-art cave conservation, restoration, speleothem repair, and low-impact caving ethics, published by the NSS in 2006.
The couple has served the National Speleological Society (NSS) as Conservation Division Chiefs since 1999.