Learn about Caving

A key focus of the NSS work involves education of our members, the caving community, youth organizations and general public. Find out how below.

Next Generation 📷 Kelly Smallwood
Next Generation 📷 Kelly Smallwood

Responsible caving starts with education

Conservation of our underground environments depends upon education and awareness.

Whether you are looking to learn about minimum impact caving, or for information on underground ecosystems, the NSS has resources for you.

Looking for Training?

Nita Nanta Rigging 📷 Matt Tomlinson

National Cave Rescue Commission

As a leader in cave resuce, the NCRC is a leader in training and tracking cave rescue resources throughout the United States. If you cave frequently, consider getting NCRC training and be prepared in case of an emergency.

Ectasy Dome 📷  Brian Masney

Vertical Training Commission

Dedicated to a "Train the Trainer" Model, the VTC provides resources, curriculum, and training to those within the NSS that are involved in educating new vertical cavers on proper techniques for technical vertical caving.

Get a cave expert to present to your class!

Our SpeleoGuest program connects educators with cave experts to coordinate presentations and hands-on learning experiences.

Interested? Click the link below to submit a request!

Educational Resources

A Guide to Responsible Caving

This booklet discusses caves and the many elements of the sport of caving. Exploring caves is becoming increasingly popular in all areas of the world, and caving responsibly is more important now than ever. Discussions include safety, training, and learning to reduce the detrimental effect cavers can have on caves and cave owner relations.

Discovering Bats

Bats are among the most beneficial, yet misunder-stood, mammals. They control insect populations, pollinate cacti and tropical fruit trees, and are important to medical and scientific advances. More than 1,100 bat species have been identified — a fifth of all known species of mammals. Sadly, bat colonies throughout the world are declining drastically due to human activities and disease.

The Fragile Underground

Caves are the world’s most remote and fragile wilderness. They provide irreplaceable habitats for rare plants and animals, some of which spend their entire lives in complete darkness. On its way to our drinking supply, water often travels through caves into wells, springs, and aquifers, the source of most of our drinking water. Many caves also preserve fragile prehistoric and historic records.

About the NSS

Learn about the Society’s diverse programs, activities, and aspects of speleology in which members are involved. Understand the benefits of membership in the Society, and the value of membership to caves, caving, and speleology, and preservation. Consider joining the NSS today if you aren’t a member already. At just $40 a year, it is a great benefit and provides access to the NSS bookstore.

Lava Tube Caves

Lava tubes are caves to and they play important roles in our eco-system, our history, and our culture. Caves formed in lava are found where volcanoes have produced certain types of flowing lava: western United States, Canary Islands, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Australia, Pacific Ocean islands, and other volcanic hot spots. The islands of Hawaii harbor some of the world’s most spectacular lava tubes.

Cave Conservation and Restoration

For every decision related to a cave, the foremost concern should be perpetuation of speleological processes, values, and resources. As cavers, cave managers, land owners, project leaders, and speleologists, what factors should we consider when making decisions for cave systems?This book, crafted to explore questions and formatted to use as a field manual, explores current best practices in cave conservation.

Cave Preservation Network Brochure

The Cave Preservation Network is a collaboration of cave explorers, cave owners, and the public. All have a vested interest in protecting these fragile places. We are working together to educate the public about the importance of caves and karst lands, increase funding for cave-related research, and fund the creation of new cave preserves

Landowner Relations Network

Members of the NSS Landowner Relations Network Committee (LRNC) endeavor to establish a relationship with cave landowners that see fre-quent visitors, and reach out to landowners of closed or limited-access caves to bring goodwill from the NSS. The NSS LRNC also works with grottos and internal organizations of the NSS to provide support for questions that private landowners have about their caves.