By-Laws | Indiana Cave Survey

Mailing Address

PO Box 2401, Indianapolis, IN 46206


Regular meetings shall be held once each quarter, preferably during the months of March, June, September, and December. The place and date of each meeting shall be decided at the previous meeting. Notice shall be given to all members.

A. Dues shall be set at $5.00 per calendar year for all categories of membership.

B. The initial dues of a new member shall be pro-rated based on the remaining proportion of the calendar year at the time of joining. Thereafter, all dues shall paid at the start of each calendar year.

The membership categories are an attempt to balance the competing objectives of easy access to ICS information and protection of that information. They accomplish this by relating access of information to the demonstrated contributions of each member.

1. ASSOCIATE. This membership category is open to anyone who supports the purposes of the ICS and pays dues. No screening or vote of the membership is required. This category provides a means for someone to support our organization even if he does not qualify for (or does not wish to apply for) the higher categories of membership. Associate Members may attend all ICS meetings and may participate in discussions, but may not vote. They will receive the newsletter and other publications on the same basis as other members, and have limited access to “member-only” areas of the ICS website(s), but will not have direct access to specific cave information. If someone contacts a County Director or ICS Officer with a request for locations or other information about specific caves, the County Director or officer will consider the fact that the requester is an Associate Member to be a significant factor in favor of granting the request.

2. REGULAR. Those who apply for this status must be an Associate Member in good standing and submit a completed application form at least 30-day prior to a general ICS meeting at which the upgrade is to be considered. The upgrade requirements are:

A) Submit five properly completed ICS Cave Location Report Forms and have been a member of the ICS for at least two years; or

B) Submit five properly completed ICS Cave Location Report Forms and have three sponsors, who are Regular or Contributing members, who themselves have been ICS members for at least two years. The sponsors should personally know the applicant and attest to the applicant’s character, reliability, and have knowledge of the applicant’s ability to contribute to the goals of the ICS; or

C) Request a waiver from the Executive Board for one or more of the above requirements clearly stating why the requirement(s) cannot be met. Waivers will generally only be considered and granted under extraordinary situations.

D) The voting members present at the general meeting at which the upgrade is to be considered shall review the applicant’s qualifications and determine by majority vote whether or not to accept the applicant into Regular Membership (the membership may also vote to defer the application). The applicant is encouraged to be present to speak, but this is not required. Regular Members are entitled to be present at all ICS meetings and to vote at all general meetings on motions, resolutions, membership applications, and in the election of officers. They shall be entitled to full access to the ICS’s on-line cave database.

3. CONTRIBUTING. This category is restricted to persons who have a record of significant contributions to the ICS. In order to be selected as a Contributing Member, a person must have been a Regular Member for at least one year immediately preceding being considered and must submit a resume justifying the change in membership status. In order to be considered for Contributing Membership, a person must be nominated in writing by three Contributing Members, Board Members, or County Directors, who know him personally, and can attest to the nominee’s character, reliability, and past record of contributions. After considering each nominee, the Board will vote by secret ballot. To become a Contributing Member, a nominee must receive the votes of two thirds of all ICS Board Members. Factors to be considered are membership in the NSS and one or more grottoes; membership in other caving organizations; a record of significant contributions to the work of the ICS; a substantial record of participation in finding, opening, mapping, and otherwise documenting caves; involvement in scientific research involving caves, cave fauna, or karst geology and hydrology. Contributing Members may have access to additional querying tools and the ability to generate special reports. Contributing Members shall continue to have all rights and responsibilities of regular members.


A. President

Preside over meetings.
Appoint committees and committee chairman.
Serve on all committees at his option.
Call special meetings of the Board.
Be an active spokesman for the ICS.

B. Vice President

Perform all the duties of the President in his absence.
Assist the other members of the Board as needed.

C. Secretary

Record minutes of all membership and Board meetings.
Handle correspondence and other paperwork.

D. Treasurer

Receive all money and pay out the same as authorized by vote of the membership or Board.
Pay out legitimate claims of under $50.00 which occur in the ordinary course of business, without the need to obtain specific board or membership approval.
Keep an accurate account of receipts and disbursements and report at each meeting.
Assist the Secretary in making required reports.
Maintain a current membership roster.

E. Board Members at Large

To serve and assist in decisions of the Board.
To assist other members of the Board as needed.

A. Committees and other offices may be appointed by the President in accordance with the vote of the membership or Board.

B. All committees shall expedite the orders of the President, Board, and membership, and shall prepare regular reports of their activities/findings which shall be read at ICS meetings.

C. Committees may be dissolved by the President in accordance with the vote of the membership or Board.

D. Appointed offices include Archivist, Master Database Custodian, and Editor. These must be filled with ICS members. Others positions may be appointed as needed.

A member may be appointed County Director of one or more counties by plurality vote of the membership present at the meeting at which the matter is considered. The following factors shall be considered when selecting a county director:
Interest in and familiarity with the region. Time and ability to perform the work. Accessibility to the region.

County Directors’ duties are as follows:

Receive report forms for caves in their counties.
Ensure that the forms are complete and accurate.
Assign new ICS cave numbers.
Forward report forms and other records to the archivist and data entry persons as appropriate.
Coordinate efforts of members working in their counties.
Review requests for lists of caves within their counties and provide such lists if the request is justified.
County Directors may be removed by a majority vote of the members present at a general membership meeting. When a County Director resigns or is removed, he shall promptly forward all cave files and other ICS property related to his position as County Director to his successor or to the ICS President.

A. The ICS may publish newsletters, bulletins, guidelines, handbooks, scientific studies, cave lists, maps, and other publications as appropriate.

B. The price, if any, of each publication shall be determined by the membership or Board.

A. The ICS will maintain a complete database of cave information, including maps, for caves and related features in the State of Indiana.

B. Distribution of material and the recall of distributed materials will be determined by vote of the membership or the Board in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws.

A. This section applies to all categories of membership, including Associate.

B. Members may be dropped or expelled from the ICS for the following reasons:

Non-payment of dues.
Willful misuse of ICS equipment/property.
Conduct detrimental to the ICS.
Unauthorized distribution of cave lists or other restricted ICS information.

C. Procedure: Termination of membership for non-payment of dues is automatic. Membership will be automatically reinstated at the previous level if the terminated member pays all back dues owed. Any Board Member may recommend that an ICS member be expelled for cause. The member must be given a hearing before the board with at least one week notice. If the board recommends expulsion, the matter will be presented for a majority vote of the membership present at the next membership meeting, with the member threatened with expulsion having at least one week notice. The member has the right to present his case in person or by representative at both hearings.

A. Upon the dissolution of the Survey, the Board shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all liabilities of the Survey, dispose of all assets of the Survey exclusively for the purposes of the Survey in such a manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes or for the purpose of conservation of caves and karst features, as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Board shall determine.

B. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by an Indiana court of general jurisdiction, exclusively for such charitable, educational, or scientific purposes or for the purpose of conservation of caves and karst features, or to such organization or organizations, as the court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

Amendments to the By-Laws may be made by a majority vote of the voting membership. Absentee ballots will be accepted.

Amended and approved; Revision 2012-12