Participant Max: 54

 

Trip Coordinators:

Marie Marek, Chief of Interpretation Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Pam Cox, Ranger Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Dianne Joop, Education Director National Cave and Karst Research Institute

Description: This field trip is an exploration into the techniques used to build experiences that yield emotional and intellectual connections to enhance cave and karst resource planning and public participation. Field trip leaders will share how to organize, develop, plan, and conduct underground experiences for less active and more active audiences. Management Actions outlined in the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act include planning and public participation. Planning ensures caves are considered in any land management plan, and publilc participation fosters communication, cooperation, and exchange of information between land managers, those who utilize caves, and the public. These two actions identify diverse audiences and direct outcomes for strategic communications by the cave and karst resource managers. Amazing advances leading to understanding how the human brain takes in and stores information have revealed that every memory stored in the brain has an emotional stamp. While this is profound, it is information we knew already! Cave and karst advocates know the best way to get someone to understand the importance of cave resources is to take them caving. In other words, give people experiences and opportunities to connect with the resource. 54 participants will begin this journey gaining insight on constructing surface interpretation to enhance overall experience. After a brief overview, participants will be broken into different exploration groups and travel underground. While underground, you will gain insight on how to develop visitor experience in relation to the physical environment. To conclude this trip, exploration groups will convene on the surface for a wrap-up discussion session.

Exploration Groups

Kings Palace

Left Hand Tunnel

Exploration Group

 

This field trip will be broken down into four exploration groups; Kings Palace & Left Hand Tunnel, Lower Cave , Hall, and Spider Cave.  Each has a limited group size.

 

You will need to register for the specific group when you register for the symposium.

 

You will learn how to build visitor expereinces  Each exploration group is described within the panels.

Register for the group when you register for the symposium.

Kings Palace &

Left Hand Tunnel

 

You will gain two different experiences  on this trek. Half of the group will see Kings Palace while the others will see Left Hand Tunnel, and then switch.

 

Kings Palace: Route takes you through four highly decorated chambers along a 1-mile paved trail that requires you to descend and ascend the equivalent of an 8-story building.

 

Cave temperature averages 56F (13C). A light jacket is recommended as well as sturdy, comfortable shoes.

Left Hand Tunnel

 

You will gain two different experiences  on this trek. Half of the group will see Kings Palace while the others will see Left Hand Tunnel, and then switch.

 

This lantern-lit tour is considered the easiest of the adventure tours.  The trail takes you over uneven or slippery slopes. Careful footing is required to avoid delicate formations and cavern pools.

 

Cave temperature averages 56F (13C). A light jacket is recommended as well as sturdy, comfortable shoes. Lanterns are provided.

Lower Cave

Hall

Spider Cave

Lower Cave

 

This adventure tour is moderately difficult. It will require you to descend and ascend a series of ladders. The unpaved trail leads you by an incredible nest of cave pearls, mummified bats, and artifacts from historic expeditions.

 

The average temperature is 56F (13C).  You may want to dress in layers or bring a  jacket.

 

Helmets and lights are provided.

 

 

Required gear: Good sneakers or hiking boots and 4 AA batteries.

Hall of the White Giant

 

Caving 101!  This adventure tour is considered very difficult. The trail follows a tight canyon that you ascend by a series of ladders and rope assisted climbs. This adventure tour offers a real caving experience.

 

This trip is not recommended for anyone afraid of heights or tight spaces.

 

Helmets, lights, kneepads, and caving gloves are provided.  Expect to get dirty on this trip!

Required gear: Hiking boots or sturdy shoes and 4 AA batteries.

Spider Cave

 

After a half-mile hike down Garden Grove Canyon, you will begin your expedition through the mazy passages of Spider Cave. This cave trail is filled with crawls and climbing.

 

This trip is not recommended for anyone with a fear of enclosed spaces, heights, or getting cave dirt in your ears.

 

Helmets, lights, kneepads, and caving gloves are provided.  Expect to get dirty on this trip!

 

Required gear: Hiking boots or other sturdy shoes and 4 AA batteries and water for the hike. Backpacks are allowed on the hike but NOT allowed in the cave.

NCKMS 2013 at NCKRI  -  400-1 Cascades Avenue  -  Carlsbad  -  New Mexico  - 88220