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Guidelines for Organizing a

National Cave and Karst Management Symposium

NCKMS Steering Committee
November, 2002

Table of Contents

Purpose of the NCKMS
Selection of Host Organization(s)
Appendix A: Co-Sponsorship Information
Appendix B: Call for Papers
Appendix C: Budget Sample
Discussion of Key Elements
   -Budget and Finance
   -Scholarship Program
   -Field Trips
   -NSS BOG Meeting Option
   -Interface with Steering Committee
   -Organizational Timeline
   -Sample Schedule

The NCKMS Steering Committee is open to all bids to host future Symposia
by any Federal or state agency and private interest group
involved in the management of caves, karst, and their resources.

Your organization and its members are encouraged
to participate in future Symposia.

Your bid to host a Symposium will be welcomed.


The National Cave and Karst Management Symposia are important forums for promoting, advancing, and sharing concepts for effective management of cave and karst resources. The Symposia provide many valuable opportunities, for both attendees and host organizations:

  • Practical synergy. People from diverse backgrounds, professions, and interests attend to discuss new techniques, address issues, develop solutions, and form effective working relationships to help protect, manage, and conserve caves, cave ecosystems, water resources and karst lands.
  • National and local recognition of regional and local cave and karst issues.
  • Interactions with other cave managers, which can be of incalculable and long lasting value. This is especially true for local land managers from Federal and state agencies who may not be able to travel to a distant Symposium, but who can attend a local event in large numbers.
  • Enhancing cooperation and working relationships between conservation groups, Federal and state agencies, and recreational resources users.
  • Nationwide recognition for the host organization, as well as for its efforts and accomplishments in resource management.
  • Acquainting special interest groups with the resource management activities of a hosting Federal agency.
  • Involving the host group in the nation-wide arena of cave management, increasing their awareness of the many issues and developments. Often, staff/members' enthusiasm for local involvement is enhanced.

Hosting a National Cave and Karst Management Symposium is both challenging and rewarding. The following outline of the tasks and responsibilities involved provides an idea of the challenge. The rewards, while often intangible, are just as real.

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The National Cave and Karst Management Symposia are intended to serve as forums for people from diverse backgrounds and with the common goal of effective management of caves and karst resources to gather and discuss new techniques, common problems, and the success or failure of attempted solutions.

The important contributions of the Symposia to cave and karst management are made not only through formal sessions, but also as a result of informal exchanges between representatives of a number of interest groups and cave managers. Successful networking and building relationships between organizations and people involved in resource management are valuable long-term goals of the NCKMS.

Symposia organizers should keep this value in mind when making decisions on the many aspects of their event, including activities and registration costs. It is important to the success of the Symposium that we encourage a number of representatives from a wide variety of organizations and agencies to attend, and optimize opportunities for networking and sharing information.

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The first National Cave and Karst Management Symposium was held in Albuquerque, NM, in 1975, organized at the urging and with the cooperation of a number of Federal agencies (in particular the National Park Service), the National Caves Association, and the National Speleological Society. With a few exceptions, the Symposia have been held every second year.

Steering Committee: In 1990, the organizations primarily responsible on an informal basis for organizing the NCKMS decided to work together in a more formal way to provide more structure to, and organization for, the Symposia. They invited other organizations and agencies involved with cave management on a national level to join them by sending representatives to form a Steering Committee for the NCKMS:

  American Cave Conservation Association
Cave Research Foundation
Bat Conservation International
Bureau of Land Management
Karst Waters Institute
National Caves Association
  National Park Service
National Speleological Society
The Nature Conservancy
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service

The NSS representative serves as Chairman. Steering Committee meetings are held each year at the NSS Convention and at each Symposium. More information on the NCKMS is available at www.NCKMS.org

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Host Organization: Each Symposium is hosted by a resource conservation or management organization, or by a Federal or state agency. A chairman selected by the host forms an organizing committee of volunteers, preferably not only from the host organization or agency, but from others within the area where the Symposium will be held.

Ideally, the actual work of conducting a Symposium (with staff/volunteers assigned to handle all details) is shared between specific public interest group involved in management of cave resources and one or more state or Federal agencies. [See "Selection of Host Organization(s), below.]

The title of Co-Host should be granted to organizations and agencies that participate on the organizing committee. This cooperation provides additional volunteers to share organizational responsibilities, encourages broader participation within the agencies and organizations through publicity

Selection of Host organization: The Steering Committee solicits proposals for review, and awards the Symposium to a host group.

The selection ideally takes place at the NSS Convention meeting approximately 2-1/2 years in advance of the Symposium. This gives the new Organizing Committee the opportunity to participate directly in the activities of the upcoming Symposium and gain an understanding of procedures that can be used for their own event.

Bids to host a Symposium should be submitted to the Chairman of the Steering Committee at least a month in advance of that summer selection meeting at the NSS Convention. At least one member of the Organizing Committee should attend the Steering Committee meeting to present the bid and answer questions. Prospective hosts are welcome to attend any Steering Committee meeting.

The Committee does try to ensure that Symposia take place on a rotating basis in various parts of the country. The Committee also favors bids that emphasize cooperative participation by organizations representing Federal and other agencies as well as private interest groups.

The location and approximate dates of the next Symposium are announced officially at the final dinner, or banquet, of that year's Symposium.

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Sponsors: The organizations that participate in the NCKMS Steering Committee officially are known as "Sponsors" and should be so identified in Symposia publications.

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Co-sponsors: Co-sponsorship is offered to the other agencies and interest groups involved with the Organizing Committee, and is sought from organizations, businesses, agencies, and professional organizations. Co-sponsorship provides the hosts with funding to supplement registration fees as well as the loan or donation of necessary equipment and services.

While this additional financial support can help the Organizing Committee to ensure that Symposium costs are covered, it is encouraged that status of a Co-sponsor not be dependent on payment of a fee. The long-term value to a cooperative approach toward cave management suggests that all interested organizations should be welcomed and encouraged to participate. Organizations/agencies providing items or services key to success of the Symposium, for example donating or providing AV equipment, transportation, printing, mailing, refreshments, and staff/members' time, should also be given Co-sponsor status. It is best to encourage participation, be flexible, and reward generously with recognition, rather than enforce hard and fast rules.

Co-sponsorship is discussed later in these guidelines.

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Logos: The NCKMS Steering Committee has a "corporate" logo, however each Symposium should develop a logo in keeping with its theme. During the event, the Symposium logo takes priority over the NCKMS design, however whenever possible, both should be used. For example, on either side of a "Welcome" banner, in the Guidebook and Program, on t-shirts, on the web site, and on registration and marketing materials.

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The NCKMS takes place one week between mid-October and early November. Attendees arrive on Monday for the opening session that evening. The banquet to close the Symposium is held Thursday evening, with the last sessions/activities held Friday morning. This schedule allows those attending on business to travel on company time to and from the Symposium. Special workshops and field trips may be arranged and accommodated prior to and after the Symposium, and have been well attended in the past. Project Underground Bat and Conservation International have offered workshops on Monday and Friday respectively, and the local NSS Grotto offers caving trips on the weekends surrounding the Symposium, and even some evenings, depending on the distance involved.

Papers are presented in formal sessions during the day, and field trips are offered either for a full day, or on some afternoons. This is up to the Organizing Committee. Attendees seem to prefer to not have to choose only one of several interesting field trips. Evening "Cracker Barrel" sessions, where a topic or issue is presented and discussed informally, have been well attended.

Symposia hosts may consider hosting an NSS BOG meeting the weekend following the Symposium, using the same facilities. This has worked well in the past, and offers added exposure to the host group and local cave management issues. A local NSS Grotto or Region may be asked to take the lead on organizing the meeting.

The Organizing Committee creates a theme for the Symposium, based on local conditions, resources, or issues, and bases the focus of the event on this theme - from session and informal discussion topics, to speakers and field trips. A logo is created by the organizers for the Symposium to illustrate the theme. The logo is used on t-shirts, publicity material, Program, Proceedings, and so on. (The NCKMS logo should be used in conjunction with this material, in a secondary capacity).

The NCKMS Steering Committee encourages creativity for evening events, special venues for banquets or other event, field trips, and other variables that help to make each Symposium unique. We like hosts to take advantage of the offerings in their area, and to optimize the opportunity to highlight local issues, organizations, and places of interest. However, it is very important that professional-level quality is maintained in all aspects of the Symposium, and that the general format and approach is followed year to year. We have created these guidelines to assist the Organizing Committee in planning and carrying out their Symposium by highlighting important aspects, considerations, and expectations.

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The following tasks are associated with organization of a Symposium. While many of these tasks could be assigned to the same person, clearly it is to the advantage of the organizers to involve as many volunteers as possible so that the workload on any one person is not excessive.

Chairman: The Chairman has the overall responsibility for ensuring that all work of volunteers is completed in a timely manner and holds to the high standards set by previous Symposia.

  1. The Chair is responsible for all aspects of the Symposium and shares signatory responsibility with the Treasurer on bank accounts.
  2. The Chairman also takes on the role of the host for week of the Symposia.
  3. The Symposium Chair and Chairman of the NCKMS Steering Committee work closely together on overall aspects of the Symposium -- such as policies, scheduling, venue, and format -- and the Symposium Chair should not hesitate to contact the Steering Committee Chair for ideas, feedback, guidance, and decisions.
  4. The Steering Committee leaves most of the details of the event to the creativity of the host group, however expects the general format and high standards of previous Symposia to be met.
  5. The chairman is responsible for writing letters to thank invited speakers, co-sponsors, and any other individuals or organizations who assisted in the success of the event.
  6. Delegate, delegate, delegate

Vice-Chairman: The Vice-Chairman assists the Chair as requested and stands ready to assume the role of Chair if (s)he is unable to continue work on the Symposium. The Chairman and Vice-Chair may decide to divide organizing task responsibilities between them, or the Chairman may decide to appoint two assistants and divide responsibilities between them. The Vice-Chairman may be responsible for obtaining co-sponsors.

Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for:

  1. Opening a bank account for the Symposium ("2005 NCKMS"). Signatory power on the bank account is shared with the Chairman and the NCKMS Steering Committee Chairman, however it is suggested that only one signature is required on a check. Arranging for copies of bank statements to be sent to the Reconciler.
  2. With the Chairman, preparing a budget for the Symposium and assisting in set registration costs. Assisting the organizing committee manage finances against this budget.
  3. Arranging for processing registration payments by credit card.
  4. Creating a system of accounts - the use of a standard accounting program such as Quicken is preferred - and fiscal policies to guide the Organizational Committee. It is strongly recommended that this policy dictates that a check always be written for each payment and reimbursement, and that cash not be used. Receipts should accompany every transfer of money. A paper trail will help protect against accounting errors and any accusations of irregular fiscal practices that may arise.
  5. Forwarding a monthly statement of checking account activity to the Reconciler.
  6. Keeping careful accounts of all funds received from registration, grants, and any other money handled by the Symposium.
  7. Establishing a system and policies for handling and securing cash, and other payment methods, during the Symposium.
  8. Paying all bills incurred by the Symposium.
  9. Preparing accurate financial statements and filing these with the Steering Committee Chairman.
  10. After the symposium, paying outstanding bills, balancing and closing the books and bank account, and submitting a final financial report to the Steering Committee Chairman.
  11. Forwarding any surplus of income over expenses to the NCKMS Steering Committee Chairman. - The Treasurer should be aware that the Symposium is not an incorporated organization, nor does it have tax-exempt status.

Reconciler: A volunteer not otherwise associated with the Organization Committee should be appointed to reconcile the Symposium accounts monthly (bank statements and checks written, against the Treasurer's monthly accounts and check record). The Reconciler reports any apparent accounting irregularities to the Symposium Chairman or the Chairman of the Steering Committee as (s)he believes appropriate.


  1. Potential co-sponsors need to be contacted and provided information. The contacts should be followed up.
  2. Arrange to obtain logos, banners, and any other material by deadlines.
  3. Ensure that these items are properly displayed and/or used, and returned if necessary.
  4. Ensure that the comp registrations included with co-sponsorship are used.
  5. Ensure necessary set-up equipment is on hand for displays.
  6. Create a list of co-sponsors for the Program Editor, the Proceedings Editor, the Symposium Chairman.
  7. Ensure that Co-Sponsors are mentioned or recognized whenever possible and reasonable.

Registration: This is a major job and requires several assistants. It also requires very detailed and careful accounting and record keeping. Registration needs to work closely with the Treasurer and with Publicity:

  1. Establish the system for pre- and on-site registration.
  2. Prepare pre-registration material. A registration form (allowing for a pre-registration discount) should be available for distribution at least 10 months prior to the Symposium, and posted on the web site. Secure on-line registration capability is desired.
  3. Handle distribution of the registration forms, working closely with the Web Master and Publicity.
  4. Collect registration forms returned by participants.
  5. Transfer registration money to the Treasurer and keep careful records of all payments.
  6. Prepare name tags, registration packs, and any other material (other than the Program) which will be given to attendees when they arrive.
  7. Make arrangements for on-site registration and check-in, and ensure staffing for the registration desk during the event.
  8. Maintain a detailed roster (spreadsheet) of those registering and attending the Symposium, including contact information. Create a list of attendees to distribute during the sessions on Thursday, and provide this list to the Proceedings Editor for publication.
  9. On the next-to-the-last day of the Symposium, prepare a complete list of the name, address, organization, title, and e-mail of all attendees and distribute it to the participants. Provide this list to the Proceedings Coordinator.


  1. Promote the Symposium. It is important that the event be widely and frequently publicized electronically and in print, and well in advance of the Symposium.
  2. Provide publicity and contacts to the media. Arrange media interviews and coverage during the symposium.
  3. Solicit Symposium logo designs, and arrange selection.
  4. Arrange symposium t-shirts and/or embroidered polo shirts (preferred by many).

Sessions: Formal sessions, interspersed with field trips and other activities, are a central aspect of the Symposium. While the topics may vary widely, all should be selected with the goal of furthering participants' understanding of and sensitivity to responsible cave management.

  1. Select appropriate topics to be addressed;
  2. Create and circulate widely a Call for Papers;
  3. Follow up on leads for papers, contacting presenters at the most recent Symposium, and generally drum up participation;
  4. Solicit speakers for special events, or specially invited speakers for the sessions, and ensure that each receives a written invitation to participate;
  5. Arrange with Facilities for the session room(s), set up, and audio/visual equipment;
  6. Prepare a schedule for the sessions, to be published in the Program and on the web site;
  7. Obtain abstracts and info on the authors for printing in the Program and Proceedings;
  8. Obtain the complete text of speeches for printing in the the Proceedings;
  9. Moderate the sessions. - Because this is a significant responsibility, having more than one person to handle these tasks is desirable.


  1. Arrange for all facilities and obtaining the best possible facilities with the lowest possible rates available that are consistent with the high standards set by previous Symposia.
  2. Coordinate with the Sessions Chairman and Parties/Banquet Chairman to ensure that appropriate rooms are made available and audio-visual equipment is present as needed. Sessions should all be held in close proximity, and it is preferred that lodging and restaurants be in close proximity to the Sessions. Consider also the value of having an open area close to but removed from the Sessions where attendees may gather to talk during and between the sessions.
  3. Arrange other seating, tables, equipment, hanging of banners, extension cords, podiums, sound equipment, and other functions related to preparing the facilities for the Symposium.

Field Trips: Field trips to caves, around karst areas, and on-site discussions with the cave owners/managers have been popular with participants in the past. Often a local show cave or national or state park has hosted a field trip and reception, party, or meal.

  1. Select sites which have particular relevance to cave management issues within the theme of the Symposium;
  2. Arrange for on-site speakers/presentations/guides;
  3. Organize buses or other means of transportation for participants; and
  4. Prepare a schedule for publication in the Program.

Lodging: Participants at the Symposia normally stay at 3 or 4 star hotels, with rates within the Federal Government per diem rates. A restaurant associated with the hotel is a valuable benefit (particularly for breakfasts). Some participants may want to stay at a campground; an appropriate one in the area should be identified.

  1. Identify appropriate lodging for participants, and negotiating a group rate;
  2. Provide information on the cost, contact info, and location of hotels and campgrounds (including maps and directions) to the Registration Chairman for inclusion with registration information, and to the web master. Participants normally make their own reservations at hotels.

Parties/Meals/Banquet/Morning & Afternoon Session Coffee Breaks - Gatherings during which participants have the opportunity to meet each other and talk on an informal basis are a valuable part of the Symposium.

  1. Make arrangements for these functions
  2. Details of anticipated costs provided to the Treasurer
  3. Provide information for Registration and the Program
  4. Work with any caterers and venue managers to ensure the success of these events, and accuracy of refreshments/meals supplied. Ensure accurate billing.
  5. Ensure speakers for special events are welcomed, and that their personal and professional info, speech title, and other pertinent information is provided to the Program editor and to the Chariman. Write introductions.
  6. Ensure podium, sound system, audio-visual and any other equipment needed by speakers is set up and working.

Program Editor:

  1. Collect schedules, abstracts, and other information from other members of the Organizing Committee
  2. Ensure that the Program is printed and available when participants arrive at the Symposium.

Proceedings Coordinator: To assist the Organizing Committee, an Editor for NCKMS Proceedings has been appointed by the NCKMS Steering Committee, who also arranges for printing. The costs of publishing both hard copies of the Proceedings and producing digital copies on CD, as well as postage and shipping, are covered by the Symposium. It is necessary to appoint a coordinator to

  1. obtain session papers and illustrations from authors and deliver these to the Proceedings Editor;
  2. obtain a complete list of the name, address, organization, title, and e-mail of all attendees and forward to the Editor for inclusion in the Proceedings;
  3. provide information for members of the Organizing Committee, co-sponsors, and other pertinent info;
  4. provide the Symposium logo in an appropriate format
  5. work closely with the Editor, and ensure that the Proceedings are printed as soon as possible after the Symposium; and
  6. ensure that both a hard and digital (CD) copy of the Proceedings are mailed, or delivered, to every attendee and sponsoring organization.


  1. Rides should be available to participants traveling to and from the airport. Careful coordination with those handling field trips, housing, sessions, and the banquet may be needed so that convenient transportation for participants to those locations is made available if necessary.
  2. Any necessary transportation between lodging and sessions should be arranged.

Web Master:

  1. A web site should be created and maintained for the Symposium that contains detailed, clearly organized information on the event, including: Theme development, overview of location, maps and directions, registration information and form, activities, accommodations, session schedule, call for papers, local information. The site should be kept up to date, and contain a current list of people who have pre-registered, and session papers submitted.
  2. The Symposium site should be created on the NCKMS web site. The web master should contact the NCKMS web master for access information: Robert Sewell

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Budget and Finance
  1. The budget for the Symposium should be prepared as early as possible so registration fees can be set (see "Time Line"). The Symposia are expected to be self-supporting through registration fees and co-sponsor contributions. A sample budget is attached as Appendix C: Budget Sample - (Excel Format).
  2. Organizers should set fees so that all anticipated costs are covered and, whenever possible, retain the flexibility to drop one or more of the less significant activities if registration does not exceed the break-even point.
  3. A pre-registration discount encourages participants to commit early, which helps to cover costs incurred prior to the Symposium (deposits for facilities, etc.), and provides and idea of attendance. Pre-registration returns can help to determine the number of Programs and other materials needed.
  4. Take into account these Pre-registration and Registration categories when creating the budget and fee structure:
    § Full
    § Student (discounted for full time students)
    § Day Pass
    § Scholarship (no charge for registration, banquet, or other Symposium events.)
    § Co-sponsor (free registrations are included in the co-sponsorship fee. You may decide to allocate registrations out of the fees, or simply mark these as "comp" and include the total co-sponsorship fee as income.)
    § VIP
  5. The budget will include an expense line for the cost of maintaining the NCKMS web site for two years - this is how we ensure the cost is covered each year. This amount is available from the Chairman of the NCKMS Steering Committee.
  6. The Symposium budget will include the cost of printing the Proceedings and producing copies on CD. About 150 "hard" copies over what the hosts need for participants, co-sponsors, VIPs, etc, are printed for sale, and about 50 digital copies. Be sure to budget for the shipping expenses and the cost of envelopes and postage needed to mail the books to attendees.
  7. The budget must include the expenses of attendees receiving a Huppert scholarship. The NCKMS Steering Committee will provide the Symposium Treasurer funding for each awardee's lodging expenses. However, the total registration and co-sponsorship fees collected should cover the expenses of the complementary registrations that are provided with the Scholarship - such as banquet, party, and transportation costs.
  8. Seed money from the NCKMS Steering Committee is available to Organizing Committees to cover costs incurred before pre-registration fees are collected. Advise the Chairman of the Steering Committee the amount required well in advance of need. The Symposium will return the money to the NCKMS Steering Committee, as soon as possible after the event.
  9. Participants normally pay separately for all meals except for "box lunches" provided during field trips and the banquet, and any other meal that is part of the program (costs of these are included in registration). The cost of evening events may be covered in the most logical way - inclusion in the registration fee, add-on expense, co-sponsorship, or honor-system donation.
  10. Although the Symposia are not expected to earn a significant surplus, any profit returned is designated for the George Huppert Scholarship Program for future symposia attendees. Often a surplus arises from the number of co-sponsors the Organization Committee was able to obtain.
  11. Receipts should be issued every time money changes hands, and a copy kept to establish a paper trail. This will greatly help the accounting process and balancing books. All reimbursements and payments should be made only by check. Any refunds should be issued after the event - a system should be established facilitate this and ensure that there is follow-up.
  12. A secure area - a locked closet or room - is a necessity. This will be used to store a cash box , staff computers, Symposium material, etc. It is most convenient for the room to be behind or near the registration desk. The room/closet must be locked when not actually in use. Regretfully, we have had incidents of cash and other items disappearing during Symposia in the past

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  1. Co-sponsorship provides the hosts with funding to supplement registration fees as well as the loan or donation of necessary equipment and services.
  2. A schedule of co-sponsorship participation levels and benefits was created to obtain additional support in the form of cash or donation of necessary equipment, products, or services. This support can provide a good cushion of funding for the symposium. We suggest symposium organizers follow this system, modifying details as may be appropriate for local conditions. See Appendix A. Three ascending levels of cash (or in some cases in-kind) contributions are used: "Partner," "Contributing," and "Supporting." The benefits could be adjusted by the Organizing Committee to suit its needs or local situation.
  3. Each level brings co-sponsors increased exposure during the Symposium, as well as additional complementary guest registrations. Exposure should include display space, banners, recognition in the program and Proceedings, recognition during formal group events, and any other means the Organizing Committee may feel is appropriate and worthwhile for their event.
  4. Co-sponsorship is offered to the other agencies and interest groups involved with the Organizing Committee, to the members of the Steering Committee, and is sought from organizations, businesses, agencies, and professional organizations.
  5. Organizations/agencies providing items or services key to success of the Symposium, for example donating or providing AV equipment, transportation, printing, mailing, refreshments, and staff/members' time, should also be given Co-sponsor status.
  6. Each member of the Steering Committee should receive information on co-sponsorship opportunities, and co-sponsors of past Symposia should be contacted when appropriate.
  7. Organizations, businesses, professional societies, agencies, show caves, and service providers in the region where the Symposium will be held who have a relationship to water, karst, resource management and planning, should also be contacted and given information on the NCKMS, and the benefits of co-sponsorship.
  8. It is worthwhile to contact local businesses, such as distributors of bottled water, soft drinks, who may be interested in having their products exposed to/used by a professional crowd for a week. (Be willing to accept in-kind donations of product rather than cash - for example, bottled water for the attendees during the week's sessions, or providing an event, meal, or activity.)
  9. A personal meeting with a potential co-sponsor has more impact than a cold-call letter, and a personal connection through someone associated with the organizing committee often works best. Remember that businesses may need to budget and plan for co-sponsorship funding and material, and should be approached at least a full year before the Symposium.
  10. It is best to encourage participation, be flexible, and reward generously (but fairly) with recognition, rather than enforce hard and fast rules.

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  1. Pre-registration and Registration categories should include:
    § Full
    § Student (discounted for full time students)
    § Day Pass (the price of this may vary depending on whether the price of a special event is included. If events are not included, then these would need to be purchased separately. )
    § Staff (The Chairman/Organization Committee may offer this as a concessionary amount or complimentary, as they may see fit, depending on participation.)
    § Scholarship (no charge for registration)
    § Co-sponsor (complementary registration is included with co-sponsor fee)
    § VIP Guest (no charge, however completing a registration form provides a record, and name tag)
  2. Registration forms (see current Symposium on-line registration form) should include:
    § Special needs, including options for vegetarian meals, dietary restrictions, wheelchair accessibility
    § Field trip options and prices, if any
    § Arrival method, and whether airport transportation is needed
    § Special pre- and post symposium events: Sign-up, price if any
    § T-shirt/Polo shirt size and the option of purchasing in advance, if these are being made.
    § Purchase of Proceedings for those attending on a day pass (Be sure the name and address is collected and added to a Proceedings recipient list for later use)
    § Banquet or other special event tickets (primarily for those attending on a day pass, or spouses/friends of volunteer staff)
    § NCKMS and Symposium logos
  3. Registration forms should be available on the Symposium web site both for downloading and for on-line registration, as well at the Registration desk. There will be walk-ins and people attending for a day.
  4. Name tags should be computer generated and printed for a professional look. The attendee's name and organization or agency represented should be included, and large enough to be easily read from a reasonable distance. The Symposium logo may be included. The capability to create and print new name tags, and make changes to existing ones, needs to be available to the registration staff.
  5. Establish a registration desk at a convenient point where attendees will pass en route to the sessions. It is strongly suggested that a computer and printer be set up at the registration desk area. A photocopying machine at registration or one nearby that the staff may use will also prove helpful.
  6. A secure area - a locked cupboard or room -- is a necessity needed for storing money, staff computers, Symposium material, etc. It is most convenient for this to be behind or near the registration desk. The room must be locked when not actually in use. Regretfully, we have had incidents of missing cash and other items during Symposia in the past.
  7. A large white board and/or bulletin board on an easel should be set up near the registration desk or other prominent area for notices/information for attendees. The hosts may want to post large notices and reminders for attendees, and individuals may want to post notes for other attendees. It will be helpful to have notepaper and push pins or tape at the registration desk.
  8. Prepare a registration packet to give to each attendee upon arrival. This should contain: Name tag, Symposium Program, T-shirt if ordered, any announcements or schedule changes, and brochures from Sponsor and Co-sponsor organizations. The registration pack may also include a map of town, material from the tourist board, discount coupons.
  9. Arrangements should be made to provide complementary registration/day passes and name tags at the registration desk to invited guests, such as press, local officials, teachers, and other people in the community or VIPs.
  10. It is very important to schedule several registration staff to cover the registration desk the first two days of the Symposium, when the desk will be very busy. After this, the desk needs to be manned at all times by at least one person to issue day passes, replace lost name tags and programs, answer questions, sell t-shirts, provide schedule updates, and maintain the message board. The registration desk becomes the nerve center for the Symposium, and should be ready to answer questions, provide directions, accept lost and found items, pass/post messages, provide last minute information and schedule changes, and other such services to attendees.

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Participant List

  1. On the Thursday of the Symposium, Registration should prepare a complete list of the name, address, organization, title, and e-mail of all attendees and distribute it to the participants.
  2. A copy also should be provided to the Symposium Proceedings editor, so that it may be included in the Proceedings.

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Scholarship Program

  1. The NCKMS Steering Committee established the George Huppert Scholarship Program to assist individuals with the expense of attending a Symposium. A sub-committee, who receives and reviews applications, and selects recipients, administers the program.
  2. The Symposium Treasurer should advise the NCKMS Steering Committee Chairman of lodging cost for each scholarship awardee. The sub-committee needs this information to determine the number of scholarships that may be awarded within the program budget, and to pay the Symposium Treasurer. (Advise arranging for awardees share rooms to maximize the number of scholarships distributed.)
  3. The scholarship program is open to all those involved in cave and karst management, and may be used to encourage papers as well as attendance. For example, students, people new to cave management, cave and land conservancy members, Federal and state employees involved in cave management, and individuals with limited financial resources would all be eligible to receive scholarships.
  4. Scholarship funding will cover lodging costs, and Symposium registration fees will be waived. Each scholarship recipient would be responsible for additional expenses, including transportation and food.
  5. No money is given to the scholarship recipients. Instead, lodging will be billed to or covered directly by the Symposium. The NCKMS Steering Committee will cover this expense from the scholarship program. Symposium registration is complementary.
  6. The George Huppert Scholarship Program should be mentioned on the Symposium web page, marketing material, and registration form, with a URL link provided to the information and application form on the NCKMS web site.
  7. Further information and Scholarship Committee members are available on the NCKMS web site.

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While the requirements of each Symposium have differed, depending on the activities planned, the following facilities are ideal:

  1. An airport with excellent connections within an hour's drive of the meeting site.
  2. One or more nearby hotels/motels which can house all the participants.
  3. A public campground for any participants wishing to camp.
  4. Restaurant(s) serving breakfast as well as other meals within walking distance of the meeting site.
  5. Meeting room(s) capable of holding all the participants. The room should contain comfortable seats for the audience, preferably at tables or behind desks; a podium; a microphone system; good lighting; effective temperature control; a large projection screen with associated slide and digital projectors and front-of-room controls; and at least two long tables capable of seating three or four people on a side for panel discussions. It should be possible to darken the room for audio-visual programs. Be sure to know how to make adjustments to the sound system, temperature controls, lights, etc.
  6. One or more smaller meeting rooms for "break-out" and concurrent sessions, depending upon the schedule requirements.
  7. An area or room convenient to the sessions area where attendees may gather to talk between sessions or during sessions in which they are not taking part. This provides opportunities for the very important networking aspect of the Symposium. The activity and noise in this area should not interfere with the sessions.
  8. One or more rooms for poster displays for the organizations, preferably in a high-traffic area. The room(s) should have tables and space for free-standing displays. The room(s) must be convenient to the meeting room(s) and securable at night. If all the sessions are held in one large room, the displays and posters may be set up along its walls. Displays and posters could also be set up in the area planned for attendees to mingle between and during sessions in which they are not participating.
  9. An area for the NSS Bookstore and Speleobooks to set up. It is preferable for these to be in close and open proximity to the sessions and general gathering areas. If one large room is used for sessions, the bookstores may be included at the back of the room. These bookstores provide a service to attendees, and should be encouraged, and conveniently positioned. A reasonable fee may be charged. Requests by other vendors should be considered individually on the merits of the products, the vendor, and the value to the Symposium.
  10. A banquet room for dinner Thursday evening, with any audio-visual equipment required by the speaker.

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  1. A Call for Papers must be created and circulated. (Sample attached: Appendix B)
    § The Sessions Chairman should work closely with the Proceedings Editor to ensure that appropriate formats, style and other notes are included in the Call.
    § Copies should be broadcast widely and frequently during the year preceding the deadline.
    § Copies should be forwarded to the last Symposium's attendees and presenters and to the NCKMS Steering Committee.
    § A copy should be forwarded to each of the previous year's attendees and authors.
    § A copy should be included on the Symposium web page.
  2. In order to provide a diversity of topics as well as up-to-date cave management information, Symposium organizers should give special attention to inviting papers/speakers who can provide participants with information on current issues and current techniques, and those whose expertise fall within the theme of the Symposium.
  3. It is advisable to attempt to obtain a copy of papers to be presented prior to the Symposium, or at least immediately after the paper has been presented. This saves the oft-required hounding of authors after the Symposium is over.
  4. Ensure that appropriate audio/ visual equipment, microphone and sound system are available for each of the sessions, and that someone is available who knows how to use it.
  5. Those presenting papers are each allotted approximately fifteen or twenty minutes (15 for the paper and 5 min. for questions). The hosts must decide on the allotment, depending on the number of papers accepted, and the general schedule. It is important that the presenters are informed of their time limit prior to the Symposium, and imperative that session moderators keep presenters to this limit.
  6. Some Symposia have held concurrent sessions should the number of available speakers allow. Sometimes breakout sessions on specific topics, such as geology or biology have been held. While this system permits more papers to be presented, it also frustrates the attendees who would like to attend every session. The organizing committee should determine what would work best within their schedule.
  7. Panel discussions and opportunities for question-and-answer sessions have proved valuable for some topics. Evening "cracker barrel" sessions, to informally discuss issues have been well received.
  8. While breakfast, lunch, and most dinners are the responsibility of the attendees, morning and afternoon session breaks should be provided. These might include coffee, soft drinks, and perhaps fruit and other snacks.
  9. Sample Schedule

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Field trips

  1. Field trips offer a welcome change of pace to formal sessions. Transportation on these trips should encourage group interaction through the use of coaches or vans whenever possible. Box lunches should be provided, with the cost covered in the registration fee. The distance traveled should be minimized whenever possible, giving participants the maximum amount of time at each site. Remember that it is difficult to keep a large group on a tight schedule.
  2. Sites should be selected which especially illustrate cave management techniques and problems. A cave owner or manager or other speaker should be present at each site to provide background information and to answer questions.
  3. More than one field trip can be scheduled concurrently to allow participants to select trips that best fit their needs/interests. The other side of this is that attendees become frustrated with many field trip options and only being able to join one or two. If a field trip is only suitable for a group smaller than the whole, then perhaps two trips could be offered in the morning and the same two in the afternoon.
  4. Pre- and post-Symposium trips of various durations may be arranged for attendees. These trips can be guided or self-guided and may include discounted prices for nearby commercial caves.
  5. Most participants at the Symposia are not cavers and do not have caving equipment. Many are interested in caving, however, and, when possible, organizers should provide the opportunity for an easy and minimum-length (less than four hours) cave trip at a time which does not conflict with other significant activities. If this is done, equipment must be provided.

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  1. Arrangements should be made for group rates at a hotel or hotels, and the contact and pricing information provided in the Symposium marketing material and on the web page.
  2. Using one hotel for both the meeting rooms and lodging is the most convenient arrangement. If this isn't practical, then the main hotel should be in close proximity - preferably walking distance - to the meeting rooms. People often need to return to their rooms during the day, and the practicality of this must be considered when planning the Symposium.
  3. Housing costs should be kept as low as possible to stay within the daily allowance of agency staff, and to encourage participation by members of private interest groups. Group rates should be obtained at hotels and should not exceed the government agency per diem rate. Steering Committee Agency representatives will be happy to discuss this with you.
  4. Participants normally make their own reservations for hotel rooms, and are responsible for covering the costs. The hosts should have the hotel block rooms for the symposium at the special rate.
  5. Private campgrounds should be identified for individuals preferring to camp.

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Most participants fly to the Symposium site; however, many do rent cars to provide their own transportation to the meeting site.

  1. Group transportation should be available whenever possible to encourage informal discussions between participants, and assist those without cars.
  2. Transportation between the airport and the meeting site should be offered to participants, or information on a hotel bus provided.
  3. Transportation at the site should be made available as needed (for example, if restaurants, the hotel, or banquet venue are not within walking distance of the meeting site.)

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The Symposium Program provides information on the week's schedule and all activities.

  1. This is an important publication of the Symposium and should have a professional appearance, be easy to use, and contain accurate information. Often organizers have found that the schedule will change at the last minute, and that printing of the Program is best delayed until the week before the Symposium in order to reflect those changes.
  2. At a minimum, the Program should contain:
    § A welcoming message from the Symposium Chairman;
    § A timeline of events/program schedule;
    § A simple map of the town locating major facilities to be used;
    § A description of all field trips, including information on where and when to meet;
    § Abstracts of all presentations with the names and pertinent information of all presenters
    § A list of co-sponsors, their logos if appropriate/available, and any promotional space allowed.
    § A list of Symposium staff, others who are helping to make the event a success, and organizations/agencies participating on the Organizing Committee (Co-hosts).
    § The Symposium logo on the cover, the NCKMS logo on the title or other appropriate page.
  3. Presenting the Program in a loose-leaf notebook rather than as a bound publication has been well accepted. This also benefits the Symposium organizers by allowing pages to be printed at different times, and last minute page changes easily accommodated. In addition, attendees are able to insert handouts that may accompany presentations and other information into the binder. Attendees appreciate pockets on the inside cover(s).

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  1. The Proceedings of the Symposium contains the complete text, accompanied by pictures and graphics/tables, of all presentations given at the meeting. It is issued in both a soft bound "hard" copy, and a digital copy on CD. Participants receive both. The Proceedings is a quality publication and is appreciated by collectors as well as those interested in the information it contains. Remember that the presentations given at the Symposium often provide the best information available on cave management, and the Proceedings is the best way to disseminate this knowledge to cave managers not attending the Symposium.
  2. Timeliness in publishing the Proceedings after the Symposium is important. Ensuring that papers are submitted by a deadline and keeping a tight schedule will require significant discipline. The goal is to have the Proceedings distributed to all attendees within six months of the Symposium, and to have them available for sale before the following year's NSS Convention.
  3. The NCKMS Steering Committee publishes the Symposia Proceedings, however the Organizing Committee is responsible for ensuring that the papers, diagrams, and other necessary information are collected and delivered to the Editor in an agreed on format as soon after the Symposium as possible.
  4. NCKMS Proceedings Editor: Tom Rea 8677 S State Road 243 Cloverdale IN 46120-9696 tomrea@ccrtc.com
  5. The cost of publishing the Proceedings, as well as associated shipping and mailing expenses, is included in the Symposium Budget, and covered by Symposium income. The Proceedings usually has a two-color cover, while inside pictures and diagrams are printed in black-and-white. CDs are packaged in a soft cover. Cost estimates may be obtained from the Proceedings Editor for budgeting purposes.
  6. The Organizing Committee is responsible for distributing both a hard and digital copy of the Proceedings immediately after publication to qualifying attendees and those who purchased a copy in advance, as well as to sponsors, staff, other people who helped make the symposium a success, and any key local agency and resource management professionals not attending.

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  1. Publicity for the Symposium should be sought through the broadest range of outlets to encourage a wide spectrum of participation. This is a task that takes a lot of time and research, and could best be accomplished by a small team of people.
  2. A Symposium web page should be created on the NCKMS web site 15-18 months before the event, (some professionals must budget in advance to attend, and plan ahead.) and linked to the web pages of Steering Committee member organizations. The web page should eventually contain all pertinent information about the event, registration forms, deadlines, contact names and email addresses, call for papers, maps, etc, and be kept up to date.
  3. Representatives of each group/agency participating on the Organizing Committee should be asked to submit an e- and snail mailing list of individuals who might have particular interest in the Symposium. They also should be asked to circulate publicity through their own outlets, and place a link to the Symposium web page on their web sites. The NCKMS Steering Committee Chairman can distribute the information to those groups participating on the Steering Committee. (The Committee members will assist in circulating information within their organizations/agencies. Don't hesitate to contact them.)
  4. At a minimum, pre-registration forms and information should be sent to these organizations and agencies, with a letter asking for them to make the material available to their staff or members. It is recommended that articles be contributed to the organization's print and electronic newsletters and magazines, and a short piece with the Symposium URL for linking purposes be provided for posting on the organization's web site. This can often be done electronically, and is likely to be the preferred method. For example:
    § Bureau of Land Management (national and regional offices)
    § Forest Service (national and regional offices)
    § National Park Service (national office and all National Parks dealing with caves)
    § National Speleological Society:
    - NSS News Editor [a note in the Calendar as well as an article prepared by Publicity with a pre-registration form]
    - NSS on-line calendar, and
    - the Chairs of the Conservation Committee, Cave Management Committee, Cave Management Committee
    § Regional and state Cave Conservancies
    § American Cave Conservation Association
    - American Caves editor [a note in the Calendar as well as an article prepared by Publicity with a pre-registration form]
    § Cave Research Foundation
    § The Nature Conservancy (national office and any state chapters known to be managing caves)
    § Karst Waters Institute
    § Bat Conservation International
    - Bats Editor [a note for the Calendar as well as an article prepared by Publicity with a pre-registration form]
    § National Parks and Conservation Association
    § Tennessee Valley Authority
    § National Caves Association (request mailing list)
    § State departments of environmental protection and state parks known to be involved with cave management. Professional water and geological organizations.
    § Owners of local show caves
    § Owners of local privately-owned caves
    § Local NSS Grottos, and chapters of other conservation and caving organizations.
  5. A master mailing list for publicity has been developed by recent Symposia Organizing Committees and is passed on to each new Committee. The Organizing Committee is responsible for ensuring that the list is maintained and updated as corrections and additional information are received. All bulk mailings should carry an address correction request so that old addresses can be purged or corrected. The list should be kept in a usable computerized format and transferred to the next Organizing Committee at least one year prior to the next Symposium. Suggest that correspondence be done by email when possible.
  6. In addition to traditional promotion media, use of the Internet and e-mail distribution lists should be used.

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NSS BOG Meeting Option

  1. On several occasions, Symposium Organizers have hosted the Fall meeting of the NSS Board of Governors on the Saturday after the Symposium, or worked with the local NSS grotto to do so using the facilities and lodging arranged for the Symposium.
  2. This provides an additional opportunity to highlight the Organizers and region's accomplishments, issues, and programs, and field trips may be arranged for the Friday afternoon and/or Sunday following the meeting.
  3. Many NSS Board members and committee chairmen attend the NCKMS, so this is a good arrangement for them as well.
  4. Details on bidding to host a BOG meeting should be discussed with the NCKMS Steering Committee Chairman (the NSS representative on the committee).

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Interface with NCKMS Steering Committee Chairman

  1. It is important for the Symposium Chairman to stay in touch with the Steering Committee Chairman as the symposium plans develop. The Chairs should review together schedules, field trip plans, the budget, progress against timelines, and overall plans as they develop, as well as develop ideas. There are many nuances and details that no doubt are not included in these guidelines, yet have been gained through attending Symposia, working with other hosts, and receiving feedback from attendees. Do not hesitate to contact the Committee Chairman with questions or policy issues.
  2. The Steering Committee expects from the Symposium Chairman and the Organizing Committee: - Complete reports at its meetings - Financial reports at its meetings and at other times as requested - Effective communication between the two chairmen - Fiscal responsibility - Dedication to providing a professional-quality, well managed event in keeping with NCKMS traditions, expectations and these guidelines.
  3. The Symposium Chairman can expect from the Steering Committee Chairman: - Effective communication - Effective liaison on behalf of the hosts with the Steering Committee, Proceedings Editor, NCKMS Webmaster, and other associates - Input and feedback on ideas and materials - Arranging and providing effective support for the Organization Committee as is possible.

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Organizational Timeline

Assuming that one Symposium is held in October of one year, and the next Symposium is being planned for October two years in the future, the following timeline provides guidance for deadlines for tasks to be completed:

Two Years in Advance:

Prepare bid for future Symposium (identify Chairman; have a good idea of site, facilities to be used, theme, field trip options, and volunteers available); submit outline to the Chairman of the Steering Committee one month prior to the NSS Convention.
NSS Convention
Attend Steering Committee meeting prepared to answer questions. If your bid is accepted, thenn:
Attend Symposium; help and learn! Obtain info for key host staff so your staff may contact them for assistance in planning.
One Year in Advance

Identify volunteers and assign tasks;
Complete initial negotiations for all facilities; complete a draft outline of events/field trips; complete draft budget, including registration fee structure. Inform Chairman of Steering Committee of preferred date for Symposium for Committee approval.
Approach potential co-sponsors
NSS Convention
Attend Steering Committee meeting and report progress; finalize dates of the Symposium, if this has not already been done. Prepare a flier or display the Convention promoting the Symposium.
Immediately Following NSS Convention
Send announcement of Symposium dates and name/address/phone of contact person (Registration) to NSS News, the Steering Committee for distribution, the NSS on-line calendar, the UIS international calendar on-line, etc.
Web page/site for the event should be established by now, to effectively communicate information about the symposium and provide necessary forms.
Complete final negotiations for all facilities; finalize outline of events/ field trips; finalize budget; initiate solicitation of speakers and call for papers.
Approach/follow up potential co-sponsors
Year of the Symposium:

First mailing/notice of publicity and call for papers; draft article for NSS News to be published in the April or May issue. (Deadline is 6 weeks before the month of issue.)
February 1
Registration form available, circulated, and announced through Internet avenues.
April 1
Second publicity shot; final solicitation of papers.
Obtain final commitments from speakers; draft detailed schedule for Program; Email presenters a reminder of Proceedings style sheet and electronic file formats for their papers - refer them to the Symposium web site.
Third publicity shot especially to encourage registrations.
NSS Convention
Attend Steering Committee meeting and report progress and financial status.
Publicity at Convention - fliers, display, etc.
September 1
Deadline for pre-registration discount.
September 15
Deadline for abstracts (and papers?). Initiate final layout of Program.
One week prior
Program to printer.
Symposium. Attend Steering Committee meeting and report on Symposium, especially financial status.
December 1
Deadline for papers. The earlier the deadline the better, since the sooner the Proceedings are out the better. Papers forwarded to Proceedings Editor
Return advance of funds to NCKMS Steering Committee
Following Year

March 1
Proceedings Editing and layout completed
April 1
Proceedings shipped to Organizers for distribution to attendees
Close books as soon as reasonable.
Close bank account and forward surplus funds to NCKMS Steering Committee
NSS Convention
Attend Steering Committee meeting and report financial status.

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Symposium Schedule

The types of activities included in Symposia have varied widely. The more successful events have varied formal sessions with field trips, heavily interspersed with informal opportunities for participants to meet each other and exchange views. An example of a basic schedule for a Symposium follows. Refer to the web pages for current and past Symposiums for more ideas.

  Noon   Registration opens  
  All day   Variety of short pre-Symposium field trips and self-guided activities/workshops  
  5:00 pm   Informal social activity, speaker, or program (pre-dinner, or an informal dinner can be included on the program)  
  8:30 am   Welcome and introductions by Coordinator and Chair; announcements  
  9:00 am   Sessions with refreshment break  
  Noon   Lunch  
  1:30 pm   Sessions with refreshment break  
  5:00 pm   Meeting of the Steering Committee  
  7:30 pm   Howdy Party/reception  
  9:00 am   Field Trip(s) (all day) (Field trips could also be offered on the afternoons of two days)  
  9:00 am   Sessions with refreshment break  
  Noon   Lunch  
  1:30 pm   Sessions with refreshment break  
  6:30 pm   Banquet and guest speaker or program; announcement of coming Symposium (distribution of materials by Organizing Committee); final closing ceremonies and program  
  9:00 am   Sessions  
  Noon   Close  

- Note that many attendees from agencies and other management professionals leave the Symposium midday Friday in order to return home Friday night. If sessions are scheduled for Friday afternoon, whenever possible they should be of specific interest to smaller sub-groups of attendees. Friday afternoon and Monday are good times to schedule workshops, such as those offered by BCI and Project Underground.

- While breakfast, lunch, and most dinners are the responsibility of the attendees, morning and afternoon breaks should be provided, which might include coffee, soft drinks, and perhaps fruit and other snacks.

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Appendix A: Co-Sponsorship

  Host Organization:
1) Recognition in Program and Proceedings
2) Basic Space in Exhibit Hall
  (Organizing Committee)  
  Sponsors: The NCKMS Steering Committee:
1) Recognition in Program and Proceedings
2) Basic Space in Exhibit Hall
  The National Speleological Society (Chair)
American Cave Conservation Association
Bat Conservation International
Cave Research Foundation
Karst Waters Institute
National Caves Association
The Nature Conservancy
National Park Service
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service

$250 Level. Benefits:
1) Recognition in Program and Proceedings
2) Basic Space in Exhibit Hall
3) One Symposium registration
4) Organization listing on NCKMS Web Page
$500 Level, Includes:
1) Recognition in Program and Proceedings
2) Extended Space in Exhibit Hall
3) Signs/Banner at Registration or sponsored event
4) Two Symposium registrations
5) Organization listing on NCKMS Web Page and 1 outside link
  Supporting Sponsor
$1,000 and up, Includes:
1) Recognition in Program and Proceedings
2) Premium Space in Exhibit Hall
3) Four Symposium registrations, including Wednesday field trip
4) Signs/Banners at Registration, Banquet, Refreshment Breaks, Reception and recognition at sponsored event
5) Inclusion of promotional or other material in registration packages
6) Organization listing on 1999 NCKMS Web Page, logo placement on first page and up to 2 outside links

Signs, Banners, and Promotional Material: Must be provided by sponsor. Limit ## banner and/or ## signs per venue. Supporting Sponsors may display at multiple venues. Promotional or other items to be included in registration packages (Supporting Sponsors only) must be received by (date).

Power requirements and special equipment must be requested in advance. No telephone lines will be available.

Questions regarding sponsorship? Call 555-555-5555.


20XX National Cave and Karst Management Symposium
Co-sponsor Application

Deadline MM/DD, 20XX

Organization ______________________________________________________________________

Contact Person: ___________________________________________________________________

Address: __________________________________________________________________________

Phone: _________________ FAX: ________________ e-mail: ___________________

Co-sponsor Levels (select one):

Partner ($250)      Contributing ($500)      Supporting ($1,000 and above)

Make checks payable to: 20XX National Cave and Karst Management Symposium and mail to:


Please Print
Exhibit Space Requirements: _________________________________________________________

Display Space: (At Registration) (In Exhibit Hall) (Both Registration and Exhibit Hall)

Audio/Visual Requirements: __________________________________________________________

Web: Listing: ______________________________________________________________________
URL Link: _______________________________________________________________________

Logo Graphic: (Will Supply) (Enclosed) (Locate on web at: ___________________________)

Logo: ___ Digital image included ___ Digital image may be obtained from:_________

Other Special Requirements: _________________________________________________________

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Appendix B
Sample Call for Papers

2003 NCKMS

Call for Papers

The theme for this symposium is "Protecting the Aquifer in Karst Regions", however, we would encourage authors to submit papers on all related topics to the management of caves & karst resources. Presentations should be planned with a five-minute questions & answers period. Long presentations will be considered based on available time. If you would be interested in chairing a session or panel discussion, please contact us as early as possible to make arrangements.

Abstracts must include all authors names, title of the paper, a brief biographical sketch of the primary author (maximum 150 words), and an abstract of the paper, (maximum of 250 words). Submitted material should also include telephone number & e-mail address for correspondence. Please include any requests for audio-visual equipment. Special needs will require sufficient advance notice. Material may be submitted by e-mail or camera-ready hardcopy, but a disk is preferred. Abstracts or questions regarding the program should be directed to Michael Poucher, at: mpoucher@cavesurvey.com, or by calling at (h) 352-840-0167. The deadline for submitting abstracts and biographical sketches is August 15, 2003.

In addition to the oral presentations, space will be available for poster presentations. The displays may be used for case studies, cave and karst management methodologies, findings of research projects or other topics. There will be a designated time for authors to be available to answer questions. Poster space is limited to a maximum of six linear feet, including text and illustrations.

Paper Submission Guidelines

Our goal is to have the conference proceedings ready to hand out at the 2003 conference. For this reason, the deadline for submitting final papers for publication in the Symposium Proceedings is August 15, 2003.


  • Text must be submitted in any modern word processor format however Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect is preferred. Paragraph formatting and fonts can be at your discretion. Bold face and italics will carry over.
  • The first page of the paper must include: full name of paper; name, address, phone number and e-mail of all of the authors in the order that they should appear; and the topic of the session where it will be presented.
  • Short biographies of each author may be included at the end of the paper.
  • End-note works cited and place the notes at the end of the paper just before any author biographies.
  • Authors are asked to conform to the Publications Style Guide of the NSS Special Publications Committee. Papers will be edited consistent with this Guide and to conform to standard American English, including:
    • Date format: Month day, year.
    • Periods and commas always placed inside quote marks.
    • Comma before the "and" in a series. It always makes meaning clearer
  • Avoid acronyms and abbreviations, except those that are so universal that they have become words (such as GPS.) Most government agencies do not fit into this category.
  • Avoid Latin abbreviations (eg, ie, etc, cf). Use English (for example, that is, compare to).


  • Graphics must be submitted as files separate from the papers text. Do not submit them embedded in the Word or WordPerfect document. Preferred placement of figures or photos can be indicated in the hard copy, but do not imbed them into the digital copy.


  • Preferred format: TIFF with a resolution at least 200 dots per inch.
  • Also acceptable: JPEG files from digital cameras that are at least two megapixels.
  • Do not submit compressed JPEG files or a JPEG file that has been converted to TIFF.
  • Do not submit the only copy of graphics as a Power Point program. Sometimes complex drawings do not extract properly.

Maps and Line Art:

  • Line art (no shades of black) preferred format: PMT, TIFF, laserprint or clean photocopy. If the art was drawn on the computer, we can most likely work with the original source file, which will result in the cleanest printing


  • Submit papers on a 3 1/2-inch floppy disk, CD-ROM, or 100 megabyte Zip Disk. Older Bernoulli disks up to 250 megabytes are also acceptable.
  • Be sure to write the first authors name and papers title on the disk. Multiple articles by the same author may be saved on the same disk, however this must be indicated on the disk.
  • Include a hard copy of the paper to help us reproduce illustration placements as closely as the format of the book will allow.
  • Refer to the Proceedings for 1999 or 2001 NCKMS to see the format in which your paper will be published.
  • * Submit your paper promptly. Production of the Proceedings must progress and it does neither you nor your organization any great honor to be represented by an abstract only.


If you have any questions about formatting, please contact Tom Rea, Proceedings Editor, by email or Telephone: (765) 653-4423


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