Cave Fest 2010


Saturday and Sunday November 13 and 14 Kartchner Caverns State Park hosts Cave Fest 2010.  All events are free to the public with payment of the standard $6 per car park entry fee or with a tour reservation.


Events begin Saturday morning at 9:30 AM with a welcome from Park Superintendent Dave Pawlik and State Park Research and Science Manager Dr. Robert Casavant.  Cave Fest celebrates the anniversary month of the grand opening of the park. 

This year more than twenty-four (24) guest speakers share the excitement of scientific exploration and discovery with the public.  Talks are offered at half hour intervals wrapping up at 4 pm Saturday, resuming at 8:45 AM Sunday and ending at 4:40 PM.

Cave Fest is part of the park’s and agency’s mission for continuing scientific exploration and discovery, science-informed management of park operations and resources, cave conservation and promotion of public education and scientific literacy.

The more than two dozen talks will be given by leading scientists, researchers, and agency managers.

The topics of scientific discovery and exploration are extremely varied and interdisciplinary in their nature.  From the intimate world of cave bacteria and cave formations, to new discoveries of fungi communities, tiny cave invertebrates, interesting behaviors and occurrences of bats that call Kartchner Caverns “home” as well as a number of talks on the natural and cultural resources at the park and across the landscape that supports the caverns, all available in either The Tenen-Tufts Theater inside the Discovery Center or in the covered breezeways leading to the Discovery Center.

The Big Room will be open for tours with reservations.  Tours are $22.95 for adults and 12.95 for children over age 7.  For tour reservation call (520) 586-2283 between 8 AM and 5PM daily.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, November 13th, 2010
  • 9 am: Archaeology of KCSP: Transitions & Partnerships in the Making            J Moss (NPS)
  • 9:30 am: The “Muscle” Behind Developing KCSP     C Duncan (ASP)
  • 10 am: The Bacterial Communities of Kartchner Caverns: Who Knew?                   J Neilson/A Legatzki (UA)
  • 10:30 am: Environmental Affairs of Kartchner Caverns                                          M Kumiega and H Lauchstedt (ASP)
  • 11 am: White-nose Syndrome and Bat Conservation in Arizona                                    A McIntyre (AZDGF)
  • 11:30 am: The Gila Monster Mash: Grandest Lizard of the Southwest                  C.Schwalbe (USGS, UA)
  • Noon to 1:00 pm lunch break
  • 1 pm: Stewarding for Success: Lessons from a Volunteer Program                             N Armstrong/M Murphy (ASP)
  • 1:30 pm: Programs, Challenges, & Partnerships – The Coronado Nat’l Forest  R Gerhart/G Fredricks (USFS)
  • 2 pm: Taming the Beast – Stewarding Resources Through Park Maintenance        J Caputo/P Knotts (ASP)
  • 2:30 pm: Institute for Desert Ecology:       A Partnership At Work                                     M Brooks/B Casavant (Audubon, ASP)
  • 3 pm: Those Bats of Kartchner Caverns: Discovery Continues                                         R Sidner/D Buecher (UA, BBC)
  • 3:30 pm: Insights of a Park Concessionaire & Corporate Partner           A Johansen (Aramark)
  • 4 pm: The Scuttlebutt on “Fun Guys” (Fungi) at Kartchner Caverns                          J Vaughn/KC Curtis (UA, ASP)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

  • 9:40 am: Welcome Back                   D Pawlik/B Casavant (ASP)
  • 10:00 am: Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan - Partnering on Protection of Heritage and Natural Resources in SE Arizona           B Powell (Pima Cty)
  • 10:30 am: UA Eller Business College-Dorrance Scholarship Program: Principles of  Entrepreneurship—A Park Exercise      M Mars, S Renteria, L Anderson (UA)
  • 11:00 am: Sky Islands of Cochise County: Insights and Challenges  - Opportunities in Disguise                              R Mondt (Sky Island Alliance)
  • 11:30 am: Re-inventorying the Tiny Invertebrate World of Kartchner Caverns    B Pape/S Willsey (UA, ASP)
  • noon to 1:00pm Lunch Break
  • 1:00 pm: Conserving the Night Sky of Cochise County                                                B Gent (ASP RIM Scientist)
  • 1:30 pm: An Insider’s Summary of Cave Maintenance at Kartchner Caverns              G Nolan/S Crye (KCSP)
  • 2:00 pm: Getting “Wired Up” about the Geohydrology of Kartchner Caverns            B Sejkora/R Casavant (ASP)
  • 2:30 pm: The Friends of Kartchner Caverns: Past, Present & Future                  L Perez-Hewitt/S Holland (FKCSP)
  • 3:00 pm: Buffelgrass: A Lasting Threat or New Face of the Sonoran Desert?              D Backer/D Swann (NPS)
  • 3:30 pm: ’09 International Congress of Speleology: International Perspectives on Kartchner caverns & The Giant Crystals of Naica Caverns, Mexico                                   R Casavant (ASP)
Sunday, November 8th, 2009
  • 9 am: Arizona State Parks Welcome
    Mark Kartchner, MD, A Family Perspective
  • 10 am: Kevin Hansen, Southwest Regional Interpreter, New Mexico State Parks, Presentation on Jaguars
  • 11 am: Gary Tenen, Co-discoverer of Kartchner Caverns
  • Noon: Break for lunch and exhibits
  • 1 pm: Debbie Buecher & Dr. Ronnie Sidner, Bat Biologists, Discussion of “pit-tag” program at park, used to monitor migration and population of resident bats
  • 2 pm: Kevin Hansen, Southwest Regional Interpreter, New Mexico State Parks, Presentation on Rattlesnakes
  • 3 pm: Dr. Robert Cassavant, Arizona State Parks and Dr. Rickard S. Toomey, National Park Service, Cave specialists will discuss 10 years of cave conservation