National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section Midwest hosted a workshop October 20th, 2018 at Hampton Inn (103 St. Robert Plaza Drive) Saint Robert, Missouri. Saint Robert is just two miles away from the site of the 2015 National Speleological Society convention that was held in Waynesville.
The workshop was preceded Friday evening by a social at Paradise Pit Caribbean Restaurant & Lounge in Saint Robert.
Thirty+ attendees from 5 different states began arriving in Pulaski County as early as Wednesday. The group heard presentations from 7 speakers, including:
Forrest Wilson (National Cave Rescue Commission Diving Officer) spoke about sump diving rescue and the Thailand cave rescue. Bill Harrison (winner Abe Davis Safe Cave Diving Award 2006) presented his 2018 Underwater Speleology article “Cave Diving and Yoga.” Zachary Klukkert, a NSS-CDS and PSAI-certified cave diver spoke about the benefits and challenges of conducting paleontological research in underwater caves. Kyle Moschell focused on Karst Underwater Research’s operations and diving. Chris Jewell recounted first-hand experiences of the 2018 Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue. Jonathan Beard, who has assisted in mapping over 550 caves and authored “Caring for Your Karst”, spoke on his Missouri Speleological Survey article ““Vadose Speleogenesis in the Pierson/Reeds Spring Formation Sequence in the Springfield Plateau and Eureka Springs Escarpment of Southwest Missouri.” Konstantin Chartkov of Ozark Cave Diving Alliance was also a speaker.
Saturday’s post-workshop activities included a gathering hosted by Odyssey Scuba and Roubidoux Grotto at an undisclosed location in Pulaski County. Attendees explored a dry cave and feasted on Sweetwater BBQ, sampled local craft brews from Piney River Brewing Company, and nibbled on homemade cookies created by local bakery Cookiez By Nourish & Nurse. Conversations, tall tales, and jokes were told around an Ozarks camp fire.
Conference attendees participated in pre and post-conference dives at Roubidoux Spring (Waynesville, MO), Boiling Spring Cave (Dixon, MO), Boiling Springs Cave (Licking, MO) and Cannonball Cave (Lake Wappapello, MO).
Other conference activities included a gear swap, door prizes, and a raffle.
Workshop sponsors included Subgravity, Dive Rite, Highline Ropes, North Florida Springs Alliance, Scubaforce, Bigblue Dive Lights, Shearwater Research, Aquatech Scuba & Travel Center, Cave Country Dive Shop, Dayo Scuba, Odyssey Scuba, Amigos Dive Center, Inner Mountain Outfitters, On Rope 1, Lake City Dive Center, and Ozark Dive Shop.
The workshop was organized by Joshua Shouse. Shouse, based in Kentucky, was assisted locally by Karen Hood, Marketing Relations Manager for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau. Shouse remarked that attendees appreciated the nearness to Roubidoux Spring & Odyssey Scuba, area hospitality, and conference room facilities.
National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section Midwest 2019 workshop is tentatively scheduled for October at Saint Robert, Missouri. Workshop dates will be announced January 2019.