IGCP-513 Conferenza Internazionale Karst Hydrogeology and Ecosystems 2007
First Announcement: The International Conference on Karst Hydrogeology and Ecosystems (Karst2007), August 13-19, 2007 at Western Kentucky University, USA
The International Conference on Karst Hydrogeology and Ecosystems (Karst2007) will be held August 13-19, 2007 at Western Kentucky University. Sponsored by Western Kentucky University, the Patel Center for Global Solutions, the Karst Waters Institute, and the Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning, and hosted by the WKU Hoffman Environmental Research Institute, this conference is a joint meeting of the four major international karst research groups: 1) the UNESCO International Geoscience Program (IGCP) Project 513: Global Study of Karst Aquifers and Water Resources; 2) The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Karst Commission; 3) the International Geographical Union (IGU) Karst Commission, and 4) the Union Internationale de SpÃ©lÃ©ologie Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis. This follows two successful similar meetings held at WKU in 1998, attracting about 100 scientists from 17 countries, and 2003, attracting about 110 scientists from 21 countries. We expect a more diverse turnout due to the increased international participation in these projects over the last few years–IGCP Project 513 alone now has over 300 members representing 56 countries. Please see the Appendix below for information about the individual organizations and their goals. The conference website can be found at <http://hoffman.wku.edu/karst2007/k2007.html>, or easily accessed from the Hoffman Institute site at <http://hoffman.wku.edu>.
In collaboration with the Patel Center for Global Solutions, the National Cave & Karst Research Institute, the University of South Florida Libraries, the University of New Mexico Libraries, and the University of South Florida Karst Research Group, there will be a plenary session to facilitate international evolution of the emerging Karst Information Portal Initiative (see <http://www.lib.usf.edu/KIP/>)
Please note that limited funding will be made available from IGCP513 for financial conference support (i.e. registration costs, visa application fees, etc.), focusing on scientists from countries where travel funds are more difficult to obtain. We will also provide partial scholarships for students, in return for assisting conference organizers during the meeting.
For additional information, or to be added to the conference email list, please contact IGCP513 Secretary Beth Medley at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Descriptions of Participating Projects/Commissions
1) UNESCO IGCP Project 513
The International Geoscience Program (note that this program has kept the acronym IGCP from its original name, the International Geological Correlation Program; please see their website at <http://www.unesco.org/science/earth/igcp/index_igcp.html >) is a joint endeavor of UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences and operates in about 150 countries, involving several thousand scientists. It provides a multinational platform for scientists from all disciplines related to earth sciences to exchange knowledge and methodology on a multitude of geological problems of global importance.
Within the Program, IGCP Project 513: Global Study of Karst Aquifers and Water Resources (please see website at < http://hoffman.wku.edu/igcp/513.html>) takes a multidisciplinary approach to focus on applied aspects of karst water quality, with regard to ecological and human health. Specifically the two primary areas of emphasis include:
- Relation of hydrology to the function and health of karst ecosystems: Study of the occurrence, distribution, and circulation of water into, over, and through karst landscape/aquifer systems provides the most fundamental common element among the various aspects of cave and karst science. Ecosystems in karst regions are influenced by the distribution of water in the surface and subsurface, in turn resulting from the details of local hydrogeology and geomorphology.
- Water-related environmental problems in karst regions, including exploitation and protection of drinking water sources, and relation to human health: The topic of water supply in karst regions has taken on very timely significance with the recognition that as many as 25% of the worldâ€™s population obtains drinking water supplies from vulnerable karst aquifers. At the same time, karst areas often offer difficult challenges in water supply both with the quantity and quality of water sources.
2) The International Association of Hydrogeologists Karst Commission
The scientific and practical problems associated with karst phenomena focus on understanding the physical, chemical, and biological processes that control the hydrogeologic behavior of karst systems. The primary justification for organizing the IAH Karst Commission is fourfold:
- To resolve the scientific challenges and problems presented in the quest for a complete understanding of karst
- To develop and manage the various resources associated with aquifers
- To prevent and mitigate the environmental problems resulting from the special characteristics of karst systems and
- To cope with potential problems of water supply and engineering matters.
The Commission activities are in full agreement with the principal aims of the IAH to advance hydrogeological science by international cooperation between hydrogeologists and specialists in other disciplines with an interest in this field. In pursuance of these aims the Karst Commission tries by focusing on karst groundwater to initiate, encourage and promote relevant studies, promoting and organizing meetings and joint meetings with other appropriate organizations, publishing the proceedings of its special studies and scientific meetings.
3) International Geographical Union (IGU) Karst Commission
The overall aim of the IGU Karst Commission is to promote geographical research on karst areas.
Please see <http://www.uis-karst.kiev.ua/Info_Board/Var_igu3.html>.
The specific aims are:
- To advance knowledge of the ecology, geomorphology and hydrology of karst, especially in relation to the impacts of human activities
- To improve understanding of the issues involved in sustainable development of karst terrains
- To develop appropriate methodologies for the rational use of karst resources in the 21st century
Being a geographical commission the focus is on spatial and temporal aspects, and to ensure the Commissionâ€™s relevance to society continues the strong interest in practical problems such as land management, sustainable development and the use of GIS as well as studies of geomorphology and hydrology
4) Union Internationale de SpÃ©lÃ©ologie (UIS) Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
The UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis (KHS) started in 1994 as a Working Group and in 1997 UIS Congress in Switzerland was upgraded to status as a Commission by the UIS General Assembly. The overall goal for the KHS Commission is to promote scientific co-operation and research in the field of karst hydrogeology, with special emphasis to speleogenesis as the core problem of permeability development in soluble rocks and evolution of karst aquifers.
The Commission promotes research in the field of Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis in two principal ways:
- By setting up specific priority topics (specific objectives) for the period and running respective time-defined projects aimed to result in fundamental publications on these topics
- By sponsoring and organising an effective framework for communication between relevant workers via different means, including electronic and printed Circulars, newsletter, Web-pages, symposia and meetings. Towards this goal, the Commission sponsors (with UIS Karst Commission) the website speleogenesis.info: The Virtual Scientific Journal <http://www.speleogenesis.info/>, which is increasingly serving as the major international, electronic hub for communication in the physical karst sciences.