The National Speleological Society is the largest organization in the world dedicated to the study and exploration of caves. We're a non-profit society and are affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Our 10,000 members endorse a strong ethic of conservation and preservation of America's underground environments.
Every summer, the NSS hosts a convention where our members gather from around the world to collaborate and share information about trends in speleological science, art, literature, safety and techniques.
This fusion of science, art and social events is the highlight of our annual calendar.
The NSS has developed these brochures about the society, caves, and caving. You may freely download and print this material. Hard copies may be made available upon request.
Learn about the society's diverse programs, activities, and aspects of speleology in which members
are involved. Understand the benefits of membership in the society, and the value of membership to
caves, caving, and speleology.
This booklet discusses caves and the many elements of the sport of caving. Exploring caves is becoming
increasingly popular in all areas of the world, and caving responsibly is more important now than ever.
Discussions include safety, training, and learning to reduce the detrimental effect cavers can have on
caves and cave owner relations.
Caves are the world's most remote and fragile wilderness. They provide irreplaceable habitats for
rare plants and animals, some of which spend their entire lives in complete darkness. On its way
to our drinking supply, water often travels through caves into wells, springs, and aquifers, the
source of most of our drinking water. A cave's intricate passageways and dramatic formations offer
exquisite scenery and fascinating opportunities for research and mapping. Many caves also preserve
fragile prehistoric and historic records for millennia.
Lava tubes play important roles in our ecosystem, our history, and our culture. Caves formed in
lava are found where volcanoes have produced certain types of flowing lava - western United States,
Canary Islands, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Australia, Pacific Ocean islands, and other volcanic
hot spots. The islands of Hawaii harbor some of the world's most spectacular lava tubes.
Bats are among the most beneficial yet misunderstood mammals. They control insect populations,
pollinate cacti and tropical fruit trees, and are important to medical and scientific advances.
Sadly, bat colonies throughout the world are declining drastically as humans, intentionally and
unintentionally, endanger bats and disturb their habitats. Bats are extraordinary in a number
Information that can be passed out to cave owners, unaffiliated cavers, and others
to spread awareness of the issue. Participants at NSS conventions are required to
follow national decontamination protocols as specified by the USFWS.
Wind from the North at 4.0 MPH
Visibility 10.0 miles
Lunar illumination: 13%
Pressure: 30.11 (falling)
Abundant sunshine. High 72F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear skies. Low around 35F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.
A mainly sunny sky. High 79F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear skies. Low 41F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.
Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 79F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.
Mostly cloudy with scattered thunderstorms mainly before midnight. Low 42F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Last updated on
Mon, 22-May 11:45 am
Next to the Lehman Caves Visitor Center sits the historic Rhodes Cabin. The cabin was built in the 1920s by Clarence and Bea Rhodes, who were US Forest Service custodians of Lehman Caves at the time. It is one of several cabins built to provide accommodations for visitors to Lehman Caves. Today it contains interpretive exhibits.
Selenite, satin spar, desert rose, and gypsum flower are four varieties of the mineral gypsum; all four varieties show obvious crystalline structure. The four "crystalline" varieties of gypsum are sometimes grouped together and called selenite. All varieties, including selenite and alabaster, are composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate (meaning it has two molecules of water), with the chemical formula CaSO4 2H2O. Selenite contains no significant selenium. The similarity of names comes from both substances being named from the Ancient Greek word for the Moon.
Formed as an evaporative mineral, gypsum is frequently found in alkaline lake muds, clay beds, evaporated seas, salt flats, salt springs, and caves. Gypsum occurs on every continent and is the most common of all the sulfate minerals.