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 West at 3.0 MPH
Visibility 10.0 miles
Lunar illumination: 4%
Pressure: 29.83 (rising)
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the mid 20s.
Partly cloudy skies. Low near 25F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.
Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. High 41F. Winds N at 15 to 25 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.
Partly cloudy skies. Low 23F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.
Generally sunny. High 53F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph.
Mostly clear skies. Low 27F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.
Last updated on
Thu, 27-Apr 8:45 pm
Great Basin National Park is home to Lexington Arch, one of the largest limestone arches in the western United States. This six-story arch was created by the forces of weather working slowly over the span of centuries. This type of above ground limestone arch is rare.
Ely, Nevada owes its existence to the nearby porphyry copper deposits discovered early in the 20th century. At one time, the open-pit mines were the largest human-made hole on the planet.
The Nevada Northern Railroad was created to haul copper ore from Ely to the Southern Pacific Railroad to the north. At a time when the United States was heavily adopting residential electrical power, the mines at Ely, Nevada were the dominant source of copper used in transmission lines.
Although the railroad isn't used to move copper these days, it still exists as a fully-functioning museum offering short-line excursions through the mining district. And Ely's copper mine is still one of the largest employers in the county.