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Cave and Karst Studies

Cave and Karst Studies (CKS) in the Earth and Environmental Science (EES) Department at New Mexico Tech. focuses on the many aspects of speleological science and development of karst terrains. The program was founded in conjunction with the creation of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in Carlsbad, NM. New Mexico Tech is the major academic partner of this new national institute and provides the scholarly foundation for NCKRI.

The interdisciplinary nature of cave and karst science frequently requires students to be knowledgeable in more than one discipline, for example, hydrology and speleology or mineralogy and microbiology. The EES Department has very strong core programs in both Geology/Geochemistry and Hydrology. Students may undertake Cave and Karst Studies within either of these degree programs at the Master’s or PhD levels.

Current research efforts include

  • study of the development of karst terrains in evaporite minerals (e.g. gypsum)
  • modeling the micrometerology of caves
  • the geomicrobiology of cave deposits like moonmilk and speleosols (cave-produced soils)
  • sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) and the unique geomicrobiology of sulfur caves
  • processes of cave formation on other planets
  • development of robotics to assist in cave exploration on Earth and other bodies.

Program Brochure

Click on picture to download brochure (615 kB PDF).



For More Information Contact:

Dr. Penelope J. Boston
pboston at
(575) 835-5657
Earth and Environmental Science Dept.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801 USA

Created: ( Monday, 26 September 2011 11:19 )
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