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Seminar Series - Chris Nicola

Chris Nicola, FR ’04

On May 10, 2016, noted speleologist Chris Nicola, FR ’04 will discuss needed knowledge in cave exploration based on over 40 years of caving and leading more than 40 international expeditions. Chris will discuss cave exploration in terms of environment, principals, practices, techniques and equipment. As Chris points out, environments can range from narrow cold, wet crawlways with low air space requiring submersion in water for extended periods of time, to large dry cavernous rooms requiring either climbing high bare walls, or the rappelling in deep pits on the order of several hundred feet. Caves can contain rare fragile artifacts, snakes looking for cooler temperatures, one-of-a-kind cave-adapted organisms, toxic air pockets, or thousands of bats. Floors and walls can be solid, or teetering on collapse with just the slightest of wrong moves. But all caves are dark and remote. You might be just 40 feet below an ambulance but as much as 360 miles to the entrance giving access to that same ambulance. High humidity, airborne particulates of guano, and fatigue can lead to hypothermia, histoplasmosis, and injuries, some life threatening in nature. This ‘hands-on’ session will acquaint Members with the gear associated with ascending/descending, maneuvering, scientific collection, mapping techniques and ways to survive extended periods underground, while ensuring not only their own safety, but that of the cave itself and its contents.

Photo by Steven Duncan, Copyright Chris Nicola 2005

Exploration Seminars Program

As in the past, the Club’s more experienced and accomplished Members will address practical field needs and disciplines directly relevant to exploration. The common goal of the series is to contribute and expand field knowledge in a ‘show me how to’ format, with several sessions providing a ‘hands on’ approach.

Please note the Exploration Seminars are for Members only, without charge, but reservations are required due to limited seating in the Board Room. Members wishing to attend should call the Club Receptionist at (212) 628-8383, xt. 10, to secure space.

For further information regarding the seminars, or to suggest future topics and speakers, please contact Daniel A. Kobal, Ph.D. FE’89 directly at (718) 757-7996 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste