The Kentucky Speleological Survey (KSS) is an organization dedicated to the study of cave and karst resources throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The KSS is affiliated with the Kentucky Geological Survey.
To further these goals the KSS gathers and archives information to be used in the conservation, research, and exploration of caves and karst. Our archives contain cave maps, survey notes, exploration photos, descriptions, GIS files, and many other forms of information. We hope that this information will aid in the discovery, survey, and mapping of caves throughout the state
As an organization, we look to work with individuals and organizations to grow our database, as well as share information with responsible parties. The Kentucky Speleological Survey takes our role in protecting caves and karst very seriously. We only share data via legitimate requests by cavers, landowners, governmental and environmental agencies. Please contact us directly for any requests or fill out the KSS information request form.
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We have a Cave Reporter App that you can use on your Apple or Android phone and can submit and document caves in the state of Kentucky.
Bill Walden Memorial Grants
The Bill Walden Memorial Grants from the Kentucky Speleological Society honors founding member Bill Walden who worked to advance caving through the exploration and survey of caves as well as aiding and mentoring aspiring cave scientists.
Grants are intended to focus on survey and science occurring in Kentucky. The grant committee will consider funding research that occurs in states adjacent to Kentucky if a reasonable argument can be made linking the research to Kentucky.
Applicants must be a member of the National Speleological Society. If an applicant is not a member of the Kentucky Speleological Society, a one-year membership will also be granted for successful applications.
Survey Grant- $150
Eligibility- all cavers
This grant may be used to support survey projects in Kentucky through the purchase of survey equipment.
Academic Grant- up to $500
Eligibility- degree-seeking individuals from an accredited university with sponsorship by an academic or research advisor
Financial need will be taken into account in the award decisions. Awards may be given to the same individual in the same year but may not be awarded in consecutive years. The KSS retains the right to not award these grants during a calendar year.
Awardees are required to provide results of their project through publication in the Kentucky Speleological Survey’s Annual Report and are encouraged to make an in-person presentation at the Annual Members Meeting in September. Awardees must submit all applicable data to the Kentucky Speleological Society however awardees will retain “ownership” of the data. Kentucky Speleological Survey may share non-sensitive data for data requests or in advancing the mission of the KSS.