September 2021 Minutes


Sarah Arpin calls the meeting to order at 8:06 pm.


Christopher Morris, Sarah Arpin, John Cassidy, Bob Roth, Howard Kalnitz, Kevin Zachary, Kimbro Pittman, Jim Currens, Bill Steel, Julie Roush, Teresa Currens,  Liz Hoffman, Ryan Hoffman, Tara Cassidy, & Pat Kambesis were all in attendance.


Minutes taken by Christopher Morris.


Approval of the Previous Meetings (Sarah Arpin)

  • Bob motioned to pass them, Kevin seconded.
  • Minutes passed


Treasurer’s Report (John Cassidy)

  • For the last years
  • $13,163.94 as a starting balance
  • $6,283.15 in search fees
  • $832.36 from membership
  • -$500 for the grant
  • -$25 to the State of Kentucky for taxes
  • $18,107.41 as an ending balance
  • Over the next year I expect that we will be reviewing our investment options . Our fee  structures , as well as our commercial customer agreements. I also hope to discuss  long term financial plans based on overall KSS goals.
  • Interns, are they needed?
    • Do we have timesheet options?  Where we would need to review.
  • What do we want to do with all our money?
  • Do we want to use a company to do billing?
  • Do we need to change our fee structure for membership?
    • $125-130 for the lifetime membership.

Data Committee (Howard Kalnitz)

  • We decreased our records again as we clean up our record systems
  •  We went down about 11 records
  • 5056 and now to 5028 for caves
    • This is because we got rid of duplicates and mistakes of caves
    • Kevin has written some scripts to be able to parse through the data and find these mistakes in our database.
  • We now have an online portion, but we have not dived into that too much yet.  We are mainly working on correcting the database.
  •  We have streamlined our data request process to make them more automatic.
    • We have also created a process on why and how to answer the requests.  Guidelines.
  • We have had almost 50 requests in 2021
    • Mostly commercial, some landowner, some scientific and some caver
  • Kevin mentioned that Sarah had done a lot to clean up the grammar of the data.
    • Howard mentioned that we have edited over 2000 records this past year to update them.
  • Kevin asked if Survey 123 is still being used for import?
    • Howard noted that he needs to go and see if it is still there and usable or not.
    • Discussion ensued about what to use and how we import the data and get it from cavers.

Membership Committee (Notes from Sean Vanderhoff, read by Bob Roth)

  • Notes from Sean 
    • The KSS Membership Committee consists of four members: Sean Vanderhoff (Chair) Bob Roth, Sheila Minor, and John Cassidy. While the committee is in its infancy of planning short and long term goals, the primary goal of the committee is to increase KSS membership. Additional goals include strategizing on how to bring in new membership and to get present members more active in the organization. 
    • Current membership is tracked on a shared document on the KSS server and updated on a regular basis. A form letter is emailed to each member as a courtesy at time of renewal, and a follow up letter after a member has joined or renewed membership. As of September 13th current membership numbers include 81 members with 59 lifetime members. Members reside in the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Missouri, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.  
    • To assist the KSS with the goals of the organization, the committee encourages members to discuss the benefits of KSS membership what its purpose is, and how they can help, including education on caves and karst systems. In return, the committee hopes this will lead to more organizational involvement in the form of articles, survey data, maps, pictures etc. Members are encouraged to write articles/trip reports, no matter how long or short for documentation and the annual newsletter.
  • Sarah asked if we sent out an email or anything?
    • Bob said they want board input on it, but thinking about a new member packet like the Bluegrass Grotto does.
    • Bob talked about emailing members about the monthly meetings and other ideas.
  • Bob said they will take anyone on the membership committee.  Just ask!
  • Sarah noted that Ben had issues with PayPal.
    • John noted that Jason tried again and had no issues.  
    • Bob noted that Ben had not tried a second time yet.
  • Chris asked if the rest of the committee would like to be added to the auto new member emails.


Annual Meeting (Bob Roth)

  • Bob gave an update on what is going to be happening this weekend.  He went through the schedule and what to expect.


Annual Report (Christopher Morris)

  • Not ready yet. 


Old Business

  • Code of Ethics
    • Waiting on Sarah to get this put together
  • Grants
    • We granted one grant in the past year for $500.
    • But we realized that we left some holes in the application process.
    • Pat gave his insight into changing the amount given per year depending on what we brought in.
      • Jim agreed.
      • Pat explained how CRF does it.
    • Discussion ensued about deadlines, amounts and other information about providing grants.
    • Howard and Sarah are going to be getting together to review this process and resubmit to the board.
    • Pat asked about the grant being based on an endowment and granting grants off the interest.
      • Jim agreed and noted that it is not for the faint of heart.  Is a long process.
  • International Year of Karst
    • We should do something for the International Year of Karst
      • Pat noted that we should think about having some talks again to celebrate this.
      • Pat also noted that the International Year goes into next year.  Think about doing it in the spring.
    • Jim noted that we could call them Floyd Talks!
    • Pat and Bob talked about having a committee to do this.
    • Pat said she would be happy to head this board.
    • John motioned to form the Floyd Talks Committee
      • Jim seconded the motion.
      • Motion passed and Sarah appointed Pat Kambesis to head the committee.


New Business

  • Goals for the year
    • Publish the Annual Report.
    • The International Year of Karst tie in.
    • Finish cataloging our digital files.
      • Sarah noted that we rewrote our Mission Statement to guide us on what we want to do in the future.
      • Sarah explained what we have done so far and what we need to do in the future.
      • Pat asked if someone could do that remotely.
        • Sarah said yes.
      • Bob noted that our digital files are stored on Google Drive.
      • Howard explained what we have done in the past.
        • Discussion ensued.
      • There were some discussions about the scans and what quality there is.
      • Pat will find out what WKU pays their interns and will report back.
      • Pat said that we should put the students that are interns on our website and/or in our Annual Report.
    • Start extracting our data from the archives and cataloging.
      • Sarah explained what she did in the past by reaching out to the grottos and got their archives.
      • We need to go through these issues and go through and catalogue them all.
      • Bob noted that we need to update and make sure we have everything and catalogue them.
        • Sarah noted that she had started this already.
      • Jim noted that he has been through all the Speleo Digest and they are in the database.  He noted he only went through and grabbed all the cave maps.
      • Ryan Hoffman asked who has access to the data on Google Drive.
        • Sarah said it is only the data committee and board members.
        • Discussion ensued about access to the database and how people can help.
        • Can we open some of the data up to membership?
        • Discussion ensued about Google Drive and how to use it and access it.
    • Code of Conduct & Ethics
      • The database and data ethics are already in the bylaws to cover that.
    • Promote data coming in and improve data quality.
      • We need to get the reporter app backup and running.
      • We need to communicate with the local grottos and work with them.
      • Sarah noted that we need lots of boots on the ground.
        • This would be a good way to get people involved.


Christopher motioned to adjourn at 9:44 pm and Pat seconded.