MayaCon 2012: NSS Convention Update #4 – The Wrath of Mayacon

July 24, 2012 / West Virginia, United States, North America / By Dean Wiseman
Aftermath. Photo by Bill Liebman.

Photo by Bill Liebman

So, true to form at NSS Convention, the weather on the final night simply blew us away. A weather front originating from around Chicago gained strength and plowed southeastward from Indiana to the Atlantic Ocean. By the time it reached West Virginia, it was packing a gust front with winds exceeding 80 mph.

We in the NSS were wrapping up a fantastic week of caving and camaraderie with a banquet in one of the main pavilions of the West Virginia State Fairgrounds. We were just into giving out awards when the power went out, and 20 minutes later, the gust front hit. Despite all the damage to the campground and Convention site, it was a rather fortunate thing that most of the Convention attendees were inside the pavilion and not out in the elements. Many trees were downed, and power was out to millions of customers in several states, but the only casualties at Mayacon 2012 were tents, campers, and a few vehicles.

Summary of the storm as it progressed southeastward. Photo via National Weather Service

Photo via National Weather Service

Given that the storm so rudely interrupted our award presentations, I have elected to include the award recipient list here, and I hope you will take time to congratulate them:

William J. Stephenson Outstanding Service Award

One Outstanding Service Award is given each year to a member of the NSS for outstanding service to speleology and the NSS. Life Membership is conferred upon receipt of this award. This and the Honorary Membership (below) constitute the Society’s highest awards.

  • Roger E. McClure, NSS 2057

Honorary Membership

One Honorary Membership is given each year to one person, not necessarily an NSS member, for outstanding contributions to the field of speleology. The award confers life membership to the Society.

  • Pavel Bosák, NSS 23224

Lew Bicking Award

The Lew Bicking Award recognizes dedication to the thorough exploration and mapping of a cave or a group of caves. The award may be given to an individual, or to a pair of cavers who, through specific joint actions, qualify equally for the award based on the exploration they have done together. Candidates must have been NSS members for at least the past two years.

  • Bill Balfour, NSS 10456

Science Award

The Science Award is given each year to recognize one or a pair of NSS members who, through specific joint actions, qualify equally for the award based on outstanding dedication to the scientific study of caves. Candidates must have been NSS members for at least the past two years.

  • Albert E. Ogden, NSS 11233RL

Spelean Arts & Letters Award

One Spelean Arts and Letters Award is given annually to recognize one or a pair of NSS members who, through specific joint actions qualify equally for the award, over time has advanced spelean arts and letters by significant artistic expression, management, or criticism. Candidates must have been NSS members for at least the past two years.

  • John Woods, NSS 10503 RE

Victor A. Schmidt Conservation Award

The Victor A. Schmidt Conservation Award is given annually to an individual or a pair of NSS members who, through specific joint actions qualify equally for the award through his, her, or their actions and has demonstrated an outstanding dedication to the cause of cave conservation. Candidates must have been NSS members for at least the past two years.

  • Jim C. Werker, NSS 31653 CM, FE

Fellow of the Society

Recipients are members who, over a number of years, have exemplified by their actions their dedication to the goals of the Society or to the Society itself. Recipients must have been members in good standing of the Society for at least two years immediately prior to their names being submitted as candidates.

  • Jason Ballensky, NSS 50409
  • Steve Beckley, NSS 28506
  • Terri Brown, NSS 39723
  • Jon Cradit, NSS 18781
  • Richard Downey, NSS 40910
  • Anne Elmore, NSS 49705
  • Francois Errandonea, NSS 40157
  • J. C. Fisher, NSS 30501
  • Kim Fleischmann, NSS 26414
  • Bill Folsom, NSS 36313
  • Doug Kent, NSS 30111
  • Brandon Kowallis, NSS 50661
  • Joan R. Mylroie, NSS 12515
  • Tammy Otten, NSS 47369
  • Walt Pirie, NSS 19778
  • Steve Reames, NSS 25533
  • Alice Rolfes-Curl, NSS 16673
  • Josh Rubenstein, NSS 29896
  • Nick Schaer, NSS 37648
  • Steve Smith, NSS 28100
  • Rick Speaect, NSS 54849
  • Kenneth Storey, NSS 23320
  • Dan Sullivan, NSS 40262

Certificate of Merit

Certificates may be given to individuals, jointly to no more than three individuals, or to organizations. (NSS Membership is not required.) A maximum of three Certificates of Merit may be awarded each year for specific, recent accomplishments in cave exploration, study, conservation, or for accomplishments which further other goals of the NSS.

  • Sewanee Mountain Grotto for continuous conservation efforts directly impacting the Orme Mountain Road area of the Russell Cave National Monument Watershed.
  • Aida and Robert Mothes for long-term management of the Friars Hole Cave System (WV).

James G. Mitchell Award

  • Kaitlyn J. Hughes, NSS 63361 for “Can Cave Fungal Diversity give us Clues to the White Nose Syndrome Mystery”

Peter M. Hauer Spelean History Award

This award includes a cash award to be given to an individual or group of individuals engaged in an outstanding spelean history research project.

  • Gordon Smith, NSS 8847 RL FE
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