President's Message

January 3, 2017

Welcome to the Karst Specialist Association of BC

Our mission statement is:

To ensure the qualifications of Karst Specialists and to support them in providing excellence in karst management.

As President of the association, I recognize we have a big task ahead of us. Our main focus today is sharing techniques and knowledge in properly assessing karst and karst features through work related training. Membership is a derivative of the training of those individuals who wish to continue in this scope of practice.

A professional collaborates with others in the same field. Associations can only work through collaboration. Our association is not framed by Legislative Authority, but by the commitment of individuals who wish to further and share their knowledge in this small field of practice. A successful association has active membership which pools their knowledge and skill sets, communicating out effectively to all members and interest groups. We hope to impart the knowledge needed to complete karst assessments successfully. Through collaboration we can do it.Our members and soon to be members are valued assets. Together we can create a solid group able to standardize training, format and one day offer certification.

On the communications front, we would like to hear from all interest groups; from cavers, forest and land use planners, universities, first nations and individuals who have an interest that they wish to communicate to our Karst Specialists.Knowing your interests help us determine overall importance of the features we assess.

On average we have been training small groups of professionals 3-4 times a year, on project specific areas. Training offered on a request basis only.

In case you're wondering, I started caving in 1979, completing informal karst inventories in the mid to late 80's. As a seasoned caver at the time, I was asked to help in completing karst assessments in various places on Vancouver Island, for free of course. These assessments were for MacMillan Bloedel (MB) to help guide in creating reserves and locating roads. Grid lines were used in the field to help fully search and map the karst and features within the project area.

The work lead into paid karst inventory starting in 1994. To date, I have completed thousands of hectares of detailed grid inventories and cave assessments and around 15-20 thousand hectares of planning level rock sampling inventories for government and private industry. I've worked with Forest Professionals, Geologists, Geomorphologists and a Paleontologist.My experience has helped me understand the importance of assembling known data, assaying various limestone beds and communicating with cavers to better understand the mineral makeup, helping in determining the local characteristics of each bed and varying zones of metaphoric states near contacts and intrusions.

Today we analysis LiDAR data to create special derivative products from hill shades designed to show sinkholes and hydrological catchments with high potential flow zones. We also analyze all known karst features associated with each bed to formulate an inventory plan.Presently I'm a GIS Data Analyst with the BC government and the current Custodian of the Karst Data Base which is a database comprising of various karst spatial layers. The contributors are Industry, Government and Cavers.

If you are presently completing karst assessments and havenít been on any field training with myself or one of our members I encourage you to do so. As a professional, it is up to you to complete training in your scope of practice.

 

 

Mike Doknjas

President

Karst Specialist Association of BC