Come in from the cold and enjoy a pre-lecture cocktail or glass of wine with friends.
Learn how caves have been used by people and animals for thousands of years for shelter, burials, religious ceremonies, links to the underworld, and art with Thomas Hawkins. More recently, the exploration of caves for science, adventure, and sport has pushed the limits of the unknown. Modern rock climbing and rope techniques allow cavers, or spelunkers, to explore vast distances to places and depths never seen before. Technological advances in lighting and photography make the fantastic features of the subterranean visible to all. In the process, we are given glimpses into deep time, both geological and biological. All of this requires a fun sense of adventure, exploration, and craziness. Join us as Thomas takes us from Guatemala to Borneo, Hawaii, Mexico, and Kyrgyzstan on some of his caving expeditions.
Since his school days, Thomas Hawkins has explored caves in America and around the world. In the process, he has steadily become fascinated by the biology, geology, and archeology found in them. He has worked as a forester and botanist in Nepal, Honduras, and Oxford, England. As a Research Associate with the Missouri Botanical Garden, he made many plant collecting trips to Central and South America in support of the Flora MesoAmericana project, where he found several new plant species, including a moss, Holomitrium hawkinsii and an orchid, Stelis thomasiae. Thomas runs a small garden maintenance and installation business for a number of wonderful clients in the Delaware Valley, which gives him ample free time to travel and cave in the winter season
Engage in great conversation during the delightfully casual reception with tasty hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar with wine, beer, and cocktails.
Register online or call 610-328-8025.