Scientific Research

Most of our visitors don't realize that at any given time we have a number of active research projects occurring here! Crystal Cave is a unique geological feature in this region of the upper Midwest. We have partnered with leading Universities and Colleges on a wide variety of research projects and studies, all with the goal to expand scientific knowledge. For approved research projects Crystal Cave donates staff time, expertise, and access.

Soil Sampling

Wisconsin Bat Program Crystal Cave has partnered with the Wisconsin DNR to protect Wisconsin's bat populations and to educate the public on the benefits of bats. In addition, Crystal Cave Staff and the DNR conduct joint research each winter on the hibernating bat populations at Crystal Cave.

University of California Santa Cruz Crystal Cave has partnered with the Kilpatrick lab at UCSC and the WI DNR for several research projects on White Nose Syndrome. As of 2019 there are several ongoing research projects at Crystal Cave with UCSC.

NOAA / CWOP The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a public-private partnership with three goals: 1) to collect weather data; 2) to make this data available for weather services; and 3) to provide feedback to the data contributors so they have the tools to check and improve their data quality.

Weather Station Data and Current Forecast Crystal Cave maintains multiple weather sensors, including sunlight intensity, wind, rainfall, and other sensors. Our equipment is connected to the internet and continuously uploads weather data to Weather Underground.

University of Minnesota Faculty and students visit Crystal Cave each year, conducting research to better understand the geology and hydrogeology of the upper Midwest. We are proud to collaborate with the UofM.

Local Universities and Colleges Crystal Cave acts as a research station and laboratory for a wide range of research projects and we often collaborate with a number of local universities and colleges.

NASA Crystal Cave partnered with NASA and the University of Kansas for a study on middle-Holocene vegetation change and how it varied significantly over the upper Midwest.

Bat Conservation International We work closely with Bat Conservation International, the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to bats. At Crystal Cave we follow the latest, peer-reviewed guidelines for bat conservation, relying on the world's premier experts on bats to guide our conservation programs.

Research Requests

Proposed Projects Please contact Crystal Cave for information and details on conducting research at the cave. The main criteria for approval is that the proposed research needs to expand scientific knowledge and not impact the cave or the cave ecosystems. As we can accommodate only so many projects, each research project will be peer-reviewed as part of the application process.

Pre-approval No research of any type may be done without pre-approval, in writing, from Crystal Cave. No sediments, rocks, plants, animals, etc. may be collected without a permit from Crystal Cave. Please help us protect our rare and wonderful cave!