GREEN Adventures | Student Activities & Leadership Development | Module 1: SEPRI sponsored, Cave Safety Certification (no skills required) portico

GREEN Adventures | Student Activities & Leadership Development | Module 1: SEPRI sponsored, Cave Safety Certification (no skills required)

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Module 1: SEPRI sponsored, Cave Safety Certification (no skills required)

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Fecha del Evento: Miércoles, 25 de Abril de 2012
Hora del Evento: 6:30 p.m.

SEPRI Certificate in Cave Safety

Offered through Campus Verde on the UPRM Campus

Mr. Cristóbal Colón and Dr. Dallas E. Alston

(; cel, 787.526.4963)

Summary: Dallas E. Alston will teach the theoretical part (six modules) in which the UPRM community and  the community outside of UPRM can learn about cave safety. Each module will be offered several times and will be for informational purposes. Some UPRM personnel will decide to also do the practical sessions, many of which will be announced prior to the events. For the practical sessions, each person must be a member of SEPRI ($30/year). This will ensure that qualified and experienced SEPRI leaders will maintain high safety standards during the practical events.


SEPRI (for its designation in Spanish, Sociedad Espeleológica de Puerto Rico, Inc.) is a non-profit corporation which promotes the exploration, documentation, study, conservation, and protection of caves, caverns, and sinkholes. It promotes speleology as a science and sport. Recently, Mr. Cristóbal Colón, with backup from members of SEPRI, presented a six-module course entitled Certificate in Cave Safety, which included practice sessions.

Dr. Alston obtained the SEPRI Certificate in Cave Safety during 2011 and was approached by Mr. Colón to consider offering the Certificate at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.  Dr. Alston is the Co-Director of the UPRM Campus Verde association and works with “Green Events”. He will offer the Certificate through the program Campus Verde (; Director, Dr. Sandra Cruz-Pol), with backup from Mr. Colón and support from other SEPRI members. The main goal will be to provide experiences for UPRM students, employees, or professors that they would not normally encounter in UPRM.

The long-term goal will be to increase SEPRI membership and promote cave conservation and safety. Thus, Dr. Alston proposes the following requirements to obtain the SEPRI Certificate in Cave Safety:

1)    Attend (with no specific deadline) six modules prepared by Mr. Cristóbal Colón and presented by Dr. Alston on the Mayagüez Campus. Participants must demonstrate their learned skills during practice sessions, particularly if they wish to obtain the certificate which includes the practical sessions.

2)    To participate in any SEPRI practice session (which is different from the basic theoretical modules), participants will be required to become collaborative members of SEPRI ($30) paid directly to SEPRI. Thus, one will need to join SEPRI to attend the caving adventure, and to obtain the SEPRI Certificate in Cave Safety. Thus, any UPRM personnel will be able to attend the six (theoretical) modules presented by Dr. Alston at no charge through the Campus Verde program. Therefore, university personnel can attend the modules to learn and appreciate information concerning caves; however, to attend the practical sessions, they must be SEPRI members.

3)    Demonstrate learned skills during a practical session to an outside SEPRI evaluator (Mr. Colón) to ensure that all learned skills meet SEPRI standards, which are continually evaluated under close scrutiny within SEPRI to ensure maximum safety.

4)    Attend one practice session with Mr. Colón and support members of SEPRI (at the Monagas Park in Bayamón) to practice and reinforce safety techniques in caves.

5)    Attend one practice cave outing, but with no ascent, nor descent required. A leader who is a SEPRI member or an active caver professor of the UPRM Department of Geology will be requested to lead the group in the cave adventure.

6)    Participants must attend a minimum of two SEPRI monthly meetings at the DNER building on the 4th floor in San Juan. Generally these meetings occur on the first Friday of months (but not during holidays).

7)    Participants must pass a written examination prepared by Mr. Colón and proctored by Dr. Alston.



Mr. Colón will work closely with Dr. Alston to assure that the requirements are met for each module and will supervise the practice session. Mr. Colón has already provided Dr. Alston with the first version of each module and they will continue to improve and update the content of the modules, subject to final authorization by Mr. Colón. Dr. Alston will add questions which can be utilized with audience response systems (clickers) to improve the feedback during the training sessions. The clickers can be utilized, for instance, with Power Point files and in the field with a receiver for instantaneous feedback.

Dr. Alston will prepare a detailed “SEPRI Caving Safety Requirements” form listing each of the requirements of the Certificate in which each item must be initialed by the respective leaders for individual sections. Mr. Colón will approve each requirement form. The details will include such items as attendance during each module, individual skills learned during each module, certification of payment to become collaborative members of SEPRI, evaluation by SEPRI (Mr. Colón) of learned skills, participation in the practice session (in Monagas Park, Bayamón), participation in the caving adventure, attendance at two SEPRI monthly meetings, and passing an overall written examination. 

The modules will be offered during several semesters with multiple sessions each semester. Students will be required to demonstrate their knowledge of individual modules.

Students will purchase minimum of safety equipment as established by Mr. Colón (helmets, practice ropes for knot tying, webbing) and furnish their own transportation to practice events, the caving adventure, and to SEPRI meetings. Students will also be required to wear appropriate clothing for the practice sessions, along with the safety equipment (appropriate shoes or boots and helmets).


The following are the six theoretical modules taught by Dr. Alston and supervised by Mr. Colón:

1 - Actitud: seguridad, compromiso y conservación
2 - "Software": cuerdas, cintas, nudos, anclajes
3 - Descenso: diferentes sistemas de descenso (incluye prueba practica)

4 - Ascenso: diferentes sistemas de ascenso (incluye prueba practica)
5 - Exploración: un poco de geomorfología, hidrología, carso y como explorar de manera segura
6 - Cuevas con agua: como explorar cuevas con agua y minimizar riesgos


The students at UPRM will benefit by learning conservation and caving safety techniques. SEPRI will benefit from increased divulgation of caving knowledge and from increased membership. The overall program will contribute to conservation of caves and increased safety among future cavers. The safety skills gained during the training will be invaluable assets for anyone pursuing outdoor activities.

Número de participantes: 15

Lugar del evento: F-428

Dirección: University of Puerto at Mayagüez, Physics Building (F-428)

Coordenadas: 18.211113,-67.139220

¿Quiénes pueden participar? Personal y Estudiantes con ID

Propósito del evento: To promote UPRM students, employees, or professors to have experiences that they would not normally encounter in UPRM.

Equipo Disponible para el evento: For future modules, students will need a rope for practicing knots, webbing, a helmet (bicycle or caving), gloves, boots, suitable clothing (nylon pants, nylon shirt)

Dueño del equipo: Dallas will have some practice rope (note that for Module 1, the information will only be theoretical)

Equipo adicional que puede traer: Contact Dallas (787) 526-4963 if you have any questions.

¿Dónde se van a reunir?

Hora: 6:30 p.m.

Lugar: F-432 (Física 432)

Transportación disponible:
Not available. You must use your own vehicle. The meeting is on the UPRM campus in Mayagüez.

Relevo de responsabilidad:

Yo, libre, voluntariamente y sin reserva mental alguna, DECLARO, RECONOZCO Y ACEPTO que:

• La exploración de cuevas (incluyendo el océano) puede ser peligrosa aún con el debido entrenamiento.

• La exploración de cuevas (incluyendo cuevas con agua) es un trabajo de equipo (cascos, botas, sogas, equipo de ascenso y descenso, salvavidas), en donde cada participante debe tener un sentido de disciplina y cooperación.

• Certifico que poseo una excelente condición física y mental y que no tengo ninguna limitación que me impida realizar esfuerzos que conllevan la exploración.

• Que asumo los siguientes riesgos, libre y voluntariamente: perderme en el cuevas (incluyendo en cuevas); caerme en hoyos profundos; tener accidente(s) por desprendimientos de rocas o resbalones; quedar atrapado por una inundación súbita; sufrir de hipotermia o hipertermia, ser expuesto a la enfermedad histoplasmosis, entre otros.

• Practicando dicha actividad puedo tener un accidente; podría derivar en alguna severa enfermedad consecuencia del ambiente natural cuerpos de agua dentro y a fuera de cuevas (incluyendo cuevas en el océano); e inclusive la muerte.

• Asumo la responsabilidad total por cualquier daño que pudiera sufrir durante o posterior a la práctica de la exploración de cuevas (incluyendo el océano) así como cualquier enfermedad que pudiera adquirir a consecuencia de dicha exploración.

• Por razones de un acto de Dios, de la naturaleza o de la falla incontrolable de los comprobantes de los componentes del equipo, podría haber dichas consecuencias, por lo cual eximo de responsabilidad a la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Mayagüez, por daños, reclamaciones, causas de acción, pérdidas y/o lesiones que pudiera sufrir como consecuencia de la exploración de las cuevas (incluyendo cuevas con agua), por mí, cualquier familiar o persona con interés sobre el que suscribe.

• Declaro, además, que cualquier daño ocasionado a mi persona, facilidades o pertenencias, queda bajo mi completa responsabilidad y no de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Mayagüez.

• Reitero mi deseo en llevar a cabo la exploración en cuevas (incluyendo cuevas con agua y con la posibilidad de contraer la enfermedad histoplasmosis). Para solicitar mi participación, he leído los detalles y entiendo y acepto los riesgos inherente in este de viaje.

Fotos del evento:


Regístrarse en este evento: (usando cuenta del portal colegial)
Dr. Dallas AlstonDr. Dallas Alston
787 526-4963
Dept. Marine Sciences
UPRM Mayagüez

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