Michael Taylor, professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, has received a prestigious award from the National Speleological Society. The 2018 National Speleological Society’s “Spelean Arts and Letters Award” was presented to Taylor Aug. 3 at the NSS annual convention in recognition of his many contributions to the society.
The annual convention, held this year in Helena, Montana, is the premier annual gathering of cave explorers in the U.S. Many speakers at this event have been in the news in recent weeks, giving expert interviews to journalists covering the daring cave rescue in Thailand. One of the main speakers was Bill Steele, who wrote eloquently about the Thai rescue in the Washington Post.
In addition to receiving the award, Taylor ran an all-day writers workshop on Friday for those wanting to write about caves, talked with cavers about his book in progress, Hidden Nature, to be published next year by Vanderbilt University Press, and attended some microbiology sessions to seek advice on a joint cave research project he is conducting with Dr. James Engman and his students.
He also played his annual musical gig with the Terminal Syphons, an all caver rock band, at the convention party, which is often attended by 200-300 dancing cavers.
While at the conference, Taylor also learned that he will be receiving another award in October. The College Media Association has selected Taylor as the recipient for the Distinguished 4-year Newspaper Adviser award.