The Cavers of the Batesville Region of Arkansas (COBRA) engage in recreational, educational and scientific cave exploration and conservation throughout the Ozark region.  The Grotto meets every third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM in room 021 of the Derby Building on the Lyon College campus.  We usually have one caving trip each month, and often have more.


In 2007, two Lyon College biology professors - Drs. Dave Thomas and Mark Schram - incorporated cave exploration into their classes and research. Student and faculty interest in cave exploration grew, resulting in the founding of the COBRA Grotto in 2009.


Lyon College biologists - Dr. Dave Thomas and Dr. Cassia Oliveira - are identifying bacteria and other microorganisms in caves.  Dr. Thomas and his students also do long-term monitoring of cave communities. COBRA Grotto members often assist with these projects.


The COBRA Grotto encourages safe and responsible caving. Grotto members volunteer to guide new cavers, scouts, community groups, etc. Contact the president or vice-president for more information.

Get Started

The COBRA Grotto welcomes safe, responsible cavers.  Part of being safe and responsible includes using the right caving equipment.  One of the best places to start is by downloading and reading A Guide to Responsible Caving

Speleology class

Lyon College offers BIO345 Speleology annually.  COBRA Grotto members may attend some of the field trips even if they don't take the class. The next class is scheduled for January 2020.

NSS convention

The 2019 National Speleological Society Convention will be held in Cookeville, TN on 17-21 June. Additional information is available at

Summer classes

  • Lyon College's Upward Bound Math-Science program for high school students offers a biospeleology research experience (among others).

  • Western Kentucky University offers several summer cave classes through its Karst Field Studies program.

© 2018 by David J. Thomas. Proudly created with

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