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Board of Directors


USDCT Board of Directors

C. William Steele

Executive, Boy Scouts of
America, Deep Cave
Explorer, Author

Bill Steele, whose published name is C. William Steele, started exploring caves while a Boy Scout in the 60s. He's remained active in cave exploration, mapping, and writing about caves and his adventures ever since. He's a Fellow member of both the National Speleological Society and The Explorers Club. He's the author of two books, Yochib: The River Cave, and Huautla: Thirty Years in One of the World's Deepest Caves, and, with James Smith, co-authored a chapter in the Encyclopedia of Caves.

Professionally, Steele is the national director of Alumni Relations and the National Eagle Scout Association for the Boy Scouts of America.

See Cavebooks.com where there is a review of his new caving book Huautla as well as an in-depth interview with him from the U.S. national caving magazine.

William C. Stone, Ph.D.

Expedition Leader,
Inventor, Engineer

Barbara am Ende, Ph.D.

Cave Explorer, Marine

Barney M. Dlin, M.D.
Director of Medical
Research, Psychiatrist

Yvonne Droms
Cave Explorer,

Yvonne Droms started caving in 1967 in Portugal. After moving to the USA, she joined the National Speleological Society in 1985 and has been caving avidly ever since. She is very active in exploration and survey of the extensive cave systems of Virginia and West Virginia. Since 2001, she has also participated in many expeditions to the deepest caves of the Western Hemisphere, located in Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as other deep caves in the Purificación area of Tamaulipas/Nuevo León.

Yvonne, a Swiss citizen who grew up in Portugal, graduated with a translator's degree from the Interpreter School in Zurich, Switzerland. She speaks seven languages and is Senior Editor for the language-learning software company Rosetta Stone, Inc. She applies her translation and editing skills to the world of speleology by contributing to numerous caving publications, including the technical book Alpine Caving Techniques and by helping with the International Speleological Congress. She translates for and contributes abstracts to the Bulletin Bibliographique Spéléologique (Speleological Abstracts), a publication of the International Union of Speleology.

Yvonne has given keynote presentations at banquets and has published numerous articles about her caving explorations in various parts of the world.

Jill Heinerth
Filmmaker, Underwater
Explorer, Cave Diving

Jill Heinerth is an explorer who uses her creative talents and photographic skill to give us a peek at a breathtaking world few will ever experience.

An award-winning filmmaker, Jill wrote, produced, and appeared in Water's Journey, the PBS documentary series that takes viewers on travels through the world's greatest water systems. Hollywood directors call on her to produce difficult underwater scenes and international magazines and websites look to her to document extreme environments using high technology.

Jill's many diving accomplishments are highlighted by an Antarctic cave diving expedition inside the largest iceberg known to man (National Geographic - Ice Island), and significant contributions to other National Geographic and USDCT expeditions.

Some of Jill's numerous professional diving, photographic and filmmaking awards include being named a "Living Legend" by Sport Diver Magazine, being inducted into the Women Diver's Hall of Fame and being named Canadian Technical Diver of the Year. Recently she was recognized by Keen Footwear as top environmental photographer, using her craft to teach people about protecting the environment they live in.

Jill feels very fortunate to mix her creative talents with her passion for the environment and has chosen a unique career path that allows her to reach up from inside the planet and bring people to a world they have never seen.

Paul Heinerth
Underwater Explorer,
Cave Diving Instructor

Mark Minton, Ph.D.
Deep Cave Explorer,
Organic Chemist

Dr. Mark Minton is recently retired from a 30-year career as a research organic chemist. During that time he worked on a wide range of organic synthesis projects including theoretically interesting hydrocarbons, natural products, non-natural nucleotides, nonlinear optics, electron transfer, isotopic labeling, and molecular factors that affect crystal packing. Closely related interests were the development of new synthetic methods and the use of carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy for structural and stereochemical analysis. Dr. Minton has co-authored over 30 scientific publications, one book, and one patent.

As a cave explorer, Mark has over forty years experience in most of the major cave regions of the United States and Mexico. He also participated in three paleontological expeditions to the caves of Madagascar, which visited that country's deepest and longest caves. He has been a leader and/or member of many expeditions to the deepest caves in the Western Hemisphere, including five caves over 1000 meters deep, one of which he discovered. Mark has participated in several major cave rescues in both the U. S. and in Mexico. He is well versed in all aspects of cave exploration and survey. Mark has received several flag awards and exploration grants from the Explorers Club and has had over 70 articles published in various caving journals and the Explorers Journal, in addition to making presentations at various functions. He continues to be very active in original exploration in West Virginia and Mexico.

Dr. Minton is also director of the USDCT Office of Sponsored Research.

Clark Pitcairn
Financial Manager,
Underwater Explorer

Tommy Shifflett
Cave Explorer

James H. Smith
Deep Cave Explorer,
Karst Hydrologist

John Zumrick, M.D.
Hyperbaric Physiologist,
Cave Diver

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