Formed by Congress in 1998, the purposes of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute are to:
- Further the science of speleology;
- Centralize and standardize speleological information;
- Foster interdisciplinary cooperation in cave and karst research programs;
- Promote public education;
- Promote national and international cooperation in protecting the environment for the benefit of cave and karst landforms; and
- Promote and develop environmentally sound and sustainable resource management practices.