Get to know us

Who we are, what we do, and why

Rescuers train in Glenwood Caverns in 2013. The CaveSim inventor is at the top, 2nd from right.

How it all started

While participating in a rescue seminar in 2008, Dave Jackson found himself crawling through a haphazard jumble of picnic tables and flagging tape as he and other trainees moved their “patient” through a pretend cave. Some trainees merely moved the flagging tape formations out of the way – not an option in a real rescue.

During the underground portion of the training, damage was done to the real cave by inexperienced participants. “There’s got to be a better way,” thought Dave. “Rescuers in training need practice in an environment that realistically simulates the challenges of rescuing someone from a cave before they go underground.”

Thus began his work on CaveSim, a patented crawl-through electronic cave simulator, a mix of many disciplines, including art and engineering.

Exploring CaveSim at CityROCK Climbing Gym

CaveSim today

Since we started, one thing has remained constant: why we do what we do. We care deeply about fragile natural places like caves, and we believe that such places need people to advocate for their protection. What we do has changed greatly over time. In the early years, CaveSim was used primarily for rescue training. Today, we’re focused on educating kids about science and conservation, which we do in three ways: school programspublic events, and by creating custom-built caves for other organizations.

We believe:

Kids who know better become adults who do better.

Our beliefs about education, conservation, and service guide our work like a compass.  Here’s where we’re headed:

  • igniting the love of learning
    Every student is excited about something in life. When students see how a subject connects to what they're excited about, they become hungry for knowledge. And when students are having fun, they forget that they're learning. We believe in igniting a passion for learning by showing students how much fun education can be. We show students how every subject in school connects to the amazing experience that they're having with CaveSim.
  • education for a better future
    We live on a planet with limited resources and fragile ecosystems, but lecturing about these facts does not change human behavior. So what does? Learning to love our world. If you love something, you will take care of it. But if you're ignorant or afraid, you will destroy it. We believe in sharing the joy of cave exploration with people of all ages so that they will love caves and cave-dwelling species. Our goal is to inspire generations of children to become advocates for cave conservation.
  • it's not about us
    As educators, it doesn't matter to us if students remember us. What matters is that students remember what we've taught. And when we build cave systems for other organizations, our goal is always to make our customers successful. That's why we always show up, always strive to be better, and never cut corners.
  • our mission statement:
    CaveSim teaches people of all ages and all backgrounds about the wonders of science, the importance of environmental conservation, and the joy of cave exploration.
  • accessibility
    CaveSim systems are designed to be accessible to people of many ability levels. Learn more here.

Meet the team

Tracy Jackson

Owner, Education Director

Tracy is an enthusiastic scientist and educator who’s explored caves since age 12. She pursued her love of environmental science at UGA with a Bachelors in geology. Tracy also earned a Master’s in Teaching at Colorado College, and is a certified Master Environmental Educator. She designs CaveSim curriculum that is aligned with state education standards, and she loves using her geology expertise to guide our fabrication team in creating highly realistic cave environments.

Dave Jackson (Cave dave)

Inventor and Lead Educator

Dave is an educator, engineer, and caver. He’s been designing circuits since 4th grade, and has Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dave has been leading CaveSim education programs since 2010, and has a passion for engineering and skilled craftsmanship. He believes strongly in sharing his enthusiasm about the natural world with people of all ages.

Maddy joy mEISLER

Program Coordinator & Educator

Maddy Joy is a passionate educator and adventurer. Her love of the outdoors and teaching brought her to pursue Organismal Biology and Ecology and Education at Colorado College during undergrad. After experiencing an entire semester of teaching outdoors her senior year, she decided that environmental education was the best way to combine her passion and talents. Maddy Joy earned her Master Environmental Educator certification that she now uses to educate and create excitement about caves!


Exhibit Fabricator & Educator

Lance is a retired National Park Service Ranger who has lived and worked in many beautiful places with his wife and two children. He is an avid caver with 30 years of experience exploring and educating others about the underground world. Lance joined the CaveSim team to continue his passion for educating new people into the wonderful world of caving. He believes strongly in cave preservation and restoration and loves sharing his enthusiasm about the natural world with people of all ages.

Education staff

Because we do programs around the US, we have staff based in several states. All of our staff care deeply about educating kids to create a better future for us all.


We have a team of expert fabricators who work on both our mobile caves and our permanent installations. Our team is based in our 1600 square foot facility in Colorado Springs.

Join the team

To learn about working, interning, or volunteering on the CaveSim team, view our job postings.

Digging up past experiences.

People from all walks of life have explored CaveSim, and many have shared their thoughts with us.  We’d love to have you join the conversation on Facebook.

"best educational tool"
It's the best educational tool for caving I've ever seen.

Winnie Miller, cave explorer

"excellent awareness exercise"
Great education and awareness demonstration. Not too long, not too short. Excellent awareness exercise for kids and adults alike.

Jim Goodbar, US Bureau Of Land Management

"just blows me away"
The ingenuity, creativity and technical know-how that Dave used to create this thing just blows me away.

Roger Kading, commercial pilot

"Way better than frozen yogurt"
My mom said we could do CaveSim again or go get frozen yogurt. This is way better than frozen yogurt!

Willow, 5th grade
The founders of CaveSim have fun exploring a wild cave

Our recent sponsors

These incredible individuals, groups, and businesses help to make our work possible, and we’re so grateful for their support. Make a contribution to support our work today!

CaveSim LLC has a formal partnership with the Cave Research Foundation to bring educational programs about cave conservation, science, and exploration to more children around the United States. You can make a tax-deductible donation to CRF to support the work that CaveSim does at low-income schools.  To make a donation to the Foundation, visit, or learn more here.

Talk to us about your vision

Email us or fill out the form below to start planning your public event, school program, or custom cave project. For lower transportation costs, check our calendar to see when we’ll be in your area.

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