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R. S. Stewart
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Stefan at Hulls Cave, March, 2009 - Photo by Jan PauelRonald Stefan Stewart is a Canadian who first visited Jamaica in 1985. During a return visit in 1987, he visited several caves, and fell in love with, what were for him, enticing, underground realms a world away from his native Ontario. By the 1990's, he was visiting the island several times a year to find and explore known caves, and find others for which there were no records.

In 2002, along with several Jamaican cavers who had come onboard over the previous decade, he founded the Jamaican Caves Organisation (JCO) to provide a framework for systematic, speleological research. As of 2013, the JCO continues to be active, and is involved with virtually all cave research that takes place on the island.

In December, 2010, he became a permanent resident of Jamaica, and currently resides in Ewarton, St Catherine.

Caving activities have included:

Principal Investigator under a NEPA Wildlife Research Permit for the St James cave assessment project in 2003 and 2004

Principal Investigator under contract to The Nature Conservancy on the Parks in Peril Project Caves Component project in 2005

Principal Investigator under a NEPA Wildlife Research Permit for the St Ann cave assessment project in 2006

Principal Investigator for the south Manchester cave assessment project in 2007

Jamaican liaison for the Royal Ontario Museum at St Clair Cave in 2010

Principal Investigator for the assessment of the Belle Air Caves for the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) in 2011

Principal Investigator for the assessment of Black Hill Cave for the Tourist Development Product Company (TPDCo) in 2011

Principal Investigator on the Examination of Deep Bat Guano Deposits in Jamaican Caves project with Queens University and the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2012

Co-author on two archaeological papers with Dr Phillip Allsworth-Jones: Spot Valley, and Belle Aire Cave 1.

Acting as the Chair of the Jamaican Caves Organisation.

During the course of his speleo explorations in Jamaica, he has added over 90 new sites to the Register, and has visited and recorded baseline data for over 320 sites. Amongst the more notable of these are Hutchinson's Hole, in aid of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Volcano Hole, Smokey Hole Cave and Dunn's Hole Cave.

Non-caving activities have included serving as one of the founding Directors of the Windsor Research Centre, in Trelawny, Jamaica; taking part, as the Principal Instructor, in two orienteering workshops for the WRC; assisting in various educational projects in support of environmental preservation; georeferencing the 1:50k topographic maps of Jamaica in a form that can be used by those without access to prohibitively expensive software; providing free methods, online, for datum transforms involving JAD69 and JAD2001; and geo-referencing the Troy-Windsor Trail, the Quick Step Trail, and others, in WGS84 for GPS use.


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