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In 1979, former professor at Western Kentucky University and Director of the WKU Center for Cave and Karst Studies, Dr. Nicholas Crawford, developed a program of one-week long karst field studies courses offered through Western Kentucky University and Mammoth Cave National Park as the 'Summer University in the Park' program. The first courses were offered on June 6, 1980 at the Great Onyx campground at Mammoth Cave. In 1987, the name of the program was officially changed to ‘Karst Field Studies’. Our very own Dr. Leslie North now serves as director of the KFS program. Through the KFS program, we offer immersive summer courses on caves and karst landscapes. But these courses aren’t just for WKU students! Each summer a minimum of two karst-related courses are offered to students, professionals, or anyone else personally interested in learning more about the unique aspects of karst landscapes. Though many of the courses are held at Mammoth Cave National Park, other locations include the urban karst of Bowling Green, Kentucky; Edwards Aquifer in San Antonio, Texas; Missouri Ozarks; Grand Canyon National Park, Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, and north- and central-Florida, among many others. Many of the courses even involve rigorous trips into rarely visited portions of Mammoth Cave. These courses, which are taught by leading experts in their respective karst-related fields, range from cave mapping to karst hydrology or karst geology. Classes vary each summer, but all classes provide students with in-depth curriculum and hands-on experiences. Classes can be taken for CEU credit, non-credit workshops, or academic credit. Visit

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