CRF Programs and Projects
- Mammoth Cave Cartographic Program
- Chief Cartographer, Bob Osburn: The objectives of the cartographic program
are to collect detailed geographic data from the caves of Mammoth Cave National park,
to produce cartographic interpretations of the data in the form of various types of
maps, and to incorporate that data into a master data archive system. Copies of
data and maps are provided to the Division of Resource Management at Mammoth Cave
National Park via the conditions of an official Cartographic Research Project.
- Small Caves Inventory/Data Management at
Mammoth Cave National Park - Project Coordinator, Scott House:
In 1994 a new cooperative program was initiated between CRF and Mammoth Cave
National Park to begin a comprehensive resource inventory of less-extensive
caves within certain drainage basins in the Park. Caves are located, brass
caps are installed, and locations are determined by Global Positioning Satellite
(GPS) equipment. The caves are mapped and data about the contents, suitable for
use with a geographic information system (GIS), are recorded in reference to the
survey net. An additional product of this study is a separate
database that will contain general information about the cave.
- Missouri Cave Inventory/Data Management Program -
Program Coordinator, Scott House: Cave mapping, resource surveys, and
biologic inventory are conducted in the Ozark National Scenie Riverways, on
Missouri Department of Conservation lands, in the Mark Twain National Forest
and in privately-owned Pioneer Forest. Work is done under cooperative agreements
between CRF and Federal/state agencies who administer the lands.
- Lava Beds Survey and Inventory Project -
Project Director, Dr. John Tinsley: Since 1988, CRF has
assisted Lave Beds National Monument with cave surveys, cave resource inventories
and other projects. The objective of the project is to thoroughly evaluate the
caves and resources they contain and to provide input toward management of the caves.
- Lilburn Cartography Project - Chief Cartographer,
Jed Mosenfelder: The project began in 1980 with the goal of adding more
detail to some of the main passages. Since then the 7.8 miles of known cave has been
resurveyed using modern sketching techniques and standards and 13.8 miles of survey
has been added to the known length making it the longest cave in California at 21.6 miles.
For cartography, the passages are split out into quadrangles and drafting is
done on computer. As quadrangles are completed, copies are provided to survey
teams who then field check the maps.
- Redwood Canyon Sediment Studies - Principal Investigator,
Dr. John Tinsley: This research measures rate of sediment yield and rates, and
processes of sediment transport among the karst features of Redwood Canyon (CA) in order
to (1) improve understanding of the karst and its physical system and (2) to gain insight
into the region's natural history using a sedimentological perspective.
- Mineral King Project Area - Project Coordinator,
Elaine Garveyr: Started in 1993, work in the Mineral King area involves
inventory and survey of the area's caves.
- Lilburn Restoration Project - Project Coordinator,
Bill Frantz: Over its long history of use, some of the formation areas of
Lilburn Cave have suffered damage. Fortunately, there is little formation breakage,
but the very muddy nature of some passages has resulted in dirty formations. In
1993, the Lilburn Restoration Project was initiated to try to undo some of that damage
and to prevent further problems. Restoration efforts have been dedicated to cleaning
formations, flagging trails and installing direction signs.
- USGS National Spacial Data Infrastructure Project:
In 1996, a grant was awarded to CRF by the U.S. Geolgoical Survey for the development
of tools that contribute to the USGS National Spacial Data Infrastructure. CRF, in
cooperation with Mammoth Cave National Park, The American Cave Conservation Association
(ACCA), and Kentucky's Barren River Area Development District (BRADD), have developed
and proposed a minimal content standard for the collection of cave survey data on federal
- China/USA Caves Project and Exchange - Project Director,
Ian Baren: This project promotes the joint exploration, mapping and research of
the caves and karst of China and the U.S. The sponsoring entity from China is Guizhou
Normal University. Project activities have been focusing on the caves and karst of
Guizhou Province. In return for sponsoring CRF/NSS cavers in China, CRF and the NSS
sponsor and host 3 to 5 chinese researchers to the NSS convention. Project trips run
every other year with the exchange taking place during intervening years.
- GIS Resource Development Program -Project Directors,
Aaron Addison & Bernard Szukalski: In 1997, recognizing that GIS technology
was rapidly becoming one of the most effective approaches to cave and karst resource
management, the Cave Research Foundation established a GIS Resource Development Program.
The goal of the program is to assist CRF personnel, federal agency staff, and other
researchers access and utilize spatial data, GIS applications, and other software tools
for the purpose of cave and karst resource management. A longer term goal is to use GIS
to develop a collective knowledge and support base for cave conservation, protection and
- Educational Resource Development Program: The
purpose of this program is to make information about cave and karst resources more
widely available through the development of audiovisual and multimedia educational
materials. Hardware and software, utilizing digital video, digital still and computer
graphics and animation packages are available to create presentations that can be
rendered in standard VHS, CD-ROM, and World Wide Web formats. The program has two primary
goals: 1) The development and dissemination of educational resources (primarily multimedia \
and audiovisual) and, 2) the provision of assistance to federal agencies who want to
create interpretive exhibits and displays for the general public. Projects are currently
- Lincoln National Forest - Capitan Peak Study Area Project -
Project Coordinator, Dick Venters: In 1991, CRF instigated the Lincoln National
Forest/Capitan Peak Study Area project (LNF-CPSA). The project began as a field mapping
expedition to locate karst features within the Lincoln National Forest, Capitan Peak area
of New Mexico. Current Field work involves ridgewalking, cave hunting, surficial land form
study and geologic mapping.
- Paleontology Projects at Mammoth Cave - Principal Investigator:
Dr. Rick Toomey: Starting in the Fall of 1997, the Illinois State Museum (ISM) has
been involved in two paleontology projects at Mammoth Cave National Park (MACA). The principal
investigator on these two projects has been Rickard Toomey. They are being undertaken under
cooperative agreements between the ISM and the NPS. In addition to providing important data
to the projects, CRF has been actively involved in supporting the projects through both
mapping activities and contributing personnel to assist in locating paleontological remains.
Although there are formally two projects, with somewhat different goals and timelines, the
methods, data, and CRF participation are the same in both projects.