Cave Research Foundation
CRF Programs and
- 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
- Small Caves Inventory/Data
Management at Mammoth Cave National Park
- Project Coordinator, Bill Copeland: 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
- 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 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
- Mineral King Project Area
- Project Coordinator, Elaine Scott: 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
- USGS National Spacial Data
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 lands.
- China/USA Caves Project and
- 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 management.
- Educational Resource Development
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 being developed.
- 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
- Paleontology Projects at Mammoth
- 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.
last updated or validated on January 27, 2019