Publication Date

Summer 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Leslie North (Director), Patricia Kambesis, Jeanine Huss, Rickard Toomey

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Karst terrains are landscapes with a distinctive hydrology and set of landforms that arise from a combination of high bedrock solubility and well-developed secondary (fracture) porosity. Karst areas are easily polluted due to the rapid transport of unfiltered percolating water through the systems. While many individuals are able to identify karst landforms such as sinkholes and caves, an understanding of the interconnectedness of the surface and subsurface in karst landscapes, as well as the vulnerability of karst areas to degradation, is often limited. Show caves, which are caves made accessible to visitation by humans through built infrastructure, can serve as an excellent venue through which to educate large quantities of people about the importance of these landscapes and sensitivities of them to degradation. Using Carter Caves State Park as a case study site, this study revealed that mobile eye-tracking technology can be used to develop cave tours that are both educational and entertaining by identifying greatest visitor interest at stops and along tour routes (i.e., where a visitors’ gaze falls throughout the tours).


Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Education | Geology