Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


The dominant paradigms of the past decade involve the preservation of biodiversity through the use of landscape corridors and buffer zones, as well as the integration of economic growth through sustainable use. The International Biosphere Reserve (IBR) program, as defined in the Seville Strategy, encourages locations already involved in conservation to continue to protect biodiversity and foster harmonious relationships between humans and their environment through sustainable development. An excellent example of an IBR is the Mammoth Cave Area Biosphere Reserve (MCABR) in south-central Kentucky. In order to measure the significance of the implementation of the Seville Strategy in the MCABR, a methodology was developed which not only measures the implementation level of the Seville Strategy, but also the policies involved in the implementation procedure. Twenty-four indicators, designed by the authors of the Seville Strategy, were analyzed. These indicators were broken down into three categories, administrative, research, and educational indicators. The results of the analysis show that the implementation of the MCABR has had a significant impact on the biodiversity, environmental management, and sustainable development of the Mammoth Cave area. This methodology has the potential to successfully measure other IBR programs at the local, national, or international level.


Earth Sciences | Environmental Health and Protection | Geography