Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Collection Name

Karst Oral History Project

Publisher Information

University of South Florida Tampa Library


Anecdotes, Effect of human beings on, Flood control, Floyd Collins' Crystal Cave (Ky.), Geochemistry, Geomorphology, Ghost stories, American, History, Hydrogeology, Hydrology, Karst conservation, Nature, Research, Specimens, Speleology, Watersheds, Elizabeth L. White, William B. White


The Drs. White take turns discussing how they became interested in karst science. They reflect on the days when public opinion marginalized karst science and offer what they perceive as the historical factors which have allowed it to become established as a stand-alone scientific discipline. They then discuss students who have worked with them on various karst projects. Dr. Will White tells the story of the haunted telephone from Crystal Cave in Kentucky. The interviewees then discuss the relationship between professional karst scientists and the amateur, recreational caving community. They also discuss the future of karst science specifically with relation to hydrology, microbiology, paleoclimatology, and geo-hazards. Dr. Will White emphasizes the need to instill an ethic of conservation into newcomers to karst science. The interview concludes with a discussion of their involvement with international groups and individuals.

Physical Information

1 sound file (74 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (digital, PDF file)