Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Collection Name

Karst Oral History Project

Publisher Information

University of South Florida Tampa Library


Cave mapping, Derek Ford, Geography, Geomorphology, Karst, Methodology, Philosophy, Physical geography, Research


Dr. Derek Ford, karst science authority and author, begins the interview discussing his childhood in and around the city of Bath, England and the beginnings of his interest in rock climbing, cave diving, and cave mapping. Special attention is given to his relationship to the transition from the physiographic approach to geography to a quantitative approach. He elaborates on his friendship with eminent geomorphologist Paul Williams and how they came to write their book together. The conversation continues with an in-depth discussion of Dr. Ford's major scientific breakthroughs and notable publications with various research partners. He reflects on his career highs, specifically his love of teamwork and mentoring students. Dr. Ford shares stories of past students, their personalities, and where they are now in their lives. The interview concludes with Dr. Ford's opinion on the future of karst research.

Physical Information

1 sound file (116 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (digital, PDF file)