Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Robert Brinkmann, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Bogdan Onac, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip Reeder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Strom, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Graham Tobin, Ph.D.


Human-environment interaction, Environmental hazards, Protected area management, Planning, Groundwater


Karst topography is the result of a specific combination of geological conditions, precipitation, biota, and temperature, and is characterized by the gradual solution of the underlying bedrock and the development of underground drainage routes for surficial runoff. Many of these karst landscapes are found in urbanized areas, where the potential for anthropogenic impact is quite high. In many instances, municipalities on karst terrains choose to mitigate these impacts by implementing ordinances that place restrictions on permissible land uses near karst landforms. This dissertation asks the question: are the impacts of karst-related land use regulation on human / social systems significant enough to merit consideration during the regulation writing and implementation process? In the process of answering this question, it is hoped that a broader understanding will be developed of how land use regulations are used to control and regulate human activity on karst lands, particularly (but not exclusively) in the United States; and that the conclusions drawn from that overview might serve as the beginnings of a generally applicable framework for the development of karst regulation.