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Western Kentucky University

Department of Geography and Geology - Leslie North

amy nemon Assistant Professor of Geography


Dr. North recently earned her doctorate in Geography and Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Since she was first exposed to karst science as an undergraduate student, Leslie has focused her collegiate and research activities to understanding and protecting these fragile terrains. During her master’s thesis research, which focused on evaluating anthropogenic karst disturbances, Leslie reached the startling conclusion that both the general public and policymakers have a very limited understanding of karst terrains, resulting in widespread misuse of these landscapes. As a result, for her dissertation Dr North conducted the first holistic study of karst-related educational programs implemented in the United States and abroad, and the tools, techniques, and feasibility of educating the general public at karst attractions, particularly show-cave facilities. Through a large body of data collected from over 100 show caves worldwide, she was able to illustrate the existence of multiple missed opportunities and misconceptions about educational pursuits in informal learning environments that are ultimately hindering the pursuit of appropriate geologic education and encouraging erroneous measures of program success. Dr. North is an associate of the Hoffman Institute. For more information about her teaching and research interests contact Dr. North at leslie.north@wku.edu.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14