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Missouri Caves and Speleology is a Course

Missouri Caves and Speleology

Ended Aug 7, 2017

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Full course description

Course Date:

Jun 12 - Aug 7, 2017


8 weeks


2 hrs/week



Course Type:



Certificate (free)


Caves, springs, disappearing streams and other curious features characterize much of the Missouri landscape. These features comprise a karst hydrological system that has formed many of Missouri’s natural wonders. Missouri’s karst, and indeed the karst that underlies approximately 20% of the land on Earth, is also very vulnerable to contamination and the impacts of humans. This course will explore Missouri’s caves and karst, describe how these hydrological systems form, and talk about how speleologists work to protect these valuable water resources.


At the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Define "karst".
  • Describe how karst systems form.
  • Explore (digitally) the cave systems of Missouri.
  • Examine conservation efforts.

Course is offered by Missouri State University.

Course Instructors

Toby Dogwiler

Toby Dogwiler, Ph.D.


Toby Dogwiler is the Department Head, Geography Geology and Planning at Missouri State University. Read More.

His training lies at the intersection of hydrology, geomorphology, and climatology with some soil science, stream ecology, and archaeology thrown in for good measure. His research investigates the effect of interactions between hydrology, climate, and land use on water resources and conservation issues in karst landscapes.

Douglas Gouzie

Douglas Gouzie, Ph.D., RPG


Douglas Gouzie is a Professor of Geology at Missouri State University, with expertise in the development and environmental management of cave and karst systems. Read More.

He earned his PhD in Geology in 1986 from the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining Missouri State’s faculty in 2005, Dr. Gouzie’s career included a faculty position at Emory University, work as a private environmental consultant, and over ten years of government service, including both the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the California Environmental Protection Agency.