Application karstology


Earth and Environmental Sciences (2nd level)

Karstology (2nd Cycle)

Course code: MIK03
Year of study: 2nd year

Course principal:
Prof. Tadej Slabe, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 30hours, seminar 20 hours,field work 30 hours, individual work 70 hours.
Course type: elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, seminar, field work


Course syllabus (download)


First-cycle Bologna degree or a university degree in the natural sciences.


Content (Syllabus outline):

The course enables students to take part in the karstological planning of life on the karst and in its protection, based on integral knowledge and understanding of the three-dimensional karst heritage.


Major topics:

  • Identifying and understanding karst landscape, and the development of the use of the karst surface, caves, waters and other natural resources;
  • Presenting fresh, directly applicable karstological experience and methods, and their importance;
  • Knowledge and protection of natural heritage;
  • Sensible planning of life on the karst, taking into account the peculiar karst characteristics, settlement, supply of drinking water;
  • The special features of life in the different types of karst at home and abroad;
  • Planning and supervising greater activities that affect the karst (traffic roads, quarries and waste disposal sites);
  • Managing and using karst features for tourism purposes;
  • Protection of the karst surface, caves and waters;
  • Presenting findings and learning about the planning of life on the karst.



  • KNEZ, M. (ur.), SLABE, T. (ur.), 2007: Kraški pojavi, razkriti med gradnjo slovenskih avtocest, (Carsologica, 7). Založba ZRC, Ljubljana: 9-22. (poglavja/chapters: 1, 7, 8, 9, 18, 21, 22).
  • MIHEVC, A. (ur.), 2005: Kras : voda in življenje v kamniti pokrajini = water and life in a rocky landscape, (Projekt Aquadapt). Založba ZRC, Ljubljana: 44-56.
  • PRELOVŠEK, M. (ur.), ZUPAN HAJNA, N. (ur.), 2011: Pressures and protection of the underground karst : cases from Slovenia and Croatia = Pritiski in varovanje podzemnega krasa : primeri iz Slovenije in Hrvaške = Pritisci i zaštita podzemnog krša : primjeri iz Slovenije i Hrvatske. Karst Research Institute ZRC SAZU, Postojna: 83-92.
  • CULVER, D. C., DEBEVEC, B., KNEZ, M., KOVAČIČ, G., KRANJC, A., MULEC, J., PIPAN, T., PRELOVŠEK, M., RAVBAR, N., SEMEJA, A., SLABE, T., ŠEBELA, S., ZUPAN HAJNA, N., KNEZ, M. (ur.), PETRIČ, M. (ur.), SLABE, T. (ur.), 2012: Krasoslovje v razvojnih izzivih na krasu. 2, Gradnja, turizem, ekologija, varovanje = Karstology and development challenges on karst. 2, Construction, tourism, ecology, protection, (Carsologica, 14). ZRC Publishing, Ljubljana: 199 str. (poglavja/chapters: 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12).
  • GABROVŠEK, F., KNEZ, M., KOGOVŠEK, J., MIHEVC, A., MULEC, J., OTONIČAR, B., PERNE, M., PETRIČ, M., PIPAN, T., PRELOVŠEK, M., SLABE, T., ŠEBELA, S., TURK, J., ZUPAN HAJNA, N., 2015: The Beka-Ocizla cave system : karstological railway planning in Slovenia, (Cave and karst systems of the world). Springer, Cham: 102 str. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-04456-9. (poglavja/chapters: 1, 2,7, 12, 15, 22, 26, 27).
  • KNEZ, M., SLABE, T., GABROVŠEK, F., KOGOVŠEK, J., KRANJC, A., MIHEVC, A., MULEC, J., OTONIČAR, B., PERNE, M., PETRIČ, M., PIPAN, T., PRELOVŠEK, M., RAVBAR, Nataša, ŠEBELA, S., ZUPAN HAJNA, N., BOSÁK, P., PRUNER, P., LIU, H., 2016: Cave exploration in Slovenia : discovering over 350 new caves during motorway construction on classical karst, (Cave and karst systems of the world). Springer, Cham: 322 str. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-21203-6.
  • Selected papers from scientific journals.


Objectives and competences:


  • Based on the development experience, gained on the karst, and on fresh karstological and socio-geographic knowledge, the course will enable students to understand the special features of karst landscape and thus gain foundations for becoming involved in the sensible planning of life on the karst;
  • This knowledge will serve as a basis for municipal, broader regional and national planning, spatial planning, urbanism, management of natural features and their sensible exploitation, sustainable development, and emphasising our internationally established tradition of Slovene karst and karstology.


General competences:

  • Qualification for performing independent professional work in the field of karstology;
  • Application of theoretical and practical research methods in understanding and directing the interdependence between humans and their social and natural environment;
  • Qualification for planning sustainable development possibilities in the field of the karst in Slovenia and throughout the world.


Course-specific competences:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the foundations of modern karstology as a basis for the good management of sustainable development;
  • Ability to carry out karstological planning in karst landscapes and their protection;
  • Ability to solve selected development issues using special knowledge, scientific methods and other skills.


Intended learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • By coming to understand contemporary research approaches, students learn about the special features of the karst environment;
  • Connection between the natural geographical features of the karst and the life on it;
  • Vulnerability of karst landscape.



  • Students are qualified to plan life on the karst and to protect it;
  • Students are ready to teach about the evolution of life on the karst.



  • Students become familiar with and continue the development of the exceptional tradition of Slovene karst and karstology, connected with our, internationally speaking, special natural and cultural heritage of the Kras region and of the classical karst;
  • They gain the ability to form important findings about the karst and to plan life on it.



Exam (90 %), written paper (10 %).