Teach the Earth > Hydrogeology > Working Groups > Case Studies

Case Studies in Hydrogeology

What do we want to accomplish?


The case studies working group will focus on the collection of exemplary case study resources and activities to help students learn in undergraduate hydrogeology courses.


Working Group Members

  • Jeff Cawlfield University of Missouri-Rolla
  • Carolyn Dowling Arkansas State University
  • Kurt Friehauf Kutztown University
  • Duane Hampton Western Michigan University
  • Eric Henry University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • Terry Lahm Capital University (Group Leader)
  • Melissa Lenczewski Northern Illinois University
  • Maureen Muldoon University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
  • Jeane Pope DePauw University
  • Carl Renshaw Dartmouth College
  • Don Siegel Syracuse University
  • Kamini Singha Pennsylvania State University
  • Martin Stute Barnard College
  • Matt Uliana Texas State University, San Marcos

Project 1: Case Study Templates


What makes a good case study? Materials and information needed for case studies? These resources include essential elements of case studies and templates for topic specific case studies.


Essential Elements of a Case Study (Microsoft Word 22kB Jul30 05)
Template for Plume Characterization Case Study (Microsoft Word 25kB Jul30 05)

Project 2: Case Study Development

The following possible case study ideas were proposed by members of the working group. Each case study will be developed by members of the working group as listed. If you would like to submit a completed case study, use the SERC contribution link. If you have questions about any of the proposed case studies, please contact Terry Lahm ([tlahm@capital.edu]).


  • Bottled Water Comparison - Carl Renshaw, Amy Sheldon
  • Capture zone of a spring or well - Maureen Muldoon
  • Basic groundwater chemistry - Carolyn Dowling
  • Leaky Underground Storage Tanks and Solvents - Duane Hampton, Don Siegel
  • Landfill leachate - Kamini Singha
  • Industrial contamination including pathogens - Terry Lahm, Kurt Friehauf, Melissa Lenczewski
  • Water supply - Matt Uliana
  • Water Resource Sustainability - Martin Stute, Don Siegel
  • Isotope tracer study - Amy Sheldon, Don Siegel
  • Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Isolation - Jeff Cawlfield
  • Regional Aquifers - Jeane Pope
  • Case studies of the shape of contaminant plumes - unknown
  • Flood frequency related to land use and/or perhaps related to large floods like Mississippi in 1993 or Johnstown flood - unknown
  • Erin Brokovich case study - (Anderson v. Pacific Gas & Electric in Hinkley, California ) chromium in groundwater- unknown


Project 3: Collection of Resources for Possible Case Studies


Tenative list of resources available for creation of case studies to use in teaching undergraduate hydrogeology and groundwater hydrology courses. Please submit additional resource ideas to Terry Lahm [tlahm@capital.edu] or complete case studies to the SERC web site.


  • Brownfield Action Software. "Physical processes of the environment and their interaction with human development, industrialization, and pollution. Special emphasis on environmental site assessments, brownfields, groundwater pollution, toxics, radionuclides, and human health including a reading of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Jonathan Harr's Civil Action." http://brownfieldaction.org/ - Martin Stute
  • Impacts to Groundwater Resources from Leaky Underground Storage Tanks - Arizona State University study http://www.fulton.asu.edu/civil/Environmental/Groundwater.htm - Eric Henry
  • Seymour, Indiana Hazardous Waste Site. Material in Applied Hydrogeology by C.W. Fetter and Hydrogeology Laboratory Manual by Keenan Lee, Charles W. Fetter, John E. McCray, Jr., Charles W. Fetter
  • Long Term Ecological Research Center. University long term monitoring projects such as Trout Lake at University of Wisconsin http://lter.limnology.wisc.edu/ -Maureen Muldoon
  • Ecosystem Studies Field Laboratory. The ESFL is an instrumented field site in the upper Little Chazy River watershed that supports several geology and environmental science courses at Plattsburgh State University. http://web.plattsburgh.edu/academics/envsci/
  • Woburn Case Study. "A Civil Action" by Jonathan Harr case study about VOC contamination of a glacial aquifer in Woburn, Massachusetts. Ohio State Web Site - http://serc.carleton.edu/woburn/instructors/mock_trial_course.html BYU Web Site - BYU