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Teaching Hydrogeology in the 21st Century
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Resources for Teaching Field Methods and Developing Long-Term Projects

Our Mission


The goal of this working group is to develop, collect, and distribute resources to help hydrogeology professors teach field methods and develop long-term projects. We are currently working on the following projects:

  1. Field methods mentor list
  2. Field hydrogeology short course for professors
  3. "How to" put field equipment on a shoestring
  4. Field "how to" sheets and activities
  5. Well access resource list
  6. Multi-institution hydrogeologic competition
  7. Template for long-term projects
  8. Hydrogeology field camp list
  9. Pumping/slug test database

Please contact the project leaders to contribute to our site!
If you wish to join our working group, please contact Martin Helmke at helmkem@dickinson.edu


Project 1: The Field Methods Mentor List

Horacio Ferriz, California State University, Stanislaus

Have you ever considered doing a field experiment with your class, but don't quite feel comfortable because you have never done it before? Consider contacting one of these mentors (Excel 15kB Jul27 05), who will do their best to walk you through the procedure, e-mail you a work sheet, or invite you to a hands-on demo at their campus.

Are you an expert that would like to be a mentor to new Hydro profs? E-mail Horacio Ferriz at hferriz@geology.csustan.edu, with your name, e-mail, region, and area of expertise. You can make a big difference!


Project 2: Field hydrogeology short course for professors

Shemin Ge, University of Colorado
Todd Halihan, Oklahoma State University



Project 3: "How to" put field equipment on a shoestring

Maddy Schreiber, Virginia Tech University

Field equipment is a necessity for hydrogeology research and instruction. Many types of equipment can be purchased from existing sources but are often prohibitively expensive for scientists with financial constraints. In this section, we have posted a list of common pieces of hydrogeology field equipment and simple, inexpensive ways to construct them.


Project 4: Field "how to" sheets and activities


The following links will lead you to fact sheets that briefly describe how some of us have implemented field exercises. These are not meant to be exhaustive treatments of the problem, but rather a source of ideas for you to build on.

Feel free to contact the author(s) of each category to discuss your ideas!

Would you like to contribute a fact sheet to help new Hydro profs? E-mail Horacio Ferriz at hferriz@geology.csustan.edu with a Word file.

Gaining, Losing and Throughflow Streams

Catherine Carlson, Eastern Connecticut University
Karen Salvage, SUNY Binghamton University

Our goal is to provide sample field exercises for determining whether a stream is gaining, losing, or throughflow. These exercises introduce students to groundwater/surface-water interactions and reinforce understanding that surface-water and groundwater are a single resource.

Tentative Fact Sheet Ideas
  • Quantifying changes in stream discharge from upstream to downstream locations.
  • Using shallow wells to determine the water table around a stream in transverse and longitudinal profiles.
  • Quantifying inflows and outflows through the stream bed using seepage meters with and without mini-piezometers.
  • Measuring temperature variation between stream water and hyphoreic zone.
  • Using chemical or isotopic signatures to identify baseflow contributions to stream.

Springs

Horacio Ferriz, California State University, Stanislaus
Tom Lachmar, Utah State University

Springs are one of those geologic wonders that have baffled human beings since the dawn of time. Why is water coming out of the rocks? Why do they go dry?
In this series of fact sheets we want to collect ideas on how to use springs for exercises in geologic mapping, geochemistry, long-term mass balance, and geophysics.
For example, how about:
  • Measuring discharge over time of your local spring.
  • Sampling and doing in-field measurements of chemical parameters.
  • Consulting local geologic maps to formulate multiple hypotheses.
  • Using air photos to sort through some of these hypotheses.
  • Reconnaissance mapping of hydrogeologic units.

Would you like to contribute a fact sheet on this subject to help new Hydro profs? E-mail Horacio Ferriz at hferriz@geology.csustan.edu, with a Word file. You can make a big difference!


Stream Chemistry

Devin Castendyk, SUNY Oneonta
Daria Nikitina, California University of Pennsylvania
Paul Ryberg, Clarion University



Vadose Zone Monitoring

Shafiul Chowdhury, SUNY New Paltz

In this series of fact sheets we want to collect ideas on how to use vadose zone monitoring for exercises.
The water table is defined as the surface on which the fluid pressure in the pores of a porous medium is equal to the atmospheric pressure. The total hydraulic head is the sum of pressure head and elevation head. The measured pressure head on the water table is equal to zero. The pressure head is positive below water table and negative in the unsaturated zone. This is a very difficult concept for students to comprehend at the beginning of an introductory hydrogeology course. This negative pressure head is caused due to the fact that water in the unsaturated zone is held in the pores due to surface tension.
We use piezometers in the saturated zone to measure the total hydraulic head. However, tensiometers are used to measure the negative pressure head in the vadose zone. The total hydraulic head is calculated for the unsaturated zone by adding the pressure head to the elevation head.
For example, how about:
  • Several tensiometers can be installed at different depth in the unsaturated zone (e. g.1ft, 2ft and 3ft) (tensiometer nest). The negative pressure head is calculated by converting the pressure gauge reading which is usually given in milibars. By adding the negative head to the elevation head the total hydraulic head is obtained for the point at which the tensiometer tip is located.
  • In addition, the pressure head is also a function of the moisture content in the vadose zone. The lesser the moisture content the more negative the pressure head is (more suction). This concept can be demonstrated by adding water on the surface where tensiometers are installed or if nature cooperates (rain).
  • To collect water samples from unsaturated zone, lysimeters are installed which are difficult to setup (but doable).

Would you like to contribute a fact sheet on this subject to help new Hydro profs? E-mail Shafiul Chowdhury at chowdhus@newpalz.edu with a Word file.


Stream Discharge Measurements

Yongli Gao, East Tennessee State University
Paul Ryberg, Clarion University
Danny Welsch, Frostburg State University



Constructing Wells

Tom Lachmar, Utah State University



Project 5: Well access resource list

Danny Welsch, Frostburg State University



Project 6: Multi-institution hydrogeologic competition

W. Richard Laton, California State University, Fullerton
Bob Newton, Smith College



Project 7: Template for long-term projects

Tara Curtin, Hobart and William Smith Colleges



Project 8: Hydrogeology field camp list

Martin Helmke, West Chester University of Pennsylvania



Project 9: Pumping/slug test database

Martin Helmke, West Chester University of Pennsylvania




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