On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching Hydrogeology in the 21st. Century
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Cutting Edge > Hydrogeology > 2005 Workshop > Short demo #1

Short Demonstrations, Set #1

Session #3, time slot #1 (Monday 3:15), repeated in Session #6 (Thursday 8:30)

S1A: Teaching Students to Solve Hydrogeologic Problems Using Scant Data (Don Siegel, Syracuse University). Many, if not most hydrogeologic problems in the "real" world have minimal and/or incomplete data sets. Hydrogeology as typically practiced is more an exercise in critical thinking, based on first principles, than an exercise in textbook rigueur usually taught in the class room. My bottom line, when I practice hydrogeology as a consultant, is to "KISS" (Keep is simple, stupid!) within the framework of understanding how groundwater plausibly moves under type hydrogeomorphic settings. I'll present some case studies from my own consulting files as examples.

S1B: Taking a Snapshot of the Water Table (Horacio Ferriz, California State University, Stanislaus). We are used to interpreting the geometry of the water table through contour maps, but with seismic refraction you can actually "see" the water table. Characteristically, elastic waves propagate through water, or a water saturated medium, at a velocity of 5,000 ft/sec, so under most circumstances the water table can be easily identified in seismic refraction time-distance plots or tomographic profiles. Simple seismic refraction equipment is found in many universities, and with a bit of flare you can make the "shooting" of a line the high point of a geology fieldtrip (I have used geology hammers, falling boulders, and shotguns). Handouts will include a lab exercise suitable for inclusion in your lab.

S1C: Constructing vs. Understanding Water Table Maps (Susan Swanson, Beloit College). This session will discuss a field exercise that emphasizes visualization of the water table over construction of a water table map. Because many students are familiar with contouring methods, they can mechanically construct water table maps from canned data sets with ease. However, their drafting abilities may mask their level of understanding. Developing a water table map ???from scratch,??? including installing shallow monitoring wells, surveying wells, measuring water levels, and drafting a professional map using ArcGIS, promotes a deeper level of understanding prior to the introduction of more advanced topics. The complete process takes surprisingly little time once a field site is established.

S1D: Using Wetlands to Teach Hydrogeology (Catherine Carlson, Eastern Connecticut State University). Wetlands provide the ideal field laboratory for investigating surface-water/groundwater interaction. With minimal expense and effort, wells and piezometers may be installed for data collection. If necessary, open auger holes may be used to determine the water table. Myriad field exercises (surface-water, vadose-zone, and groundwater hydrology) are possible for students to learn hydrogeological concepts, techniques, and reasoning in the context of one field site, and thus as an integrated whole rather than as piecemeal field exercises.

S1E: Borehole Logging from Sample Collection to Borehole Geophysics (Richard Laton, California State University, Fullerton). Drilling the borehole is only the beginning. Data collection, handling and interpretation are the most important aspects to the field hydrogeologist. This session will use an exercise that combines both physical soil samples and borehole geophysical logs to build an interpretation of the subsurface.