Kevin Svitana

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Life and Earth Sciences
Otterbein College

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (3)

Soil analysis for the community garden part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Kevin Svitana, Otterbein University, Westerville, OH Summary Otterbein is in the process of developing a community garden on its newly opened Equestrian Science facility. This facility was a former industrial ...

Movement of Contaminants Activity Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:8 - Flow of Contaminants
This module is focused on increasing the users understanding and familiarity with the fate and transport of contaminants. Video clips of sand tank models showing the movement of contaminants in subsurface porous media are included. The sand tank models provide a visual guide to help see how different geologic materials with different permeability's effect the movement of fluids and ultimately the distribution of contaminants.

Infiltration Activity Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:7 - Induced Infiltration to Wells
Students will work with data to allow them to determine the amount of water discharging from the Aberjona River to groundwater when Wells G & H are pumping. The goal is to determine the amount of water that actually is derived from the river during pumping.

Course

LSC 315 Land-Use Planning part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Courses
An introduction to GIS applications and software use.

Other Contributions (12)

Potentiometric Activity Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:6 - Wetlands and Flooding
Users will gain an understanding of how flooding can redistribute sediments and debris that occur and the floodplain. This phenomena was used during the trial to explain how contaminants from other locations could have been placed on the Wildwood property. It also was intended to dramatize how widespread pollution sources were in the Aberjona River drainage basin.

Creating the Timeline part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:1 - Timeline of Events
This activity familiarizes students with the people and events leading up to the Woburn Toxic Trial, the shenanigans of the attorneys during the trial, and the aftermath of the trial. Students need to read the book "A Civil Action" and view the movie during which they develop a timeline of events and a list of people. These materials can be used later to help conduct a mock trial.

Expert Witness Activity Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:9 - Expert Testimony
Understanding the role and strategies of an expert witness, particularly an expert in the geosciences, is the focus of this module.

Groundwater Flow Development Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:5 - Flow to Wells
Understanding the effects of groundwater pumping on flow direction and rates is a key topic of this module. Students focused on a class emphasizing hydrology explore the methods of doing numerical solutions to groundwater flow effected by pumping. Goals for this module is to understand the complexity of groundwater flow caused by well pumping. Understanding the effect of discontinuous pumping of Wells G & H, and the resulting migration of TCE through the subsurface is an important aspect of this module. Students are also introduced to the potential of other source contaminants making into groundwater captured by Wells G & H as a result of dewatering Aberjona River. Resources are presented that enables students to formulate mathematical models of groundwater flow. It's the discretion of the instructor to evaluate the depth of mathematical application.

Water-Level Maps part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:4 - Groundwater Flow
In this module students learn some of the fundamental concepts of groundwater flow including measurement of water levels, hydraulic heads, construction of potentiometric surfaces, construction of flowpaths, and calculation of groundwater flow velocities and traveltimes. The goals of this module are to learn how to contour irregularly spaced data (water-level measurements made in observation wells), how to draw flowpaths on a contoured water-table map, how to measure hydraulic gradients from a contoured water-table map, and how to compute flow velocities and traveltimes using Darcy's law. The goals are applied to examining flowpaths of groundwater moving from the W.R. Grace and Beatrice properties and to computing traveltimes along these flowpaths. The EXCEL spreadsheet requires students to contour two sets of water-level data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey. One set of data was collected prior to wells G and H operating and the potentiometric surface represents the configuration of the water table during times between 1964 and 1979 when wells G and H were not operating. The other set of data was collected after wells G and H had pumped for 30 days at their average operating rates and the potnetiometric surface approximates the typical configuration of the water table when wells G and H were operating together between 1964 and 1979. These two contour maps with selected flowpaths drawn on them and and a map of the drawdown created by pumping wells G and H after 30 days of continuous pumping represent three of the major pieces of evidence to be interpreted by students and presented in the mock trial. The traveltimes of along flowpaths emanating from the Beatrice property and from the W.R.Grace property also are important to the mock trial.


Constructing a Cross Section part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:3 - Geological Setting
Constructing a cross-section to help students visualize subsurface conditions is the objective of this module. This module provides the data and background materials to help instructors convey geologic principles to students so that they can both create and geologic cross-section and interpret of the materials in the cross-section would affect flow to the wells at the Woburn site.

Activity Page: Module 1 - Cancer part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:2 - Cancer and Clusters
Students investigate information on the types of cancers and become familiar with causes, susceptible populations, symptoms, and treatments. Students should be familiar with the multiple types of leukemia that were prevalent in Woburn and their possible causes. Not all of the plaintiffs' children had the same type of leukemia and not all the plaintiffs were children (e.g. Pete Gamache).

Timeline Activity page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:1 - Timeline of Events
This activity familiarizes students with the people and events leading up to the Woburn Toxic Trial, the shenanigans of the attorneys during the trial, and the aftermath of the trial. Students need to read the book "A Civil Action" and view the movie during which they develop a timeline of events and a list of people. These materials can be used later to help conduct a mock trial.

Post-trial/Remediation Activity Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:13 - Superfund Remediation
Since the Woburn trial occurred, significant remediation has been implemented at the site. This module provides a brief overview of the remedial activities that occurred in the Aberjona River Valley, as well as a status of the current quality of groundwater in the vicinity of the former city wells.

Mock Trial Activity Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:12 - Mock Trial
This is the capstone activity for the development, preparation and execution of a mock trial. This module is the actual enactment of a mock trial in front of a jury of peers so that students can experience communicating science to a lay audience in a courtroom setting.

Trial Preparation Activity Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:11 - Trial Preparation
This module sets to accomplish two objectives, the first being the physical preparation of a room or area to accommodate a trial. The second objective is to organize participants who are role-playing as well as identifying a judge and jury so that they are familiar with their activities prior to beginning the trial.

Depositional Witnesses Activities Page part of A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial:Instructor Materials:10 - Deposition of Witnesses
This activity is the initial steps of role-playing that can be utilized by instructors as part of this overall instruction package. The first aspect of this module would include preparation of an affidavit stating the experts position. The parties representing the characters can then organize as described in the Deposition of the Witness Modules to execute a mock deposition.


Events and Communities

Career Prep '05 Participants

Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Teach Geoscience in the 21st Century Participants

Developing Civil Action Assessment Instruments 2008 Participants