An intensive three week field course (ESCI 4971W for 4 undergrad credits and 5971 for 2 graduate credits) that is offered each summer, typically from mid-July through the beginning of August. The first week examines Paleozoic aquifers dominated by fracture and conduit flow on the Minneapolis Campus and across SE Minnesota. The second two weeks move north to our field site near Akeley, MN in a glacial/fluvial aquifer system.
The course is designed to teach students how to evaluate hydrogeologic problems by collecting and analyzing hydrogeologic, physical, and chemical field data. Students gain proficiency using state-of-the-art equipment as they study the surface and subsurface flow within an heavily instrumented ground water flow system.
Specific field laboratories and field camp features include:
- Hydrogeologic mapping and surveying using precision GPS and conventional surveying tools.
- Recognition, location and manipulation of hydrologic features and information in a GIS environment on laptops.
- Application of LiDAR data to field mapping and analysis of hydrogeologic environments.
- Water quality sampling: sampling, field tests, chemical analysis, interpretation and reporting.
- Drill rig observation: split-spoon sampling, description and textural analysis, observation of well construction.
- Bore hole geophysical techniques as they apply to bedrock and unconsolidated aquifers.
- Single- and multiple-well aquifer testing techniques and data analysis using conventional and computational methods.
- Analysis and identification of Paleozoic sediments and Quaternary glacial deposits.
- Evapotranspiration and ground water recharge monitoring.
- Stream gauging and surface water monitoring.
- Analyzing Ground water/surface water interactions including lakes and wetlands.
- Groundwater flow and pump test modeling using field data.
- Time for write-ups and extra-curricula activities (e.g., beach volleyball, golf, kayaking, wood tick theater, climbing wall, ...)
- Field trip to caves and karst of SE Minnesota during the first week of camp based at the Minneapolis Campus of the U of M.
- Accommodation at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve for the final 2 weeks where all meals are prepared for us and various resources are provided including a great common hall for work and play, a beach volleyball field, dorm rooms for about 5 students each, fire places, internet + phone access, an indoor climbing wall, and much more.