ESCI 337-01

Fall, 2013
CRN: 17778

Dear Hydro student of the future: 

You found this page because you are interested in being one of the first  students ever to take an upper-level hybrid online Earth Science course at NEIU.  "Hybrid Hydro" is offered in Fall 2013. 

Each week you will complete readings, problem-solving tasks, and practice quizzes online, at your own pace.  Then you'll come to campus and work hands-on with lab materials, maps, and computer modeling.  Some labs will be individual, and some will be completed in teams.  Most labs can be scheduled at your (or your team's) convenience. 

The result?  Learning that combines the advantages of an online course (flexibility, convenience, self-paced learning) with hands-on engagement (practical experience, kinesthetic learning, teamwork).

The course framework and materials are still in development, but that's the vision! 

Have a time conflict with another course?  No problem.  Since lab sessions will be individually scheduled, you can work on them at your own convenience.  Ask Dr. Voglesonger for help registering (K-Voglesonger [at]  
I look forward to working with you to discover exciting new ways to master the concepts and applications of hydrogeology.  Questions?  Let me know.  (L-Sanders [at]

Laura Sanders

TEXTBOOK INFORMATION:  C.W. Fetter.  2000.  Applied Hydrogeology, 4th edition.  (Do not get the 3rd edition; there have been significant changes and updates.)  Prentice Hall.

What you see below is very much under construction.  Several people have asked for an idea of what we will be doing, so I developed this as a means of giving them the general outline.  I'm adding and editing and rearranging this list on a nearly daily basis, so you can either watch it develop or ignore it until the semester begins.

AUG 26 1. COURSE INTRODUCTION Preparation and review.  Course introduction. How this course works.  What you should know before you plunge in.
(D) Introduce yourself.
Review sediments, rocks, maps, math.
Sediment description.
Course pre-assessment.  Pass with an 85% or better.  Identify course goals and objectives.
SEP 2 2. THE BIG PICTURE The Hydrologic Cycle.  Working with water quantities.  Designing a Test Measurement (Accuracy and Precision). Quantitative measurements in hydrogeology.
Dimensional analysis.
Water budgets.

(D) Box measurements.
Design a stormwater management system. Hydrologic cycle: illustration.  Chapter 1, Problem 13 (DROPBOX). Stormwater management system design (DROPBOX).
SEP 9 Designing a Test Measurement. Design and conduct a test to measure porosity. 
(D) Porosity experiment.
(D) Critiques of porosity experiment.
(D) Analogies for hydro cycle.
(D) Estimate of water volume to fill Darcy tube.
Estimate porosities of sediments based on sed description from Lab 1.  Estimate porosities of rocks.  Determine how much water it will take to fill the Darcy tube. 
Find depth to water and depth of MW3, and calculate the volume of water in the well.
Hydrologic cycle: proportions (DROPBOX). 
Lab responses, porosities (DROPBOX).
SEP 16 3. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF FLUID FLOW Properties of porous media.  Why does the flow go?  Darcy's Law. Porous media: sediments and rocks.
Porosity, effective porosity, specific yield, specific retention, permeability, hydraulic conductivity.
Working in a lab team. (D)
Water flow explorations:  experimental design (group). Presentation(?) on water flow (capillary action, holey water bottle, bucket-to-bucket transfer, Darcy discovery, draining work, infiltration exploration).
SEP 23 Flow in open conduits vs. in porous media.
Saturated vs. unsaturated porous media.
Pressure head, elevation head, hydraulic head.
Hydraulic gradient.
Worksheet and lab experiments on siphons.
Worksheet on piezometers and hydraulic head.  (Credit/no-credit/half-credit.)
Two sentences on porosity and permeability.
Quiz on hydraulic head, siphons, gradients.
SEP 30 Darcy's Law and its corollaries.
Plans for working with the Darcy tube.  (D) 
 Working with the Darcy tube (group). Problems from textbook on Darcy's Law.
OCT 7 4. DEFINING AND MAPPING FLOW SYSTEMS Mapping ground water.  Hydrostratigraphy.  Defining flow systems. Boundary conditions: water table, no-flow (impermeable), constant head.
Flow nets.
Quantitatively accurate flow nets.  "Mistake Lake" mapping. Flow nets and flow systems in many configurations: mapping it out.
OCT 14 Wells and piezometers.
Measuring water levels.
Sand tank ground water model; dye tracing. Design a well.
OCT 21 Geologic maps and cross sections; finding boring log data. Using boring log data and geologic maps, draw a geologic and hydrostratigraphic cross section. Write a one-paragraph description of each hydrostratigraphic unit in your cross section.
OCT 28 5. GROUND WATER MODELING Ground water modeling.  What is ground water modeling?  How does it work?  Analytical, physical analog, and numerical models.  Boundary conditions in a model. Create a simple model using Darcy's Law and Excel. Write two paragraphs to explain what a wellhead protection area is, and how modeling can help define it.
NOV 4 Downloading and installing Graphic Groundwater.
Importing a basemap.
Creating a grid.
Using Graphic Groundwater, import a basemap of your study area and create a grid. Write one paragraph explaining how you selected the boundaries for your flow system.
NOV 11 Choosing values for hydraulic head, hydraulic conductivity, and recharge, and running the model. Run the model without crashing it.  Add stresses and particle tracks to define a five-year wellhead protection area. Write a paragraph each on your choices for your model, and on the wellhead protection area you defined.  Turn in a completed model.
NOV 18 6. GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION AND REMEDIATION Ground water contamination.  Remediation. Contaminant physical and chemical properties, and how they influence contaminant behavior in ground water. Common contaminant sources. Download and install Plumebusters and familiarize yourself with the basic functions. After being assigned a suite of contaminants, predict how they will behave in a specific ground water flow system.
NOV 25
(Thanksgiving Week)
Using Plumebusters as a base, investigate remedial options for the situation in the simulation. No lab this week.  (It's Thanksgiving.)
DEC 2 Using Plumebusters, devise a remedial strategy for the situation, staying within the assigned budget.  Write a final report with recommendations.
DEC 9 Hand in your final Plumebusters paper.  
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AVERAGE SALARY FOR GEOSCIENTISTS (May 2010): $82,500 ($40/hr)

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Department of Earth Science | Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North Saint Louis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA 60625
© 2013 Laura L. Sanders.  Last updated July 27, 2013.