Department of Earth Science |Northeastern Illinois University

ESCI 337
Spring, 2009

Schedule of Activities Homework

Course Syllabus

Please note: The online version of this syllabus will be updated several times per week as we move through the semester.  Please check back frequently for updates.

Course Description:  Introduction to the theory and principles of ground water flow as well as streamflow.  Topics include the hydrologic equation, evapotranspiration, well drilling and testing, porosity and permeability, Darcy's law, confined and unconfined aquifers, flow nets, geology of ground water occurrence, water table maps, geophysical exploration methods, well logs, streamflow, and hydrographs (4 credit hours).  (From the NEIU catalog.)

What should you bring to this course?
Course Outcomes and Objectives (What will you take from this course?)
Working in Teams
Hints for Solving 
Quantitative Problems

Graphic Groundwater
(Dr. Steve Esling, SIU)


Instructor Contact Information

  Instructor: Dr. Laura L. Sanders             
  E-Mail (the fastest way to reach me!):     L-Sanders (at)
  Voice Mail:      773/442-6051         Office:  During office hours, I will be in S-130, unless otherwise announced. 
  Office Hours:  Tuesdays  1:40 pm-2:30 pm, 4:30-5:00 pm, 8:10 pm-9:45 pm
                             Thursdays 1:35 pm-2:30 pm; 4:30-5:00 pm; 7:20 pm-8:00 pm
  Class meeting times: T 5:40-8:10 pm, R 5:40-7:20 pm, Room S-120
  Course Prerequisites: Physical Geology (ESCI 211)
and either College Algebra (MATH 104) or Precalculus Mathematics (MATH 106)
  Text:  C.W. Fetter, Applied Hydrogeology, 4th edition, 2001
  Course Website:

Outline of Topics

v Reading assignments listed here are for the Fetter textbook.
v Click on the date to see a list of objectives for that class period.  These will be updated at least twice weekly, just before or after each class.
JAN 13  Course overview.  Rain barrels and stormwater management.  Read: Chapter 1. JAN 15  Solving quantitative problems.  Uncertainty.  Read: p. 24-47, 55-57.
JAN 20  Homework #1 is due.  What makes water flow? JAN 22  Water budgets and the hydrologic equation.  Water flow: lab explorations.  
JAN 27  Class cancelled due to ComEd power outage. JAN 29  Water flow: lab explorations, continued.
FEB  3  Presentations on water flow.  Measuring hydraulic properties of sediments.  Read: p. 90-93.  Homework #2 is due. FEB  5   Read: p. 68-90.  Water table, vadose zone, capillary fringe, phreatic zone. 
FEB 10  Flow nets.  Properties of porous materials: porosity, effective porosity, specific yield, specific retention.  Hydraulic conductivity and permeability.  Read: p. 113-147.    FEB 12  LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY; no class.
FEB 17  Hydraulic properties of rocks and sediments.  Read: p. 90-95.  FEB 19  EXAM #1.  Get the review sheet here!
FEB 24  K, Ki.  Hydrostratigraphy: aquifers and aquitards.  Hydraulic head, pressure head, elevation head.  Hydraulic gradient.  Flow nets.  FEB 26  Flow nets.  Identifying boundaries to flow systems.  Read: p. 100-108, Chapter 4 (esp. pages 132-138).  Making and interpreting water level maps.  Hydrostratigraphy.    
MAR  3   Quantitative flow nets.  Hydrogeologic cross sections and maps.   Piezometers.  Read: Chapter 7 and p. 297-300.  Homework #3 is due. MAR  5  Darcy's Law.  Finding well boring data for Illinois.  Plotting well locations.
MAR 10   Work on your hydrogeologic cross section. (Homework #4) MAR 12  Conceptual model of a flow system.  Water levels in wells.   Using geologic maps.  Glacial deposits.  Read: Chapter 7.
MAR 17  Conceptual models; ground water modeling.  Designing grids for numerical models.  Read: p. 132-138 and Chapter 13.     Download Dr. Steven Esling's Graphic Groundwater here.  Homework #4 is due. MAR 19 Continued work on conceptual model, numerical model.
MAR 24  Spring Break; no class MAR 26  Spring Break; no class
MAR 31  Stresses on aquifers: pumping, recharge, discharge.  Read: Chapter 13.   APR  2  Average linear velocity and specific discharge.  Ground water modeling: particle tracking, capture zones/recharge areas.  Your model should run today! 
APR  7   Evaluating models; sensitivity analyses. APR  9   EXAM #2
APR 14   Finishing the ground water modeling project.  APR 16   Completing your modeling project.  Ground Water Contamination and Remediation.
APR 21  Modeling project paper is due.  Ground Water Contamination and Remediation.  Capstone project: introduction.  Find Plume Busters here. APR 23  Capstone project, continued.  Find Plume Busters here.
APR 28   Capstone project, continued.  remediation.  Consulting reports. APR 30 Capstone project, continued. 
MAY  5  Exam period: 6:00-7:50 pm.  Capstone project papers due.  

Course Requirements

Attendance at all lecture and lab sessions is expected.  Please bring the following to class every day:
    Your textbook and notebook.
    A scientific calculator, pencil, eraser, ruler, and a colored pencil (optional)--any color is fine.
    Optional: when we work with topographic maps, you might find it convenient to use a map scale, or engineer's scale.  These three-sided rulers make measuring distances on topo maps much easier.  If you buy one, be sure to get an engineer's scale (divided into tenths and then subdivided) and not an architect's scale (divided into halves, quarters, eighths, sixteenths, and so on).

E-Mail: Students must maintain a valid e-mail account (either through NEIU or another e-mail service) and must pick up messages at least every few days.  E-mail will be used to make announcements about the course.

Exams and Quizzes: Two exams will be given; dates are shown on the outline of topics.  Quizzes given will be announced in advance.

Homework:  Some homework and labs will be completed and handed in by teams.  Assignments and due dates will be posted on the course outline and on the homework page.  Each paper handed in should list only the names of the students who participated in producing the final product.  Team members should first outline the solutions to problems on their own, and then should work together to complete the solutions.  Only one grade will be assigned per team.  When solving quantitative problems, be sure to use the hints linked to this syllabus.

Modeling Project: In the project, which we will work on in teams for several weeks, you will construct, test, and use a numerical ground water model that will allow you to delineate a wellhead protection area of a community water supply well in Illinois.  Several homework assignments will deal directly with this project.  The final product of this project will be a report describing the geologic and hydrogeologic setting, the ground water model, and the five-year recharge area for the well(s) in the study.

Capstone Project: In the capstone project, you will act as a consultant in an online simulation of a site with ground water contamination.  You will be given a budget and timeline and will design a remediation program to clean up the aquifer.  Your grade will be based on the degree of remediation you achieve and how well you stick to the budget and schedule, and your written report.  The final product will include a cover letter and consulting report.
Assessments: Students must participate in all assessment activities.  I want to learn how well certain concepts are getting across and how the class is feeling about the material and the course as we go along.  At the end of some class periods, you will assess this, usually anonymously. Assessment questions will help me find out how well the day's outcomes were achieved.  This may be done in the form of an ungraded quiz-type question, a concept map, or survey-type questions.  This information will help me to determine the extent to which the course is meeting its goals.  To provide me with the most information so that I can make the course better, I ask that you give me your most thoughtful, honest feedback-- the more, the better.

Academic integrity:  The NEIU policy on academic integrity will be strictly enforced.  A site from the University of Indiana explains and gives examples of plagiarism and provides helpful tips on how to avoid it.

Flexibility: This outline will change as the semester evolves.  Please allow for flexibility in topics and assignments.  Check frequently for updates!

Evaluation and Grading

Evaluation: 2 exams, weighted equally: 30%
Homework and other assignments: 40%
Modeling project paper: 10%
Capstone project: 20%

No extra credit will be given.
Grading scale: 90-100% = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, <60% =F

Missing Work

A score of zero points will be assigned for any missing work.
Homework assignments may be turned in late only if approved by the instructor before the original due date/time.  Late assignments must be submitted within one week of the original due date/time.
Missed exams may be made up only if approved by the instructor before the class takes the exam.   Missed exams must be made up within one week of the original date/time.
Missed quizzes cannot be made up.
Missed labs may be made up only if they do not involve a physical laboratory set-up, and only if approved by the instructor in advance of the original due date/time. 

Department of Earth Science | Northeastern Illinois University

Copyright 2009 Laura L. Sanders.  Last updated April 28, 2009.