Department of Earth Science |Northeastern Illinois University

ESCI 407
Fall, 2003

Course Description: Occurrence, movement, storage, and distribution of ground water: problems pertaining to water quality; sea water intrusion, water pollution and recharge of aquifers.  Lecture 2 hours, lab 2 hours.  Prerequisites: graduate standing and ESCI 337. (From the NEIU catalog.)

Course Home Page

Course Syllabus
 Instructor Contact Information    Outline of Topics Course Goals and Requirements
 Evaluation and Grading What should you bring
to this course?
Course Outcomes and Objectives (What will you take
from this course?)
Links, downloads and Suggestions for Further Reading Hints for Solving 
Quantitative Problems

Instructor Contact Information:

Instructor: Dr. Laura L. Sanders              Office: S-146
Phone:      773/442-6051                        Fax: 773/442-5710
Office Hours:  MW 4:00-5:00 pm, MW 7:20-8:50 pm
Course Prerequisites: Graduate standing and ESCI 337: Principles of Hydrogeology

Text:  Franklin Schwartz and Hubao Zhang, 2003, Fundamentals of Ground Water (Wiley).  Other readings will be provided.  Website for the textbook: Student companion site


* This outline will be adjusted daily as the semester proceeds.  Please check back frequently for updates.
* Reading assignments listed here are for the Schwartz and Zhang textbook unless otherwise noted.
   Reading assignments should be completed before coming to class on the day listed.
* To see a list of each day's learning objectives, click on the date.  These will be added as the semester progresses.
AUG 25  Introduction.  Review of hydrogeologic terms and concepts. Read: Preface, Chapter 1, Chapter 3.  AUG 27  Research paper organization.  Basic hydrogeologic principles. Read: Chapter 3.
SEP 1  Labor Day--No class SEP 3  Basic hydrogeologic concepts, cont.  Read: Chapter 3. Abstracts.  Acknowledgments.  First journal article (Article 1) distributed. Homework #1 due.
SEP 8  Discussion of Article 1 (discussion leader: Sanders).  Hydraulic properties of aquifers and confining units.  Read:  Article 1  and Chapter 4. SEP 10  Hydraulic properties of aquifers and confining units, cont.  Read:  Chapter 4. 
SEP 15  Discussion of Article 2 (leader: Sheri).  Storativity and specific storage. Read: Article 2  and Chapter 4. SEP 17  Storativity, cont.  Flow nets.  Read: Chapter 5. 
SEP 22  Discussion of Article 3 (leader: Margarita).  Flow nets. Read: Article 3  and Chapter 5. SEP 24  Exam #1.  See review sheet.
SEP 29  Discussion of Article 4 (leader: Brian) .  Equations of flow. Read: Article 4  and Chapter 5.  OCT 1  Equations of flow. Read: Chapter 5.  Research proposals.
OCT 6  Discussion of Article 5 (leader: Manuel).   Regional flow.  Read: Chapter 8, Article 5, and info at this link OCT 8  Regional flow, continued.  More practice with flow nets.  Using maps, graphs, tables, and figures in a scientific paper. 
OCT 13  Discussion of Article 6 (leader: Cole).  Unsaturated flow.  Read: Article 6, and Chapter 6.  OCT 15  Unsaturated flow.  Read:  Chapter 6.   Homework #2 due.
OCT 20  Discussion of Article 7 (leader: Yvette)Read:  Article 7 and Chapter 6.  Research proposals may be handed in beginning today. OCT 22  Flow nets, redux.  Aquifer response to pumping: the Theim equation for steady state conditions.  Skim Chapters 9, 10, 11.  Read: Chapter 12. 
OCT 27  Discussion of Article 8 (leader: Sheri).  Theim equation, contd. Read:  Article 8. OCT 29  Exam #2.  See review sheet.
NOV 3  Geological Society of America meeting in Seattle;  no class. NOV 5  Discussion of Article 9 (leader: Margarita).  Unsaturated flow revisited. 
NOV 10  Discussion of Article 10 (leader: Brian).  Aquifer response to pumping: slug tests.  Read:  Article 10  and Chapter 12. NOV 12  No class due to NASA grant meeting in Baltimore.  Double class length next Monday! 
NOV 17  Double class length.  Discussion of Article 11 (leader: Yvette).  Aquifer response to pumping: transient conditions.  Slug test data interpretation.  Read: Article 11 and Chapter 12. NOV 19 Pumping test data interpretation.  Skim: Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 13.
NOV 24  Double class length.  Pumping test data interpretation, contd.  Discussion of Article 12 (leader: Manuel)Read: Article 12.  Skim: Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 13.  Homework #3 will be assigned today. NOV 26  No class due to double length class on Monday.
DEC 1  Double class length.  Discussion of Article 13 (leader: Cole).  Mass transport and contaminant hydrogeology. Read:  Article 13, Chapter 22.  DEC 3  No class due to double length class on Monday.
DEC 8  Mass transport and contaminant hydro, cont'd.  Read: Chapter 19. Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) and course evaluation. Final deadline for handing in research proposals. DEC 10 Final Exam 6:00-7:50 pm.  Note unusual time!
See review sheet.

Course Goals: Upon completion of this course, the student will

* have an advanced understanding of the principles of hydrogeology, particularly with respect to physical hydrogeology, chemical hydrogeology, and contaminant hydrogeology;

* be able to apply those principles in the design of hydrogeologic experiments and investigations, as demonstrated by the writing of a research proposal;

* be able to use the hydrogeologic literature to do research, including being able to read, understand, and apply ideas that appear in the literature; and

* be conversant in areas of current research in the field.

Course Requirements

Attendance at all class sessions is expected.

Students are expected to have an e-mail account and to check their e-mail at least every other day.

Students should bring the following to every class meeting: textbook, class handouts, scientific calculator, pencil and eraser, ruler, colored pencil.

Students are expected to participate in all course assessments.  In addition to the course goals, each class day has its own goals.  Each day, you will receive a list of expected daily outcomes.  You also can find these from the outline of topics in this syllabus; just click on each date.  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 each class period, you will assess this, anonymously.  On these “green sheets”, 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.

Graded aspects of the course are described in the next section.


Leading discussions (20 points):  During the course, students will select, read, and discuss articles from the current issues of scientific journals such as Ground Water, Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, Water Resources Research, Environmental Science and Technology, or other hydrogeologically-focused periodicals.  Each student will lead the discussion of two separate articles during the semester.  Students leading a discussion earn 0-10 points, up to 20 points total for the semester.  These points will be awarded on the basis of how well-prepared and organized the discussion leader is, how clearly s/he brings out the main points of the article, and how well s/he engages the rest of the class in the discussion.  Two students may elect to co-lead an article discussion; under this plan, they may earn 0-5 points each for each discussion.

The discussion leader should begin the discussion by giving a brief summary of the article.  The leader then should guide the ensuing discussion, which should bring out the main research questions, methods of investigation, major findings, and significance of the work.  The leader should be prepared to define any scientific terms used in the article.  Advance preparation is absolutely necessary.  This will include carefully reading the article many times, looking up unfamiliar terms, investigating unfamiliar concepts, preparing discussion questions/points, and doing any necessary background research to illuminate the ideas in the article.  Background research could include reading the sources cited in the article, reading the textbook and/or supplemental texts, discussing the article with me, and phoning/e-mailing the author with brief questions, among other things.

Participation in discussion of scientific journals (22 points): All students are expected to read assigned articles before coming to class.  Every student must participate in the discussion of every article.  Participation will count for 2 points per article.

Exams (24 points total): Three exams will be given, as shown on the course outline.  Each will count for 9 points.  Exams  will test the student's understanding of material covered in the time period since the last exams.  They will cover material from the textbook and from the journal articles.  Exams will be open-notes, open-book unless otherwise specified.

Research Proposal (20 points): Each student will write a research proposal to investigate a hydrogeologic topic of particular interest to them.  Proposals may be handed in any time between the dates of October 20 and December 8.  Proposals should be written according to the format given in the Earth Science M.S. Student Handbook.  I would be happy to read and comment on draft versions of the proposal; this definitely will improve the quality of and final grade on the proposal.  I will need at least one week to read and comment on a draft; please plan accordingly.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following: Does the proposal follow the required format?  Is the research question clearly defined and articulated?  Is the Introduction comprehensive and relevant?  Are the proposed methods realistic and will they provide information to answer the research question?  Is the proposal neatly presented, free of grammatical and spelling errors, and with figures and tables in proper format?  Are the references presented in the correct format?

Homework (14 points): Occasional homework assignments will be given.  Unless otherwise specified, they will be due one week from the date on which they are assigned.  Homework should be either typewritten or neatly printed, on the front side of the page only.  For quantitative   Please start each new problem on a new page.  Pages should be stapled or clipped together, and the student's name should appear on every page.  Trim ragged edges.  Problems should be solved in a logical sequence of steps, with each step explained in words.  For numerical problems, the final answer should be circled or boxed.  Answers should be rounded to the appropriate number of significant digits.  Units of measurement must be included at every step.

Lab assignments will be given in class and usually will be due in the same class period in which they are assigned.  Only some portions will be handed in; this will be discussed in class.

Summary of evaluation:

    Discussions: Leading       20 points                  In general,  90-100 pts = A,
            Participation             22                            80-89 pts = B, 70-79 pts = C,
    Exams                               24                            60-69 pts = D, <60 pts = F
    Research Proposal           20
    Homework                       14
    TOTAL                   100 points

Department of Earth Science | Northeastern Illinois University

Last updated December 8, 2003.