Hydrogeology Field Course Modules

  • HFC students enage in a practice scenario

    GEOS-5230: Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)

    This course provides certified HAZWOPER training in safety procedures required for working on hazardous sites. Above: Students practice decontamination procedures to respond to a mock-scenario.

  • HFC students enage in a practice scenario

    GEOS-5250: Surface Geophysics

    This course is an introduction to the theory and field use of those surface geophysical methods used in the investigation of groundwater. Above: Students use ropes to grid out a section for survey at the geophysical test site at Asylum Lake.

  • HFC students enage in a practice scenario

    GEOS-5280: Principles and Practices of Groundwater Sampling and Monitoring

    This course provides an introduction to state-of-the-art techniques for sampling, monitoring, and evaluating groundwater systems and surface water interactions. Above: Industry professionals and regional experts provide hands-on training.

  • HFC students enage in a practice scenario

    GEOS 5270: Principles of Well Drilling and Installation

    This course provides an introduction to drilling methods used in environmental and production well fields. Above: Students gain experience by observing drill rigs and installing wells which prepares them for work in environmental and field geology.

  • HFC students enage in a practice scenario

    GEOS-5240: Remediation Design and Implementation

    This course provides an introduction to the principles and techniques used for site assessment, remediation design or long-term monitoring of contaminated groundwater and soils. Above: Students visit a site and discuss remediation technology.

The Department of Geosciences' 2018 Hydrogeology Field Course will be offered in two sessions:

  • Session I: May 8 to June 15
  • Session II: July 10 to Aug. 18

The HFC is a series of six one-week modules taught six days per week (Monday through Saturday). The course will be conducted on and near the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Each module counts as one semester credit hour and can be taken for either graduate or undergraduate credit. The course emphasizes state-of-the-art techniques for soil and groundwater sampling, aquifer testing, environmental monitoring and the evaluation of groundwater systems. Particular consideration will be given to contaminated systems, aquifer testing and select geophysical techniques.

Note: HFC instructors are nationally recognized members of the hydrogeological community and come to WMU from across the country. Each year, the course instructors vary; if you are interested in learning who the specific instructor of a course will be, contact us.

Note: The order of the specific courses below will also vary depending on instructor availability. If you are interested in finding out when a particular course might be offered, please contact us.

Course Overviews

GEOS 5230–Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)

This course provides certified HAZWOPER training in safety procedures required for working on hazardous sites and includes:

  • Training in the safe handling of hazardous materials which might be encountered during drilling, soil sampling, or water sampling in the environmental field.
  • Review of State and Federal regulations along with the proper use of personal protection equipment.
  • Satisfaction of OSHA 40 hour training requirements.
  • Training in emergency spill response.

NOTE: HAZWOPER certification is required for Hydrogeology Field Course modules. If you choose not to enroll in HAZWOPER training because you already have current HAZWOPER certification, you must fax or mail a copy of your certification (and your most recent update, if applicable) when registering.

NOTE: An eight hour refresher course is offered on Wednesday and Thursday.

GEOS 5250–Surface Geophysics

This course is an introduction to the theory and field use of those surface geophysical methods used in the investigation of ground water. The geophysical methods used include:

  • Electromagnetic methods.
  • Ground penetrating radar.
  • Magnetic methods.
  • Surface resistivity methods.
  • Shallow seismic methods.

GEOS 5260–Principles and Practices of Aquifer Testing

This course provides an introduction to the methods of aquifer testing with emphasis on:

  • Step draw-down pumping test.
  • Forty-hour aquifer pumping test followed by recovery test.
  • Slug and bail tests.

The course also focuses on the application of various computer software used for:

  • Data processing (data collected from the week's field work).
  • Field equipment includes water-level recorders, data-loggers and water-level measuring equipment.

GEOS 5280–Principles and Practices of Groundwater Sampling and Monitoring

This course provides an introduction to state-of-the-art techniques for sampling, monitoring, and evaluating ground-water systems and surface water interactions. The course includes:

  • Field hydrochemical equipment and procedures.
  • Free product (NAPL) monitoring.
  • Groundwater sampling equipment and standard procedures.
  • Quality control and quality assurance procedures.
  • Vadose zone sampling (water, gas).

GEOS 5270–Principles of Well Drilling and Installation

This course provides an introduction to several drilling methods used in the environmental and production well fields. Drilling methods covered in the course include:

  • Hollow-stem auger drilling and well installation.
  • Rotary drilling with mud and air.
  • Cable tool drilling.
  • Modern direct push and sonic drilling technology.
  • Sediment sample collection and description (from cuttings, split spoon and Shelby tube sampling).
  • Borehole geophysics.
  • Monitoring well design, installation and development.

GEOS 5240–Remediation Design and Implementation

This course provides an introduction to the principles and techniques used for site assessment, remediation design or long-tern monitoring of contaminated ground water and soils. The course includes an introduction to:

  • Bioremediation.
  • Pump and treat systems.
  • Soil vapor extraction.
  • Air sparging.
  • Phase I, II environmental site assessments.
  • Remedial investigation and feasibility study (how to choose the appropriate remediation system and size it for economical application to a specific site).

WMU Course Descriptions

For official WMU course description, utilize the search tool on the Registrar's page.