||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
UW-Eau Claire Students Assist|
With Groundwater Project
MAILED: March 10, 1999|
A project that for five years gave University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire geology students real-life experience in the hydrogeology field by asking them to define the capture zones of public water supply wells in Eau Claire County will end this semester.
Since 1994, students have used computer groundwater modeling to locate the recharge areas for municipal wells in Fall Creek, Fairchild and Augusta. The project completes the preliminary stage in the creation of a well head protection plan for the communities, said John Tinker, project adviser and UW-Eau Claire professor of geology.
This semester, students will finish work on capture zones in Altoona, the last community students will work with in regard to this project, Tinker said.
The experiences students have gained throughout the years from working on the project are immeasurable, Tinker said.
"This has been an excellent opportunity for students to apply what they've learned in their hydrogeology classes," Tinker said. "They've also gained some valuable experience in collaborating with people and presenting their material."
Along with the UW-Eau Claire students who worked in the field, students in other geology courses have participated in the project by reviewing the students' final reports. Several of the projects have been presented at UW-Eau Claire's annual spring Research Day and before the Wisconsin Section of the American Water Resources Association.
The Eau Claire County Groundwater Committee and the individual communities funded the projects. Costs for each project totaled about $900, Tinker said.
"Both students and the communities we've worked with have benefited from this project," Tinker said. "It's also been a learning process for myself, upper division students and those students who are coming along."
For Kristine Mercer, a hydrogeologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in Eau Claire and a 1997 UW-Eau Claire graduate, the real-world experience she gained from working on the project during her senior year was considerable.
"It was a lot of work but at the same time I had the opportunity to apply what I had learned in hydrogeology courses," Mercer said. "It gave me excellent comprehensive experience in computer groundwater modeling and really honed my technical writing skills something I use all the time now."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: March 10, 1999