August 29, 2001
Gift pumps resources into hydrogeology program
The applied hydrogeology program at
California State University, Sacramento is on its way to becoming
the most comprehensive in the state thanks to a $400,000 grant
from the W. M. Keck Foundation.
The grant will enhance the department's new graduate program
in particular, helping to attract high-quality students from
the professional community and other undergraduate programs.
It will fund expanded field facilities, advanced geophysics
equipment and a new groundwater modeling lab.
CSUS students already have access to the largest on-campus
water well field in the country which boasts three observation
wells and an extraction well. Part of the grant funds will
go toward making it even better. "The current campus
set-up allows faculty and students to address a limited type
of problem, namely groundwater problems that are similar to
those here in the valley," says hydrogeology professor
Dave Evans. "This will allow us to fill in the missing
The expansion includes adding two wells to the current well
field - a 215-foot monitoring well and a 50-foot shallow extraction
well with a pump - and installing additional wells in a more
complex geologic environment, namely fractured rock located
near Sierra College in Rocklin.
"We're sort of limited in the campus well field because
the current wells are so close together," Evans says.
"We'll expand the well field make it similar to the scale
that students will encounter as professionals."
Evans says they will also install four new 400-foot wells
in crystalline bedrock on the Sierra College campus, a very
different geologic setting than the CSUS campus and similar
to most of Northern California, where groundwater exists in
fractures within shallow bedrock. Most hydrogeology programs
aren't designed to teach students how to analyze the complex
hydrology found in this type of setting.
"It will give us probably the best teaching well field
in the country, giving students access to the most comprehensive
field experience they can get anywhere," Evans says.
The grant will also allow the department to:
· Purchase state-of-the-art borehole geophysical equipment
which students can use to test and characterize the subsurface
geology. This type of data collection and analysis, long used
in the oil industry, will become increasingly important as
water resources become scarce.
· Expand the University's W.M. Keck Foundation Laboratory
for Hydrogeologic Studies into a groundwater modeling lab.
Computers at each station will allow students to run groundwater
modeling software and make quantitative predictions about
water supply and water quality.
· Expand the on-campus well field facility with a small
building where faculty and students can stage field experiments
and analyze field data as it is acquired.
"One of the things we do best is applied science,"
Evans says. "This will give us great facilities to provide
a top-notch hydrogeology program."
Drilling on the well fields will begin this winter and they
could be ready for use as early as the end of spring. The
new lab should be ready next summer. Some of the new equipment
will go into the new facility while the rest will be mounted
on a field vehicle, providing a mobile lab to take to the
More information is available by contacting the CSUS public
affairs office at (916) 278-6156.
further information send E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or
Public Affairs (916)
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