Faculty Publications

Title

Using on-campus monitoring wells to enhance student learning in geo-hydrology courses

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Geoscience Education

Volume

55

Issue

5

First Page

364

Last Page

370

Abstract

This project aimed at effective teaching of hydrologic concepts in the water sciences curriculum at the University of Northern Iowa and the State University of New York at New Paltz. The primary goal was to use outdoor instructional facilities to fill the large gap between classroom learning of concepts and its application at the watershed level. In this project, groundwater monitoring wells were set up within walking distance from the instructional buildings. Students were involved in hands-on activities, such as water sampling, on-site chemical analysis, well purging, preparing flow-nets, mapping water table contours, etc. The well clusters served as an effective intermediate step in learning hydrologic concepts. While the shallow wells were useful for unsaturated flow exercises, the deeper bedrock wells were very effective in teaching the natural hydrologic environment in the area. It was much easier for them to understand the negative impact of land use on area waters. We concluded that an on-campus or near campus instructional facility that is built in a natural field setting can bring the students a more effective experience of science. It promotes the basic elements of science inquiry among students, which includes curiosity, observation, synthesis of observed data, reasoning, and objective conclusions.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2007

DOI of published version

10.5408/1089-9995-55.5.364

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