2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


VAN DER HOVEN, Stephen J., Geography-Geology, Illinois State Univ, Campus Box 4400, Normal, IL 61761 and LENCZEWSKI, Melissa E., Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Norhtern Illinois Univ, DeKalb, IL 60115, sjvande2@ilstu.edu

Many geologists today find employment in the environmental field. While the skills taught at traditional geology field camp are still relevant and useful, geologists working in the environmental field also require other field skills. Northern Illinois University and Illinois State University have collaborated to create a camp that teaches aspects of a traditional field camp, a hydrogeology field camp, and topics unique to an environmental field camp. This new four week long field camp draws on the expertise, equipment, and facilities of both universities. Exercises were designed so that the students are directly involved with data collection in the field, data reduction, and data interpretation in the computer lab. A strong emphasis was placed on quantitative aspects of data interpretation and the use of software to manipulate and display the field data. The first half of the camp focused on measuring and monitoring water on and beneath the land surface. Activities included aquifer and slug tests, infiltration tests, a stream dye tracer test, stream flow measurements, organic and inorganic water sampling techniques, and field measurement of water quality parameters. The second half of the camp covered Quaternary stratigraphy and soils, drilling techniques, and shallow geophysical techniques. The Quaternary and soils section included field trips to familiarize the students with the regional geologic units and landforms. The final project for this section was mapping the surficial geology of a 7.5 minute quadrangle based on topography and drilling and analysis shallow cores. Drilling exercises included demonstration of the hollow stem augur and rotary methods and well installation. Students logged borehole geology and compared it to borehole resistivity. Techniques covered in the geophysics section included resistivity, conductivity, magnetics, and seismic refraction. The geophysical techniques were used to identify karst features, the water table, and buried anthropogenic features. Exercises not normally associated with geology field camps included a survey of benthic organisms in a stream, use of diatoms as recorders of water chemistry, and forest ecology. Overall, we believe that the students gained first hand knowledge of all of the major skills that a practicing environmental geologist uses today.