2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 58
Presentation Time: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM


SIEGEL, Donald I., Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse Univ, 204 Heroy Geology Laboratory, Syracuse, NY 13244-1070 and BAUER, Robert, Geological Sciences, Univ of Missouri, 101 Geology Building, Columbia, MO 65211, disiegel@syr.edu

Many geology students will work as hydrogeologists, and geology field camps are introducing hydrogeology segments into their curriculums. At the Branson Geology Field Camp we teach hydrogeology squarely within the context of the fundamental geologic field experience: mapping and interpreting structure and stratigraphy. Some hydrogeologists ask, “Who maps surface geology anymore?”. The answer comes from rediscovering "rocks", the root of the science. How can hydrogeologists make reasonable sense of scant subsurface data if they have never seen geologic relationships in the field?

Analogous to learning languages, total immersion is the best way to learn geology, rather than from a mélange of disparate classroom field experiences. Summer geology field camp students live geology for six weeks, touring, mapping, drawing cross-sections, and seeing geologic relationships in an unparalleled way. By doing this, they develop a lifetime mental database of geological images without which geological clarity is hard to achieve.

Not seeing sufficient geology in the educational process results in hydrogeologic errors of judgment in the workplace. The root of “hydrogeology” is geology, and understanding geology in the field remains, despite technological advances, the root of the hydrogeology profession.