ENHANCING CAPACITY FOR WATER-RESOURCE STUDIES IN EGYPT AND MOROCCO: FIELD TRAINING ACTIVITIES IN ARID ZONE HYDROLOGY
As part of a project entitled “Building Opportunity Out of Science and Technology (BOOST): Energizing Young Middle Eastern and North African Scientists,” which is supported by the U.S. Department of State, 11 graduate students from Egypt and Morocco conducted field exercises in the Concho River watershed of west Texas for a week during June 2012. Activities included locating monitoring sites by GPS; stream gaging by wading with current meters and top-setting rods; measuring depth to water in wells; measuring hydrochemical field parameters (temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and alkalinity); double-ring infiltrometer measurements; and acquiring electrical resistivity and electromagnetic data along transects. Students calculated stream discharge and infiltration rates using spreadsheets and bicarbonate alkalinity using the U.S. Geological Survey’s alkalinity calculator (http://or.water.usgs.gov/alk/). Classroom discussions of regional geology, land use, and water resources management in the Concho basin provided context for field observations. In a post-exercise survey, students most commonly listed stream gauging as the most worthwhile activity, but hydrochemical analyses, well measurements, and infiltration measurements were also listed.