Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM
ONE-WEEK INTRODUCTION TO STOCHASTIC GROUNDWATER MODELING
Learning groundwater modeling helps to develop higher-level cognitive skills, as students critically evaluate their model in terms of its intended use, conceptual basis, and assumptions. Perhaps the most important assumption in elementary groundwater models is that of homogeneous hydraulic conductivity; this assumption is relaxed in the sub-field of stochastic groundwater modeling. While the body of academic research on stochastic groundwater modeling is extensive, such models are not standard in consulting practice. One explanation for this gap is that stochastic groundwater modeling is not yet standard in groundwater education. The objective of this presentation is to partially address this gap through a one-week introduction to stochastic groundwater modeling, intended for the end of a first course on groundwater hydrology, or the beginning of a second course on stochastic hydrogeology or groundwater modeling. The educational objectives are for students to (1) define key terminology, (2) explain spatial correlation, (3) produce realizations of groundwater flow, and (4) critique deterministic groundwater models. This one-week module includes a reading assignment, a class presentation, a guided computer exercise, and a homework assignment. The one-week module introduces students to a few basic terms and concepts, then gives them experience through hands-on computer exercises using the free software Processing Modflow for Windows (PMWIN). A Likert self-assessment survey indicates significant improvement by students on three of the four educational objectives.