Paper No. 17-16
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM
WHERE THERE IS A "WELL" THERE IS A WAY: CONNECTING UNDERGRADUATES TO THE WATER RESOURCE COMMUNITY VIA THE SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA MONITORING PROJECT
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) is located in the rural coastal plain of southeastern North Carolina. Our university serves a very high proportion of underrepresented individuals / minorities that are 1st generation students that are unaware of the career potential within the geosciences. However, one of the great assets of our region is its abundant groundwater resources that is being developed for both industrial, agricultural, and domestic supplies. The Southeastern North Carolina Groundwater Project has been very successful in helping our students excel in their academic and professional development as well as increase recruitment within our Geoenvironmental program by providing internships in partnership with local water resource leaders. The Robeson County Water Department, local well drillers, and the Geology and Geography Department at UNCP has collaborated together in this program to monitor local groundwater resources. Students are mentored by our faculty to help develop a monitoring well network on the campus and throughout the county. The interns are trained to collect and analyze water levels and water usage for the county then manage a publically accessible online geodatabase for this groundwater information. The students are collecting and scanning all types of well records, geophysical logs, etc… from state and private archived records to include in the geodatabase and then simplifying the data for the public. The project is helping identify background water level conditions in the region in order for water users to mitigate the use of our groundwater resources and try to help water managers curtail any overuse so that future restrictions do not need to be implemented in the region.