12 August 2016

Sandi Morris Olympic Pole Vaulter

Harry Morris - geologist colleague and friend - is experiencing the history that his daughter is making at the 2016 Olympics.  His daughter, Sandi, is on the United States Olympic Team preparing to pole vault her way into the history books.

Sandi and her Arkansas teammate, Lexi Weeks
Sandi Morris broke the American Woman's Pole Vault record a few weeks ago and she is among the world's top women vaulters today.  

Sandi had an advantage as a vaulter at a young age because her Dad, Harry, was a pole vaulter too.    Not only is Harry a professional colleague and friend to me, he is a fellow pole vaulter.  Although the timing of our paths didn't cross at Western Illinois University, we both pole vaulted for WIU during our college days and we worked together well, but our competitive nature overflowed a few times outside of work.  I admit Harry beat me in a barefooted race when we raced on the grass in our white shirt and ties during a lunch...once.

It's an amazing perspective to see Harry's professional journey from my vantage point:  a friend whom I have a cosmic connection who has a daughter with world-class God-given athletic abilities rising to the top of international pole vault competition.  I'm so, so proud of the whole Morris family.

Anyone with kids in sports knows it's a family affair and I tip my hat to proud wife and mother, Kerry Morris.  Best wishes to the entire Morris Family.    -Dan Kelleher 11AUG2016

Harry, Sandi, and Kerry at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
Sandi Morris

29 July 2016

The MIDWESTGEO SUPER SOIL KIT is comprised of 9 soil samples that classify within eight USDA textural classifications, but have also been classified according to the Unified Soil Classification System. 

This kit is the most powerful tool ever designed for learning how to classify soil with accuracy and confidence! This unique collection of soil samples is classified using not only the USDA and USCS, but includes instructions and helpful hints for simplifying classification procedures in the field.

18 May 2016

GeoMan at the South Pole

Congratulations to the United States Ice Coring Program during their remarkable achievement of coring to 1,751 meters!
Pictured is GeoMan Jay Johnson donning his GeoMan SuperHero Shirt by Midwest GeoSciences Group!

Midnight at the South Pole

Gotta Love It.

29 February 2016

A Few Ways that On-Site Coordinators Can Enrich a Webinar Experience

We look for ways to improve everyone's webinar experience.  Thanks to participants who have shared their ideas and strategies to enrich a live or on-demand webinar experience and add value along the way.  

Here are some ways that On-Site Coordinators can enrich a webinar experience:

1.       Designate a space that is conducive for uninterrupted events. 
2.       Invite special guests to the event.  Inviting clients and stakeholders to share a webinar at your office through mutual interests.
3.       Create a list of questions before the event.  Prepare questions to ensure your educational objectives are achieved.
4.       Determine your CEU requirements. Understand your licensure CEU requirements and state to state differences.
5.       Be a good on-site host.  Create an environment conducive to learning with beverages, comfortable chairs, appropriate lighting, and room temperature.  Be proactive to eliminate distractions such as individual laptops in your group setting.
6.       Engage the instructor.  Join the Question and Answer Session and then take 10 minutes more to discuss at your site.
7.         Offer feedback.  Assess the quality of the webinar.  Recognize how promotional material may cause a conflict of interest in the educational message. 
8.         Thank your guests and distribute post-webinar material.  Forward post-webinar emails with CEU options to your attendees and invite their feedback too.

You are invited to share how you enrich webinars and add value to the experience too.

Midwest GeoSciences Group offers a Subscription Service for On-Demand Webinars along with live events.   Subscriptions are perfect for training your staff for soil logging, rock core logging, environmental sampling, wellinstallation, slug testing, etc.

CEUs are available from Northern Illinois University.

10 January 2016

Creativity for Drone Use is Soaring !!

Creativity is soaring!!!!!  New ideas are becoming reality for drone applications.

Midwest GeoSciences Group invites you to an exclusive webinar event dedicated to drones being used for a spectrum of mapping techniques and geophysical investigations.

Webinar series begins on Feb 9.   Webinar Registration Portal.

New Frontier with Big Potential...and some Potential Big Risks

30 October 2015

Ten Year Milestone @ In-Situ, Inc.

Fort Collins in October is a great place to be.  Not only because of the peak fall colors and the freedom to drive around without traffic, but also because October marks the time of year when Midwest GeoSciences Group and In-Situ, Inc collide universes to conduct a 2-day aquifer testing course that has become the Go-To educational experience for aquifer testing.

2015 is the 10-year milestone for conducting the 2-day aquifer testing course at In-Situ, Inc and on behalf of the instructors and our In-Situ hosts, THANK YOU TO THE PARTICIPANTS to attend. Thank you to all of those who have attended during the past 10 years, and especially those who have attended several times.  Your professionalism, enthusiasm, and positive energy make the course an enriching experience for learning and technical mastery.

In-Situ, Inc is the center of the universe in terms of transducers and dataloggers for aquifer testing, so the course location is the perfect fit. Course participants get an inside look at the inner sanctum of manufacturing, production and distribution at the exact place where our equipment is made and shipped.   Thank you to all In-Situ staff for making the tours a fun and fruitful event.  -Dan

02 October 2015

Full-Day Course at the 2015 AEG Annual Meeting: Getting to the Core!!

Thanks to all of the 2015 AEG Annual Meeting attendees in Pittsburgh!  It was a fun and fruitful meeting with a grand finale ending from teaching a full-day day short course dedicated to Characterization of Rock Core and Borehole Conditions!

Organized by Gary Rogers from Schnabel Engineering with support from myself and John Stowell at Mt. Sopris Instruments and Mike Need at Ruen Drilling, the course gave insights to a spectrum of applications in rock coring and borehole tools.

The course was indeed unique because it was like a merging of two universes: geotechnical and hydrogeologic.  Project objectives differ between the two disciplines which may be over-generalized as "bulk strength and rock mass stability" for geotechnical projects and "ground water movement" for hydrogeologic projects.  Each application share similar approaches, terminology and tools, but there is an obvious separation of background, tradition, and application.  I enjoyed learning new attributes about how RQD applies to rock strength that will soon be incorporated in the FIELD GUIDE FOR ROCK CORE LOGGING AND FRACTURE ANALYSIS.

Box of rock core used for course exercises.  Thank you to Gary Rogers and others at Schnabel Engineering for preparing the cores and answer sheets as teaching tools for a truly meaningful learning experience. 
Thank you to the course participants.  You made the course fun and memorable for the instructors...and equally important, your input during discussion enriched the entire course experience.   It is always amazing to me whenever we teach a MidwestGeo course (and AEG course in this case) to learn about the powerful experience that is present in the classroom and the wonderful personal pride people have in their work.  I tip my hat to you.  -Dan

23 September 2015

Association of Engineering Geologists 2015 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh

Engineering geology is among my favorite geoscience subjects.  The applied nature of designing structures based on the subsurface require a true mastery of multidimensional disciplines.  Engineering geologists truly inspire me because of the process where lessons are learned from project to project based on the critical nature of constant improvement for engineering success.

The annual meeting in Pittsburgh this week is chock full of great examples of how engineering geologists prioritize protection of human life ranging from mechanical factors of safety to simple love for people.  For example, today a keynote speaker shared a research project about identifying a high probability for a potential landslide will likely save many lives. 

Midwest GeoSciences Group is honored to contribute to the 2015 AEG Annual Meeting through our exhibitor booth, technical presentations and teaching a short course about rock core logging.  It's our priveledge to contribute to such a thoughtful and meaningful organization.

Dan Kelleher and Matt Benson, both Northern Illinois University Dept of Geology Alumni.

22 September 2015

Pennsylvania Professional Geologists Rock!

Thank you to those professionals who participated during the 2-day course Improving Hydrogeologic Analysis of Fractured Bedrock Systems.  It was a fun experience for the instructors - and based on the course evaluation forms the participants had a fun and fruitful experience too!

Course Participants with Professionalism and Pride in their Work
Thanks to the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists (PCPG) who co-sponsored this course and helped organize key elements.  The classroom venue at Penn State Great Valley was a convenient location with experienced on-site hosts.  Anyone who has attended other MidwestGeo Courses can attest to our love of good food...and thanks to Cornicopia Catering for timely lunch!

The course instructors, Ken Bradbury and Maureen Muldoon, and I enjoyed meeting everyone at the class.  Your professionalism abounds and the pride you have in your work is easy to see.  It is a blessing for us to meet you and serve you in order to become responsible stewards of this precious planet.

03 August 2015

Rock Weathering: Core Description Challenges

Rock core logging is conceptually simple but realistically difficult.  

One of the most challenging attributes of rock core descriptions is rock weathering.  Cores give a glimpse into the rock mass and we are tasked with making standardized, reproducible, and accurate descriptions that apply to our project goals. 

It's not easy and I suspect most of us who have described rock core can relate to these challenges.

Rock weathering rarely produces a uniform weathered rock mass where all rock is weathered to the same degree. 

Complex variation of weathering throughout the rock mass is common due to variable factors such as orientation and spacing of discontinuities in the rock, groundwater flow paths and the removal of overlying weathered material by erosion. 

The term "weathered" has introduced difficulty due to the subjective nature of observation and field interpretation. Instead, the degree of weathering can usually be qualified using three indicator parameters: 1) discoloration, 2) decomposition, and 3) disintegration. 

We no longer advocate rock core descriptions that include the following terms:
  • Slighty Weathered
  • Moderately Weathered
  • Highly Weathered

Instead, we suggesting using:
  • Decomposition
  • Disintegrated
  • Discoloration
Decomposition is described in various grades or degrees of decomposition ranging from fresh (unweathered) rock to a true in-situ "Residual Soil". Some general parameters used for assigning a decomposition grade for a particular rock type include typical sequences of color changes, decomposition of certain minerals, and the results of other simple strength index tests.

Each are included on the 

Disintegration is described according to the degree of mineralization or dissolution to either the rock core (matrix) or the cementation material. It should be noted that small-scale cracking and fracturing of rock could be caused by factors other than disintegration (i.e. mechanical decomposition). Once clay minerals start to form in the weathering process, cracks can be closed or "healed" as the original rock fabric begins to be destroyed, sometimes altering the hydraulic conductivity of the rock mass over time.

Discoloration is described using Munsell Colors, starting with the primary color first and adding up to two additional colors, when necessary.   Similar to soil samples, rock cores should be described as soon as possible following coring.

Continual advances from field technologies to computer modeling make our work more challenging than ever, not to mention the effects of persistent contamination, the spectrum of remedial alternatives and site closure strategies.

Down hole viewers, flow meters, temperature sensors, and geophysical tools can lend priceless information for building the geologic framework.

If you are interested in learning more about the recent leaps in conceptual thinking about hydrogeologic analysis of fractured bedrock, we encourage you to register now for:

Register now to learn about these advances in characterizing the geologic nature of fractures, ground water monitoring and modeling updates, and the recent leaps in conceptual thinking about hydrogeologic analysis of fractured bedrock.