28 September 2017

Thank you participants, instructors, and our host at the Soils Workshop!!

It was a great week at the Soils Workshop in Exton, Pennsylvania!  Great people, great insights, great camaraderie.....and a great classroom at World Headquarters of Bentley Systems - the center of the gINT Universe! 

The 2-day workshop Managing the Complexities and Uncertainties of Soil Sequences for Hydrogeologic and Geotechnical Projects: Part 1, Principles was a remarkable experience for me because of the stories shared by the participants about how this course relates to their work and how it clarifies issues about subsurface characterization.  For example, contrasting simple terms between "characterization" and "mapping" can have an immediately positive impact about how we understand and approach our investigative work.  Simple!

Special thanks to Rose Jefferies and everyone at the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists who helped along the way....and Eileen Jenkins at West Chester University for administering the continuing education credits.  Great job!

Tim Kemmis and Alan Stone trading secrets to their soil classification techniques.

Katie Aguliar leading the way through the gINT computer sessions.
Thank You Bentley Systems for granting access into your Headquarters
We applaud the participant's enthusiasm and the expertise everyone shared during the workshop.  It is inspiring to learn from each other and I respect the spectrum of everyone's experience and styles for doing work.  It's easy to see the pride people have in their work and personal accomplishments.....we tip our hat to you.

Despite my pride in the instructors dedication and thoughtful preparation and performance during the workshop - ie Martin Helmke, Tim Kemmis, David Hart, and Katie Aguliar - it is humbling to see the connection between people and know we are all working together in a positive way toward responsible global stewardship.   Awesome!

Next year will build upon this year's Principles with "Part 2, Field Techniques".  Login to midwestgeo.com for more details about the workshop and registration discounts.

19 August 2017

"The Mountain" in the In-Situ, Inc Photo

In-Situ, Inc uses an engaging photograph of a conspicuous mountain for our collaborative Aquifer Testing Course.  Here is the course banner created by In-Situ, Inc:


I recently receive a phone call about the course and was asked about the photo.  It didn't take long for the caller to share he recognized the mountain, the national park, and geography in the foreground!  

Steve Jones, a geologist who originated from the Fort Collins area was the caller.  Steve recognized the center mountain as Long's Peak referencing it's elevation of 14,256 ft msl.  He pointed out Meeker Peak is to the left and Fort Collins along with Horseshoe Reservoir is in the foreground.  

Steve sent me the photo below showing the view to the west from Berthoud, CO.  He said this is his favorite area - the Indian Peaks - that are visible in the photo to the left of Long's Peak!

Photo courtesy of Steve Jones

Thank you Steve Jones, for your insight and thoughtfulness!  Excellent!!!! :-)

15 August 2017

2017 SOLAR ECLIPSE

Everyone in the United States will experience the 2017 SOLAR ECLIPSE to some degree, weather permitting.

Midwest GeoSciences Group will be assisting astronomical experts on August 21 at the Carmel Clay Public Library in Carmel, Indiana.  We anticipate 90 percent sun coverage in central Indiana.


For more information, visit the CARMEL CLAY PUBLIC LIBRARY online announcement.

UPDATE:  Thank you to the Carmel Clay Public Library for hosting the live streaming video feed, telescope raffle, and snacks for the wonderful group of people watching the astronomical event in the sky.  


18 July 2017

Managing the Complexities and Uncertainties of Soil Sequences, Part 1, Principles

Ask anyone about what lies beneath their feet and they’ll say it’s a mystery.  Understanding how ancient sediments were deposited are challenging enough, but taking the mystery out of the subsurface for environmental and engineering work can be daunting….even for professionals.

On Sept 12 & 13, geologists, engineers and environmental scientists will be traveling to Exton, PA for an interactive, educational workshop to learn how take the mystery out of the surface.

Bentley Systems and Midwest GeoSciences Group are combing technology and best practices to help professionals apply the geologic principles to ground water and engineering projects.

Bentley Systems will host this special event for the first time at their corporate headquarters in Exton, PA.  Bentley Systems provides software solutions for improving project performance and their Katie Aguilar, a engineer and product manager for gINT® will teach professionals new efficiencies and advances using gINT®.

MidwestGeo leads the technical teaching for the 2-day workshop.  Dan Kelleher, a hydrogeologist with MidwestGeo, envisions how best practices in data management and subsurface analysis can reach a new performance level by merging the power of gINT® into the course experience.

Other instructors include internationally-recognized Martin Helmke, PhD from West Chester University, Tim Kemmis, PhD from MidwestGeo, and Dave Hart, PhD from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.  This team of instructors were selected not only based on their accomplishments, but also puts a personalization into their teaching style,

The workshop, Managing the Complexities and Uncertainties of Soil Sequences, Part 1, Principles, looks beyond the classification of soils using engineering terms, and addresses common uncertainties that can arise when hydrogeologic and engineering projects encounter complex soil sequences and the significance of the site geology to the engineering properties.

Once the data has been collected, efficient data management is critical to gaining an understanding of the site for final site specific recommendations and geotechnical design. This class offers data management through the use of the leading geotechnical log software, gINT.

Information is specific to the regional geology as well as depositional environments and weathering processes pertinent to Mid- Atlantic region, and similar geologic settings. Concepts are applicable to anyone performing geotechnical site investigations and developing geotechnical logs.

The class will be held September 12 & 13, 2017 in Exton, PA. Registration and accommodation information is available here.



10 February 2017

Reading the Story that the Sediments are Telling

The Essential Steps for Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface Online Course is like a webinar on steroids.   The experience combines lectures with quiz and question challenges along with hands-on practice for identifying sedimentary structure, recognizing weathering zones and soil texturing in a way that Cirque du Soliel or KISS might design it.


Thank you to those who enrolled into the Offline Tutorial Workshop!  Tim Kemmis and I had a blast listening and learning from you....and despite our pride in helping you through this educational experience, we are humbled to help you unravel sedimentary mysteries in the subsurface.

Special Thank You to Betsy Schamberger, President of Moonstone Environmental for your fun participation during the Workshop and sending us photos of Bryan and Derrick (and yourself) practicing their soil texturing skills!  Your mastery of classifying and texturing abounds!

Betsy and Derrick at Moonstone Environmental


Practice makes perfect: classification is just one of several key steps

Calibrated soil samples are the key to classification mastery.
This is how Betsy described the hands-on workshop with the MidwestGeo Super Soil Kit:

"Working with the soil kit was by far the most useful training we have had in years. This is such a fundamental skill, but most of us haven't actually studied soil texture since college. It was great to get our hands on known standards and refresh our memories on proper soil characterization methods.  Now I know our soil logs will be accurate and reproducible."

If you're in the field and have questions about the sedimentary sequence you see and feel, our phone line is open and we'd be glad to just hear from you.   To those peeps who already call us, thank you for the honor of thinking of us.   Phone: 763.607.0092  or  Email at: service@midwestgeo.com

31 January 2017

Texas Ground Water Association Rocks

People weren't the only thing overflowing during the Annual Meeting of the Texas Ground Water Association....despite the monstrous attendance, it never felt crowded because of the huge convention center it occupies.

"It's both an annual pilgrimage and homecoming" said Joe Vickers who is a past TGWA chair.  Midwest GeoSciences Group is grateful to many people who helped host the 2-day aquifer testing course, especially Stacey Stienbach from TCWA who expressed "great pride in serving this great association".    I personally want to thank Steven Bond who initiated the inviation.  Steven told me that "the TGWA annual meeting has grown to exceed 500 attendees and you can find a wide variety of drilling and downhole services and actually get access to the people who do the work and develop the technologies"  Thanks too to Billy Gamblin who is the current President of TGWA who describes the annual meeting as "Great Science with Good People".  Boy, is he right about that.

Glenn Duffield teaching pumping test analysis - made easy.
Russell Park showing how to move data from the Level TROLL to AQTESOLV.

Fred Guerra learning to master derivative analysis of aquifer pumping tests

Dan Kelleher and Ben Green

24 January 2017

Aquifer Testing at the Texas Ground Water Association 2017 Annual Meeting

Aquifer pumping tests can be challenging to say the least.  But new insights for design strategies, advances in AQTESOLV analysis software, and simplification of data loggers and transducers have allowed gigantic steps for obtaining reproducible and reliable results.

Midwest GeoSciences Group contributed to the 2017 Annual Meeting for the Texas Ground Water Association.  Thanks to many TGWA visionaries for inviting us to contribute to the meeting success by kicking it off with our two-day aquifer testing course.  

"Observation wells are best placed when they're not too close, and not too far..."
is a priceless insight from instructor Jim Butler introducing pumping test design.
Jim Butler and Glenn Duffield are humbled as I am to teach aquifer testing while connecting with participants.  Special thanks to Russell Park who helped teach us about the latest technologies about field equipment and it's operation. We tip our hats to participants for their dedication to personal achievement through continuing education and aquifer testing skill development.

We enjoyed our visit to San Marcos, Texas and especially meeting so many great people at both the course and the 2017 annual meeting.

02 December 2016

Best Practices Through Field Guides

Whenever you find best practices, you find EXCELLENCE.
In the absence of best practices, you find MEDIOCRITY.

Midwest GeoSciences Group strives for excellence through best practices.   One of the ways we have been honored to help people is through development and distribution of our field guides:

Photo submitted by Adam Goldberg, Hydrogeologist
Despite our pride in creating the field guides, we are humbled when we learn about how they help people.  They have become the Standard Operating Procedure for over 40 companies and have been recognized for their technical excellence.  

We appreciate the opportunity to help you in this special way...especially when you're in the field and require immediate assistance --- and turn to processes on the field guides.  Thank you for your trust and relying on Midwest GeoSciences Group.

19 October 2016

Pumped About Aquifer Testing

Aquifer testing isn't easy.   Successful aquifer testing is dependent on many technical elements....such as a sound conceptual model, effective field management, robust transducers and data loggers, understanding of data analysis, confidence in recognizing the trouble areas, and ability to deliver a meaningful solution to the purpose of the testing.

With so many possible challenges, Midwest GeoSciences Group is grateful to In-Situ, Inc for hosting our aquifer testing course at their corporate HQ in Fort Collins, Colorado....and their assistance in teaching modernized aquifer testing.

Jim Butler, PhD and Glenn Duffield lead the way during this two day course that demystifies both slug testing and aquifer pumping tests.  Jim and Glenn are great instructors with great insight and we are inspired by great enthusiasm from great participants!!!

Action shot of Jim Butler teaching slug testing.
Glenn Duffield coaching participants during the AQTESOLV analysis sessions

Thank you - most of all - to the participants.   My favorite part of the two days is connecting with and learning from participants about their projects and other fun facts.    This year's participants were an exceptional group of professionals who take great pride in their work and achievements.  We tip our hat to you.


2016 Aquifer Testing Course Super Stars

28 September 2016

What does it mean when we say: Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface?

Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface  means that we are characterizing the sedimentary succession in terms of understanding how sediments are deposited so we can define geologic units and then predict their likely distribution, uniformity or heterogeneity, unit geometries and physical properties.  

It’s not always simple to correlate glacial sediments according to depositional or stratigraphic context.  

While it might seem easier to try and rationalize secondary observations such as N-values from blow counts, soil classifications, CPT values, geophysical measurements, water levels, hydraulic testing, contaminant mapping or geochemistry indicators – the challenge is various degrees of uncertainty remain about subsurface properties on every scale....as you likely appreciate becomes the weakest part of "site characterization"....and jeopardizes our projects and reputations.

We as scientists and engineers know there is a better way - it just takes some meaningful training and education....and the pay off is priceless.

Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface ensures:
 - Correct well design and placement
 - Reliable potentiometric-surface maps
 - Ground-water-monitoring system design
 - Remediation-system design
 - Excavation and foundation design
 - Field management of unanticipated conditions
Soil Classifications are poorly understood and often misused for the basis of "hydrostratigraphic units" which can easily lead to monstrous mistakes.

You're invited to participate in a comprehensive online course dedicated to Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface.....beginning on November 10, 2016.  

You will never see the subsurface the same again.