12 November 2008

Melbourne, Australia 2008

High expectations were exceeded at every turn during our visit to Australia to conduct Improving Hydrogeologic Analysis of Fractured Bedrock Systems: From Comprehensive Characterization to Ground Water Modeling. It was a pleasure working with Peter Gringinger and the gang from the Australian Contaminated Land Consultants Association (VIC). Thank you again to the whole crew.

This was the first leg of our Australian tour and it was a an honor and thrill to meet each course attendee. They filled the classroom with energy while each person's knowledge and experience was apparent from their thoughtful questions and interaction.

One of the highlights for me was meeting people whom I have read of their work or heard their name in professional circles. It was equally a learning experience for me since most of my bedrock experience is focused on sedimentary rock stratigraphy. In Melbourne and throughout surrounding Victoria, the primary rock types are basalt. Approaches for characterization are vastly different for the two rock types.

Ken Bradbury, Glenn Duffield along with my wife and I arrived in Melbourne about a week before the course in order to adjust for time change and explore the city and surrounding countryside. Again a notable highlight was the friendly and welcoming people, everywhere.
My wife, Susan, took a day flight to Tasmania while we were teaching at the Holmsglenn Institute. She visited the Bonorong Park Wildlife Sanctuary and received her first personalized introduction to a Tasmanian Devil. She says they are much more friendly and tranquil than the whirling cartoon character, in fact she said they were "cuddly"...but not as much as the Koala Bears.