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.

03 July 2008

Project Management Excellence: 2008 Truby Experience

This is a unique course. Learning the elements of something I cannot feel, see or smell is not a common part of my everyday life. But yet it is. How I do things is as important as what I do.

Project Management educational experience benefits me everyday on a deeper level than knowing how to do my technical work. It changed me and it changed others too who took the 2-day course in June 2008 at Northern Illinois University Naperville Campus.

Based on the feedback following the course, everyone receives the course differently, but always positively. Some people apparently learn for the first time the mechanics of real and effective communication and another person told me (they) "got more out of 2-day of project management course than 2-years of marriage counselling". You'll only see that testimonial on this blog and nowhere else because, frankly unless you experience the course, its hard to believe that anything can be so dramatically empowering.
The reason for the dramatic experience is given to the credit of Bill and Joan Truby. Without going into details that I'm not even certain about, its obviously apparent that Bill and Joan together are motivated to launch the lives of people, irrespective of their environmental or engineering background. And despite their motive and dependable teaching abilities, they promote, inspire and teach a process that works. Don't take my word for it. Experience it for yourself. http://www.doorproductions.com/

24 June 2008

Aquifer Testing Course at the University of Texas San Antonio

For our third year teaching the Advanced Aquifer Testing Course, we aimed at Texas because we had already hit Miami (2006) and San Diego (2007). We like the warm temps in February although we also like Canadian cities too when there's lots of snow to enjoy.

We landed in San Antonio and the course was slightly past capacity. Attendees are normally knowledgeable and enthusiastic at these courses, but this gang was not only those things, but also noticeably more interactive. I cannot explain the cause except perhaps it was the gracious Texas hospitality we each experienced. Regardless, this course is full of those brief moments where I suspect my friends and I will look back and reference many subtle and not-so-subtle memory-making instances.

UTSA Downtown is a showcase campus with new buildings and classrooms. The people, the food, the architecture, the birds and the landscape left a lasting memory on each of us. If you decide to visit UTSA Downtown, its conveniently located within either a long walk or a short car ride to the famous San Antonio Riverwalk.

The main instructors at this course are Jim Butler, Glenn Duffield and Shlomo Neuman. Dr. Neuman is located in the photo in the front row (fourth from right wearing a dark blue jacket) and Dr. Butler is the tallest standing in the back row, a few feet behind Dr. Neuman. I cannot tell you where Glenn is located....if I recall correctly, he was helping a student analyze project-related pumping test data in the classroom. He's a trooper.