19 October 2010

Five Year Milestone @ In-Situ, Inc.

Thank you to In-Situ, Inc for hosting us for the past five years to conduct Aquifer Testing for Improving Hydrogeologic Analysis Featuring AQTESOLV and the In-Situ Level TROLL. It was a wonderful milestone to reach together and we appreciate the opportunity to conduct this unique educational experience at your headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado allowing full access to your world-class facility.

Thank you to the course attendees too.  We hope to exceed your expectations every time by truly teaching meaningful concepts, field methods and data analysis strategies.    It has been a privilege to meet all of you and hear your stories too from unique field experiences to "implausible" data sets. 

The course instructors (Jim Butler and Glenn Duffield) and I don't take your attendance for granted and we appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm for aquifer testing.  We realize the challenges you face because we face them too during our own slug testing and pumping test projects.  Together, I suspect we have provided our clients, employers and taxpayers meaningful solutions to those common challenges.  We applaud you, the course attendees....plus we thank In-Situ, Inc. for making it happen.

 Jim Butler shown kicking off the aquifer testing course on 05 October 2010.

17 September 2010

Toronto Till Commandos

Sedimentary successions tell a story when soil core samples are placed from end-to-end forming a continuous sequence of the deposits.   For our course in Toronto, we use tables for placing the continuous core which is much easier for rapid and close evaluation.


Our friends from both GroundTech Solutions (GeoProbe Systems distributor) and Boart Longyear Company continuously sampled multiple deep soil cores for our field exercises during the 2-day course Improving the Description and Characterization of Glacial Successions.  The weather was great and the sedimentary sequence was perfect for teaching how sediments and their associated geotechnical and hydraulic properties are ultimately controlled by depositional environments - the sole independent variable.   Once we built the geologic framework from the soil cores, we could confidently take steps toward taking the mystery out of the subsurface and understand ground water occurence and movement applied to both environmental and engineering projects.

Dr's. Tim Kemmis and Carolyn Eyles taught the majority of the course with assistance from Dr. Kelsey MacCormack and me, Dan Kelleher.  Tim and Carolyn are possibly the most two qualified living glacial sedimentologists to teach this course based on course application and context - it has been a personal goal for many years to have them team up to teach this important course.  Kelsey MacCormack is fearlessly demystifying both reliability and (un)certainty in 3D geologic model data sets which I suspect most professionals will embrace since anyone dealing with modeling has faced the problematic issue of unevenly weighted confidence in data sets.

Attendee experience was wide ranging from a few non-technical staff to dedicated "Till Commandos" (an endearing name I'm borrowing from the Midwest Friends of the Pleistocene).  The majority of attendees were from across Canada with most driving from locations with Ontario.  The US contingent had a strong attendance too, with some from non-glaciated states!

Its gratifying to watch the rapid improvement of attendees both  "reading the story" the deposits are telling plus describing the sequence in that manner.  I believe everyone at the end of the course was efficiently characterizing the sequence using complete, accurate and credible descriptions plus recognizing and understanding the meaning and context of each subsurface unit.    Their personal pride and achievement bodes well for our industry as a whole.

15 April 2010

Down Under 2010: Two Ways

Australian pride and honor abounds. MidwestGeo had the privilege in March to conduct a course in Melbourne with 60 attendees traveling from across the continent and New Zealand too.   It was our honor to have the opportunity to meet the attendees and work shoulder-to-shoulder with them during the 3-day educational experience.

This year's course was dedicated to Advanced Aquifer Testing Techniques taught by Jim Butler and Glenn Duffield.  Jim and Glenn are fun instructors in the classroom and out of it too (that's Peter Gringinger and Susan pictured with the Dynamic Duo, Jim and Glenn - showing off biceps).

One of the unexpected surprises during the visit to Melbourne was a International Invitational Track Meet located only a few blocks from our downtown hotel.  Thankfully Jim Butler brought this event to my attention during breakfast on the day of the Meet and I was able to attend that evening.

The reason for my unbridled excitement was to watch the pole vault event featuring Steve Hooker who is the 2008 Bejing Olympic Gold Medalist and the current Olympic Record Holder (and from Australia).   What seems like now a lifetime ago, I once found a small bit of success pole vaulting but I never stopped admiring those athletes, especially the world class men and women pole vaulters.  It was another honor for me to briefly meet Steve Hooker after the Meet where is final clearance was his opening height (5.65M / 18'7").

Post-course activities landed us at the Great Barrier Reef.  Down under the water was the second way this trip took us there. Snorkeling and underwater exploration among the endless variety of coral and fish was beyond anything I had prepared for the experience.

Thanks to the crew at both the Crowne Plaza in Melbourne and the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney for their special accommodations and attention.  IHG hotels give us yet another reason we look forward to returning.

We are pleased to recommend these hotels:
InterContinental Sydney
(located two blocks from Sydney Opera House)
117 Macquarie Street, Sydney
NSW, 2000, Australia
Phone: +61-2-9253 9000

Crown Plaza Melbourne
(located adjacent to the World Trade Center)
1-5 Spencer Street, Melbourne
VIC,  3005, Australia
Phone: +61-3-9648 2776