23 December 2020

Congratulations Jim Butler!

Jim Butler, Ph.D.

Jim Butler, senior scientist and geohydrologist at the Kansas Geological Survey, is the 2020 recipient of the National Ground Water Association's M. King Hubbert Award.

The association's highest scientific honor, the award is given annually for major scientific or engineering contributions that advance the understanding of groundwater through research, writing, teaching, and practical applications.

With KGS colleagues, Butler developed a new way to use the annual water-level data, along with data submitted to the state by large-volume water users, to glean important insights about the response of aquifers when pumping is reduced to slow declines in groundwater levels.

"I've been very fortunate to work with an excellent group of colleagues who are deeply committed to addressing issues of significance to Kansas," Butler said. "We have strived to make a difference and it is gratifying to find others feel that we have."

Late last year, Butler produced a significantly revised edition of his book, "The Design, Performance, and Analysis of Slug Tests," which has become the standard reference for an economical and dependable method used to, among other things, obtain the information needed to help assess threats posed by sites of groundwater contamination.

We at Midwest GeoSciences Group are thrilled for Jim and honored to collaborate with him during the aquifer testing courses, webinars, field guide development, and discussions during our favorite Asian-fusion dinners on the road!

Portions of this blog were taken from the Public Outreach announcement by the Kansas Geological Survey.

Here are some photos of Jim and friends
from the MidwestGeo Archive:.  

Dan Kelleher, Jim Butler, Ken Bradbury, and Glenn Duffield

Jim teaching advanced aquifer testing in West Chester, Pennsylvania

Jim coaching a participant with AQTESOLV

Jim preparing for batting practice at Camden Yards.  
[OK, we didn't bat, but the Camden Yards staff opened the field for us and hosted pre-game tour and facilitated a game suite with Tippy Martinez (past Oriole and MLB  record holder) during an evening game]

Shlomo Neuman, Glenn Duffield, Jeff Simpson, and Jim Butler

Action shot of Jim teaching at In-Situ, Inc in Fort Collins, Colorado

Jim and his wife, Yun, at Yosemite National Park

22 December 2020

Training Everyone at your Organization

Everyone is working from home these days.  SUBSCRIPTIONS allow you to order training webinars for yourself, or your entire organization.  Pricing has never been lower, so the timing has never been better!

Choose either: (1) Individual Webinars (2) Subscription Packages, or (3) Comprehensive Online Courses

1. Get the Single User Subscription for yourself.

< Single-User Registration Subscription Online Ordering >

2. Corporate User Subscription for all staff working from home.

< Get a Free Quote for a Corporate Subscription >

3. Go Unlimited! (Yes, unlimited!!)

< Get a Free Quote for Unlimited Access >

List of Webinar Categories:

•  Subsurface Characterization (11 webinars)
•  Aquifer Testing (27 webinars)
•  Ground Water Monitoring System Design (4 webinars)
•  Ground Water Modeling (2 webinars)
•  Engineering Geology (6 webinars)
•  Vapor Intrusion (4 webinars)
•  Hydrogeology Of Glacial Deposits (5 webinars)
•  Environmental and Engineering Field Testing (10 webinars)
•  Contaminant Characterization And Remediation (9 webinars)
•  Contaminants Of Concern (23 webinars)
•  Ground Water Statistical Analysis (5 webinars)
•  Environmental Forensics (2 webinars)
•  Project Management and Leadership Development (24 webinars)
•  Ethics (8 webinars)
•  Drones for Geoscience (4 webinars)
•  Google Earth Pro for Geoscience Professionals (6 webinars)

Online-Offline Course:

Really Go For It.....and Learn to Manage People

New for 2021....

(not like this!)

Access our affiliate page for
Truby Management Systems

Webinar Subscriptions last 15 months.  Terms and Conditions Apply.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you this year.


Thank you for the opportunity to serve you this year. You hear us say these words during courses, workshop and webinars: What we strive to do is provide meaningful education and training that you can readily use in your own work. We are motivated by serving you with hope that our collaborative efforts help all of us become successful professionals who strive to always improve our God-given talents while achieving effective global stewardship.

As scientists and engineers, we work in a noble profession that demands sound technical judgments and decisions with fearless integrity and clear accuracy. It's a purposeful profession that is rich with rewards and brings us unique challenges nudging us to grow and help others.

Please accept our wishes for a Blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year. Regardless of your background or beliefs, we do our best to honor and respect everyone. You have our support and we want you to achieve all of your personal and professional goals for a fulfilling life.

To that end, you are welcome to share with us your goals, any new vision, or even what you'd like for Christmas. Share here.

-Dan Kelleher, PG, CIPM
Midwest GeoSciences Group

07 September 2020

October is Aquifer Testing Month

Beginning with pre-course study materials and a self-assessment, this course is not simply a webinar series.

Offline tutorial activities begin each consecutive module. Prepare yourself for the first online course module about pumping test design insights and then progressing with step drawdown tests for optimizing the constant rate pumping test. Learn the fundamentals of the Theis Solution before progressing further into aquifer testing analysis and interpretation techniques.

Once you're through the course modules about interpreting constant-rate pumping tests, then move to the foundations of Recovery Analysis.  The final online module teaches technical insights related to collecting continuous water levels, downloading the data, and then exporting it to analysis software.

Unique Online-Offline Course Elements:

  • Pre-Course Study Materials
  • Live Interactive Course Modules with self-paced tutorials
  • Proficiency Testing
  • Comprehensive Aquifer Testing Reference List
  • Final Exam
  • CE Certificate from Northern Illinois University

The personalized experience allows each registrant to learn (1) at their own experience level, (2) at their own pace, and (3) and in a private setting except when they have questions or request extra tutorials.

You're encouraged to participate on the live course modules in order to interact with the instructor. If you prefer to watch a module at a later time as an On-Demand Option at your own pace, you are welcome to do it. 

October is Aquifer Testing Month

The live course modules are scheduled on Thursdays at 2:00 PM ET from October 8 to November 12. If you miss a live module, you have 6 months to initiate it as an On-Demand Webinar. Take your time and dive deep into this course experience.

The course concludes with a Final Exam. Options for an additional tutorial is available and each registrant receives an official CEU Certificate from Northern Illinois University showing 10.0 Contact Hours.

What is an "Online-Offline Course?"

Online:  You watch it on your computer screen.

Offline: You can hold it in your hand.

Midwest GeoSciences Group is diving deep into personalized training experiences.  We are finding that that multi-delivery mechanism of both online course modules (a cousin to webinars) combined printed study materials, tutorials, and other teaching tools help create a more effective LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

The offline experience forced me to pay attention to course lessons and I learned more than I expected. -Course Participant

For example, a tutorial that nudges the participant to think, not just read an example, while understanding that his/her answer will be reviewed by an instructor actually goes beyond most on-site continuing education short courses. Here's a simple example:

Another example is testing your soil classification abilities using the USCS CALIBRATED BASELINE SOIL KIT.  The questions begin with simple, basic ones and then progress where a more in-depth understanding is required:

The Essential Steps for Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface 2.0 is re-designed into an online-offline course.  It begins with a video and self-assessment that is used for establishing personalized learning goals.  The Course Syllabus gives the details for what to expect.

Plus, the concept of a personalized FINAL EXAM is a powerful teaching tool too.  Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface 2.0 includes a 3-part final exam: (1) Soil Classification Testing, (2) Written Test, and (3) Case Study Exam Questions geographically located specific to each participant.  

GRADUATION CERTIFICATES ARE INCLUDED in these personalized courses too.  Northern Illinois University evaluates the course content and then administers the official CEU certificate  It's another benefit of single-person enrollment, besides a career-changing learning experience.

12 July 2020

The Power of the Chair; an example of a mindset transformation leading to meaningful purpose.

“Nothing trickles up.”  Leaders lead people. Leaders lead companies. That fact is undeniable.

Most people don’t realize the unintended consequences they create by not understanding “the power in the chair.”

At some point in our life, we all lead. When we do, we have an undeniable power.  The origin of the power, our execution of it, and how we are impacted by that power is not completely intuitive.

In the next 9 minutes, you can discover the hidden power in the leadership role - like I did - through a simple change in mindset.

And…quite frankly…be prepared, this video often stunned me and it might stun you.

Understanding the leadership role helps all of us maximize our leadership potential, and prevent unintended negative consequences. The video is an example of how a CHANGE IN MINDSET can immediately change your behavior.  Tutorials like these are included in the Truby Achievements Membership. 

Watch the video and let me know how it impacts you.

-Dan Kelleher

16 June 2020


Ask Yourself:
Where do you find a clay sample with 90+ percent clay content?

Hint:  We didn't find our clay in Claysville although that might be a logical place to begin.

Natural soils can occur as every conceivable mix of sand, silt, clay, and gravel. Classifying them in the USCS or determining their texture in the USDA classification is easier if you're familiar with the end member, or baseline, classification.

Midwest GeoSciences Group has built different soil kits for different purposes over the past 10 years.  While building soil kits, we've learned that:
  1. Finding a source for a certain soil type is excruciating, time consuming and expensive.
  2. Finding a source that yields consistent soil testing results is extremely rare.
  3. Manipulating soil mixtures to create a soil type is not pragmatic or efficient.
  4. Source volumes are limited.
How long do you think it took us to find, test, reproduce and confirm testing of a clay sample with 90+ percent clay?  …and a silt sample with 90+ percent silt?  

Answer:  It took years.

The new USCS CALIBRATED BASELINE SOIL KIT is the result of 10+ years of searching and testing, searching and testing, and searching and testing.

The soil sources are scattered across the Midwestern United States for this kit.  One source is 30 feet deep and 900 miles away from the MidwestGeo HQ.  Access to fast-moving construction projects that allow sample collection at 30 feet deep require special attention to both timing and safety.

One interesting observation we've made over the past 10 years is the fine-grained variability of The Loess Hills located in western Iowa.  Despite our early expectations for uniformity of the wind-blown sediments that comprise The Loess Hills, the fine-grained sediments can be highly variable on the scale of one to two feet.  While the fine-grained fraction is mostly Silt, the clay occurs as an unpredictable portion - largely because it's variable depositional scale as a dune.  Unlike most dunes that primarily consist of sand, The Loess Hills are also dunes, mostly void of sand.  We've photographed the precise undisturbed locations of samples and tested them in a lab to literally map the small scale variation of grain-size.  Unfortunately, the grain-size variability of The Loess Hills prohibit predictable and reproducable grain-size analysis and Index Testing and not a good candidate for naturally-occurring soil samples for a soil kit.

Thankfully, we are persistent and MidwestGeo has had a lot of help over the past 10 years to find soil sources that successfully provide predictable and reproducible results.  We're grateful for that help, cooperation, and effort to assemble soil batches that help people with practicing and mastering their soil classification skills.
More unique attributes that yield meaningful benefits....

The three fine-grained samples have negligible coarse-grained fractions and are uniquely exquisite for teaching the principles of soil classification for FAT CLAY (CH), LEAN CLAY (CL), AND SILT (ML).

The two coarse-grained samples are designed to teach how to differentiate WELL GRADED SAND (SW) from POORLY GRADED SAND (SP) in the field.

Geo-Professionals benefit from our effort and persistence.  The soil kits allow to easily practice and quick familiarity of end member, or baseline, classifications.  Anyone can calibrate their skills and ability.  You can teach your staff.  You can test yourself.

You can also use these calibrated samples in the field to compare to which end member classification most closely resembles the natural soil. The USCS CALIBRATED BASELINE SOIL KIT provides these important end member samples.

There is a lot more to this soil kit than just dirt.

Check out this unique and exquisite soil kit here.

11 June 2020

Ground Water Movement, Permeability, and Stratigraphy

One of the most common requests we're asked by environmental and engineering professionals is to decipher vague boring log relationships in order correlate subsurface units.  

People bring those questions to us because the topic of boring log correlations is the one of the original reasons for the formation of Midwest GeoSciences Group, over 15 years ago.

And a common thread between most questions is to understand ground water movement, typically asking to help place monitoring wells at the propert depth.  Most of the initial observations that are reported to us are:
  • Sometimes open borings are dry
  • Sometimes coarse-grained sediments are absent, but the boring is full of water
  • Sometimes buried sands are present, sometimes not.
  • Sometimes buried sands seem randomly present within and between boreholes.
  • Sometimes borings aren't sampled, but only their secondary properties are measured:
    • Cone Penetrometer Testing
    • Geophysical Logging
    • Hydraulic Profile Tool
    • HRSC tooling
    • Soil Classfications
    • Chemistry
    • Water Levels
  • Never does Alexa know the geology, LOL

We as hydrogeologists can relate to the some basic geologic explanations to the observations above:

  1. Water table is not always measured by the water level in open boreholes, especially shallow borings drilled into low-permeability formataions.
  2. Ground water can move horizontally in some low-permeability formations through oxidized zones dependent on the landscape and other subsurface conditions, sometimes flooding a boring where there's no coarse-grained sediments.
  3. Buried sands never occur randomly.
  4. Geologic content is the key to deciphering ground water movement, not permeability.
  5. The SOLE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE is what controls all secondary properties listed above.  

Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface (R) isn't easy. It requires both the willingness to get the training and apply it in the field and the ability to make keen observation skills and decipher the geology.  

Midwest GeoSciences Group was formed to help professionals basically improve their/our boring logs.   But preparing a boring log that is complete and accurate is like the pole vaulter going over the cross bar - it's the end result.    

There are steps that are required for success in both.  For the pole vault, there is a coach and practice not to mention the mechanics of the approach, the plant, the penetration, and getting into the position to fly over the cross bar.  For boring logs, there is a teacher and practice not to mention the mechanics of logging: sampling method, core management, core examination, understanding depositional processes and applying them to characterize the Sole Independent Variable.  

Neither good geologists and world-record pole vaulters happen by accident.  

Danny Korth, PG, GeoMan Extraordinaire

04 June 2020

Transformation is Priceless

I recall a field project working with a subcontracted drilling crew, a surveyor, a mobile lab, and other co-workers.  From time to time, a co-worker would bring clients and regulators to the project site.  All these interactions demanded open lines of constant communication – yet I was buried with the day to day technical work.

I realized that the success of the project, the success of the business, and the success of my career were all tied to how I interacted with each of these people. However, despite me understanding the importance of my communication style and interaction skills, I didn’t understand the mechanics or reasoning behind it. It was as if I had a veil over my wishful eyes – clearly seeing the need, but no clarity on the solution.

Then, later in my career, I met Bill and Joann Truby at a project management training intensive.  It was then I learned the ‘magical elements’ for connecting and working with others. They lifted the veil. They taught me the communication and interaction skills that are the foundation of success. But that’s not all.

They gave me plenty of other easily implementable tools that I could practice and be an effective leader. They taught me how to be even more successful with a process that builds a high-performing, accountable team. Then they capped it off with lifting the veil to authentically grow my business and client list.

Their teachings and tools, grounded in the Truby Management System, have become my Motis Operendi….my natural way of doing things. Life is easier, smoother, more successful. And, now, I want to share this knowledge with you… I want everyone to learn it. 

You don’t have to be like me and try, for years, to go it alone.  You can have a “business partner” in the Trubys. They have created an online experience that removes the veil for anyone. The Truby Management System is the online experience that spoon feeds teachings in 5 to 10-minute videos that immediately change a person’s mindset and behavior, and leads to instant, measurable success.
Learning all of this is transformational. And transformation is priceless because not only does our work become easier, but so does life.

I believe in my success so much, and realize where the boost came from, that I’ve become an affiliate of Truby Achievements so I can offer my friends, family and colleagues access to these seeds of success. See for yourself, here.

I’m glad to share more details about the program, my story, or insight about how you can nudge your employer to pay for your membership.

-Dan Kelleher, PG, CIPM