Remediation to Research: Training Future Hydrogeologists--A Repurposed Geoprobe to Assess an Alluvial Aquifer

Monday, December 3, 2018: 3:20 p.m.
N109 (Las Vegas Convention Center)
Wayne Hamilton, PE, PG, Research Faculty , Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Jacob Jarvis, Graduate Student , Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Erin Noonan, Graduate Student , Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Will Brewer , Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Joe C. Yelderman Jr., PhD, PG , Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX

Baylor University purchased a used Geoprobe drill rig from a consulting firm in Chicago that was used to assess leaking underground storage tank sites. The Geoprobe was repurposed to support education and academic research by providing a variety of subsurface data. This presentation is about our academic Geoprobe use learnings to supplement our teaching and research in the Brazos River Alluvium aquifer. Our Geoprobe learnings are in two broad areas: 1) geologic education and 2) equipment ownership. The education learnings are related geologic data gathering such as aquifer sediment coring, installing monitor wells, and obtaining discrete vertical groundwater chemistry data. This geologic data collection is the foundation of our education and research activities. Having control of equipment use, transport, and timing are the keys to effective geologic data gathering in a busy academic schedule. Also, students and faculty gain Geoprobe field experience and education from laboratory exercises and graduate students obtain data for their research. The classroom education is supplemented by Geoprobe field exercises such as: sediment description and monitor well installation. Hence the Geoprobe usage leads to training the next generation of hydrogeologists. The Geoprobe alluvial research is conducted by MS and PhD students and overseen by faculty includes: a) Areal extent of aquifer compartments, b) Specific conductance to understand salinity variability, and c) Aquifer dissolved carbon, isotopes and groundwater dating to define groundwater pathways. Finally there are the opportunities and challenges of being the Geoprobe owner and operator responsible for operations, repairs, maintenance, upgrading and transporting equipment to the field. The opportunities include availability and flexibility in scheduling field work. The challenges are skills needed to operate heavy equipment, balancing use between faculty and students, safety risks, and mechanical skills to maintain and repair the Geoprobe.
Wayne Hamilton, PE, PG, Research Faculty, Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Since January 2015 Wayne has been a research staffer at Baylor University focused on assisting graduate students and professors with groundwater research. Prior to Baylor, Wayne worked thirty-four years of experience with Shell’s Mining, Engineering, Marketing, Exploration and Production, and Development business units. He retired from Shell on November 1, 2014. Assignments were as Geological Engineer, Hydrogeologist, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Manager, Legacy Properties Manager, Safety and Oil Spill Response Manager. His business unit experienced includes: Mining, Distribution, Exploration and Production, Pipeline, Refinery, Retail facilities and Project Development. Environmental experience includes: risk based corrective action, soil and groundwater assessment and remediation, project management, contract negotiations, due diligence, auditing, environmental advocacy, regulatory permitting, impact assessment and oil spill response. In January 2015 he became a staffer at Baylor University focused on assisting students and faculty with their groundwater research. Wayne was on the Editorial Board of Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation from 1987 until 1993. Also, he is a Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist. He received in 1977 a bachelors degree in Geology from the University of South Florida; 1980 a Masters degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and 1999 Professional Engineering Degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla. Wayne is married to Mary (Watson) Hamilton for 33 years and has three grown children.


Jacob Jarvis, Graduate Student, Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
MS candidate Hydrogeologist


Erin Noonan, Graduate Student, Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Hydrogeologist studying Brazos River Alluvium.


Will Brewer, Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
PhD student research in multi-discipline program


Joe C. Yelderman Jr., PhD, PG, Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Joe Yelderman Jr. is a professor in the Department of Geology at Baylor University. He is currently the director of the Institute for Ecological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences. His specialty areas are hydrogeology and environmental geology. His research interests include springs, groundwater/surface-water interactions, and urban hydrogeology.