Hydrogeology Field Course

  • Hydrogeology Field Course

    Hydrogeology Field Course

    Tom Howe and Dr. Matt Reeves with summer II semester hydrogeology field course students.

  • Students in protective gear receiving OSHA training.


    All students receive 40-hour OSHA training.

  • Students watching stock drilling.


    Geological investigations are critical to the understanding of the earth.

  • Students doing experiments in the field.

    The world is our lab!

    WMU geologists are outstanding in the field.

The Hydrogeology Field Course offered by the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Western Michigan University is one of very few hydro-technical programs in the United States. The program, developed in 1987, is directed by Tom Howe and Dr. Matt Reeves. This applied course has trained more than a thousand students from around the nation and abroad. The Hydrogeology Field Course is taught as one-week, one-credit courses in the following disciplines: aquifer testing, environmental surface geophysics, groundwater sampling and monitoring, HAZWOPER training, environmental remediation and well drilling and installation. Much of the geophysical testing, field work and training for this course is conducted at the Asylum Lake research and training site, which was developed to provide advanced field work and hands-on experience for our students.

Course dates - SUMMER 2024

Summer II Semester

  • GEOS 5250 - Surface Geophysics: July 8-13
  • GEOS 5230 - Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (40-hour OSHA HAZWOPER): July 15-18 (4 days)
  • GEOS 5270 - Principles and Practices of Well Drilling and Installation: July 22-27
  • GEOS 5280 - Principles and Practices of Groundwater Sampling and Monitoring: July 29-Aug. 3
  • GEOS 5260 - Principles and Practices of Aquifer Testing: Aug. 5-10
  • GEOS 5240 - Remediation Design and Implementation: Aug.12-16 (courses closes by 5pm on Friday)

Application instructions - summer 2024

Registration for the HFC will begin on Jan. 1, 2024 and remain open until full. Those persons wishing to apply earlier may do so, but applications will not begin to be reviewed and processed until that date. The courses usually fill up quickly so the earlier one completes the registration the better chance they will have of securing a spot in the course. Enrollment is limited to qualified applicants with preference to those whom apply first and/or for multiple weeks. Places will be filled in the order in which registration fees and completed applications are received. Please visit our registration page linked below to view the process for applying to WMU and to the Hydrogeology Field Course. 

Note: International students are required to enroll in consecutive module blocks, e.g., Modules 1 through 3, Modules 1 through 6.

In addition to our hydrogeology field course, the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences is also now offering a Certificate Program in Hydrogeology.

HFC prerequisites

Prerequisite: An introductory college-level course in hydrogeology or equivalent. Please contact the HFC Director Tom Howe if you have questions about course equivalency. Each spring term, the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at WMU offers GEOS 5120: Hydrogeology online which will satisfy the HFC prerequisite. Please note, you may be admitted without the prerequisite if you meet the following:

  • An appropriate level of relative experience and two letters of professional recommendation explaining why you would be a good candidate for the course.

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