Hydrogeology Field Course Structure, Grading and Equiptment Requirements

Participants in the Hydrogeology Field Course in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Western Michigan University should be aware of the following information regarding the course structure, grading policies and personal equipment requirements and recommendations.

Course structure

  • The WMU Hydrogeology Field Course is a series of six one-week modules taught six days per week (Monday through Saturday). Classes begin at 8 a.m. each day and will often run into the evening.
  • The course will be conducted on and near the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • The course will emphasize state-of-the-art techniques for sampling, monitoring and evaluating groundwater systems. Particular attention will be paid to contaminated systems, aquifer testing and selected geophysical techniques.
  • Each week counts as one semester hour and can be taken for graduate or undergraduate credit. If you are a student in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at WMU, you must take all weeks unless your advisor determines otherwise, given your previous experience.   
  • Lectures will be minimal and will primarily be given to support field exercises or demonstrations.
  • You will gain hands-on field experience using modern field technologies. Demonstration of some modern field equipment will be provided by manufacturer's representatives. In order to provide you with a broad introduction to modern field technologies, numerous items have either been donated or loaned to the Hydrogeology Field Course by manufacturers.


  • A final exam will be given at the end of each week.
  • The final grade will be derived from field performance, written assignments, the ability to work as a team, professionalism and the final exam. 

Personal equipment


  • Field clothes, including long pants
  • Rain gear
  • Steel-toe boots
  • Gear bag (such as a backpack or book bag)
  • Bring a lunch each day (days are spent in the field)
  • Pens and pencils
  • Water bottles


  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Work gloves
  • Folding camp chair