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Teaching Hydrogeology

OAI understands the value of learning the basics of hydrogeology because we benefited from learning the basics from the best. To promote a better understanding of hydrogeology in our community, OAI activily participates in a variety of teaching venues including:

  • Developing and presenting a six-week hydro program to 6th grade students as part of their school's WINGS program
  • Developing and presenting hour-length topic presentations to Earth Science majors at the University of South Alabama
  • Making case study presentations at regional, state and local groundwater conferences
  • Making luncheon presentations to civic groups
  • One-on-one technical presentations to regulators
  • Classroom instruction with field activity for elementary students, see write-up and photos below
  • "Dog and pony" presentations on groundwater topics and issues for educational purposes to area water system Boards
  • OAI believes that better informed individuals (client, student, regulator or the general public) would be better stewards of their environment

St. Vincent DePaul School's Science Class visits Mobile County Water's Well #1

On March 5, 2008, fourteen students from SVDP School visited Mobile County Water, Sewer and Fire Protection Authority's Well #1 as follow-up to their learning about drinking water. The trip was coordinated by OAI's Dan O'Donnell for his brother Tom's science class. MCW's Stephen Cunningham explained the simplicity of the well's operation and the limited treatment required of the produced water due to it being purified over time by God's natural treatment system. Pictured below from the left are: Dan, Stephen, Tom, Well #1 and Tom's students. OAI thanks Ms. Barnard for snapping the photo and Mrs Wilcox and MCW for permission to tour the wellsite.

Class of St. Vincent DePaul School Students

Dauphin Island Elementary School Visit

On May 6, 2005, OAI geologist Dan O'Donnell was invited down to Ms. Thierry's 5th and 6th grade classes to speak with her students about the new public water supply well being drilled adjacent to their school. The well, a project of OAI, was nearing completion and had raised the student's curiosity. Approximately 23 kids, several teachers and Mr. Jeff Caldwell spent blackboard time learning how the drill rig operates, about the lithology beneath their school and the sand aquifer that would soon be supplying water to them. Once the classroom work was complete, we walked to the wellsite where Dan pointed out the key elements of the drilling process, top photo. All were shown the derrick, the kelly, the mud pumps, the mud return line and they watched as cuttings were collected from the mud return line. These cuttings were collected in pails and examined in the field, middle photo. Once through in the field, the cuttings were brought back to the school where they were washed through a series of sieves. Jeff worked with the kids pointing out sand, clay and shells collecting in the sieves, bottom photo. What a great learning experience this was for the kids and for OAI. Perhaps, it will spark an interest in geology in one of these young students. OAI is available to bring a "hydro" course to your classroom, water Board or group, contact us to coordinate.

OAI Geologist Dan O'Donnell Teaching a Class Class of Kids Performing an Experiment Ms. Thierry's 5th and 6th Grade Classes Learning About Public Water Supply