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Field Hydrogeology Session

Hydrogeology and Ecohydrology

Register for:
GLY 4947 Hydrology Field School (2 credit)

Dr. Mark Rains
Dr. Kai Rains

Goals: Central and south Florida provide numerous unique opportunities to study complex interactions between surface water and groundwater and the roles that those interactions play in supporting Florida's economic and environmental well being. Students will be introduced to a wide range of problems and practical field and laboratory solutions during field exercises at a variety of locations. Students will conduct field exercises locally, then take short field trips to karst features, springs, and streams in central Florida and the Everglades in south Florida.

Why: Because hydrogeology and ecohydrology are geology in central and south Florida!!

Who: Geology majors with 12 credit hours of upper-level Geology courses, preferably from the core courses.

What to Expect:

Some of the field exercises will be difficult and physically demanding. Most of the field exercises will be conducted in hot, humid, wet, and buggy environments. You will sweat, get wet and get bit, and learn more about the practical aspects of hydrogeology and ecohydrology in two weeks than in all of your previous coursework combined. Some of the field trips will be less taxing, and will simply provide opportunities to sample Florida's diversity of hydrogeological and ecohydrological environments while networking closely with instructors and students.

Typical Itinerary:

The exact dates of some activities and trips may shift as we get closer to the session.

Week 1:

  • Monday: Hydrogeologic Investigation of the USF GeoPark (Overnight in Tampa)
  • Tuesday: Hydrogeologic Investigation of the USF GeoPark (Overnight in Tampa)
  • Wednesday: Hydrogeologic Investigation of the USF GeoPark (Overnight in Tampa)
  • Thursday: Hillsborough River Salt Water Intrusion, Wetland Investigation in the USF Forest Preserve (Overnight in Tampa)
  • Friday: Wetland Investigation in the USF Forest Preserve (Overnight in Tampa)

Week 2:

  • Monday: Streamflow Measurement, Sinks-Springs of Tampa (Overnight in Tampa)
  • Tuesday: Everglades/Big Cypress Tour: Headwaters of the Everglades to Lake Okeechobee (Overnight in West Palm)
  • Wednesday: Everglades/Big Cypress Tour: Lake Okeechobee to Miami Metropolitan Area (Overnight in Florida City)
  • Thursday: Everglades/Big Cypress Tour: Everglades National Park, Tamiami Trail, Big Cypress Preserve (Overnight in Naples)
  • Friday: Everglades/Big Cypress Tour: Picayune Strand Restoration (Overnight in Tampa)


Grades in the course will be based on your performance on the several small projects that you will complete and on your participation in the field.

Needs for the course:

  • Field notebook
  • Hand lens (provided by department)
  • Brunton compass (provided by department)
  • Field clothes for wet and sunny conditions
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen