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March 6, 2018

Crowdfunding Science: What worked and what didn’t, who pledged and how did we reach them?

During March of 2017, myself and a group of students supervised by Dr. Jodie Miller of Stellenbosch University’s Earth Science department (South Africa) completed a 5-week long crowdfunding campaign. The Campaign raised R149 899.00 (€9800) from 120 backers that were both local and international.


December 12, 2017

An alternate career path for Groundwater Science-Engineering PhDs

Post by Jim Roy, Research Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada. _______________________________________________ A recent editorial in Nature highlighted the relative scarcity of academic positions available to graduating PhD students (Many junior scientists need to take a hard look at their job prospects; 25 October, 2017). It notes that “it has been evident for years that international science is training many more PhD students than the academic system can support”. Firm …


September 28, 2017

Western water wells are going dry

We recently mapped groundwater wells across the 17 western states [1], where half of US groundwater pumping takes place.


August 27, 2017

Crowdfunding Science: A personal journey toward a public campaign

I went from a BSc (Hons) student, who was not considering continuing my postgraduate studies at all, to someone who is passionate about water resource research and continuing my postgraduate career. This is apparently common amongst postgraduate students in science…


April 3, 2017

What is the volume (in kegs) of groundwater is stored on earth?

Last week I gave a ‘blue drinks’  presentation for a networking evening for the Victoria chapter of the Canadian Water Resources Association entitled “How much groundwater is on earth?” based on our paper from Nature Geoscience last year. Since the night was hosted at Philips Brewery, an awesome local brewery (who makes Blue Buck, the perfect blue drink, and lots of other great beer), I decided to calculate how many …


March 30, 2017

Research mini-conference in fourth year groundwater class

Fourth year and graduate students led a fun mini-conference during class in Groundwater Hydrology (CIVE 445, Civil Engineering at University of Victoria) yesterday. Local consulting and government hydrogeologists joined, making the students both nervous and excited to be presenting to professionals with up to forty years of groundwater experience.


January 9, 2017

Crop kites

Post by WaterUnderground contributor Mikhail Smilovic. Mikhail is a PhD  candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering at McGill University, in Quebec. Crops use water for photosynthesis, absorbing nutrients, and transpiration, or the plant-equivalent of sweating. A crop may experience water-stress if the soil surrounding the roots is not adequately wet, and this stress will affect the crop differently depending on the crop’s stage of growth. Irrigation is the watering of …


April 19, 2016

Just in case you weren’t sure…groundwater flow around a fault zone is complex!

By Erin Mundy – a plain language summary of part of her Masters thesis Groundwater is the water that collects underground in pores and cracks in the rock. Understanding, protecting and sustaining groundwater flow is critical because over two billion people drink groundwater every day. The flow of groundwater can be impacted by geologic structures, such as fractures and faults. A fracture is a break in the rock; a fault …


March 29, 2016

Can we use an infrared camera to tell us how much groundwater is coming out of the side of a cliff?

By Erin Mundy – a plain language summary of part of her Masters thesis Groundwater is an important resource, with approximately 2 billion people around the world using groundwater everyday. Although most groundwater is beneath our feet, sometimes groundwater leaks out of stream-banks, hill sides and cliff faces – this is called groundwater seepage. Current scientific methods are not able to measure the amount of groundwater that leaks out of …