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June 22, 2018

How can we make hydrogeology free from plagiarism? Reflections five years after a documented case of plagiarism in the hydrologic sciences

Tom Gleeson and Matt Currell Plagiarism is a clear contradiction of scientific values and practice. Although no universal definition of plagiarism exists, a useful working definition is the wrongful appropriation, stealing and publication of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions and the representation of them as one’s own original work (wikipedia). Plagiarism in our digital world can be too easy – although journals have stepped up on electronically detecting …


May 25, 2016

The new and exciting face of

by Tom Gleeson I started a few years ago as my personal groundwater nerd blog with the odd guest post written by others. Since I love working with others, I thought it would be more fun, and more interesting for readers, to expand the number of voices regularly posting. So here is the new face of the blog… What is the new blog all about? Written by a global …


March 25, 2015

Making guidelines for graduate students

I strive for effective, compassionate supervision and I clarify my goals, approach and expectations in my guidelines for graduate students (available here, from McGill’s best practices in supervision). As I wrote, most students enter a relationship with a thesis advisor without a clear idea of what they can expect so I compiled this handout to give you some idea of what I expect of you as student and what you …


January 6, 2015

A social media dashboard for researchers – taming the digital anarchy for nerds

Is anyone else overwhelmed by updating their many webpages, blogs, streams etc? Jason Priem described the shift from a paper-native academia to a web-native academia, in an excellent article last year in Nature, a shift well beyond the traditional peer-reviewed journal to more diverse outlets of information, interaction and discussion. I am part of the first generation of researchers who are excited to use social media but we need more …


October 25, 2014

How I start good supervisory relationships with graduate students

Many professors are confused about why a certain graduate student is happy or unhappy, under performing or performing well. I am far from a perfect supervisor, but I try to avoid this confusion by getting to know my graduate students on a relatively deep but professional level as quickly as possible, by doing the following in our first meeting: sharing results of a personality test; discussing our biggest goals, hopes …


July 28, 2014

1200 words to make sense of chaos: The Selker Scheme

This is an inspiring article by John Selker (Oregon State University) that was first published in the latest AGU Hydrology Section Newsletter (July 2014). John graciously offered to re-post it here… make sure you make it to his rules and a secret at the bottom. Being elected a fellow of the AGU was an amazing honor, and I thank  those who so kindly nominated me, somehow crafting a silk purse from …


June 16, 2014

Two great science communication tools for conferences and teaching: smart screens and cell phones

A few weeks ago at the European Geosciences Union in Vienna I learned about two dead-easy and great science communication tools for conferences.  These are great for any conference hall or meeting, but could be just as easily be used in the classroom to make a more exciting in class research presentations. For better or worse, most of us are carrying them (or looking at them!) right now: a smart …


May 12, 2014

What busy profs would like to read in a blog post about active learning

During a great workshop today on active learning in engineering at McGill I asked two questions (using Socrative) , of the audience. Here is a summary of 24 answers I received: 1) I would like to read blog posts about: activities for large classes (18% of people) activities for small classes (30% of people) technology in active learning (22% of people) wacky or creative ideas for active learning(30% of people) …


Surprises and lessons learned from co-teaching an inter-university graduate course

Contributed by Grant Ferguson, University of Saskatchewan [email protected]   In an earlier blog post, Tom discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of co-teaching a blended graduate course to students at McGill University, the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Saskatchewan. This course wrapped up last month… we definitely learned a few things during its delivery, some of which were surprises that we hope you can learn …


March 25, 2014

Why read “Water Underground” blog? And for me, why write a blog?

My reason to blog is really quite simple: to share what doesn’t currently fit into peer-reviewed articles. I will write about groundwater as well as how I research, teach, supervise and collaborate. In short I hope to cover the whole kit and caboodle of academia, from the underground perspective of groundwater. Why read this blog? Time is precious so only read on if you are interested and/or passionate about… – …