Ge­ol­ogy stu­dents drill into soil at cam­pus

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Bill Rettew bret­tew@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @ on Twit­ter

West Ch­ester Univer­sity stu­dents re­ceived a hands-on ge­ol­ogy les­son in drilling this week.

WEST GOSHEN » West Ch­ester Univer­sity stu­dents re­ceived a hands-on ge­ol­ogy les­son this week.

As part of a col­lab­o­ra­tion, about 30 stu­dents and ap­prox­i­mately 35 sea­soned pro­fes­sion­als watched side by side as a 50-foot tall ro­ta­sonic drilling unit dug into South Cam­pus soil.

The drilling site will be used for class­work study for decades to come. The Glen Echo Farm site is home to sapro­lite which only ap­pears above weath­ered bedrock, in south­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia.

Ge­ol­o­gists are in­ter­ested in eval­u­at­ing how ground

wa­ter and con­tam­i­nants flow through this ma­te­rial.

The mil­lion-dol­lar drill uses sound waves to col­lect soil sam­ples.

Martin Helmke is a WCU Ge­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor. He said the drill can dig 50 feet deep in a half hour, for what would take a con­ven­tional drill half a day.

Helmke said the univer­sity was con­duct­ing out­reach ef­forts to ed­u­cate work­ing pro­fes­sion­als from the eastern United States.

“The drill is very fast, does not dis­turb soils and is very ex­pen­sive,” he said.

Dan Kelle­her is with Mid­west Geo Sciences Group.

“It’s an eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the stu­dents and a mix of the very lat­est tech­nol­ogy mixed with work­ing shoul­der to shoul­der with pro­fes­sion­als who are rec­og­nized ex­perts in the field.”

Maria Sar­i­ano is a ju­nior and geo­science stu­dent.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause in a class­room you take notes and hear lec­tures but it’s spe­cial to be in the field and wit­ness it and get a first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence,” Sar­i­ano said.

The work val­ued at $45,000 was do­nated by Cas­cade Drilling L.P. of Ohio and Par­ratt Wolff of Syra­cuse.


West Ch­ester Univer­sity stu­dents and pro­fes­sional ge­ol­o­gists wave for the cam­era at a South Cam­pus drill site.


Watch­ing a state of the art drill at West Ch­ester Univer­sity.


Ge­ol­ogy stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als rub shoul­ders at the West Ch­ester Univer­sity drill site.

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