Black Hills Hydrologic System and Water Resources

Research mentor: Profs. J. Foster Sawyer, Geology and Geological Engineering, Jennifer Benning, Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Lab Overview: On-going development in the Black Hills and other regions often negatively impacts water resources in terms of both quantity and quality. The complexity of interactions and compounding effects of variable hydrologic settings as well as the variable nature of contaminants that may be introduced by land use and/or development must be better understood in order to manage water resources sustainably.

SD-RET Research Project: The teacher will conduct research that will involve compiling hydrologic, geographic, water quality and quantity, and land use data in order to assess the vulnerability of the water resources. The compiled data will be used to investigate the contaminants that pose the greatest threat to human health and the ability of the land to sustain future development.

The teachers will:

  • Learn how to collect and compile hydrologic data;
  • Gain an understanding of the complexity of the mechanics of the hydrologic system;
  • Gain an understanding of the nature of various water pollutants and their sources;
  • Evaluate the sustainability of the hydrologic system.
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South Dakota School
of Mines & Technology

Department of Mechanical