Graduate and Undergraduate Student Research in Hydrogeology and Geochemistry I have advised at ESU


• The Origin of Groundwater Phosphate in the Neosho River Alluvial Aquifer. Katy Schwinghamer, B.S. anticipated, May 15.

• Groundwater Flow and Solute Transport Model of Heterogneous Unconsolidated Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project at Sawankhalok District, Suthothai Province. Pasawee Mungkang, M.S. anticipated, May 15, (with Khon Kaen University).

• Evaluation of Shale Gas Potential in Mississippian Cherokee Formation, Dusty Gutierrez. Recipient, Geological Society of America Undergraduate Research Grant, (with David Newell, Kansas Geological Survey). B.S. anticipated, Aug, 2015.

• Hydrogeology of the Neva Wetland, Flint Hills Kansas, Darrel Drake, M.S. Thesis, in progress


• Groundwater-surface water nitrogen and phosphorous exchange at two locations along a meandering river: a comparison study of hydrochemical environments along straight and meander channels, D. Marie Barlow. Recipient, ESU Undergraduate Research Program (ESURP) grant. Winner, “Best of ESU 150” award, and Gem and Mineral Clubs of Greater Kansas City Scholarship. B.S., Aug, 2014.

• Utilization of the LNAPL Distribution and Recovery Model and Multi-phase Theory of LNAPL to Identify Localized Confined LNAPL and Analyze Recovery Data at Two Active Remediation Sites. Jacob Hartsock, M.S. Thesis, Aug, 2014.


• Groundwater silica as an indicator of recharge and recovery during an Artificial Storage and Recovery project in Thailand. Cathryn Mallonee, M.S. Thesis, Fall 2013.

• An Investigation of Reactivated Paleokarst in Northern Audrain County, Missouri, James (Blake) Smotherman, M.S. Thesis, Fall, 2013.

• Applications of Near-surface Geophysics in solving Environmental and Engineering Problems: A Series of Case Studies. Corey Miller, B.I.D., Fall 2013.


• Modeling high-resolution arsenic distribution in the heterogeneous Equus Beds Aquifer, John Barker, M.S. Thesis, Spring, 2012.

• Short-lived temporal Variations in Ground-water Nitrate and Phosphate as a function of Reservoir Releases along the Neosho River, Leslie Thomas, M.S. (withdrawn).


• Exploring concepts and methodologies for assessing long-term well yield. Douglas Geller, M.S. Thesis, Spring, 2011.

• High-resolution characterization of a salt plume in the Equus Beds, Kansas. Delores (Lori) Neshyba-Bird, winner, Geological Society of America “Outstanding Mention” Award (1 in 17 of 670 applicants); recipient, GSA Hydrogeology Division student research grant, M.S.Thesis, Fall, 2012.


• Deep Organic Carbon in Glaciated and Unglaciated Alluvial Valleys, Brandon Milner, B.S., 2009.

• Development of a New Direct-push-based Approach for On-site Assessment of Redox Conditions in Contaminated Aquifers, Amelia Hess. Winner, ESU Harold Durst Research Proposal Award, National Association of Women Geoscientists Chrysalis Award. Winner, Best student poster, National Ground Water Association Ground Water Summit conference), M.S Research Project, Spring, 2009.


• Spatial and Temporal Variations in Ground-water Chemistry along a Regulated, Mid-continent River, Megan Flory, Recipient, Geological Society of America, Student Research grant, B.S. research project, 2008.


• Iron Reduction Mechanisms at Contaminated Ground-water Sites, Tyler Ringler, B.S. Research Project, Fall 2007.


• High-resolution Characterization of the Neosho River Alluvium: A combined Geophysical and Geospatial Analysis, Spencer Musgrove, B.S. Research Project, Spring, 2007, Winner, best collaborative poster competition, ESU Research Forum, 2006.

• Hydrogeochemical and Geospatial Analysis of a Floodplain Margin Kevin Barnett, (Winner, Best Collaborative Poster Award, ESU Research Forum, 2006) (withdrawn).

• Retardation of Uranium and Neptunium in Yucca Mountain Saturated Alluvium (In collaboration with Los Alamos National Laboratory), Cheryl Sedlacek, M.S. Research Project, Fall, 2006.

• Late Quaternary Ostracodes as Indicators of Salinity Conditions and Paleohydrology in a Mid-continent Wetland (with lab support from USGS, Reston, VA and The Nature Conservancy), Ladorna (Jo) Pfaff, M.S. Thesis, Fall 2006.

• Direct-push Electrical Conductivity Technology for Interpreting Soil Lithology in a Thick Vadose Zone (Chinese Academy of Science Graduate Institute, Shijiazhuang, China), Zhang Li, M.S. Thesis, Spring, 2006.


• Design of a Decontamination Protocol for a New Ground-water Sampling Tool, Natasha Patenaude, B.S. Research Project, Spring 2005.

Student Thesis or Research Committees I have Served on:

• An Analysis of the Neosho and Spring River Basins for Spatial and Temporal Variabilities and Chemical Trends in Relation to the Watersheds’ Drainage Systems and Underlying Geology within the Tri-State Mining District, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, Gina Manders, M.S. Research Project, Spring, 2012

• Remote Sensing and Imagery at Cheyenne Bottoms, Kansas, Lida Buster Owens, M.S. Research Project,

• Landscape dynamics of the Halden Creek area, British Columbia, Chad Seigel, M.S., Fall, 2008.

• Renovation of a Pond Dam at Mississinewa Lake, Scott Dahms, M.S. Research Project, 2007

• Glaciotectonic Structural Analysis of Devils Lake, North Dakota. William Jacobson, M.S. Thesis, 2005.

• Information Needs and Behaviors of Geoscience Educators: A Grounded-theory Study, Susan Aber, (ESU Library Science Department), Ph.D. Dissertation, 2005.

• Tsunami Impact on West Coast of Penang Island, Fred Colburne, Malaysia, M.S. Research Project, 2005.

Archives! Former Graduate Students:





Ladorna ("Jo") Pfaff

Thesis topic: Interpretation of paleohydrology in a midcontinent wetland based on soil cores, microfossils(!), and geophysical logs





Amelia Hess

Thesis topic: Development of new direct-push methods for acquisition of redox chemistry in contaminated ground-water.

Winner, best student poster award, 2005 Ground Water Summit Meeting, San Antonio, TX. , Harold Durst Graduate Research Award and Association for Women Geoscientists, Chrysalis Award



Amelia Hess
Cheryl Sedlacek

Cheryl Sedlacek

Thesis topic: Radionuclide sorption in barrier materials and alluvial clays

(in collaboration with Paul Reimus, Los Alamos National Lab)


Doug Geller

Doug Geller

Thesis topic: Water Resource Development


Kevin Barnett

Thesis topic: Geospatial Analysis and Hydrogeology of a Floodplain Aquifer

Winner, Best Collaborative Research Poster Award, ESU Research and Creativity Forum

Kevin Barnett

Current Undergraduate Students:

Tyler Ringler




Spencer Musgrove

High-resolution Geophysical and Stratigraphic Analysis

Winner, Best Collaborative Research Poster Award, ESU Research and Creativity Forum





Tyler Ringler

Field Methods for Characterization of Contaminated Ground-water Investigations




Spencer Musgrove

Former Undergraduate Students:

Natasha Patenaude

Design of a decontamination protocol for a new ground-water sampling tool

Now, Chemist,Fuller Brush Company, Great Bend, KS (Congratulations Natasha!)



Other Recent ESU Graduates working in Hydrogeology or Environmental Geology:

  • B.S., 2005, Kevin Faurot, Environmental Scientist, Ks Dept. of Health and Environment, Dodge City, Ks.
  • B.S., 2003, Erik Merhoff, Environmental Scientist, Environmental Priority Service, Salina, Ks.,

Click here for more information about Research Opportunities in Environmental Geology and Hydrogeology at ESU.

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