Groundwater - a fugacious, transient phase, moving unobserved and un-seeable through a three-dimensional network of cryptic subterranean passages, entraining, transporting, precipitating and re-entraining a dissolved load of mineral and chemical species, ultimately emerging from the Earth's crust as surface water. Never actually seeing their object of study, hydrogeologists rely on indirect measurements to internally visualize groundwater flow and then communicate their visualizations using second-hand representations or simulations. Engaged thus in the unseen, it is small wonder that even geologists disagree with each other in their conclusions about groundwater, contaminant transport and remedial strategies.

Faced with making decisions pertaining to the invisible world flowing beneath their feet, Site Remediation Professionals must synthesize hydrogeologists' esoteric and indirect measurements into a reasoned, compliant, and ultimately defensible site remediation strategy. A seemingly hopeless endeavor, that objective is nonetheless achievable because, despite the uncertainties and competing hypotheses, hydrogeology is an objective science and LSRPs and Site Remediation Professionals are in the unique position to require geologists to support their conclusions/solutions with hard data, empowered to question every interpretation and conclusion along the way.

Course Description

This course will provide you with jargon-free explanations of the fundamental aspects of geology and hydrogeology relevant to site remediation decisions. The approach for all topics discussed is that decision makers must know the questions to ask and must be able to understand the responses. This assures that the technical persons making recommendations in support of the individual's remedial decisions can defend those recommendations with hard data which will stand scrutiny and challenges!

Topics Include

  • Hydrologic Cycle & Hydrologic Energy
  • Fundamentals of Groundwater Flow
  • Groundwater Regimes
  • Recharge-Discharge Relations (Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction) & Aquifer Dynamics.
  • Hands-On Sessions on Groundwater Contouring & Field Interpretation of Hydrogeologic Parameters
  • Solute Transport
  • Plume Dynamics
  • Groundwater Extraction & The Hydraulic Effects of Pumping/Capture
  • Considerations in Monitoring Well Design & Placement
  • Separate Phase Contamination
  • Mass Balance in Plumes
  • Plume Evolution
  • Remedial Action Objectives
  • Realistic Groundwater Restoration Strategies

Please Bring the Following to Class:

  1. An engineering scale (ruler) with gradations in tenths of an inch
  2. A pencil
  3. A calculator, however if you do not have one, the one on your cell phone will be adequate


Thomas D. Gillespie, P.G. - licensed professional geologist with 35 years' experience in environmental risk management, water resource management, engineering geology, mining, oil & gas exploration, and geologic hazard assessment/mitigation. He holds a master's degree from Rutgers University in Structural Geology/Hydrogeology. Tom's specialties include groundwater flow in fractured bedrock aquifer systems, karst groundwater, karst hazard mitigation, water resources, watershed management and rock slope stability.

Tom served two consecutive six-year terms as a Gubernatorial appointee on the Pennsylvania State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists and served two terms as President of that Board. He represented Pennsylvania on the National Association of State Boards of Geology in which he is currently a member at large as a subject matter expert in structural geology, hydrogeology and engineering geology. He is a qualified expert witness in groundwater and contaminant fate and transport in all levels of the court system and has provided institutional expert consultation to government agencies, including appointment to the Department of the Army's Technical Assistance Team.

In addition to his role as Principal Geologist at Gilmore & Associates, Inc., Tom has been an adjunct professor of geology at The College of New Jersey since 1988, has instructed structural geology at LaSalle University and continues to instruct continuing education courses on both structural and hydrogeology for various organizations including the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologist and the Marcellus Shale Coalition. He was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists for which he also sat on the Board of Directors. Tom's current research is in modeling groundwater flow through fractured media.

Continuing Education Credits

  • NJ LSRP CEC's: 6.5 Technical CEC (2019-061)
  • NJ Professional Engineers: 6.5 CPCs
  • ATTENTION HEALTH OFFICERS AND REGISTERED ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SPECIALISTS: Participants who complete this education program will be awarded 6.5 NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs)
  • This course is eligible toward PDHs for Pennsylvania Professional Geologists