Distribution of Office of Ground Water strategic plan

To: "File WRD Archive, , Reston, VA "
Subject: OGW Tech MM 95.04 (needs to be put in Mosaid)
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Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 13:37:09 -0400
From: "Velvie E Stockdale, Office Automation Assistant, Reston, VA "

In Reply Refer To:                               April 18, 1995
Mail Stop 411


Subject:  Distribution of Office of Ground Water strategic plan

During the Advanced Ground-Water Seminar held in October 1994, in 
Denver, Colorado, the Office of Ground Water (OGW) distributed, as 
a part of the notebook for the seminar, a short document describing 
the focus areas, staffing, and reorganization of the OGW.  This 
memorandum formally distributes an updated version of this document 
(Attachment).  Please share this with those involved in ground-
water activities in your office.  We welcome feedback on the 
attached plan and our activities in general.

                        /s/ William M. Alley
                        Chief, Office
                        of Ground Water


Distribution:  A, B, S, FO, PO


                                April 18, 1995

The Office of Ground Water

The Office of Ground Water (OGW) provides Water Resources 
Division (WRD) leadership in the ground-water discipline for 
technology transfer and training, and fosters the development 
and application of new techniques and tools for collection, 
analysis, and interpretation of ground-water data.  The Office 
also maintains a system of District reviews to assure the 
technical excellence of WRD field programs in ground-water 
hydrology, provides policy advice to the Chief Hydrologist, and 
serves as a focal point for public, Congressional, and other 
Federal agency inquiries related to ground-water resources.  The 
present staff and organization of OGW are shown in figure 1.


The demands on WRD ground-water expertise have grown greatly 
during the past decade, highlighting the importance of 
technology transfer and training.  Because of the tremendous 
growth of ground-water science and technology, OGW must 
carefully select from numerous technologies and issues on which 
to focus its energies.  Furthermore, the principal needs of 
field programs for OGW assistance change over time with a 
commensurate change in the required technical expertise of the 
OGW staff.

Focus Areas

The OGW is presently focusing on four general topical areas for 
technical support:  (1) ground-water modeling, (2) geophysics, 
(3) ground-water quality and geochemistry, and (4) ground-water 
data.  The latter two areas are relatively new technical support 
areas for the OGW.  In addition, the OGW has formalized its 
activities in ground-water modeling through establishment of a 
Model Applications and Support Group, and activities in 
geophysics through establishment of the Branch of Geophysical 
Applications and Support.

The Model Applications and Support Group (MASG) has been 
established in OGW to provide review, oversight, and 
coordination of ground-water modeling activities in WRD through 
training; user assistance; and model development, testing, and 
documentation.  The MASG is composed principally of Arlen 
Harbaugh and Dave Pollock, with periodic assistance from other 
OGW staff and selected hydrologists from Districts and the 
National Research Program (NRP).

The Branch of Geophysical Applications and Support (BGAS) was 
established in October 1993 to provide coordinated assistance 
and expertise in the application of geophysical techniques to 
water-resource investigations and research in WRD.  The Branch 
is co-located with the District office in Hartford, 
Connecticut.  Pete Haeni is the Chief of the Branch and is 
assisted full-time by Gary Placzek and John Lane, and part-time 
by John Williams, Albany, New York, who serves as the OGW 
Borehole Geophysics Advisor.

The new ground-water quality and geochemistry focus is spear-
headed by James LaBaugh, who has recently transferred to OGW 
from the NRP.  His tasks will be closely coordinated with the 
Office of Water Quality.

While data issues must be addressed in all focus areas, 
technical assistance on development of standards and policies 
for ground-water database management, applications, and quality 
assurance is needed in WRD.  To support this need, OGW has 
established a Ground-Water Data Coordinator position.  Jilann 
Brunett, formerly with the Alaska District, is currently serving 
as the OGW Data Coordinator.

In addition to its technical support activities, OGW coordinates 
the Hydrogeology of Critical Aquifers Program (formerly the 
Regional Aquifer-System Analysis-RASA Program) and the Nuclear 
Waste Hydrology Program of WRD.  The RASA Program was started in 
1978 to develop quantitative appraisals of major aquifer systems 
in the United States and is also producing a National Ground-
Water Atlas.  The program was renamed Hydrogeology of Critical 
Aquifers in 1995, to embrace an expanded role in evaluating 
shallow aquifer systems dominated by surface- and ground-water 
interactions.  The Nuclear Waste Hydrology (NWH) Program has 
concentrated in recent years on research related to siting, 
monitoring, and performance of low-level radioactive waste 
sites.  Funding for the NWH Program ceased at the end of fiscal 
year 1993; however, OGW continues to provide advice and 
consultation on low-level waste hydrology to the WRD, Director's 
office, and other Federal agencies.


In order to operate effectively in a changing environment, OGW 
maintains a flexible operational and staffing plan.  Our goal is 
to make increasing use of 1- to 4-year term assignments to OGW.  
Persons brought to OGW for these term assignments will be given 
specific tasks within their particular expertise and be charged 
with fostering technology transfer and training in their 
assigned area.  They also will participate in general OGW 
activities.  The goal is for the individuals selected to 
contribute their expertise to the WRD ground-water program 
during their tenure in OGW and to return to a District or to NRP 
with a broader perspective on the Division's ground-water 
program.  This will help maintain a strong technical link 
between OGW and the Division's programs and ensure a continual 
flow of ideas between the field and OGW.  It is expected that 
individuals brought to OGW will continue to contribute to the 
WRD ground-water program well after they leave OGW.  The term 
assignment can be done on a TDY or per diem basis with the 
individual reassigned to their duty station at the completion of 
the term assignment.  Interested persons should contact the 
Chief, Office of Ground Water.

Communication and Networking

A list of topical areas requiring some expertise in the OGW is 
shown in table 1.  Clearly, the OGW staff cannot provide all of 
the expertise listed in table 1.  Thus, the help of many other 
individuals in carrying out OGW's responsibilities is 
essential.  In particular, the OGW relies heavily on technical 
expertise and advice from the four Regional Ground-Water 
Specialists.  In addition, experts in the Districts and NRP are 
tapped to serve as technical advisors.  A key historic strength 
of OGW is the network of individuals throughout the Division who 
can be called upon to help with short-term Division needs in 
ground water.  The OGW continues to make every effort to expand 
and broaden this network.  Selected individuals are brought into 
OGW for short-term (usually a week) details to help with day-to-
day activities and also to provide insights on future directions 
of the Division's ground-water programs.  OGW makes use of short-
term (6-month to 1-year) task groups to advise OGW and the 
Division on key scientific and technical issues.  Current 
examples include a task group developing guidelines for District 
ground-water QA plans and a task group preparing a submersible 
pressure transducer handbook.  Special efforts also are being 
made by OGW to facilitate communication and technology transfer 
with other programs outside the traditional District and NRP 
contacts such as the Yucca Mountain project, programs within 
other USGS Divisions, and international programs and 
organizations such as the International Standards Organization 



   Bill Alley

Assistant Chief
   Ken Hollett

   Branch of
   Nuclear Waste Hydrology
      Newell Trask (Chief)
      Ray Wallace

   Technical Support
      Chuck Appel
      Jilann Brunett (Data Coordinator)
      Jim LaBaugh (Water Quality and Geochemistry)
      Mary Amos
      Velvie Stockdale

   Model Applications and Support Group
      Arlen Harbaugh
      Dave Pollock

   Hydrogeology of Critical Aquifers, Austin, Texas
      Hayes Grubb (Chief)

   Branch of Geophysical Applications and Support, Hartford, Connecticut
      Pete Haeni (Chief)
      Gary Placzek
      John Lane
      John Williams (Borehole Geophysics Advisor; Part-Time; NY)

Figure 1 -- Office of Ground Water Organizational Chart.

Table 1 -- Topical Areas Requiring Some Expertise 
           in the Office of Ground Water

Aquifer/hydrogeologic unit nomenclature
Aquifer testing
Contaminant hydrology
        -       Network design
        -       Remediation issues
        -       Site characterization
Drilling and monitoring well installation methods
Fractured-rock hydrology
        -       Isotopic studies
        -       Modeling
Geology and hydrogeologic characterization
        -       Borehole
        -       Surface
Ground-water hydraulics
Ground-water modeling
        -       Flow
        -       Optimization
        -       Parameter estimation
        -       Transport
Karst hydrology
Nuclear hydrology
        -       High-level wastes
        -       Low-level wastes
        -       Artificial
        -       Natural
Regional studies
        -       Hydrology
        -       Water quality
Saltwater/freshwater interactions
Sampling methods
Subsurface microbiology
Surface-water/ground-water interactions
        -       Lakes
        -       Streams
        -       Wetlands
Unsaturated zone hydrology
        -       Field methods
        -       Models