Approximately 100 researchers, consultants, regulators, and students gathered at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence, Kansas, May 19-21, 2015, to participate in NovCare 2015 (Novel Methods for Subsurface Characterization and Monitoring: From Theory to Practice). This was the fourth edition of the international, biennial conference series focusing on innovative methods for characterizing and monitoring aquifers, soils, and watersheds. The conference was organized by personnel from the Kansas Geological Survey and the Department of Geology at the University of Kansas (KU) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, Germany. The conference was also supported by KU’s Office of the Provost and the KU Center for Research. In addition,
at NovCare 2015 included direct-push characterization of soils and aquifers, long-term monitoring and opportunistic characterization (natural/anthropogenic stimuli and tracers of opportunity), characterization at the interface (stream-aquifer interactions and coastal settings), hydrogeological investigation techniques, integrated characterization of the unsaturated and saturated zones, geotechnical site characterization, and new tools for watershed characterization. In addition to the approximately 35 contributed oral presentations and nine poster presentations, the meeting featured , an afternoon session, two , and a presentation by the 2015 , which was open to the public. The meeting also featured a well-attended and enjoyable banquet at Lawrence’s Free State Brewery.
Judging by the liveliness of the question and answer sessions following presentations, the informal discussions between sessions, and the final open discussion regarding challenges in transferring new techniques and insights into practice, NovCare 2015 clearly achieved its goal of providing a forum for exchange of information on the latest developments in near-surface characterization. We anticipate that this tradition will continue in future editions of the meeting, the next of which will be held in Germany, in 2017.
- by presenters from five continents.
- Nine presented recent developments in subsurface characterization. The presentations spaned the full breadth of the conference thematic areas from airborne electromagnetics to in-situ high-frequency monitoring of water chemistry.
- Dr. Rainer Helwig presented his on the energy-groundwater nexus in a presentation open to the general public on the second morning of the conference.
- : recent technological developments for subsurface characterization was demonstrated at a nearby Kansas Geological Survey field site. Demonstrations involved direct-push methods for high-resolution subsurface characterization, surface and downhole methods based on nuclear magnetic resonance technology, distributed temperature sensing applications for groundwater flux measurements, and point measurements of groundwater velocity.
- Sponsor Exhibits – showcased their tools and services at exhibits throughout the conference.
- – tutorial-like seminars helped attendees understand 1) geostatistical methods for exploiting high-resolution spatial data, 2) the wide range of direct-push methods for subsurface characterization.