Ian A

I am a hydrogeologist at Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the Drinking Water and Groundwater program. My program frequently partners with the Wisconsin Geologic and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) on projects as varied as groundwater modeling, to maintaining the statewide monitoring well network, and to local geophysical investigations. Having WGNHS as an unbiased technical resource is invaluable when working on politically controversial topics like high capacity wells, which is a large part of my job. One example of the impact WGNHS has had on me professionally happened when I was reviewing a high capacity well located in northern Jackson County. My initial review of the proposed well indicated potential to significantly impact a nearby trout stream, and DNR was prepared to deny the application. I contacted Pete Chase at WGNHS who agreed to conduct a geophysical investigation. Within a few days, Pete was onsite and his work showed that there was a layer of shale in the bedrock that would protect the stream from pumping impact. That allowed me to approve the application and the farmer to get his irrigation well. I cannot overstate the importance that WGNHS and other UW-Extension programs have for me and others around the state.