Field Methods in Applied Geosciences
(Soil Sciences, Hydrology, Hydrogeology)
Custom Professional Training Courses

Water Research Center
Online Education and Professional Training
Field Methods in Applied Geosciences

Mr. Brian Oram, PG
B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.

Featured Training - LEED-AP Training/ Green Building
Online Training Courses in Soil Science and Wetlands

Training Courses for Engineers, Geologists, and Surveyors

Pennsylvania Based - Hands On Training Courses in Soil Science, Hydrology,
Geology, Water Quality, Baseline Testing, and Citizen Science

Soil Morphology

Hydric Soils

Courses for 2012  and 2013

Main Instructor: Mr. Brian Oram, PG
Phone Office: 570-335-1947
15 Hillcrest Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
Office: 570-335-1947

Course Instructor:   Mr. Brian Oram, PG

Course I:  Introduction to Soil Science and Morphology

Continuing Education Course

November 9, 2012 - Soil Morphology/Stormwater and Wastewater Management – ½ classroom, ½ field  (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
April 26, 2013– Soil Morphology/Stormwater and Wastewater Management – ½ classroom, ½ field (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
September 20, 2013 - – Soil Morphology- Where is the Water Table?– ½ classroom, ½ field (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Introduction to Soil Science and Soil Morphology for Engineers, PA Sewage Enforcement Officers, Geologists, and other Professionals.
The course will provide an introduction into the environmental applications of soil science and soil morphology. During the presentation portion of the course, we will discuss the properties and characteristics of a soil, soil formation/ transformation, and soil hydrology. During the field portion of the course, we will be learning how to describe some of the physical properties of a soil (soil texture, structure, consistency, color), identifying soil horizons, and make interpretations related to the movement of water through the soil profile as it relates to on-site wastewater disposal and stormwater management.
The major topics that will be discussed will be “What are and the types of water tables and Where is the Water Table ?”, redoximorphic features, and using soil morphological data.

Course II: Hydric Soils Course and Field Indicators

Continuing Education Course

April 5, 2013 – Hydric Soils- The Field Indicators and More – ½ in classroom, ½ in field
(Wilkes-Barre, PA)

The course is an introduction to describing hydric soils and the use and meaning of the regional field indicators for hydric soils.  The course is designed for the licensed profession (engineer, surveyor, geologist), soil scientist, and wetland scientist. This class will teach you how to effectively describe soils, interpret soil reports, and who use the Hydric Soil Indicators in the Regional Supplements to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual. You will learn the basic processes that take place in saturated soil and how to “read the story” in a soil profile.  The training includes a field introduction to identifying layers, distinguishing concentrations and depletions, and preparing hydric soil descriptions from soil profiles. Each student will have a chance to describe and interpret a series of soils profiles and hydrological systems.. This workshop is 50/50 lecture/field.

Course III: Professional Training Course Related to
Marcellus Shale Development

Continuing Education Course

November 29, 2012 (5:00 - 8:00 pm) -Getting the Waters Tested the Marcellus Shale Factors - Oil and Gas Development Baseline Water Quality Testing - An Industry Perspective for Pennsylvania - Lessons Learned.
(Wilkes-Barre, PA)
May 22, 2013 (9:00 - Noon) -Getting the Waters Tested the Marcellus Shale Factors -  Oil and Gas Development Baseline Water Quality Testing - An Industry Perspective for Pennsylvania - Lessons Learned.
(Wilkes-Barre, PA)

This event will present a summary of the available information from the Citizen Groundwater Database and make specific recommendations related to baseline water quality testing and how the Marcellus Shale is a Factor in making changes with how we manage our water resources.  This event will provide insights into the background issues and concerns in Northeastern Pennsylvania, how the industry could be using the baseline data, and a summary of the available data to date.  This cost is being offered as a traditional classroom course and a webinar.

1. Baseline Groundwater Quality in Pennsylvania
2. Issues Related to Private Wells
3. Background Levels of Methane Gas and elevated levels of bacteria, iron, manganese, arsenic, lead, phthalates, bromide, strontium, barium, and contamination associated with saline water.
4. Conceptual pathways for natural methane gas migration and saline water migration.
and much more.
5. How to Educate and Inform the Public.
6. The Need to Use Baseline Data to Make Decisions about a Project, Project Risk, and Vulnerability Analysis.
7. Working as a Community.

This course is an opportunity to discuss how best to work with the private well owners and gain their perspective and understanding.  This 3 hour workshop (3 PDH) is a presentation and conversation to help you make good decisions and work with the Community.

 For a listing of potential Continuing Education Courses
in Engineering and Geology

This are 1-day Short Courses available for Continuing Education or University Credit
For More Information about the Short Courses

Course Title Date Scheduled
Intro to Soil Science and Soil Morphology Request-
Advanced Soil Morphology
(Wilkes University)
September 20, 2013
(Course Scheduled at a Request)
Intro to Hydric Soils and Hydric Soil Indicators
(Wilkes University)
April 5, 2013
Soil Science and Applied Engineering 
(Web-Soils Training)

Baseline Testing - Natural Gas Development
(Wilkes University)

Certified Baseline Testing Training Program


November 29, 2012 and May 22, 2013


Request -

Land-Based Wastewater and Stormwater Management
Soils and Infiltration Testing with Soil Morphology
(Wilkes University)

Private Well Owner Training / Citizen Science
Recently Completed - Salt Springs State Park, Luzerne County
(Carbon Waters Organization)
November 9, 2012 and
April 26, 2013

Note: If you are a college or University that wants to offer a local training course,
 please contact Mr. Brian Oram at  570-335-1947.

Online Training Courses

Wetland Education and Training
Inland Restoration; Wetland Delineation (Basics)

LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/
Professional Development Hours Courses

Field Guide Book version 2 (pdf)
Describing Soil Texture - " Feel Method" (pdf)
Describing Soil Structure (pdf)
Describing and Grading Soil Structure (pdf)
Permeability Classes for Soils (pdf)|
Drainage Classes for Soils (pdf)

Resources - Hydric Soils

Field Indicator Sheet (Source: NCSU)
Redox Measurement
Monitoring Wells and Piezometers
Land Resource Regions (Low Resolution - pdf) - 13 Mb

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