Geology and Groundwater Studies Section
This section analyzes all parameters of geologic and hydrogeologic conditions, water resources budget relationships between supply and demand, economic mineral resources, geologic hazards, and defines the extent, recurrence interval, and impact of local and/or regional water development. Comprehensive data collection and investigative programs are developed and implemented to enhance the state's geologic and water resources databases. Site specific and areal information services are provided to well contractors, engineering firms, municipalities, and the private sector for water supply development and management, mineral extraction, construction projects, and other aspects of resource management . Data review and interpretation are provided to DNR's Environmental Services Division to assist in regulatory decisions relative to water withdrawal permits, well-interference problems, waste disposal sites, and other permitted facilities. Research and applied studies are planned and implemented to investigate and monitor water quality degradation related to agricultural and industrial chemicals, leaking underground tanks, sanitary landfills, and waste-water lagoons.
DEBORAH J. QUADE, Section Supervisor, Research Geologist, M.S.
(The University of Iowa)
MICHAEL BOUNK, Geologist 2,
Research Geologist, M.S. (The University of Iowa)
Major Responsibilities: Interprets water well cuttings and prepares
graphic striplogs for entry into IGWS’ Geologic Sample Database (GEOSAM) which is a geologic
site and sample tracking program. Conduct geologic mapping services related to sinkholes,
caves and karst.
RYAN J.CLARK, Geologist
Research Geologist, M.S. (
Major Responsibilities: Interpretation
of geologic and hydrologic data throughout Iowa via borehole logging information and
field data; focusing on bedrock geologic features, stratigraphy, and aquifer characteristics.
Conduct research and present findings regarding geologic and hydrologic aspects of Iowa to
general and technical audiences. Perform field investigations, geologic mapping, logging of
chip and core samples, and construction of lithic logs for
GEOSAM. Assess environmental and
hydrologic aspects of proposed water supply well sites for private and municipal clients in
conjunction with the source water protection plan. Coordinate the research, modeling, and
characterization of regional- and local-scale aquifer systems as part of the Water Resources
Management Program. Develop understanding of the risks/rewards associated with Iowa's geothermal
Coordinator for Iowa’s Source Water Protection (SWP) “Phase 1” assessments and non-targeted programs.
Tracking changes in Iowa’s public water wells, water use, and activity. Updating and revising source
water delineations for Iowa’s groundwater public water supplies. Providing well accurate forecasts
and water supply information to the general public. Improving well and aquifer information throughout
Iowa. Publishing reports from various drinking water studies.
J. MICHAEL GANNON, Geologist 3, M.S. (
Major Responsibilities: Primary
groundwater hydrologist in charge of both regional and local scale groundwater
flow modeling. Main responsibilities at the survey include: drought impacts,
groundwater sustainability, water use permit evaluation, well interference,
mine dewatering, groundwater and surface water interaction, aquifer pump test
design and analyses, source water and wellhead protection, groundwater exploration
and planning, and groundwater quality evaluations.
H. PAUL LIU, Geologist 3, Research Geologist, Ph.D. (University of Nebraska)
Major Responsibilities: Collection, analysis, and interpretation of Iowa geologic and hydrogeologic data,
especially on stratigraphy, paleontology, sedimentology, bedrock geology, and well construction. Conducting geologic and
stratigraphic investigations and research including field, laboratory, and office studies. Producing, editing, and reviewing
geologic maps, reports, and other professional publications. Identifying mineral, rock and fossil specimens. Providing, illustrating,
and presenting general geologic information and research results to public and professionals.
ROBERT M. McKAY, Geologist 3,
Research Geologist, B.S. (
Collection, analysis, and interpretation of Iowa geologic and hydrogeologic data, especially on
stratigraphy, paleontology, sedimentology, bedrock geology, and well construction. Conducting geologic
and stratigraphic investigations and research including field, laboratory, and office studies. Producing,
editing, and reviewing geologic maps, reports, and other professional publications. Identifying mineral,
rock and fossil specimens. Providing, illustrating, and presenting general geologic information and research
results to public and professionals. Principal staff contact for inquiries related to economic mineral
resources including limestone and gypsum resources, silica frac-sand, oil and gas drilling and permits,
underground non-coal mine maps, natural gas storage projects and expansions.
ROBERT D. ROWDEN, Geologist 3, Research Geologist, M.S.
(The University of Iowa)
Major Responsibilities: Providing new and updating current
Source Water delineations for Iowa’s public water supplies; assist Contaminated Sites (Brownfields
Program) and other IDNR sections with geologic and hydrologic site assessment
and site information; development of Geographic Information System (GIS)
coverages associated with
STATEMAP program and major aquifer systems of Iowa
Resources Management program); data collection,
compilation, analysis, interpretation and report and map preparation for various
geologic and hydrogeologic investigations; conducts and coordinates field sampling; provides technical assistance and
support to coworkers and students employed by the Iowa Geological & Water Survey; technical
review of publications; cooperates with state and local agencies on geologic, water
quality and water resources investigations; provides client services for well
site problems, well
searches, well forecasts, and water-supply/water-quality problems and addresses general
information requests; review of
site plans of various facilities and construction projects to assess potential
environmental impacts; educating the public about the effects of non-point and
point source contamination on surface water and groundwater resources;
development of educational materials; acts as computer purchasing agent and network representative
computer setup and installation and maintenance of hardware and software associated with
Iowa Geological & Water Survey computer network; collection of shallow subsurface unconsolidated geologic samples and
installation of shallow monitoring wells utilizing a Giddings drill rig; assists
other drillers and
Geophysics program staff in collecting information for the Geological & Water Survey;
maintains the Iowa Geological & Water Survey website and the
Iowa Geological &
Water Survey portion of the IDNR Content Management System website.
KEITH E. SCHILLING, Geologist 3,
Research Geologist, Ph.D. (University of Iowa)
STEPHANIE A. TASSIER-SURINE, Geologist 3, Research
Geologist, M.S. (
Major Responsibilities: Researches and conducts field investigations on the Quaternary deposits and stratigraphy of Iowa, with a primary focus on the Pre-Illinoian glacial till units and development of the Iowan Erosion Surface. Collects, describes, and analyzes surface and subsurface geologic samples (both in the field and the laboratory) and interprets the results for use in surficial mapping, Quaternary stratigraphy, and hydrogeologic studies. Responsible for Quaternary database and sample management associated with these projects. Responds to information requests on the geology of Iowa and takes part in a variety of educational and outreach activities.
Current Projects: Surficial geologic mapping as part of the USGS STATEMAP program; field investigations of surface and subsurface geologic materials related to Quaternary stratigraphy and hydrogeology projects.
Research Interests: Quaternary stratigraphy and paleoenvironmental interpretations, surficial processes and mapping, hydrogeology, soils, and sedimentary geochemistry.
Professional Affiliations: Geological Society of America, American Quaternary Association.
PAUL VANDORPE, Geologist 3, Research Geologist, M.S. (Wayne State
Major Responsibilities: Provides client services for well searches, well
forecasts, well variance requests, deep vs. shallow well determinations, waste water lagoon
evaluations, water-supply problems, and other geologic requests; compiles and synthesizes
hydrogeologic data for reports on the occurrence, quality, availability, and use of groundwater
in Iowa; provides information on coal mine subsidence; serves on a variety of committees and boards:
Iowa Groundwater Association and the Geothermal Heat Pump Regulation Committee (Chapter 48).
VOGELGESANG, Geologist 2, Research Geologist, B.S. (The University