© 1998-2014 Ulrick & Associates
Ulrick & Associates
The highest good is like water;
Water is good at benefiting the ten thousand things
     and yet it does not compete with them.
It dwells in places the masses of people detest,
Therefore it is close to the Way.
                              -- Lao Tzu

The first step in working with groundwater is to develop a conceptual model (a narrative or graphic description) of what lies underfoot (i.e., the soil and water beneath the ground surface).  For simple or low-risk situations, this may be done largely on the basis of judgement and experience. 

More complex, higher-risk situations typically require an appropriate level of investigation and evaluation.  Again, judgement and experience will determine the correct level of field investigation and data evaluation necessary to accomplish an objective.

Where warranted by the complexity of a site or the significance of the outcome, the conceptual model may need to be supported with quantitative calculations that can range from simple hand calculations to a complete computer simulation.  A computer simulation of groundwater flow is analogous to a business accounting system, because it can bring together and organize large amounts of information, and produce management reports and illustrations based on that information.  A computer simulation can be a rigorous tool for the development and support of a professional opinion or judgement.

Experience with varying levels of scale and detail is complimentary to the design of an investigation for a specific project.  For example, water supply investigations typically have a large scale and limited detail -- they consider groundwater basin boundaries and surface water interactions, and are concerned primarily with flow characteristics.  Environmental investigations typically have a small scale and greater detail -- they are often constrained to a small parcel of privately-owned property and are concerned with detailed groundwater flow and transport characteristics.  Working at a small scale can be more complex than a large scale because a groundwater system can be relatively heterogeneous on a small scale and homogeneous on a large scale. 

Technical work is only half the job.
  The other half is communicating the results.  This can include written reports, graphics, presentations, and negotiations.  I strive to prepare concise reports, graphics, and persuasive presentations that speak to the intended audience.

An advantage to working with me is that you know who is working for you from beginning to completion.