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2/16/11 - Hydrogeology program makes 'Top 100' industry list

Mississippi State's hydrogeology academic program in the university's geosciences department is newly listed in the Top 100 nationally.

According to a recent report by the National Ground Water Association, MSU's ranking is based on the strength of faculty and related factors. This is the first time the non-profit organization of 12,000 U.S. and international groundwater professionals has released such a ranking.

More than 400 programs were considered in the rankings.

"Our goal was to be able to give prospective groundwater students solid options across the country and a jumping off point for their research," said Rachel Jones, NGWA's student membership liaison.

According to geosciences department head Darrel Schmitz, NGWA's ranking helps show students interested in the field that MSU provides strong opportunities for learning and research, he observed.

"The recognition demonstrates that our program provides quality education and conducts significant and recognized research in the field," said Schmitz, a veteran hydrogeology researcher.

The field of hydrogeology deals mainly with groundwater, but can relate to all geologic aspects related to ground water. Major components include, among others, water sources from underground aquifers, contamination of subsurface water, formation of caves, and oil and gas movement in the subsurface.

Schmitz said graduates in the field have careers in many levels and specializations throughout industry, academia and government.

ROBBIE S. WARD | University Relations

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