Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Dave Barnes

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Cassidy


Western Michigan University Lee Baker farm property is currently being developed as an expansion and re-location of the Western Michigan University College of Engineering and Business Technology Research Park. Because of the establishment and construction of the new businesses there has been concern from the surrounding neighborhoods of possibly anthropogenic pollution caused from the change of land use from recreation and agriculture to research and education facilities. Due to these concerns a baseline environmental assessment of groundwater quality was preformed to ensure environmental quality and measure the levels, if any, of environmental degradation. The University has dedicated funds to perform a continuing assessment of the land during the construction and operation of the Business Technology Research Park (BTRP) and College of Engineering campus.

Groundwater samples were collected from fifteen wells on the BTRP property by low flow sampling methods in conjunction with a flow cell and a dedicated monitoring system. All lab analyses of anthropogenic contaminants (DNR scan 1 and 2) were non-detect as of July 2002. Other analysis included field measurements to determine concentrations of various chemical parameters in the groundwater. Notable concentrations included salinity and dissolved oxygen. Salinity measurements support the effect of road salting on groundwater in close proximity to the adjacent interstate. Dissolved oxygen measurements suggest that leaf piles on the property provide high concentrations of dissolved organic compounds and high oxygen demand leachate in down gradient wells. Continuing monitoring in the future will include TOC measurements to assess the leaf pile leachate processes.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only