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UC Board of Trustees Names New Groundwater Lab after Eminent Geologist


The new C.V. Theis Groundwater Observatory will help UC researchers learn more about the relationship between rivers and aquifers.

Date: 2/21/2017 2:00:00 PM
By: Michael Miller
Phone: (513) 556-6757

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees on Tuesday named a new groundwater research lab after the late geologist Charles Vernon Theis, one of the most influential hydrologists of the past century.

The C.V. Theis Groundwater Observatory, which is slated to open March 10, is a cutting-edge teaching and research center along the Great Miami River in Miami Whitewater Forest.

The center will help UC researchers investigate the connection between rivers and aquifers, the underground reservoirs that supply most of the Midwest’s drinking water. UC students and faculty will use the lab to investigate the threats to and availability of groundwater.

UC made a commitment to studying groundwater conservation under a cluster-hiring strategy announced in 2014 to engage faculty at the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

The C.V. Theis Groundwater Observatory was made possible in large part by a low-cost land lease from Great Parks of Hamilton County and lead financial support from Duke Energy Foundation, Miami Conservancy District and UC’s Office of Research and Provost’s Office. 

Theis was a graduate of multiple colleges at UC. He earned degrees in engineering and civil engineering at UC and received the first doctoral degree conferred by the UC Department of Geology in 1929. He worked for the U.S. Geological Survey.

His original mathematical equation for studying the size and flow of groundwater is still used today and is taught at universities around the world.

The American Geophysical Union in 1984 awarded Theis its highest honor, the Robert E. Horton Medal, in recognition of his advancement of the field of hydrology.