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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2004-60

A Teacher's Guide to Plume Busters

by P. Allen Macfarlane, M.A. Townsend, G.C. Bohling and Steve Case

KGS Open File Report 2004-60
Dec. 2004


The Teacher's Guide to Plume Busters is designed for use with the interactive Plume Busters software. Users are advised to read the Computer System Requirements section of the manual prior to loading or downloading the software. This section provides operating system requirements, suggested browsers for viewing the HTML pages, and screen resolution control settings. The software and installer are contained on the CD that accompanies this manual from the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS). The software is also downloadable from the KGS website. Prior to downloading and installing from the CD, the installer checks your operating system to determine if the JAVA run-time environment (JRE) is present. If not, the installer comes with JAVA and will install it as part of the process. If you are downloading from the KGS website, you will have to download the JRE from the Sun website.

The ground-water tutor is in two parts: a set of HTML pages that have been grouped into sections, some of which have been linked in sequence to guide the student through introductory material; and a JAVA-based numerical ground-water model that simulates the flow of water and the movement of contaminants through the Buffalo River valley alluvial aquifer. The software is also divided into Locating the Plume and Remediate the Plume parts. These are sequential and with the completion of the first part the student moves on to the second part.

The software is designed in such a way that it is not necessary to read through the teacher's guide prior working through the Plume Busters. Adequate directions are provided in the HTML pages that this step is not necessary. Starting the Plume Busters software involves double-clicking on the desktop short-cut.

Grade 11-12, undergraduate non-hydrogeology major, and undergraduate hydrogeology major appropriate versions are currently available. The grade 11-12 and undergraduate non-hydrogeology major versions are appropriate for earth science, environmental geology, environmental science, and other introductory water resources and earth science classes at the high school and college undergraduate levels.

For teachers, the manual (1) identifies the national and Kansas science, environmental science, mathematics, and geography standards addresses by the tutor, (2) describes the student role-play, (3) outlines the sequence of operations followed as the student progresses through the tutor, (4) provides useful information on how best to integrate the software in earth and environmental science classes and (5) gives teachers tips to help guide students through the tutor. Terms that might be unfamiliar to users are underlined and defined in the Glossary at the back of this guide.

Questions, comments, or problems with the software should be directed to Dr. P. Allen Macfarlane at the Kansas Geological Survey by phone at (785) 864-2068 or by e-mail at

The complete report is available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

TeachersGuide.pdf (1.6 megs)

To read this file, you will need the Acrobat PDF Reader, available free from Adobe.

Kansas Geological Survey, Geohydrology
Placed online December 2004
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