The Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecture Series in Groundwater Science fosters interest and excellence in groundwater science and technology. It was established in 1986 and named in in honor of Henry Darcy of France for his 1856 investigations that established the physical basis upon which groundwater hydrogeology has been studied ever since.

Each year, a panel of scientists and engineers invites an outstanding groundwater professional to share his or her work with their peers and students through this lecture series. The Darcy Lecture Series is most often presented at universities and professional associations throughout the world.

Henry Darcy

2022-2023 Darcy Lecture

NGWA is honored to have Dr. Alicia Wilson serve as the 2023 Darcy Lecturer.

Alicia Wilson is a professor of hydrogeology in the School of the School of the Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of South Carolina. She specializes in coastal hydrogeology, with a particular focus on coastal ecohydrology and submarine groundwater exchange. A fellow of the Geological Society of America, Wilson has served as the chair the GSA Hydrogeology Division and the Director of the School of the Earth, Ocean, and Environment. She is a recipient of the University of South Carolina’s Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award. Wilson holds a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University, an MS from Stanford University, and a BA from Dartmouth College. She held a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research fellowship at the USGS in Reston, VA, and held a postdoc at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Wilson will present one of the following two lectures at participating venues in 2022-2023

Lecture 1: Subseafloor Hydrogeology: Moving beyond watersheds

The field of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) was launched in the 1990s by the remarkable discovery, via naturally-occurring isotopic tracers, that saline groundwater was discharging to the South Atlantic Bight in very large volumes. Subsequent studies confirmed that saline groundwater discharges to the Atlantic Ocean in volumes that rival river discharge. All available evidence indicates that this saline groundwater is highly enriched in nutrients compared to river water, so the nutrient contributions of this submarine discharge exceed that of river discharge. These findings have been slow to find widespread acceptance, however, because it has been exceedingly difficult to confirm this flow by means other than the original isotropic tracers. This discharge does not occur near the shoreline, and no conceptual models for SGD far from shore existed.

This changed recently when new studies using heat as a tracer identified clear pulses of groundwater discharge 10-15 km offshore in the South Atlantic Bight. This talk investigates this 20-year mystery and the recent discoveries that suggest that it may be time to rewrite chemical budgets for the coastal ocean.

Lecture 2: “Please check your assumptions at the coastline: 15 years of wading through salt marshes”

The field of hydrogeology is well known for its roots in water supply and contaminant remediation, but hydrogeologists are a highly adaptable group who can make critical contributions to — and learn from — a wide range of other fields. This talk describes 15 years of progress in understanding the ecohydrology of salt marshes, including everything from how to construct a well in a setting where water levels rise and fall by meters every day to the influence of groundwater flow on plant zonation and carbon cycling. Current research in salt marsh ecohydrology reaches in multiple directions, including the importance of crab burrows for solute and gas exchange in the root zone, the impact of stressors like drought and sea level rise on salt marsh migration, and the role of salt marshes as buffers for development. Carbon budgets for salt marshes are another area of continuing research. Future research will bring improved knowledge of biogeochemical cycling in salt marshes and has the potential to bring advanced ecohydrologic models that address salt marsh migration and restoration as well as atmospheric exchange.

COVID-19 may necessitate changes be made to the traditional scheduling and presentations by the Darcy Lecturer due to health and safety concerns, in addition to government mandates. As these circumstances change, we will work with the hosts who requested the lecture and update the schedule of presentations as warranted. The Groundwater Foundation will ultimately decide if a presentation will be virtual or in-person. (Those who submitted requests will receive appropriate communication.)

2022-2023 Darcy Lecture presentations dates TBA.


Additional lecture sites will be posted as they are confirmed.

Dr. Wilson will be hosting lectures between December 12, 2022 and November 30, 2023. When possible with travel and schedule factors, lectures will be presented in-person. However, the Groundwater Foundation will ultimately decide if a presentation will be virtual or in-person. (Those who submit requests will receive appropriate communication.)

Requests are currently being received from academic institutions, federal and state agencies, and laboratories. Requests made directly to the lecturer will not be honored. The deadline for speaking requests is September 30, 2022.

Click here to submit your lecture request online.

For additional information, please contact Sue Tenney at or (800) 551-7379 — or (614) 898-7791 outside of the United States — ext. 1568.

General information:

  • There is no fee for the Darcy Lecture.
  • You may not charge attendees to attend the lecture.
  • The Groundwater Foundation pays for the lecturer’s air travel.
  • Requests will only be accepted from academic institutions, federal or state agencies and laboratories.

As the hosting institution, you are responsible for:

In-Person Events:

  • The Darcy Lecturer’s accommodations (up to two nights; share the prepaid confirmation upon receipt of emailed host packet)
  • Transportation (to and from the airport, hotel, and your location)
  • Any meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the lecturer’s stay
  • Providing a microphone, screen, projector, and computer for the presentation
  • Completing a post-event host evaluation

Virtual Events

  • Designating a moderator to introduce the Lecturer and pose submitted questions
  • Video conferencing platform and communication with attendees
  • Completing a post-event host evaluation

Please note: Lecture hosts are forbidden from making video or audio recordings of the presentation.

Thank You to Our 2022–2023 Darcy Lecture Sponsors!

Anchor QEA
Hargis + Associates
S.S. Papadopulos & Associates
Woodard & Curran