NRES M.S. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

To provide graduates the scientific and communication skills and knowledge necessary to understand the inter-relationships among people, living organisms and the environments of the Intermountain West, and to prepare them for entry into doctoral programs or the professional workforce.

Student Learning Outcomes

1.  Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking, writing, and communication skills that will enable them to succeed after graduation.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Thesis structure and content: Student will develop and submit a thesis
  • Student will demonstrate critical thinking and writing skills in narrative essays and numerical solutions on exams in coursework
  • Oral presentations: Student will deliver oral presentations in courses and demonstrate oral presentation skills in the thesis defense
Assessment Method
  • Faculty will assess student theses for structure and content, providing evaluations from thesis review and defense
  • Exam grades from coursework will be evaluated by the advisor
  • Faculty and student evaluations from oral presentations made in courses and from thesis defense seminar will be summarized by the advisor

2.  Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical basis and experimental methods used for study of natural resources and environmental science.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Development of thesis research design and methods. Student will submit thesis proposal, and a final thesis
  • Student will demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical and experimental methods through their oral presentation of thesis defense seminar
  • Students will demonstrate descriptive and numerical solutions to exam questions
Assessment Method
  • Faculty will evaluate both research project proposal and final thesis
  • Faculty committee will evaluate seminar presentations and the advisor will provide a consensus of the views
  • The advisor, with input of committee members, will evaluate GRE scores and grades on coursework

3.  Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of experimental design; field/laboratory instrumentation and procedures; computer models; and data analyses used in natural resource and environmental science research.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will demonstrate ability to operate relevant instrumentation and analysis of data in laboratory, field and computer projects
  • Students will demonstrate performance in summarizing research methods in their theses and in courses that require labs.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of thesis content
Assessment Method
  • The advisor, with the consent of the committee, will use demonstration from thesis research and and course instructor evaluations from laboratory and field courses
  • Major professors will confer with other committee members and use course instructor evaluations
  • Faculty will evaluate thesis review and defense, and if available, journal reviews of submitted manuscripts. These will be summarized by the advisor.