Wildlife Ecology and Conservation B.S. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

To provide undergraduates the scientific and communication skills and knowledge necessary to understand the inter-relationships among people, living organisms and the environments of the Intermountain West.

Student Learning Outcomes

1.  Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills by assessing a problem, gathering and analyzing relevant information associated with that problem, and proposing possible solutions.

Student Performance Indicators
  • In NRES 440 (Wetland Ecology and Management students will carry out "miniature-internship" projects that required them to choose a problem, contact a "client", do a small field or laboratory project (individually or in groups), and complete a report individually.
  • Undergraduate students in NRES 488 Dynamics and Management of Wildlife Populations will be required to carry out analyses of raw data to generate estimates of demographic parameters, construct population models and suggest management options based on the model.
  • In Conservation Biology, NRES 421, students in groups will complete a semester-long, literature-based research project designed to address a conservation management problem currently faced by Nevada's Nature Conservancy. Students will assess the management question/problem, conducted literature -based research and sought expert opinion to develop solutions.
Assessment Method
  • In NRES 440 written reports on the "miniature internship" will be evaluated based on being able to assess a problem, gather (including contacting a client) and analyze relevant information associated with that problem, and propose possible solutions
  • Reports on population modeling projects will be assessed for the students to demonstrate critical thinking skills by being able to assess a problem, gather and analyze relevant information associated with that problem, and propose possible solutions.
  • Performance on the group projects in Conservation Biology will be assessed for how well they demonstrated the ability to assess the problem gather and analyze information, and propose possible solutions.

2.  Students will be able to demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Oral presentations and written reports will be required of students in the senior-level Conservation Biology (NRES 421) course.
  • In NRES 48,Dynamics and Management of Wildlife Populations, students are required to make oral or poster presentations of their projects.
  • In NRES 440, Wetland Ecology and Management, individually written project reports and wetland delineation reports will be required.
Assessment Method
  • Oral presentations and written reports will be critically evaluated by faculty teaching the senior-level Conservation Biology (NRES 421) course.
  • Oral and poster presentations are critically evaluated not only by the instructor but their peers.
  • In NRES 440, individually written project reports and wetland delineation reports will assessed for skill in writing technical reports effectively.

3.  Students will be able to demonstrate technical competency within their respective discipline.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Wildlife Ecology and Conservation students achieve technical competency in underlying disciplines require for wildlife and conservation biology, including plant and animal sciences, quantitative skills, and ecology.
  • 3.1: Proficiency on identification of range and forest plant species will be required in Range and Forest Plants (NRES 345).
  • Mastery of material presented in Population Dynamics of Wildlife Populations (NRES 488)will be tested in laboratory modeling exercises.
Assessment Method
  • Students in NRES 440, Wetland Ecology and management will be evaluated on technical competency in laboratory and field exercises and in performing independent projects. These skills included laboratory analyses, vegetation analysis, data analysis using Excel with elementary statistical analyses, soil identification, and other skills.
  • 3.1: In Range and Forest Plants (NRES 345) ability to identify plant species will be tested in practical exams in both the field and from herbarium specimens
  • Modeling exercises in Population Dynamics of Wildlife Populations (NRES 488)will be evaluated by the instructor for technical competency.