Hydrogeology Ph.D. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The mission of the UNR Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences is to provide training to scientists and engineers in the broad areas of ground water, watershed sciences, water quality and water treatment, restoration methodologies and water resource evaluation. The degrees and tracks within each degree are structured to provide a foundation in water resources and specialization in a student's chosen area or areas. Several tracks are available, including ground water modeling, subsurface contaminant transport, and surface water hydraulics and geomorphology, hydrogeology and surface water quality management. Students may also define their own tracks by developing a curriculum from a breadth of graduate courses offered across the campus.

The Hydrogeology Doctoral degree focuses on the processes of ground water, ground water pollution and the geochemistry of ground water. Doctoral graduates in Hydrogeology are fully qualified to conduct academic research and education at the university level, in addition to having skill sets valuable to public and private industry involved with hydrologic sciences and engineering.

Program Outcomes

1. Students will exhibit timely progress in their program of study and dissertation research.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students should complete any undergraduate deficiencies during their first year of study.
  • Students should have successfully completed the four core courses after three semesters.
Assessment Method
  • Students coursework will be evaluated annually to ensure that they have successfully completed all undergraduate requirements.
  • Students will be evaluated annually to ensure that they have successfully completed the four core courses.

2.  Students will be prepared for employment as professionals in the field of hydrogeology.

Student Performance Indicators

  • Student exit interviews and alumni surveys will be used to assess employment status.

Assessment Method

  • The program director will organize these data and present them periodically for faculty review.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate a basic level of competency in the general field of hydrogeology.

Student Performance Indicators
  • During the first year of study the student should complete their qualifying exam.
  • The students should have successfully completed their comprehensive exam after two years of study.
Assessment Method
  • Students will be evaluated annually to ensure that they have successfully completed their qualifying exam.
  • Students will be evaluated annually to ensure that they have successfully completed their comprehensive exam.

2. Students will be able to explain ideas and results through written, numerical, graphical, spoken, and computer-based forms of communication.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will give an oral presentation of their proposed research during hydrology seminar in their second year of study.
  • Students orally present their dissertation proposal to their committee at a meeting early in their research.
  • Students submit a written dissertation proposal.
  • Students submit a dissertation.
Assessment Method
  • Instructor for the hydrology seminar provides student feedback an evaluation of their presentation skills.
  • Dissertation committee will assess student's proposal presentation and provide feedback to student.
  • Dissertation committee will evaluate and provide feedback on their written dissertation proposal.
  • Dissertation committee will review and evaluate Ph.D. dissertation.

3. Students will be able to complete research in their field of study, including answering a specific question(s) in conjunction with the advisor and thesis committee.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will complete a dissertation.
  • Completion of degree in a timely manner.
Assessment Method
  • Dissertation approves/disapprove dissertation.
  • Students progress will be reviewed annually to ensure a timely graduation.

4. Students will be able to demonstrate appropriate quantitative skills for their sub-discipline.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will use appropriate statistical or numerical modeling techniques to analyze data trends.
  • Students are able to master standard quantitative methods used in the field of hydrogeology.
Assessment Method
  • Dissertation committees will assess quantitative methods used for dissertation.
  • Employer surveys conducted by UNR's Assessment Office will be used to assess students' quantitative ability.