Hydrology M.S. 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, hydroecology 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 Hydrology Masters degree focuses on interactions between water, the land surface and biota. Areas of emphasis include surface water hydraulics, surface water quality and watershed hydrology. Masters degree graduates in Hydrology are fully qualified to conduct hydrologic research, hydrologic planning and serve in the regulatory environment of both public and private sector employers.

Program Outcomes

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

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students should complete any undergraduate deficiencies during their first year of study.
  • Students should have successfully completed the five 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 five core courses.

2. Students will be employed as professionals in the field of hydrology.

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 hydrology.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will successfully pass the GEOL 614 and NRES 682 core classes.
Assessment Method
  • Students will be evaluated annually to ensure that they have passed GEOL 614 and NRES 682.

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

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 thesis or professional paper.
  • Completion of degree in a timely manner
Assessment Method
  • Thesis committee approves/disapprove thesis.
  • Students progress will be reviewed annually to determine progress toward 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
  • Thesis committee will assess quantitative methods used for thesis.
  • Employer surveys conducted by UNR's Assessment Office will be used to assess students quantitative ability.