Atmospheric Sciences B.S. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The mission of the UNR Atmospheric Sciences B.S. degree in Atmospheric Sciences is to train undergraduate students in the technological and theoretical foundations of meteorology, atmospheric physics, climate and air quality, and to prepare these scientists to be leaders in the multiple avenues of atmospheric research and education.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical basis and observational methods for study of atmospheric physics, air pollution, meteorological and climate-scale processes in the Earth's atmosphere.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Descriptive, physical and mathematical accuracy in coursework
  • Originality and scientific quality of Senior Thesis project
  • Participation in undergraduate research and ability to mentor younger students
Assessment Method
  • Course grades
  • Evaluation of Senior Thesis scientific content by faculty advisors
  • Advisor annual summary of undergraduate research projects, mentoring or professional skills of students

2. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the design and use of instrumentation, computer software, data interpretation methods for atmospheric research and monitoring.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Operation of instrumentation and analysis of data in laboratory, field and computer projects.
  • Performance in summarizing research methods
  • Composition of Student Portfolios
Assessment Method
  • Grades in courses that emphasize instrumentation, laboratory work and computer applications
  • Evaluation of Senior Thesis methodologies by faculty advisors
  • Advisor review of research techniques, elective course choices, and professional activities documented in Student Portfolios

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

Student Performance Indicators
  • Narrative essays
  • Research project reports
  • Oral presentations within courses
  • Presentation of Senior Thesis and other seminars
Assessment Method
  • Grades on final exams that emphasize essay presentations
  • Grades on course projects that emphasize summary and presentation of datasets and computer analysis
  • Grades for course activities that require presentations
  • Faculty evaluation of Senior Thesis presentation and other seminars

4. Students will be able to assess and adapt to new avenues of scientific inquiry which offer interdisciplinary and practical applications to commercial and public needs for atmospheric studies.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Understanding of broader implications and applications of atmospheric sciences
  • Performance in interdisciplinary studies
  • Employer opinions during pre-graduate internships or post-graduate appointments
  • Alumni opinions while in post-graduate appointments and other career activities
Assessment Method
  • Performance in Capstone and interdisciplinary courses
  • Course grades in approved upper-division elective coursework
  • Employer surveys
  • Alumni surveys