College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources assessment plans

Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science

  • Nutrition B.S.

    Mission Statement

    The Mission of the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Veterinary Sciences (ANVS) is to demonstrate a commitment to excellence and innovation while meeting the needs of the citizens of the State of Nevada and the Nation. This mission is accomplished by the following:

    • Provide strong educational programs in the disciplines of Agriculture, Nutrition, Veterinary Sciences and Rangeland Ecology and Management at the undergraduate, graduate degree and internship levels.
    • Train students to meet state and national needs by increasing the work force of agriculturalists, nutritionists (nutritional science/dietetics) and animal healthcare professionals
    • Conduct innovative research in the departmental disciplines providing local, national and global impact. Address critical issues identified by the citizens of the State of Nevada through continued teaching, scholarly activities and service.

    The curriculum of the Undergraduate Program in Nutrition is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills related to the application of nutrition to the maintenance of health and the modification of diet to manage causes and symptoms of disease. The program involves two tracks with both common and separate goals.

    The Dietetics track (NTD) trains students for professional activities in hospital and community nutrition as well as for nutrition-related jobs in government, industry and the fitness field. The Nutritional Sciences track (NTS) has as its primary purpose the preparation of students for entry into graduate or professional schools such as medical, pharmacy and dental schools and for application of nutritional principles in these health professions or in teaching and research in academic institutions.

    Program Outcomes

    1. Students will be prepared to enter a dietetic internship or, a professional or graduate degree program.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • For dietetics students, 60% or more will gain acceptance into a dietetic internship and 80% or greater will pass the national registration exam.
    • For nutrition students (nutritional sciences and dietetic), 60% or greater will gain admission to professional or graduate school.

    Assessment Method

    • DI acceptance rates over a 5-year period (Program application rate records)RD National registration scores over a 5-year period (official reports from CDR)
    • Professional school acceptance rates (Program and UNR alumni surveys)Graduate school acceptance rates (Program and University of Nevada, Reno alumni surveys)

    2. Students will have positive perceptions of the program's curriculum and advisement.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • A response rate of good or better (3 or more) will be attained on all questions pertinent to curriculum.
    • A response rate of good or better (3 or more) will be attained on all questions pertinent to advisement.

    Assessment Method

    • The Nutrition Student Program Exit Survey
    • The Nutrition Student Program Exit Survey

    3. Students will graduate from a program accredited by an agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Accreditation maintained: program approved
    • Accreditation maintained: program approved

    Assessment Method

    • ACEND yearly and 5-year interim reports
    • ACEND 10-year site visit reports

    Student Learning Outcomes

    1. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the scientific basis of the nutrition discipline.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • The mean performance of students based on rubric scoring criteria will be **satisfactory on critical thinking assignments designed to review nutrition literature to answer specific questions of relevance to the understanding of nutrition.**(defined as a 'B' or above)
    • The mean performance of students based on rubric scoring criteria will be** satisfactory on oral presentations specific to relevant nutrition topics in the context of the specific class. **(defined as a 'B' or above)

    Assessment Method

    • Nutr426: Assignment: Counseling Techniques and Advising Nutr 470: Assignment: Community-Based
    • Nutr 427: Oral team presentations: Clinical Case Study Assignment

    2. Students will be able to demonstrate competency in the interpretation and critical analysis of the scientific literature which will be integrated into evidence-based practice.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • The mean performance of students based on rubric scoring criteria will be **satisfactory on assignments that require the critique of published nutrition research papers.**(defined as a 'B' or above)
    • The mean performance of students based on rubric scoring criteria will be **satisfactory on oral presentations on nutrition research and related ethical issues.**(defined as a 'B' or above)

    Assessment Method

    • Nutr 452: Assignment: Critique of advanced nutrition application papers Nutr 485: Assignment Critique of nutrition research papers
    • Nutr 452: Oral team presentations: Advanced Nutrition Applications Nutr 485: Oral team presentations: on research papers and/or research proposal
  • Nutrition MS

    Mission Statement

    The purpose of Nutrition Graduate Program is to provide students with a post-baccalaureate education that: (1) Strengthens and advances core nutrition knowledge so that students are competent in the areas of nutritional biochemistry and metabolism, and have an in-depth understanding of clinical and epidemiological applications of this knowledge as it relates to nutrition status assessment, and the prevention and treatment of disease; (2) Provides opportunities so that students may develop proficiency in a more defined area of specialization that links nutrition with other biological or behavioral sciences (e.g., toxicology, molecular biology, epidemiology, public health, human development). This will be accomplished through elective course work and completion of research/scholarly efforts that culminate in a written document (i.e., thesis or professional paper); and (3) Results in an in-depth understanding of nutrition research and related scientific methods/techniques such that students are capable of critically evaluating research and engaging in the scientific process themselves.

    Program Outcomes

    1. Students will be prepared for employment as professionals in nutrition or related disciplines, or continue to pursue graduate level education.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Upon completion of the program students will report:
      • Employment in nutrition or related discipline;
      • Acceptance into PhD programs or professional schools; and
      • Attitudes/perceptions regarding the Nutrition Graduate Program.

    Assessment Method

    • The Graduate Program Director will extract data from the UNR Alumni Survey on graduates':
      • Employment and reported enrollment in graduate/professional school within one year following program completion; and
      • Attitudes/perceptions regarding the Nutrition Program.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    1. Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate nutrition research by completing a literature review and delivering an oral presentation on their thesis or professional paper.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will write a review of literature as a component of their thesis or professional paper.
    • Students will give an oral presentation of their thesis or professional paper.

    Assessment Method

    • Graduate Examining Committee will approve/disapprove the final thesis/professional paper.
    • Graduate Examining Committee will approve/disapprove students' final oral examination.

    2. Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to plan and execute a scholarly effort that contributes to the science of nutrition.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students, in conjunction with their Graduate Advisor will:
      • Develop and defend a proposal for a thesis or professional paper;
      • Effectively execute the proposed plan;
      • Write the thesis or professional paper, and with their Advisor's approval;
      • Present and defend the thesis or professional paper to their committee.

    Assessment Method

    • The Graduate Director &/or Examining Committee will:
      • Approve/disapprove the proposal;
      • Approve/disapprove the final thesis/professional paper;
      • Monitor students' progress to ensure timely completion; and
      • Gather data on the professional presentations and publications that result from students' scholarly work.
  • Veterinary Science B.S.

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Veterinary bachelor's degree program in Veterinary Science is to provide high quality instructional and research opportunities for students interested in careers in veterinary medicine, animal health, livestock production and range management. The curriculum emphasizes the relationship of "One Health" between the environment, animals and the human management of these resources. It is designed to provide a foundation in both basic and applied sciences as well as strengthening the problem solving and communication skills of its graduates.

    Student Learning Outcomes

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

    Student Performance Indicators

    • An exit survey will be conducted with graduating seniors.
    • Student success in admission to graduate or professional programs will be measured.

    Assessment Method

    • The Assessment Committee will evaluate interview results.
    • The Assessment Committee will evaluate alumni survey questions regarding graduate and professional school acceptance.

    2. Students will be able to demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills within their respective discipline.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Student in the major will demonstrate their ability to organize and present scientific information suitable for their profession.
    • Students in the major will demonstrate the ability to synthesize data and produce written and oral reports related to laboratory, field or scientific investigations.

    Assessment Method

    • Students in AGSC 400 (Senior Seminar) are required to research topics within the field and organize 2 oral presentations in class. VM 475 & 675 requires demonstration of student knowledge of topics in animal health through student presentations, in a didactic format, to the rest of the class. Student performance is evaluated by the instructors and by members of the class and the results will be shared with the Assessment Committee.
    • VM 481 (Capstone course) requires students to research and write a scientific review paper and convey this information as an oral presentations to their classmates. Student performance is evaluated by two instructors in the department and the results will be shared with the Assessment Committee.

    3. Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills by being able to assess a problem, gather and analyze relevant information associated with the problem and propose possible solutions.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students in the major will be able to apply data collection and synthesis techniques to investigate pertinent problems in real world settings.

    Assessment Method

    • This will be evaluated through classroom activities and completion of related projects. Department faculty will be interviewed annually by the Assessment Committee to determine how this performance indicator is being met.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B.S.

    Mission Statement

    To generate in low-income and first-generation high school students, the skills and motivation necessary to complete secondary education and enter and succeed in a program of postsecondary education.

    Program Outcomes

    1. B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology graduates will be prepared to enter a professional or graduate degree program or to obtain an entry level technical position in either the biotech industry or at a research institution.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • An exit survey will be conducted with graduating seniors.

    Assessment Method

    • The Assessment Committee will evaluate student exit interview results.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    1. Students will be able to demonstrate a strong fundamental knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will take a national standardized exam designed by the American Chemical Society.

    Assessment Method

    • Student scores will be compared to national norms. Students who achieve a high grade in the course will also be expected to score above the national average on the ACS exam, >50th percentile.

    2. Students will be able to present clear scientific talks and demonstrate sound, scientific writing.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Biochemistry seniors will conduct research in a campus laboratory and write a senior thesis at the end of their experience. These students should be capable of writing a senior thesis that includes an abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion and literature cited section that is reflective of a scientific publication.

    Assessment Method

    • Senior theses are graded by the faculty member under whom the student is conducting research. A grading rubric will be distributed to these faculty mentors in order to ascertain where the strengths and weaknesses lie in the writing skills of our senior students.
  • Biochemistry M.S.

    Mission Statement

    The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is committed to being recognized nationally and internationally at the forefront of molecular bioscience research and education and providing the region, state, and national workforce with outstanding graduates with superior knowledge, analytical research skills and abilities to investigate the molecular basis of living systems. As part of this mission, we offer a M.S. degree program biochemistry and molecular biology that serves as the terminal degree for preparing professionals for the workforce as biochemists and molecular biologists in the public, private and government sectors or prepares them to continue in a Ph.D. program in preparation for a research career. The curriculum places an emphasis on developing the skills to conduct independent scientific research, and to expand technical, analytical, critical thinking and problem solving skills in the molecular biosciences. Graduates will be prepared to start successful careers and assume leadership positions in the animal, insect, plant and biomedical research and biotechnology industries.

    Program Outcomes

    1. Students will exhibit timely progression through the M.S. program.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • After two semesters in the program, each student, in cooperation with their graduate advisor, will perform the following indicators:
    • Select a thesis topic.
    • Enroll in recommended coursework providing background and information to conduct research in molecular biosciences.
    • Select their committee and hold a meeting to solicit committee input and approval of program of study and thesis topic.
    • Write a thesis proposal describing the research they plan to conduct and the timetable they plan to follow.

    Assessment Method

    • Annual progress report, due each May 15, will be reviewed by student's graduate committee to determine what coursework has been completed, whether the student has formed a committee and written their thesis proposal.
    • A copy of the thesis proposal will be filed with the graduate program director.
    • Report will also include an assessment by the advisor as to the student's progress that year.

    2. Graduates will be prepared for employment as professionals in appropriate scientific disciplines.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will report employment in biochemistry and molecular biology or related fields that require technical expertise acquired during the M.S. degree.

    Assessment Method

    • A structured exit interview will be performed to gather employment statistics by the graduate program director and departmental personnel.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    1. Students will be able to demonstrate an advanced level of competency in the general fields of biochemistry and molecular biology and in the specialized subject area of their research.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will write and defend a thesis that demonstrates the student's competency in both general and subject areas.
    • Students will defend the thesis in an oral exam that demonstrates the student's competency in both general and subject areas.

    Assessment Method

    • Each thesis will be reviewed and approved by the thesis committee. Assessment of the student's competency in both general and subject areas will be reflected in the quality of their written thesis and a grade of pass or fail will be given.
    • The oral exam will be assessed by the student's committee and a grade of pass or fail will be assigned.

    2. Students will be able to demonstrate competence in oral and written communication skills including the ability to write and present independent research, write research grant proposals and journal articles suitable for publication, and the ability to read and critically evaluate relevant scientific literature in biochemistry and molecular biology.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will present orally their thesis research proposal to their committee members.
    • Students will give a public presentation summarizing the results of their M.S. thesis research and its significance as part of their final thesis defense.
    • Students will present their research results at local, regional, national, and international professional scientific meetings.
    • Students will submit a written M.S. thesis proposal
    • Students will submit a M.S. Thesis.
    • Students will give two oral presentations on various topics at the graduate seminar series during the first and second years in the program.
    • Students will submit research grants within their areas of specialization to professional organizations and granting agencies to aid in funding their research and travel to meetings.

    Assessment Method

    • The M.S. thesis committee members will assess the student's proposal presentation and provide feedback to the student.
    • The M.S. committee members and audience will evaluate and provide feedback to the student following their public presentation.
    • Graduate director will keep statistics on the numbers of talks and poster presentations given by M.S. students at professional scientific meetings as reported by students in their annual progress reports.
    • The Ph.D. committee members will read and evaluate the written M.S. thesis proposal and provide feedback to the student.
    • The M.S. thesis advisor and committee members will read, evaluate, and edit drafts of thesis chapters and provide feedback of each draft and give their approval/disapproval.
    • Instructor and audience of the graduate seminar course provides feedback and evaluation of their oral presentation skills.
    • Graduate director will keep statistics on the number of grant proposals submitted by M.S. students each year as reported by the students in their annual progress reports.

    3. Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to complete laboratory-based research in their field of study, including the mastery of common and specialized techniques and instrumentation used in performing biochemical and molecular biology experimentation, the testing of a hypothesis or answering scientific questions formulated independently or in conjunction with the advisor and committee members.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Completion of M.S. thesis in a timely manner.
    • Students complete M.S. thesis.
    • Acceptance of manuscripts for publication in competitive peer-reviewed journals.

    Assessment Method

    • Program director will track the time to degree completion for all M.S. students in the program.
    • Faculty advisor and committee approve/disapprove M.S. thesis.
    • Graduate director will keep statistics on the number of publications submitted by M.S. students each year as reported by the students in their annual progress reports.
  • Biochemistry Ph.D.

    Mission Statement

    The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is committed to being recognized nationally and internationally at the forefront of molecular bioscience research and education and providing the region, state, and national workforce with outstanding graduates with superior knowledge, analytical research skills and abilities to investigate the molecular basis of living systems. As part of this mission, we offer a Ph.D. degree program in biochemistry and molecular biology that serves as the terminal degree for preparing professionals for the workforce as biochemists and molecular biologists in the public, private and government sectors. The curriculum places an emphasis on developing the skills to conduct independent scientific research, and to expand technical, analytical, critical thinking and problem solving skills in the molecular biosciences. Graduates will be prepared to start successful careers and assume leadership positions in the animal, insect, plant and biomedical research and biotechnology industries.

    Program Outcomes

    1. Students will exhibit timely progression through the Ph.D. program.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • After two semesters in the program, each student, in cooperation with their graduate advisor, will perform the following indicators:
    • Enroll in recommended coursework providing background and information to conduct research in molecular biosciences.
    • Select a dissertation topic.
    • Write a dissertation proposal describing the research they plan to conduct and the timetable they plan to follow.
    • Select their committee and hold a meeting to solicit committee input and approval of program of study and dissertation topic.

    Assessment Method

    • Annual progress report, due each May 15, will be reviewed by student's graduate committee to determine what coursework has been completed, whether the student has formed a committee and written their dissertation proposal.
    • Report will also include an assessment by the advisor as to the student's progress that year.
    • A copy of the dissertation proposal will be filed with the graduate program director.

    2. Graduates will be prepared for employment as professionals in appropriate scientific disciplines.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will report employment in biochemistry and molecular biology or related fields that require technical expertise acquired during the Ph.D. degree.

    Assessment Method

    • A structured exit interview will be performed to gather employment statistics by the graduate program director and departmental personnel.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    1. Students will be able to demonstrate an advanced level of competency in the general fields of biochemistry and molecular biology and in the specialized subject area of their research.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will write a grant proposal style comprehensive exam that demonstrates the student's competency in both general and subject areas.
    • Students will defend the written grant proposal in an oral comprehensive exam that demonstrates the student's competency in both general and subject areas.
    • Students will complete a written Ph.D. comprehensive exam administered by their committee after the end of their fourth semester in the program.

    Assessment Method

    • Assessment of the student's competency in both general and subject areas will be reflected in the quality of their written proposal.
    • The oral Ph.D. comprehensive exam will be assessed by the student's committee and a grade of pass or fail will be assigned.
    • The written Ph.D. comprehensive exam will be assessed by the student's committee and a grade of pass or fail will be assigned.

    2. Students will be able to demonstrate competence in oral and written communication skills including the ability to write and present independent research, write research grant proposals and journal articles suitable for publication, and the ability to read and critically evaluate relevant scientific literature in biochemistry and molecular biology.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will present orally their dissertation research proposal to their committee members.
    • Students will present their research results at local, regional, national, and international professional scientific meetings.
    • Students will give a public presentation summarizing the results of their Ph.D. dissertation research and its significance as part of their final dissertation defense.
    • Students will submit a written Ph.D. dissertation proposal.
    • Students will submit a Ph.D. dissertation.
    • Students will submit research grants within their areas of specialization to professional organizations and granting agencies to aid in funding their research and travel to meetings.
    • Students will give a minimum of two oral presentations on various topics at the graduate seminar series during the second to fourth years in the program.

    Assessment Method

    • The Ph.D dissertation committee members will assess the student's proposal presentation and provide feedback to the student.
    • Graduate director will keep statistics on the numbers of talks and poster presentations given by Ph.D. students at professional scientific meetings as reported by students in their annual progress reports.
    • The Ph.D. dissertation committee members and audience will evaluate and provide feedback to the student following their public presentation.
    • The Ph.D. committee members will read and evaluate the written Ph.D. dissertation proposal and provide feedback to the student.
    • The Ph.D. dissertation advisor and committee members will read, evaluate, and edit drafts of dissertation chapters and provide feedback of each draft and give their approval/disapproval.
    • Graduate director will keep statistics on the number of grant proposals submitted by Ph.D. students each year as reported by the students in their annual progress reports.
    • Instructor and audience of the graduate seminar course provides feedback and evaluation of their oral presentation skills.

    3. Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to complete laboratory-based research in their field of study, including the mastery of common and specialized techniques and instrumentation used in performing biochemical and molecular biology experimentation, the testing of a hypothesis or answering scientific questions formulated independently or in conjunction with the advisor and committee members.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Completion of Ph.D. degree in a timely manner.
    • Students complete Ph.D. dissertation.
    • Acceptance of manuscripts for publication in competitive peer-reviewed journals.
    • Students will complete two semesters of laboratory rotations during their first year in the program. Progress of each rotation will be documented by a written report to faculty advisor.

    Assessment Method

    • Program director will track the time to degree completion for all Ph.D. students in the program.
    • Faculty advisor and committee approve/disapprove Ph.D. dissertation.
    • Graduate director will keep statistics on the number of publications submitted by Ph.D. students each year as reported by the students in their annual progress reports.
    • Faculty advisor will read and evaluate the written report and assign a A-F grade and provide feedback to the student about their lab performance. Graduate director will track submission of reports and coordinate grading.
  • Biotechnology B.S./M.S.

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the combined BS/MS Biotechnology Program is to prepare our students for research based careers in the biosciences. Our graduates will be educated in basic and applied aspects biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology and be trained to problem solve in a research laboratory environment. The broad training obtained through this program is designed to prepare our graduates to excel in any bioscience discipline, thus allowing them to rapidly adapt to the ever changing environment of industrial and academic research. While we have tailored our program to best prepare our graduates for employment with in the biotechnology industry, the program curriculum is also appropriate for those wishing to continue on to graduate or professional schools.

    Program Outcomes

    1. Graduates will be adequately prepared for careers in academic- or industrial-based biotechnology research.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will gain employment in Biotechnology and be successful in the workplace.
    • Students will be accepted into a Ph.D. graduate program or into a professional school program (i.e. medical school, pharmacy school or dental school).
    • Students will be able to conduct independent research in UNR laboratories.
    • Students will be able to conduct independent research during internship at biotechnology companies during the summer of their 4th year.

    Assessment Method

    • Alumni and employer surveys will be used as our primary evaluation tool.
    • For each academic or industrial research experience, written midterm and final evaluations by research mentors/supervisors are required. These evaluations will be used to report on student performance and conduct.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    1. Students will be able to demonstrate extensive knowledge in the areas of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Graduates will have the base knowledge required to understand or rapidly comprehend novel concepts from the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology.

    Assessment Method

    • Students are required to attend six seminars each semester from diverse disciplines (i.e. biochemistry and molecular biology, physiology, cell biology, pharmacology, neurobiology and developmental biology) and prepare written summaries which describe the major findings and concepts presented by the speaker. While the summaries are not graded, the students' ability to understand the seminars will be reflected in the quality of their reviews. We will maintain a record of how well our students are able to comprehend these seminars. Observed deficiencies will guide curricular modifications to the program.
    • Students will have taken undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of cell biology (i.e. BIOL 315, BIOL 395, CMB 710), biochemistry (i.e. BCH 400, BCH 303, BCH 403) and molecular biology (i.e. BCH 405, BCH 406, BCH 705). The course grades of each student will be assessed to determine how well our students are performing in each discipline and also to determine if our students are adequately prepared to take the more advanced courses.

    2. Students will be able to effectively communicate research results in both oral and written form.

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Students will be able to make a clear and concise oral presentation on their independent research.
    • Students will be able to publicly field questions pertaining to their presentations.
    • Students will prepare posters presentations that clearly describe their research at the Annual Biotechnology Symposium at UNR.
    • Students will be able to write an acceptable hypothesis driven research proposal.

    Assessment Method

    • Each year the Biotechnology program sponsors the Annual Biotechnology Symposium. All 5th year students and select 4th year students will make oral presentations on their research to an audience made up primarily of UNR faculty and representatives from local biotechnology companies. At this same event, all 4th year students will present posters describing their current research activities. A panel of judges made up of experts from the Biotechnology Industry and UNR faculty will evaluate all oral and poster presentations. The judges will also evaluate the ability of students to respond to questions. Summary of these evaluations will be archived.
    • During their 5th year, each student must enroll in the graduate course BCH 705 (Molecular Genetics). In this course the students must write a research proposal. The Biotechnology program director will confer with the BCH 705 instructor to help evaluate each student's ability.
    • All peer reviewed publications, awards, and abstracts from poster or oral presentations at regional, national or international conferences will be recorded and used as evidence of our students' ability to communicate effectively in written and oral forms.

Natural Resources and Environmental Science

  • Ecohydrology B.S.

    Mission Statement

    To provide undergraduates with the scientific and communication skills and knowledge necessary to understand the inter-relationships among people, living organisms and water in the Intermountain West and the world.

    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

    • Ecohydrology students are able to apply data collection and synthesis techniques to environmental science investigations in real world settings. This ability is expressed both through classroom activities and successful completion of a mini-internship project.

    Assessment Method

    • Students complete group projects in Principles of Ecohydrology (NRES 295) that are evaluated by the professor for the degree of organization, synthesis and thoroughness. Case studies in Soils (NRES 322) designed to put theory into real world type settings are evaluated by the professor for applicability to hypothetical management decisions. The ability of students to demonstrate a practical connection between classroom theory and field experiments through oral and written reports are evaluated in Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) by the professor and by guest speakers who assist with field and laboratory investigations. Mini-internships, focused on applying science to an applied problem, will be facilitated and evaluated in Wetland Ecology and Management (NRES 440).

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

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Ecohydrology students are required to produce posters, oral presentations, and/or written papers that represent results of literature review and experimental work focused on a specific problem related to hydrology or ecosystems.

    Assessment Method

    • The Student Assessment for Learning Gains (SALG) instrument will be used in Principles of Ecohydrology (NRES 295), Wetland Ecology and Management (NRES 440) and Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) to assess student confidence in oral and written communication.
    • In Ecohydrology (NRES 295), class members and guests evaluate presentations and posters according to content, thoroughness, and specific problems related to hydrology or ecology.
    • Ecohydrology students produce written and oral reports related to laboratory and field investigations in Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) and Wetland Ecology and Management (NRES 440) that are evaluated according to demeanor, poster organization and attractiveness, and originality in approach.
    • The reports required in Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) are reviewed and graded by the professor. Term papers for honors students are evaluated by the professor in Soils (NRES 322).

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

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Ecohydrology students carry out field investigations that involve original data collection efforts, including data acquisition, manipulation, and interpretation.

    Assessment Method

    • Students in Principles of Ecohydrology (NRES 295) apply standard techniques for field experiments. The outcomes of their group efforts are compiled in end-of-the-semester products, which include posters, oral presentations and a comprehensive written summary. Students master the standards and techniques of various aspects of laboratory and field hydrology through laboratory exercises and field investigations in Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482).
    • The SALG instrument will be used in Principles of Ecohydrology (NRES 295), Wetland Ecology and Management (NRES 440), and Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) to assess student confidence in technical aspects of these courses.
  • Environmental Science B.S.

    Mission Statement

    To provide undergraduates with the scientific and communication skills and knowledge necessary to understand the inter-relationships among people, living organisms and water in the Intermountain West and the world.

    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

    • Ecohydrology students are able to apply data collection and synthesis techniques to environmental science investigations in real world settings. This ability is expressed both through classroom activities and successful completion of a mini-internship project.

    Assessment Method

    • Students complete group projects in Principles of Ecohydrology (NRES 295) that are evaluated by the professor for the degree of organization, synthesis and thoroughness. Case studies in Soils (NRES 322) designed to put theory into real world type settings are evaluated by the professor for applicability to hypothetical management decisions. The ability of students to demonstrate a practical connection between classroom theory and field experiments through oral and written reports are evaluated in Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) by the professor and by guest speakers who assist with field and laboratory investigations. Mini-internships, focused on applying science to an applied problem, will be facilitated and evaluated in Wetland Ecology and Management (NRES 440).

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

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Ecohydrology students are required to produce posters, oral presentations, and/or written papers that represent results of literature review and experimental work focused on a specific problem related to hydrology or ecosystems.

    Assessment Method

    • The Student Assessment for Learning Gains (SALG) instrument will be used in Principles of Ecohydrology (NRES 295), Wetland Ecology and Management (NRES 440) and Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) to assess student confidence in oral and written communication.
    • In Ecohydrology (NRES 295), class members and guests evaluate presentations and posters according to content, thoroughness, and specific problems related to hydrology or ecology.
    • Ecohydrology students produce written and oral reports related to laboratory and field investigations in Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) and Wetland Ecology and Management (NRES 440) that are evaluated according to demeanor, poster organization and attractiveness, and originality in approach.
    • The reports required in Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) are reviewed and graded by the professor. Term papers for honors students are evaluated by the professor in Soils (NRES 322).

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

    Student Performance Indicators

    • Ecohydrology students carry out field investigations that involve original data collection efforts, including data acquisition, manipulation, and interpretation.

    Assessment Method

    • Students in Principles of Ecohydrology (NRES 295) apply standard techniques for field experiments. The outcomes of their group efforts are compiled in end-of-the-semester products, which include posters, oral presentations and a comprehensive written summary. Students master the standards and techniques of various aspects of laboratory and field hydrology through laboratory exercises and field investigations in Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482).
    • The SALG instrument will be used in Principles of Ecohydrology (NRES 295), Wetland Ecology and Management (NRES 440), and Small Watershed Hydrology (NRES 482) to assess student confidence in technical aspects of these courses.
  • Forest Management and Ecology B.S.

    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

    • 1.1: in alternate years, NRES 402(Forest Management), will be used for assessment. Students will perform a long-term business assessment of a forestry investment using ROTATION2 software featuring multiple financial parameters.
    • 1.2: Forest and rangeland management students integrate information provided in Silviculture and Regional Silviculture (NRES 405) and Range and Forest Plants (NRES 345) to develop stand management prescriptions based on specified current forest conditions and management objectives.

    >Assessment Method

    • 1.1: In NRES 402, the ability for students to gather and analyze relevant information on a problem will be evaluated based on reports of their long-term business assessment of a forestry investment.
    • 1.2: Stand management prescriptions prepared as laboratory and examination assignments in Silviculture and Regional Silviculture (NRES 405) are assessed by course instructor for the suitability of the proposed management activity elements for attaining the desired future forest condition. The ability to identify plant species in the field and from herbarium specimens is tested in NRES 345.

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

    >Student Performance Indicators

    • 2.1: Forest and rangeland management students in Silviculture and Regional Silviculture (NRES 405) prepare stand management prescriptions based on specified current forest conditions and management objectives using a technical writing approach.

    >Assessment Method

    • 2.1: Written stand management prescriptions prepared as laboratory and examination assignments in Silviculture and Regional Silviculture (NRES 405) are assessed by course instructor for technical writing quality.

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

    >Student Performance Indicators

    • 3.1: Forest and rangeland management students perform forest stand inventories as laboratory assignments in Forest and Range Measurements (NRES 407) using prescribed sampling methodologies, discipline-specific measurement instruments, and appropriate statistical software programs.
    • 3.2: In alternate years, when NRES 402 is taught, technical competency will be tested when students perform a long-term growth and yield analysis of a Sierra Nevada forest based on multiple management scenarios using Forest View Simulator software

    >Assessment Method

    • 3.1: Course instructor for Forest and Range Measurements (NRES 407) evaluates the accuracy of both raw and analyzed data based on check inventories performed by the instructor.
    • 3.2: Performance will be assessed from reports of long-term growth and yield analysis of a Sierra Nevada forest based on multiple management scenarios using Forest View Simulator software
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Science M.S.

    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.
  • Wildlife and Ecology Conservation B.S.

    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.