The undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree program focuses on the education and research that deals with the waters of the earth, their occurrence, circulation, distribution, and chemical properties, as well as their interaction within the global environment. These waters include surface waters in lakes, rivers and streams, and subsurface water which occurs at varying depths beneath the land surface. Study also includes the interaction of surface and subsurface water with the atmosphere, the land-atmosphere (critical zone) connection.
Although its foundation is theoretical--based on the fundamental laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics--the program is a highly developed Applied Science that investigates and characterizes the environmental state of our water resources. The undergraduate program trains students to use the tools and develop the actions necessary to protect, rehabilitate, and sustain these resources.
The Accelerated Master's Program enables qualified students to complete a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Hydrology and a Master of Science degree program in Hydrology in a compressed timeline, typically a five-year professionally-oriented program.
Upon completion of this program, students will have the Expected Learning Outcomes (ELOs) with skills and abilities to:
- Effectively communicate hydrologic concepts and research
- Collect hydrologic data (e.g. surface water, groundwater, water quality)
- Analyze hydrologic data (e.g. surface water, groundwater, water quality)
- Complete a basic hydrologic or water resources research project that involves integrated problem solving
Table 1 (link below) identifies all of the HWRS Courses Assessed in which skill-building takes place to achieve the ELOs which are ultimately measured in HWRS 498/498H and/or HWRS 413A/513A and reported as the final grade (or averaged grade) of one or both of these classes.
The measures of all four Expected Learning Outcomes (ELOs) is assessed in HWRS 498 Senior Capstone (or HWRS 498H Honors Senior Capstone) and/or HWRS 413A Field Methods in Hydrology and Water Resources, both of which are culminating experiences for the students. The courses students have completed up to that point, i.e. those listed in the ELO Table (above), contribute to skill-building and the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to succeed in these culminating experiences; therefore, the ELOs can be measured by the final grade for either course. Consequently, the final grade for the course represents an effective measure of EHY students' accomplishments by Exceeding our expectations for the ELOs (A=4.0), Meeting the ELOs (B=3.0-3.9), Approaching the ELOs (C=2.0-2.9), Falling below the ELOs (D=1.0-1.9), or Failing to meet the ELOs (E=0.0-0.9).
While the measure of ELOs is reported as the grades students receive in HWRS 498/H and/or HWRS 413A/513A, they receive specific feedback on individual assignments that pertain to the ELOs.
Outcome 1: Effectively communicate hydrologic concepts and research
- Grade on final written report in HWRS 498/498H and/or HWRS 413A
- Score on El Día del Agua y la Atmósfera poster or oral presentation
Outcome 2: Collect hydrologic data (e.g. surface water, groundwater, water quality)
- Grades on data collection assignments in HWRS 413A
Outcome 3: Analyze hydrologic data (e.g. surface water, groundwater, water quality)
- Grades on analysis assignments in HWRS 413A or El Día judges' assessment of analysis in presentation
Outcome 4: Complete a basic hydrologic or water resources research project that involves integrated problem solving
- Grade on final written report for HWRS 413A or final written report in HWRS 498/498H
Figure 1 below shows the results of the HAS Department's Assessment of ELOs for graduates of the BS degree program in Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources. In Academic Year (AY) 2014-15 (6 students) and AY2015-16 (10 students), 100% of graduating students Exceeded the ELOs, i.e. all earned A's in HWRS 498/498H and/or HWRS 413A/513A. In AY2016-17, 86% of graduating students (6 students) Exceeded the ELOs (i.e. all earned A's), while 14% of graduating students (1 student) Met the ELOs with an average grade of B=3.625.
Figure 1: Percent of BS EHY Students Meeting or Exceeding the Expected Learning Outcomes (ELOs)
Program Quality Indicators
The career outlook for students majoring in hydrology and water resources is excellent, spurred largely by increasing demands placed on the environment and water resources by population growth. Post-graduate employment opportunities exist within the Private Sector (industry, consulting), with Government-Tribal Agencies, and with NPOs NGOs.