Search within:

Graduate Student Expectations in Geological Sciences

Geological Sciences

Below are guidelines by which the faculty hopes to establish a dialog with students in the Department of Geological Sciences. They are by no means inclusive.

Faculty Expectations of M.S. Students

  • The data you collect will be of the highest quality, that these data are collected in a fashion that you or others could reproduce and that your data are presented in an accurate fashion.
  • Your interpretations will be defensible and will be supported by data you or others have collected.
  • You have read and understood the work of others pertinent to your research. This work must be cited correctly and you must acknowledge collaborators and assistance you have received from them.
  • You become part of a community of scholars by attending colloquia, thesis proposal presentations, and thesis defenses.

Faculty Responsibilities to Graduate Students

  • Strong support of the student, their education, and their research both within and outside of the department (e.g., meetings, fieldwork).
  • Editing of proposals, grants, and theses when the faculty member is given reasonable "lead" time.
  • Thesis committee members provide critiques and suggestions for improving the proposal, research plan, and thesis documents. Committee members may provide students with secondary assistance (supplemental to that of the research adviser) in research planning, analytical techniques and data interpretation when appropriate.
  • Consistent and pointed questions regarding the progress of your work, reliability of your methods, and justification of your interpretations in order to make sure that your work is reproducible, accurate and of the highest quality and that you do the best work of which you are capable.

Failure to Meet Expectations

This website puts forth specific expectations of graduate students. The structure of the program is such that the thesis adviser and committee closely support and oversee much of the student's work; there are numerous discrete deliverables and deadlines which should encourage the student to make continual and sufficient progress toward the final degree.

There are consequences if the student does not meet the guidelines set out in this website. If drafts of the thesis proposal are not acceptable to the committee, adviser or the faculty as a whole, the student will not be allowed to defend these documents before the department. If the student does not perform satisfactorily during the proposal defense, he or she will be asked to perform some remedial steps, which may slow progress toward the degree and funding may not be renewed for the following term. If the student continually misses deadlines or their work is not of sufficient quality, that student may be asked to leave the program.

If a faculty member does not meet the student's expectations, he or she should discuss problems directly with that faculty member as soon as possible. If such discussion does not address issues of concern to the student, consider speaking with the thesis committee, the Graduate Chair, the Department Chair, or the University Ombudsperson.

Data & Publications

All students are strongly encouraged and expected to publish their research results. Faculty-supported research often mandates the rapid publication of results. It is best to discuss the need for and timing of publication explicitly with the adviser at the beginning of the project. If the student is unwilling or unable to publish data promptly which were gathered as a result of faculty financial or logistical support, then the faculty member may publish these data but must properly cite the student's contribution to the project. In many cases, such citation would result in junior authorship for the student.

Potentially Troublesome Issues

A variety of issues may cause strain between a student and her or his adviser. It may be advantageous to discuss the following issues with your adviser directly so that both you and your adviser are in agreement: time commitment, vacations, attendance at professional meetings, authorship of papers and abstracts, summer funding, and faculty-student interaction. In most cases, keeping lines of communication open will prevent uncomfortable situations from arising.

Attendance at Department Functions

It is expected that the student will attend all formal department functions including graduate student meetings, proposal defenses, thesis defenses, and seminars of visiting lecturers. At these functions, students are encouraged to interact by asking questions of the speaker. Such questions are particularly encouraged at graduate student presentations and form an active part of the learning process both for the questioner and the speaker. There will be occasions when invited speakers are on campus before or after their lectures. Although optional, we hope students will join these individuals for meals, socializing, and professional interaction.

Office Space

Office space is provided to all graduate students who request such space for their first two years of residence. After the first two years, office space will be provided at the discretion of the department and only if space is available. Assignment of office space will be based on seniority with first choice going to second-year students, second choice to first-year students, and last choice to third-year students.

Building and room keys can be obtained from the department office. Students will be provided with keys to open the outside doors to Clippinger Laboratories and to open their offices. Requests for additional keys will require the endorsement of a faculty member and must be cleared through the departmental Administrative Specialist, who will issue the keys. Prior to graduating, a student must receive clearance from the Administrative Specialist certifying that all keys and equipment have been returned to the Department.

Supplies, including those to be obtained through laboratory fees, are requested through the departmental office. Requests for supplies to be obtained outside the department require the endorsement of the faculty member supervising the work.