SKILL QUALIFICATIONS

Introduction

By design, academic curricula emphasize theory, critical thinking, and problem solving. These are vital educational aids in the career of a hydrologist. However, hydrology is a professional practice that includes specific skill sets that can only be obtained and mastered through demonstration, practice, and play. Developing skills leads to basic professional proficiency, but high-level critical thinking by a professional hydrologist actually requires a mastery of practice hand-in-hand with a mastery of theory. Academic programs generally have no specific framework aimed at developing professional skills.

Scientific research spanning decades has shown that people learn more effectively when challenged with more frequent, smaller assignments. For example, a study of dental students taking introductory radiology found that the 36 students who took frequent quizzes performed significantly better on the midterm and final exam than an equivalently sized control group that did not (Geist and Soehren, 1997, J Den Edu 61:339). They also assessed course content and the instructor more positively. The more people work on something and receive recognition for their efforts, the more invested they feel, and the more satisfied they are.

 

Throughout society there exist sequential progressions that recognize and reward attainment of objectives and experiences. Ranks, merits, promotions, and achievements are four examples of such rewards. For example, professors in the University of California system receive “merits” for incremental progress and “promotions” for cumulative significant accomplishments. Frequent small rewards are also imbedded in many programs aimed at changing behavior as well as retaining participation and attention.

 

On the basis of these considerations, HSGG has instituted Skill Qualifications (SQs) that reward professional development. This program began July 1, 2013.

 

Purpose

To provide an incentive-based mentoring framework for graduate students to learn and gain experience in a breadth and depth of skills necessary in professional hydrologic practice.

Categories of Skill Qualifications

There are seven categories of Skill Qualifications available. Each one has its own web page listing the individual SQs. The categories include fieldlabmodellingdata analysisscholarbenefactor, and holistic. This diversity reflects the breadth of skills used by professional hydrologists.  Many times an individual project will require a mix of skills, but a good starting point is to develop each skill individually.

Types of Skill Qualifications

Skill Qualifications falls into two distinct types: experiences and challenges. Experience SQs recognize and reward students for hard work and cumulative effort.  Experience promotes wisdom (e.g., recognizing practical constraints and opportunities in performing professional activities) and confidence (e.g., knowing that one is capable of accomplishing the task at hand). Challenge SQs recognize and reward students for skill and productivity, which also build confidence.

Procedures

All SQs listed below are available for students to work on, except those highlighted in yellow that are pending development. A graduate student may begin working on an SQ at any time. Current students may use past activity to receive pins, but must document the activity per the requirements below.

Graduate students are encouraged to earn SQs through volunteerism in aid of the research of their peers. Progress toward SQs or even whole SQs may be attained as part of academic courses.

To earn an Experience SQs, a student must document the activities they perform in writing (include photos, graphs, etc. when appropriate) and submit that documentation to their faculty mentor (aka major professor) along with any assigned products for an SQs, preferably in digital format.

Use the MS Word SQ evidence template file to compile all the information for your SQ submissions. Use one file for each SQ submission- do not put multiple SQs into a single file. If some of the eivdence does not fit into this file, then save the additional evidence as a PDF file and submit it along with the template file.

Your faculty mentor will review the documentation and approve it by submitting it to the Graduate Group (if s/he does not approve, then no submission will occur). The Graduate Group will review the digital documentation, append it to a certificate, lock and digitally sign the certificate, and send the final certified SQ outcome to the student. This yields a permanent record of the work done to achieve the SQ along with the certificate itself. Students may provide these certifications to potential employers to demonstarte their skills and experience.

To earn a Challenge SQs, a student must document the activities they perform in writing (include photos, graphs, etc. when appropriate) and submit that documentation in digital format to the HSGG faculty member that hosts the challenge. The host faculty member will evaluate the performance and if it meets the expectation of the challenge, then s/he will approve it by forwarding it on to the Graduate Group. The Graduate Group will review the digital documentation, append it to a certificate, lock and digitally sign the certificate, and send the final certified SQ outcome to the student. This yields a permanent record of the work done to achieve the SQ along with the certificate itself. Students may provide these certifications to potential employers to demonstarte their skills and experience.

SQs and the names of the people who have earned them will be listed on an HSGG web page as soon as possible at the convenience of the Grad Group web programmer.

Some SQs may require mentoring, supplies, money, or equipment from faculty. Faculty may not be able to participate or help out, depending on individual circumstances. Please be respectful in seeking assistance.

 
FIELD SKILLS

Explorer

  • Map the spatial pattern of a geophysical variable using at least 100 observations. If topography, it must be 1000 observations.

Qualifiers: Matthew Vaughan, Maziar Kandelous

Digger

  • Collect 12 sediment cores of at least 6’ (or 2 m) depth.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Paddler

  • Pass a course in boat operation for any kind of paddlecraft.

Qualifiers:

Skipper

  • Pass a certification course in boat operation for any kind of motorized boat..

Qualifiers:

Scuba

  • Pass a certification course in scuba diving.

Qualifiers:

Field Pioneer

  • Install a new instrument, demonstrate its operation, and write an SOP for it including photos and/or illustrations.

Qualifiers:

Field Skeptic

  • Calibrate 4 different types of water flux instruments. Plot calibration.

Qualifiers:

Main Event

  • 12-event monitoring or sampling campaign.

Qualifiers:

Persistence Pays

  • 12-month weekly monitoring.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Tenacious Observer

  • 12-week, daily summer observation campaign (normal work hours).

Qualifiers:

Field Sergeant

  • Supervise a field crew of you and two others for 12 days of monitoring.

Qualifiers: Matthew Vaughan

Field Lieutenant

  • Supervise a field crew of you and four others for 12 days of monitoring.

Qualifiers:

Plot Observer

  • Measure every water flux and storage term in a plot-scale water balance.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Watershed Observer

  • Measure or estimate every water flux and storage term in a catchment-scale water balance.

Qualifiers:

Apprentice Field Hydrologist

  • Complete 5 Field Hydrologist Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers:

Adept Field Hydrologist

  • Complete 10 Field Lab Hydrologist Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers:

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LAB SKILLS

Lab Grunt

  • Run 100 samples for pH, EC, DO, turbidity, and temperature.

Qualifiers:

Lab Specialist

  • Run 100 samples for major cations, anions, and DOC.

Qualifiers:

Lab Elite

  • Run 100 samples on 5 different advanced major instruments (e.g. GC, mass spec, HPLC, XRF, stable isotopes).

Qualifiers:

Grain Sizalyzer

  • Run grain size analyses for 25 dry coarse sediments with sieves and a sieve shaker as well as 25 wet fine sediments with a laser granulometer, hydrometer, or by the pipette method..

Qualifiers:

Rube Goldberg

  • Build your own lab equipment, demonstrate its operation, and write an SOP for it including photos and/or illustrations.

Qualifiers:

Lab Skeptic

  • Use standards to make calibration curves for 2 instruments. Plot curves.

Qualifiers:

Lab Manager

  • Maintain/repair lab equipment for 1 year.

Qualifiers:

Lab Sergeant

  • Supervise a lab crew of you and two others for 3 months of monitoring.

Qualifiers:

Lab Lieutenant

  • Supervise a lab crew of you and four others for 6 months of monitoring.

Qualifiers:

Water Doctor

  • Get 3 samples of water and soil from coast, estuary, river, and lake; analyze geochemistry; report.

Qualifiers:

Apprentice Lab Hydrologist

  • Complete 5 Lab Hydrologist Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers:

Adept Lab Hydrologist

  • Complete 10 Lab Hydrologist Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers:

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MODELLING SKILLS

Black Box

  • Run a simulation using any existing numerical model related to hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, thermodynamic speciation, or kinetic reaction.

Qualifiers: Matthew Vaughan, Carlos Flores-Arenas

Black Box Robot

  • Run simulations for all of the above types of models.

Qualifiers:

Coder

  • Build and validate your own numerical model using finite difference, element, or volume methods.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

Determinist

  • Build and validate your own analytical model.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

Gambler

  • Build and validate your own stochastic model.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

Model Skeptic

  • Perform numerical experimentation and/or sensitivity analysis in which inputs, boundary conditions, or parameters are all changed systematically.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

HECRunoff

  • Given an assigned catchment, use internet data sources and models to get everything needed and then do a rainfall-runoff simulation using HEC-HMS; report the outcome.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

ArcRunoff

  • Given an assigned catchment, use internet data sources and models to get everything needed and then do a rainfall-runoff simulation using ArcHydro; report the outcome.

Qualifiers:

Drainage Modeler

  • Simulate the hydrology of poorly drained, high water table soils using DRAINMOD by Dr.Wayne Skaggs; report the outcome.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

1D Hydraulics

  • Download channel bathymetry data for a ~1-10 km section of river and perform a 1D hydraulic modeling simulation of depth and velocity; report the outcome.

Qualifiers:

2D Hydraulics

  • Download channel bathymetry data for a ~1-10 km section of river and perform a 2D hydraulic modeling simulation of depth and velocity; report the outcome.

Qualifiers:

Landscaper

  • Starting with a flat plane with random surface roughness and a fixed outlet elevation, run a landscape evolution model to produce four steady state Earth landscapes, one for each dominant process as follows: (1) soil creep dominated, (2) sheet wash dominated, (3) channel dominated, and (4) landslide dominated; report the outcome.

Qualifiers:

Reactor

  • Perform 1D reactive-transport modeling using a reactive pollutant; report the outcome.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

Apprentice Hydraulic Modeler

  • Complete 5 Hydrologic Modeler Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

Adept Hydraulic Modeler

  • Complete 10 Hydrologic Modeler Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers: Carlos Flores-Arenas

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DATA ANALYSIS SKILLS

Excelerator

  • Complete 10 class homework assignments using Microsoft Excel.

Qualifiers: Matthew Vaughan

Stats R us

  • Complete 10 class homework assignments using R.

Qualifiers:

S is for Stats

  • Complete 10 class homework assignments using statistics software, such as SPlus, Statistica, or open-source R .

Qualifiers:

MATlibber

  • Complete 10 class homework assignments using MATLAB.

Qualifiers:

Mathwolf

  • Complete 10 class homework assignments using Mathematica.

Qualifiers:

ArcTrained

  • Complete ESRI's online GIS training.

Qualifiers: Matthew Vaughan

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SCHOLAR SKILLS

Illustrator

  • Produce a high-quality digital schematic illustrating a central concept, hypothesis, mechanism, or theory related to your research.

Qualifiers:

Dreamer

  • Submit 2 research funding proposals.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Peer Reviewer

  • Submit reviews of 3 manuscripts for scientific journals.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Commentator

  • Submit a formal scholarly comment on a peer reviewed journal article to the journal's publisher for publication.

Qualifiers:

Teaching Assistant

  • Serve as a teaching assistant for a university course.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Lecturer

  • Give 5 lectures in a university course.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Podcaster

  • Produce a 30-minute video podcast presenting a completed research project to your professional scientific audience.

Qualifiers:

Conferee

  • Submit and present 2 abstracts at scientific conferences.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Technocrat

  • Submit a technical report (not progress or status reports, but final technical report presenting all steps in the scientific method).

Qualifiers:

Petitioner

  • Submit 2 peer-review manuscripts.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Author

  • Publish 2 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Medalist

  • Win a scholarly award, not counting travel grants.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Apprentice Hydrology Scholar

  • Complete 5 Hydrology Scholar Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers: Maziar Kandelous

Adept Hydrology Scholar

  • Complete 10 Hydrology Scholar Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers:

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BENEFACATOR SKILLS

Reporter

  • Write 3 general news articles or fact sheets related to hydrology (newspaper, magazine, newsletter, etc.)

Qualifiers:

Concerned Citizen

  • Write 5 letters to the editor of any public newspaper or magazine about a hydrology-related topic.

Qualifiers:

Photographer

  • Take 10 high-resolution, high-quality photos that illustrate your research.

Qualifiers:

Interwebs

  • Create and put online a website explaining your hydrology research using text, photos, graphs, and tables.

Qualifiers:

Blogger

  • Produce and publish on the web a weekly blog for 12 weeks making your research available and accessible to a general public audience.

Qualifiers:

Workshopper

  • Participate in 3 all-day training or teaching workshops.

Qualifiers:

Earth Cleaner

  • Organize and implement 3 cleanups of a water body.

Qualifiers:

Mentor

  • Advise and train an undergraduate or high school student for 12 weeks.

Qualifiers:

Apprentice Hydrology Benefactor

  • Complete 4 Hydrology Benefactor Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers:

Adept Hydrology Benefactor

  • Complete 8 Hydrology Benefactor Skill Qualifications.

Qualifiers:

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HOLISTIC SKILLS

Each category of Skill Qualifications has its own pair of comprehensive skills, with one being at theapprentice level and one at the adept level. Apprentice requires achieving half of the SQs in the category. Adept requires completing them all. In addition to those, there are two holistic SQs recognizing cumulative cross-category achievement:

Hydrology Integrator: Complete 5 field, lab, modelling, data analysis, scholar, and benefactor SQs (not counting any “Apprentice” or “Adept” SQs).

Hydrology Avatar: Complete 10 field, lab, modelling, data analysis, scholar, and benefactor SQs (not counting any “Apprentice” or “Adept” SQs).