Current Graduate Student Resources

Important Resources by Degree Type

Take time to review the materials provided by the School of Graduate studies and the department.

MS/PhD Students

MoER Students

Information for Current Students
Seminars: All students are encouraged to attend the weekly Departmental Seminars. Fall Semester, Wednesdays at 4:00 pm; Spring Semester, Wednesdays at 12:30 pm

USU Trainings: There are several required and optional trainings for WATS graduate students, as well as other opportunities to advance your academic and professional skills:
P card training
Defensive driving training
QCNR inclusive teaching series materials and recordings
Other trainings

Teaching Assistantship MOU template: Faculty members and Graduate Teaching Assistants are encouraged to use this generic template to develop a memorandum of understanding with the faculty instructor leading the course for which they are TAing. The template is intended to be adapted to specific courses. 

Student Health Insurance: USU Subsidized Health Insurance for Graduate Students is administered through First Student.  If you need assistance, please contact the USU Student Health Center at 435-797-1660 or Basic information is at the USU Student Health Services webpage.

Student Club: American Fisheries Society Student Chapter

Student Representation:
WATS Grad Student Rep: Meghan Slocombe (2023-24)
QCNR Graduate Student Representation Senator: Patrick Kelly (2023-24)

Decontamination Protocols: Utah Decontamination Protocols from the State of Utah. Western Regional Panel Guidance from the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Field, Safety, and Self-Care Resources
Vehicle Rental

inReach and First Aid Kit Rental

Safety Policies and Guidelines, and Faculty Safety Plans - Please contact your faculty advisor if your safety plan is not listed here.

Self-Care Toolkit - The way you live your life can have a big impact on your health, well‐being, and how well or poorly you handle stress.

Graduate Program Overview
MS Degree

The Master of Science degree in Fisheries Biology, Ecology, or Watershed Sciences emphasizes the management of fisheries or watershed resources and prepares students for decision-making roles in natural resource agencies. This degree is offered for students motivated toward an administrative career and for applicants with previous agency experience.

The minimum requirement for an MS degree is 30 credits, including 24 credits in residency and 6 credits of thesis research. A thesis based on original research performed by the student is required.

PhD Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ecology or Watershed Science is for students interested in pursuing a research or academic career. The minimum requirement for a PhD degree is 30 approved graduate credits for students entering the program with a master’s degree or 60 approved graduate credits for students entering the program with a bachelor’s degree. At least two consecutive semesters (a minimum of 32 credits) of full-time registration must be in residence. A dissertation based on original research performed by the student is required.

Immediately prior to each Fall Semester, all incoming students participate in a graduate induction course. The course is an intense, five-day introduction to the fundamental concepts of watershed science, as well as to the faculty, staff, and current students.

Master of Ecosystem Restoration (MoER) Degree

The Master of Ecological Restoration (MoER) enables WATS undergraduates to obtain a professional master’s degree in one year, following completion of the MRAE or FAS degree. The degree combines coursework, an internship, and design exercises to prepare graduates for a career as a restoration practitioner. A master's degree is the preferred entry point into the workforce in the field of ecosystem restoration and this new degree enables students to obtain a BS degree and MoER degree within a five-year time frame.

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits including 4-8 credits of a profesisonal internship experience. This program is designed to be completed over 2 semesters.

Graduate Induction Course
WATS 6260, section 1 (CRN 44846) - Watershed Sciences Graduate Induction Course

The Department of Watershed Sciences runs an introductory course for all its incoming graduate students immediately prior to each fall semester. The course is an intensive five-day introduction to the fundamental concepts of watershed science and the faculty, staff, and students who make up the department and the techniques they use in their research. The course will begin with two days exploring the Logan and Bear River watersheds with field activities scattered about everywhere from the Bear River Range to the wetlands of Cutler Reservoir.

During the introduction to these watersheds, students will meet most of the WATS faculty as they lead students on short field exercises that highlight some mix of fundamental research questions and some of the cutting edge tools and technologies we use in the department to address those questions. The course will then shift focus to some of the even more dramatic landscapes within a half-day’s drive of Logan (e.g. Grand Tetons). In this part of the course, we discuss broader scale geologic and regional controls on the landscape, and work on interpreting landforms and understanding their organization in the landscape. Students should be prepared for moderately strenuous outdoor activity, including hiking, wading in streams, and whitewater rafting. No previous experience is necessary and field and recreational gear is provided.

Class Objectives:

The general objectives of the course are to help incoming graduate students get acquainted with the nearby landscape, the people in the Department of Watershed Sciences, some of the broader concepts and questions that define Watershed Science, and some of the techniques that USU faculty use to answer those questions. A sampling of the techniques demonstrated: topographic data acquisition (with terrestrial laser scanning rtkGPS, and total stations), collection of aerial photography using drone aircraft, field mapping, rapid assessment surveys, soil evaluation, collection and analysis of climatic data, fish sampling (electrofishing, snorkel surveys, mobile-antennae PIT tags), macroinvertebrate sampling, water quality monitoring, large-scale landscape interpretation, and hydrography (e.g. with ADCP).

Graduate Student Pre-Project Symposiums
The Department of Watershed Sciences Graduate Student Pre-Project Symposium provides an opportunity for our graduate students to present ideas about their thesis/dissertation research and to receive feedback regarding their plans.

Spring 2021 - April 9, 2021

Spring 2019 - April 12, 2019

Spring 2018 - April 13, 2018

ECSS: Dr. Tim Essington - "Why are conference presentations so bad, and what do we do about them?" (Resource on how to give good conference presentations.)

Scholarships and Fellowships
USU School of Graduate Studies Fellowships and Scholarships

JEDI Fellowships - Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

EPA Fellowship - National Center for Environmental Research - Funding Opportunities

Notice of Non-discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law. Read USU’s notice of non-discrimination.