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219 Student Union,
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Learning Format/Location On campus in Stillwater (Oklahoma)
Who should apply? Students interested to pursue a Masters degree in Biosystems Engineering with option in Environment and Natural Resources.
Program objectives To produces professionals that have both depth and breadth in Environment and Natural Resources.
Prerequisites Usually students with an BS degree from an ABET accredited Biosystems or Agricultural engineering program (most US programs) are admitted automatically if their grade point average is 3.0 or higher. Persons with a grade point average less than 3.0 will be considered, particularly if they have two or more years of professional engineering experience. ...
Credits 24 Credits
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M.S. and Ph.D. programs are available in the Environment and Natural Resources area within the School of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. Students engage in a challenging program of study and in original and innovative research in four main areas: hydrology and hydrologic modeling, irrigation and evapotranspiration, subsurface flow and transport, and surface water quality and erosion.
The School also assists students who want to pursue an interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree in Environmental Science.
Because the Environment and Natural Resources program accommodates students from diverse backgrounds, specific courses and sequence of course work may be difficult to project. Generally, it can be stated that all students are required to develop significant expertise in one field, such as subsurface water quality or stream ecology, and to complement that expertise with studies in several other areas.
All plans of study will be tailored to the individual student based on their interests and the guidance of the graduate committee. M.S. students must complete 24 credit hours of course work and 6 credit hours of research including a thesis. A minimum of 36 credit hours of course work and 24 credits of research beyond the M.S. degree will be required for each Ph.D. student.
The advisory committee must individually approve a student's plan of study and research. This plan of study will typically include five core courses: BAE 5513, 6313, 6323, 6333, 6343 and 6520. These high- quality, advanced-level courses, taught by Biosystems Agricultural Engineering faculty and supported by well-equipped laboratories, provide students with a strong background for addressing water problems. Additional courses from this department, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, the Environmental Science Program, and other colleges may be used to complete the plan of study.
Students initially take three to four classes per semester, completing major area and mathematics classes first. M.S. students generally take one and a half to two years to complete their programs. For Ph.D. students, who are expected to complete their programs in no more than three years, course work is usually completed by the end of the second year. No less than six months before the degree is granted, Ph.D. students take a qualifying examination. This comprehensive examination is both written and oral, covering the entire area of the student's graduate study. In addition, M.S. and Ph.D. dissertations must be successfully defended before the advisory committee at the completion of the research program.
Programs are available which have a non-thesis option. These programs must have additional hours of course work and a creative component including a written report. The creative component must be defended before the advisory committee at the completion of the research program.
AREAS OF RESEARCH
Hydrology and Hydrologic Modeling
According to Federal water agencies such as USGS and SCS, include important areas of hydrology research, stormwater modeling, risk analysis and the incorporation of uncertainty into engineering designs. Potential research topics for graduate students include:
Applying and testing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and other information technologies in hydrologic models.
* Applying risk analysis to water resource design. * Improving parameter estimation for hydrologic models. * Characterizing model and parameter uncertainties. * Applying microcomputer techniques to water resources studies. * Analyzing water resources using stochastic and statistical variables.
Irrigation and Evapotranspiration
The competition for water, coupled with escalating irrigation costs and low commodity prices, has dictated the need for improved efficiency in irrigation. Water quality is also an increasing concern in irrigated agriculture. Potential research topics for graduate students include:
* Measuring and estimating evapotranspiration. * Use of real time weather information in irrigation decision making in this area. * Scheduling irrigation based on crop growth simulation. * Analyzing water movement in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. * Scheduling irrigation and managing electrical loads. * Applying sensor systems in irrigation agriculture.
Subsurface Flow and Transport
Ground water is an important source of drinking water and irrigation supplies. While questions concerning ground water supplies are generally well answered, concern is growing about protecting ground water from existing and possible future sources of contamination, particularly in the subsurface zone immediately above water supply. Potential research topics for graduate students include:
* Testing and modifying ground water models. * Analyzing the transport processes of ground water contaminants. * Interfacing ground water and soil-water models. * Assessing field variability and macropore effects in solute transport. * Assessing the variability and impact of soil properties within mapping units. * Analyzing the transport and fate of agricultural chemicals. * Developing new ground water instrumentation.
Surface Water Quality and Erosion
An estimated six billion tons of soil, more than seventy-three million in Oklahoma alone, are eroded each year in the United States. Closely associated with erosion is the entrainment and transport of land-applied chemicals, either by direct adsorption to sediment particles or by their transport in water itself. The combined importance of maintaining soil productivity and controlling nonpoint will continue to require professional expertise. Potential research topics for graduate students include:
* Analyzing detachment forces on bed materials. * Analyzing the drainage network of rills. * Characterizing rill movement due to headcutting. * Modeling spatial uncertainties in surface flow parameters. * Developing flow parameters for surface water quality. * Incorporating GIS into water quality models. * Designing decision support systems for manager of agricultural chemicals. * Determining the impact of irrigation on water quality. * Determining the impact of irrigation on the transport and fate of agrichemicals.
EXAMPLE PLANS OF STUDY
Student 1 (entering with M.S. degree in Biosystems Engineering, interests in irrigation)
* MATH 3013 Linear Algebra * INDEN4014 Operations Research I * MAE 5093 Engineering Numerical Analysis * STAT 5303 Experimental Designs * AGEC 6400 Seminar in Farm Management * AGRON 4123 Crop Culture Growth * AGRON 4293 Plant Response to Environmental Stress * AGRON 5583 Soil Physics * AGRON 5703 Evapotranspiration * BAE 5501 Seminar * BAE 5513 Advanced Irrigation Engineering * BAE 6313 Stochastic Hydrology * BAE 6520 Watershed Modeling and Water Quality * BAE 6000 Research Thesis
Student 2 (entering with M.S. in Biosystems Engineering, interests in hydrologic modeling)
* MATH 3013 Linear Algebra * AGRON 4293 Plant Response to Env.Stress * STAT 4113 Intro. to Probability Theory * STAT 5133 Stochastic Processes * STAT 5053 Time Series * MATH 4013 Engineering.Math of Several Variables * MAE 5093 Numerical Engineering Analysis * CIVEN 6010 Seminar in Groundwater Pollution * CIVEN 6713 Seepage Groundwater Flow * CIVEN 5913 Groundwater Hydrology * BAE 6333 Fluvial Hydraulics * BAE 6313 Stochastic Hydrology * BAE 5501 Seminar * BAE 6000 Research Thesis
Usually students with an BS degree from an ABET accredited Biosystems or Agricultural engineering program (most US programs) are admitted automatically if their grade point average is 3.0 or higher. Persons with a grade point average less than 3.0 will be considered, particularly if they have two or more years of professional engineering experience. Since BAE is a broad discipline, we look favorably on degrees from other engineering fields. Usually, persons with degrees in Mechanical, Civil, Environmental and Chemical engineering are admitted without condition. Electrical and Industrial engineering majors may be required to take one or more "make-up" undergraduate classes.
Students with undergraduate degrees in closely-related scientific fields such as Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, and Physics are also invited to apply for admission to our graduate program. Such applications are evaluated on an individual basis, and specific plans of study are developed for each student. Students with a Bachelor's of Science who have already taken calculus through differential equations, physics, chemistry and biology will typically have two to four additional undergraduate engineering courses required in addition to their normal graduate work.
We are a tradition based engineering department. Person with degrees in agriculture, the life sciences and biology based biotechnology programs, who have not taken college level calculus, physics and at least some applied technology (electronics, fluid mechanics, material sciences, etc) will usually not be accepted. Graduates from three-year undergraduate programs (some forgein insitutions) will not be accepted.
Students with only a BS will be considered for the MS degree program. To be considered for the Ph.D. program, a student should have a MS. We do not generally allow a student to obtain a Ph.D. without obtaining a MS first. It is common for students who successfully complete their MS to be admitted to the PhD program.
Teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified applicants. In the past we have provided financial support to about 90% of new graduate students with engineering degrees from American institutions. Only about 10 to 20% of students with degrees from foreign schools are offered financial aid.