AGI's National Geoscience Student Exit Survey, Spring 2012 Student Theses Research Methods

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AGI’s National Geoscience Student Exit Survey measures the relevant experiences in school and the immediate career plans upon graduation of recent geoscience degree recipients. In April 2012, AGI conducted the second pilot test of this survey received responses from 46 different departments. This Currents examines the results from two of the questions which inquire about the decision points for successful graduates pursuing a degree in the geosciences.

The survey participants were asked about their research experiences while in school. Out of the 294 survey participants, 229 said they have research experience, and 199 of them worked on individual research projects - 145 undergraduates, 35 master’s students, and 19 doctoral students. These 199 participants indicated the methodologies used to conduct their research (literature-based research, field-based research, lab-based research, and computer-based research). Respondents could select multiple methodologies.

The majority of the undergraduate students worked in the field and in the lab (171 students), whereas the highest number of graduate students did computer-based research (36 students), although that number is only slightly higher than field-based (34 students) and lab-based research (34 students). Looking specifically at students studying solid earth/geology, there is a slightly higher number of undergraduate students participating in lab-based research (73 students) than in field-based research (64 students). Among the graduate students studying solid earth/geology, 19 students participated in lab-based research and 18 students participated in computer-based research, compared to the 15 students participating in field-based research and literature-based research.

Currents 66 Legend

Undergraduate Research Methods

Graduate Research Methods

Methods of individual research projects by undergraduate and graduate students. Source: AGI's National Geoscience Exit Survey.

Date updated: 2012-11-19
Data Brief 2012-011
Written and compiled by Carolyn E. Wilson for AGI, November 2012

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