Student Handbook




This Student Handbook provides graduate students and prospective applicants with information about procedures, requirements, and activities for succeeding in the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group.

Many research questions go beyond the disciplinary focus of traditional academic departments. At UC Davis, graduate-student education, including research and coursework, may be organized as interdisciplinary graduate groups that include faculty from various departments and Colleges, giving students broad flexibility in areas of research from across campus.  The breadth of Graduate Groups means that students need to do extra “legwork” to learn about the faculty available to them and then seek out appropriate faculty to forge collaboration.

Graduate study in Hydrologic Sciences at the University of California, Davis, is administered by the Graduate Group of Hydrologic Sciences under the supervision of Graduate Studies and the Hydrology Program within the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources (LAWR).  The Graduate Group of Hydrologic Sciences is composed of faculty with research interests in hydrologic processes and includes members of the Departments of Biological & Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy & Range Science, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science & Policy, Geology, and Land, Air & Water Resources.  The size and diversity of interests of the faculty give unusual breadth to the program and allow specialization in surface and subsurface hydrology, hydrobiology and hydrogeochemistry.  Fundamental hydrologic processes associated with natural events and human activities are stressed.

You may obtain more information on admission requirements for advanced degrees, availability of financial assistance to graduate students, graduate group administration, and other topics by contacting Shila Ruiz, Student Affairs Officer, 1152 Plant and Environmental Sciences Building, University of California at Davis, Davis, California 95616. Her phone number is (530) 752-1669.


STUDENT HANDBOOK                                                                                                                                                          


APRIL 2013                                                                                                                                                                    i


2.    HSGG GOVERNANCE                                        

  • Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group Administrators      
  • Group Chair                                                        
  • Graduate Advisors
  • Admit Advisor
  • HSGG Committees
  • Executive Committee
  • Admission Committee
  • Scholarship Committee   
  • Seminar Committee     



  • Preparatory Coursework* 
  • Required Core Coursework for all Options*
  • M.S. Requirements:  (Plan I)
  • M.S. Requirements: Non-Thesis Option (Plan II)       
  • Ph.D. Requirements 
  • Qualifying Exam (QE)
  • Time Limitations on Degree Work 
  • Graduate Student Typical Timeline and Submission of Forms Schedule


  • Learning about HSGG
  • HSGG Admission Requirements
  • Graduate Showcase – Graduate Recruitment Event


  • Billing
  • Tuition and Fees
  • One-time Fees
  • Establishing California Residency 


  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • International Student Requirements
  • University Aid
  • College Aid 
  • Departmental Aid  
  • Faculty Research Grants
  • Graduate Group Aid 
  • Work Study
  • Loans
  • Travel Grants
  • Travel Grants through the Graduate Student Association (GSA)
  • Other Employment



  • Major Professor
  • Graduate Advisor 
  • Guidance Committee
  • M.S. Thesis Committee
  • Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Committee
  • Ph.D. Dissertation Committee 


  • Registered Status
  • How to Register
  • Class Schedule and Registration Guide
  • Late Registration
  • Units
  • Enrolling in Research (HYD 299)
  • Part Time Status
  • Dropping Courses
  • Late Add
  • Temporary Study at Another UC Campus

11.    GRADES

  • Repeating a Course for Improvement
  • Opting for S/U Grading
  • Incomplete (I) Grade



  • Planned Education Leave (PELP)
  • Filing Fee
  • Registration in Absentia 
  • Withdrawal 
  • Readmission





  • Department Staff and Administrative Clusters
  • Being an Organized Researcher


  • Health Insurance                                 
  • Graduate Student Association (GSA)






With a growing awareness of water’s fundamental role in the global ecosystem and rapidly increasing demands on water resources resulting from growth in global population, there is a recognized need for a broad new approach to hydrologic sciences.  In 1991 the National Research Council, pointing to a shortage of qualified hydrologists in both the short term and the foreseeable long term, called for Hydrologic Science to be formulated as an independent scientific discipline with distinct training and research programs to bring about “a coherent understanding of water’s role in the planetary-scale behavior of the earth’s system.”  An array of public and private institutions have noted that the next frontier in hydrologic sciences lies in the integration between disciplines, and the evaluation of linked physical, biological, and chemical processes at various spatial and temporal scales.

The Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group (HSGG) was established in Fall 1991 to provide a comprehensive, unified hydrologic science curriculum with a new multidisciplinary emphasis that takes advantage of the broad range of expertise in water-related disciplines on the Davis campus. The resulting program incorporates a vigorous integration of chemistry, physics, biology, ecology, geology, law, soil science, engineering, mathematics and atmosphere science. This design broadens the skills and knowledge of the natural science or engineering student interested in any aspect of water-related phenomena.  The program expands the boundaries of hydrologic science to encompass water-related phenomena at every scale of space and time – from the microscopic to the watershed, the continental, and the global, and from fleeting events to seasonal cycles and global climate change evolving over centuries. The need for broadly trained hydrologic experts is urgent, and career opportunities are both wide-ranging and relatively independent of economic cycles.

The HSGG program draws on the historic strengths of several water-related educational and research programs on campus.  The university currently houses a broad array of nationally and internationally renowned faculty involved in water-related research: a breadth and depth of expertise unmatched within the UC system, and among the strongest in the United States. Along with the intellectual resources, the campus currently houses several key programs that support water-related data assembly, storage and dissemination.  The university has a well-established history of agency collaboration, forming the foundation for future growth and diversification.  Presently, 4334 faculty from 6 different departments across 3 separate colleges/schools identify participation in the Graduate Group.  There are external faculty members affiliated with UC Merced and federal research laboratories. The HSGG offers degree options in hydrology, hydrobiology and hydrogeochemistry at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels.

The primary goal of the HSGG is to prepare rigorously trained scientists for a quantitative foundation in the profession of hydrology and a multidisciplinary perspective across allied Hydrologic Sciences. As of Spring quarter 2012, there are 3943 graduate students in the program (2422 M.S. and 1521 Ph.D.).  Our Ph.D. graduates have been successful in obtaining faculty positions and post-doctoral positions at leading universities (Michigan State, Duke Univ., Iowa State, Univ. of Virginia, Univ. of Nebraska, Univ. of New Mexico) and research agencies (USGS, LLNL, USDA Agric. Research Service).  Our M.S. graduates are sought-after for positions with private, state and federal agencies and several have gone on to Ph.D. programs and eventual faculty positions of their own (Utah State, Univ. of Cardiff, etc.).  Employers frequently contact our faculty seeking top recruits for their job openings.  The strong reputation of the Group has attracted several international students who return to their countries where they become recognized leaders in the hydrologic sciences.


HSGG administration is governed by bylaws founded in 1992 and updated December 16, 2011. HSGG administrators include the Group Chair, the Graduate Advisors, and the Admit Advisor.  HSGG standing committees include the Executive Committee, Admissions Committee, Scholarship Committee, and Seminar Committee.

Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group Administrators

Group Chair

Thomas Harter
125 Veihmeyer Hall
(530) 752-2709

Graduate Advisors

Carlos Puente
223 Veihmeyer Hall
(530) 752-0689

Graham Fogg
237 Veihmeyer Hall
(530) 752-5262

Sam Sandoval
135 Veihmeyer Hall
(530) 754-9646

Admit Advisor

Mark Grismer
209 Veihmeyer Hall
(530) 304-5797 (mobile)

HSGG Committees

Executive Committee

Peter Hernes, John Largier, Mark Lubell, Sam Sandoval

Admission Committee

Mark Grismer, Helen Dahlke, Thomas Harter

Scholarship Committee

Mark Grismer, Pramod Pandey, Sam Sandoval

Seminar Committee

Yufang Jin (faculty rep) and appointed graduate students.


Students seeking advanced degrees in Hydrologic Sciences typically enter the program with an undergraduate degree in a biological, chemical or physical science that required a year each of basic biology, chemistry, geology, physics, statistics, calculus and differential equations.  Although students are occasionally accepted into the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group without the recommended preparation on the expectation that they will complete all preparatory courses during their graduate studies, such preparation is strongly encouraged of applicants prior to beginning graduate study.  Admission into HSGG without completion of preparatory courses does not constitute a waiver of those requirements.  All incoming students are required to complete their prerequisite coursework during their graduate education, as specified in the Degree Requirements.  HSGG courses include both upper division undergraduate courses and graduate level courses designed to take advantage of a suite of basic skills that are taught in lower division prerequisites.  Non-preparatory coursework may not be used as the basis for waivers out of prerequisites, as they build on those courses and do not teach the fundamentals. Further, courses that are in the same discipline as a prerequisite but contain different content may not be used for a waiver out of prerequisites.  Course waivers are intended for unusual extenuating circumstances and should be requested in writing to the assigned Graduate Advisor.


Students may pursue M.S. (under Plan I or Plan II) and Ph.D. Degrees in the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group.  Under either degree plan, prerequisite courses not taken prior to entry into the program must be completed during the course of study.  Requirements of Graduate Studies, including residency and limitations of transfer units, must be fulfilled along with the following requirements.  The M.S. degree program follows a regular structure outlined below, while the Ph.D. program is designed by the student in collaboration with his Guidance Committee.  The roles of these faculty and committees are described following this section.

Preparatory Coursework*

I. Undergraduate PreparationQuarter Fulfilled (or at entry)Grade

A.  Mathematics/Statistics



Calculus (MAT 21A,B,C)



Differential equations (MAT 22B)



Statistics (STA 130A,B, or ECI 114)



Programming (ENG 6 or ASE 21)



Physics (PHY 9A,B,C)



Chemistry (CHE 2A,B,C)



Geology (GEL 50/50L)




Required Core Coursework for all Options*


II. Core Area RequirementsCircle One In Each AreaGrade

Fluid Dynamics

HYD 103N or ENG 103



HYD 141, HYD 144, ECI 144, ATM 115



SSC102, ERS 136, HYD 134, SSC 216



HYD 124, SSC 111, ESP 151, ESP 155


Hydrologic Policy

ARE 147, GE0 134, ESP 161, ESP 166, ESP169



HYD 200 (2 units)


Exit Presentation



*Students must select one course from either the Hydrogeochemistry or Hydrobiology subject area. Coursework in only one of these subjects is required.

** This course is designed to be taken the fall quarters of the first two years of academic study at UC Davis.  Students in the course are required to (1) attend departmental seminars to meet HSGG faculty and other students while also preparing seminar abstracts and (2) carry out a larger writing assignment as presented by the course instructor. 


With the exception of HYD 200, similar coursework taken previously during undergraduate or graduate study may be substituted for equivalent courses in the above requirements.  Course content undergoes changes over time, so when considering whether the requirements of the course are met by pre-existing work, be sure to work with a Graduate Advisor to compare the syllabi for the requirement and the proposed substitute.


M.S. Requirements: Thesis Option (Plan I)

1.   Students have a three-person guidance committee that includes the student's major professor, faculty advisor, and the graduate group chair.

2.   The student will work with the members of the Guidance Committee to develop a Program of Study that satisfies the required core curriculum and a minimum of 32 units of upper division and graduate level coursework. The Program of Study must include at least 14 graduate units exclusive of research (299) units. The Program of Study is then submitted before the end of the second quarter in residence to the Graduate Advisor for approval.

3.   The student will submit a thesis to be approved by a three-member thesis committee appointed by the Graduate Advisor. The thesis will consist of a comprehensive report on the work that a student has performed on a specific research problem.  An applied or professionally-oriented thesis topic is acceptable.

4.   In addition to the written thesis, each student is expected to present a campus seminar on the contents and results of their research. Contact the Seminar Committee in the quarter prior to the one you expect to graduate in to arrange for your seminar during your final quarter.


M.S. Requirements: Non-Thesis Option (Plan II)

The non-thesis option is designed for students planning to terminate their graduate studies at the M.S. level.  Students planning to pursue the Ph.D. are advised to take the M.S. thesis option (Plan I).


1.   Students have a three-person guidance committee that includes the student's major professor, faculty advisor, and the graduate group chair.

2.   The student will work with the members of the Committee to develop a Program of Study that satisfies the required core curriculum and a minimum of 38 units of upper division and graduate level coursework.  The Program of Study must include at least 18 graduate units exclusive of research (299) units.  The Program of Study is then submitted before the end of the second quarter in residence to the Graduate Advisor for approval.

3.   The student will prepare a project paper that demonstrates application of his specialization, to be approved by the student's Major Professor and the student's Guidance Committee.

4.   In addition to the project paper, the student must pass a Comprehensive Examination administered by a three-member faculty committee appointed by the Graduate Advisor.


Ph.D. Requirements

1.   Students have a three-person guidance committee that includes the student's major professor, faculty advisor, and the graduate group chair.

2.   The student will work with the members of the committee to develop a study that is submitted before the end of the first year of residence to the Graduate Advisor for approval.

3.   Before the end of the eighth quarter of residence as a Ph.D. student, the student will submit a formal research proposal. The proposal should demonstrate the student's understanding of the significance and methodology of the proposed projects and his or her preparation to undertake the research.  The proposal must be approved by the student's Guidance Committee prior to taking the Qualifying Exam.

4.   After approval of the research proposal but before the end of the ninth quarter in residence, the student must take the Qualifying Examination administered by a four-member exam committee (note: Graduate Studies' policy trumps these 1992 requirements; a five-member exam committee is required) recommended by the Graduate Advisor and appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The committee does not have to include members of the initial three-person advisory committee. The Qualifying Examination will include a brief presentation of the planned dissertation research.  The student may be questioned on his research proposal, research in progress in Hydrologic Science, and relevant coursework

5.   The student will submit a dissertation for approval by a three-member Thesis Committee recommended by the Group Chair and appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The dissertation must represent an original contribution to fundamental knowledge in the Hydrologic Sciences. In addition to the written dissertation, each student must present a campus seminar of the content and results of their research. Contact the Seminar Committee in the quarter prior to the one you expect to graduate in to arrange for your seminar during your final quarter.


Qualifying Exam (QE)

When ready, students must apply for the Qualifying Examination through completion and submission AT LEAST FOUR WEEKS PRIOR TO THE EXAMINATION DATE of the Application for Qualifying Examination available at


In preparation for the QE, student needs to write a high-quality dissertation research proposal.  This proposal may address an applied science topic, but it should also clearly identify novel scientific questions, objectives, or hypotheses.  The proposal can vary in length (usually 12-15 pages double-spaced, including tables, figures, and references), but should be of sufficient length to adequately cover the experimental design and not so long as to be unwieldy.  The proposal should be vetted by your major professor.  A revised, complete proposal should be provided to QE committee members 3-4 weeks in advance of the QE to provide faculty time to review and comment as well as to devise lines of questioning during the QE.  It is helpful to meet with QE committee members after they have read the proposal and before the QE to discuss it.


Before scheduling the QE, the faculty member of the QE committee closest to your research interest may decide to give a comprehensive written or oral examination to determine if you are prepared for the QE.  Prior to the QE, one or more members of the QE committee may also choose to give a preliminary written or oral examination.  Students may suggest a QE chair for your committee when submitting the Application, usually the members in the discipline most closely aligned with your primary focus.


The QE typically begins with a brief (~15-20 uninterrupted minutes,


The presentation is followed by questions targeting your research proposal.  Then the committee will question you for breadth of knowledge in hydrologic sciences and/or in your specific areas of emphasis. No time limit has been set for the length of the examination, but a typical examination is three hours in length.  It is your responsibility to arrange the date, time, and location of the examination in consultation with committee members and the staff room-reservation assistant. It is wise to schedule the QE several months in advance and also to send schedule reminders to QE committee members 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 week, and 1 day in advance. 


The possible outcomes of the qualifying exam are Pass, Not Pass or Fail. The chair of the exam committee will complete the QE report form. A “pass” indicates you can advance to candidacy and there are no more course requirements. A Not Pass can vary from requiring you to taking the exam again at a later date to addressing deficiencies in specific areas by taking a class, writing a paper, or retaking part of the exam again.  These outcomes are decided upon jointly by the committee, will be put into writing, and you will be given a specified time frame in which to complete the requirements.  Fail means you cannot take the exam again and will have to terminate your degree program.  The decision of Fail usually follows an unsuccessful repeat of an exam following a Not Pass.


Following successful completion of the QE, the examination committee chair will complete the form for Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Plan B.  By this time you should have the members of your Dissertation Committee selected.  After the form is signed, your three-member Dissertation Committee indicated, and the fee paid to the Cashier’s Office, you submit it to Graduate Studies for approval by the dean of Graduate Studies. International students must advance to candidacy before the first day of the quarter to qualify for reduced nonresident tuition.


Dissertation and Instructions

Your Dissertation Committee guides you and evaluates you upon the merits of your dissertation. You are responsible for filing your dissertation on the appropriate filing dates according to the proper format. The following Web sites will to assist you:

You must complete the following four forms when you submit your dissertation.


Time Limitations on Degree Work

The maximum time that a student may remain in the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Program is five years for the M.S. degree and ten years for the Ph.D. degree as determined from the date of entry into the program.

Graduate Student Typical Timeline and Submission of Forms Schedule

The following timeline is only a guide to graduate students navigating the forms that require processing during each quarter.  Appendix A of this handbook contains copies of all these forms that are also available from the Student Affairs Officer, Graduate Studies, or on-line at


MS StudentQuarter of Residence (#)PhD Student Activity

Enroll – Form Guidance Comm.*

Fall (1)

Enroll – Form Guidance Comm.*

Submit Program of Study to GA*

Fall (1) Nov 15

Submit Program of Study to GA*

Begin forming M.S. Thesis Committee

Winter (1)

Consider membership for Qualifying Exam (QE) Committee

Submit Plan I M.S. Thesis Annual Progress Report Form*

Spring (2) May 30

Submit Ph.D. Dissertation Annual Progress Report Form*

Update M.S. Program of Study and educational plan and coursework progress report*

Fall (4) Nov 15

Update Ph.D. Program of Study and educational plan and coursework progress report*

Meet with M.S. Thesis Committee members

Winter (5)

Meet with QE Committee members

Completed coursework?

File for Adv. to Candidacy*

Winter (5)

Courses & research

Submit Plan I M.S. Thesis Annual Progress Report Form*

Spring (6) May 30

Submit Ph.D. Dissertation Annual Progress Report Form*

Submit Thesis?

Give HSGG Seminar & Graduate?

Spring (6)

Courses & research

Update M.S. Program of Study and educational plan and coursework progress report*

Fall (7) Nov 15

Update Ph.D. Program of Study and educational plan and coursework progress report*

Meet with M.S. Thesis Committee members

Winter (8)

Obtain Research Proposal Approval from Guidance Comm.

Apply for Qualifying Exam (QE)*

Submit Plan I M.S. Thesis Annual Progress Report Form*

Spring (9)

Submit Proposal to QE 3 wks before Exam and complete QE

Passed QE? File Adv. to Candidacy*

    & Form Dissertation Comm. (DC)*

Submit Ph.D. Dissertation Annual Progress Report Form*

M.S. degree must be completed (15th qtr)

Qtrs (11)-(15)

Submit Dissertation to DC and Graduate Studies, Give Seminar

*Graduate Advisor (GA) signature is required for this form.



Learning about HSGG

Most prospective graduate students use the internet to search for potential graduate education opportunities.  Prospective students are encouraged to visit our website at  Because many graduate students have their educations funded by research, the key difference between evaluating undergraduate and graduate programs is that you need to put a stronger emphasis on finding a faculty mentor who shares your research interests, uses a mentoring style that meets your individual needs, and has openings for new students for the year you wish to matriculate.  Visit the HSGG webpage that lists the HSGG faculty, their interests, and contact information,, to find out who might be a match for you, and then please contact them directly.  Faculty expect applicants who want to train with them to seek them out individually and engage them---do not rely on the formal application process alone and hope faculty will identify your potential without any prompting.  That can happen, but the more effort you make to get to know potential mentors, the better chance faculty have to understand your merits.


Detailed information about all aspects of graduate education at UC Davis may be obtained on the Graduate Studies home page


Application is made through the UC Davis Graduate Studies online application system. Please visit


HSGG Admission Requirements

HSGG admission is based on:

1.   Academic background, i.e., transcripts, and at least a 3.0/4.0 grade point average.  Particular attention is given to the scope of the applicant's preparation and performance in courses that constitute basic preparation for advanced study in Hydrologic Sciences.

2.   Verbal, quantitative and analytical Graduate Record Exam scores.  Subject exams are not required.

3.   Three letters of recommendation in support of application.

4.   TOEFL scores for applicants whose primary language is not English.  A score of 550 is the minimum accepted by the group.

5.   Identification of a HSGG faculty member willing to serve as Major Professor.


*    "In accordance with applicable State and Federal laws and University policy, the University of California does not discriminate in any of its policies, procedures, or practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, handicap, age, veterans status, medical condition (cancer-related) as defined in Section 12926 of the California Government Code, ancestry, or marital status; nor does the University discriminate on the basis of citizenship, within the limits imposed by law or University policy.  In conformance with applicable law and University policy, the University of California is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer."


Graduate Showcase – Graduate Recruitment Event

HSGG invites a select group of applicants to a Graduate Showcase, an annual two-day recruitment event in mid February.  This is an opportunity for prospective students to meet faculty and continuing students, visit our programs and research labs, and tour the UC Davis campus and surrounding area.  Invitation to the Showcase does not guarantee admission, funding, or a place in a faculty member’s lab group.




The folowing list of resources will help with student billing and accounting.

•     To view your outstanding account balance using SISWeb or MyBill, visit:

•     For up-to-date information on fees, fee payment options, deadlines, late fees, etc., visit the Student Accounting Web site at

•     You may contact the Student Accounting Office, 530-752-3646 or visit 2100 Dutton Hall.

•     Or visit the Registrar’s Web site,


Tuition and Fees

Information about current tuition and fees is available at learn exactly what your fees are and where they go, visit

If your status is Registration in Absentia, which means your study requires you to remain outside California, visit and


One-time Fees

One-time fees include application for admission fee, readmission fee, PELP, candidacy fee, Filing Fee.  These fees change periodically; consult the graduate group coordinator or Graduate Studies at or the Registrar at for current fee amounts.


Establishing California Residency

Domestic students funded by HSGG or its faculty are expected to establish residency after their first year.  If you are a nonresident, are not able to establish California residency, you must pay nonresident tuition each quarter.  Nonresident doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy before the first day of the term will receive 100% nonresident tuition remission.  A Ph.D. candidate or professional doctoral student may receive the reduced nonresident tuition rate for a maximum of three years.  Students who have not completed their doctorate after the three-year period and who remain enrolled students, will be assessed the full NRT in effect at that time.  Visit for more information.


As a California resident, you will not have to pay nonresident tuition. Therefore, it is to your advantage if you are a US citizen or have a green card to investigate the steps necessary to becoming a legal California resident.  Begin the process as soon as you arrive and at least one full year before the start of the quarter in which you wish to be classified as a resident. For tuition purposes, physical presence and intent must be demonstrated for more than one year. Intent includes, but is not limited to, having a California driver’s license or ID card, registering to vote and voting, using a California permanent address on all records, and paying state income tax as a resident.


During the quarter preceding the one for which you seek reclassification, upobtain a petition from the Residence Deputy located in the Registrar’s office, 12 Mrak Hall, 530-752-5029, Return the completed petition at least two weeks before the start of the quarter.



Several sources of financial aid originating from the University, Colleges, Departments and Graduate Group are available to new and continuing graduate students.  They include general University fellowships and scholarships, work-study awards, loan and grant funds, departmental teaching assistantships, HSGG fellowships, and faculty-sponsored graduate research assistantships.  Most HSGG students are supported by external research grants obtained by faculty, so your major professor is the bets contact for funding opportunities.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Annually, all graduate students who are US citizens, permanent residents, or immigrants are required to file a FAFSA, preferably by the priority filing date of March 2.  This form is submitted directly to the US Department of Education and determines your financial need.  It is used for consideration of fellowships, block grants, stipends, loans, and Work Study funds that pay some GSR salaries. FAFSA is available at the UC Davis Office Financial Aid in Dutton Hall or online at Include UC Davis School Code 001313 on the FAFSA.


International Student Requirements

International students are advised to consult Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) at regarding immigration status and employment.


University Aid

University Fellowships and Scholarship awards are based on scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.  Specific information concerning these awards is contained in the application form sent to U.S. citizens or may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies web site at  They also have a student guide with financial aid information at For additional information on loan funds, grant funds, and work-study programs, contact the Financial Aid Office, Voorhies Hall, University of California, Davis 95616, (530) 752-9246.


College Aid

Each College associated with faculty of the Group (e.g. College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CA&ES), College of Engineering, and College of Letters & Science) offers a variety of thesis and small research awards that stem from foundation and benefactor support funds.  These awards often have particular requirements.  Announcements will be made by HSGG to alert students about specific opportunities in advance of proposal submission deadlines.  The student is also encouraged to contact the Student Affair Officer or the Chair of the Scholarship Committee for more information.


Departmental Aid

Departments provide student support primarily in the form of teaching assistantships for large courses and lab/field courses, and secondarily for administrative work.  Teaching related student support for qualified students is on a one-quarter basis and comes in the form of either Teaching Assistantships that pay a stipend and cover in-state fees or part-time course reader positions that pay a stipend and can also cover in-state fees. HSGG students receive e-mail notification from the SAO of TA and Reader positions each quarter with instructions on application.


Faculty Research Grants

Faculty garner grants from Federal, state, non-governmental, and other sponsors to conduct their research.  Student support on research grants comes in the form of a Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) position.  HSGG has a uniform compensation plan for all graduate students, so everyone conducting research is paid the same amount.  Grants that pay GSRs are expected to pay the non-resident tuition for non-resident students, but sometimes faculty write budgets assuming that the student will be from California, creating a deficit if a non-resident student eventually takes the position.  Usually faculty seek to fill their GSR positions with HSGG applicants, but they may also hire and mentor continuing students.


Graduate Group Aid

HSGG administers funds to help incoming and continuing graduate students using two primary sources.  First, Graduate Studies provides an annual allocation known as Graduate Program Fellowships (formerly “Block Grant”) on the basis of a formula that considers the number of students in the graduate group, among other factors.  Second, CA&ES annually provides Jastro Research Endowment Award funds to HSGG, which in turn can provide students whose faculty are in CA&ES with either Henry A. Jastro Graduate Research Awards (up to $3000 towards supplies and/or travel for a maximum of 3 times per student) or Henry A. Jastro Student Support Awards that can cover student stipends, in-state fees, and non-resident tuition (except when a student has a GSR position).  HSGG-administered funds for incoming students are allocated during the admissions process  -- no special application is required.  For continuing students, a call is made each summer for competitive proposals that are ranked by the Scholarship Committee, which also drafts a funding plan based on the ranking.  The Group Chair receives the draft funding plan and then works with the SAO and financial manager to account for various cost issues that occur as the academic year approaches to arrive at the final distribution of funds.  Other than these two sources of funding, HSGG may periodically have student support funding from donations made to the group.  Any one may donate to the graduate group.  For more information about making donation, visit the Giving web page.


Work Study

The federal government pays for a percentage of the costs of research employment, including wages and fee remission.  You must complete the application for various types of financial aid, available on the Financial Aid Web site at You must also have submitted a FAFSA, HSGG determines recipients of Work Study awards.



Information available at Financial Aid,


Travel Grants

Graduate Studies offers a limited number of travel awards twice per year for travel to professional meetings. You will be notified of application due dates throughout the year.  The amount of the award varies depending on how far you are traveling.  You are only eligible to receive this award once.  For more information, visit


Travel Grants through the Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The GSA also offers a limited number of travel awards twice per year. (You cannot receive a GSA travel award if you have received an award from Graduate Studies for the same instance of travel.) Visit the GSA Web site,


Other Employment

The SAO will distribute employment information to students as positions are advertised.  For more information about employment opportunities or professional development services, you can meet with a coordinator in the Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Career Services program area of the Internship and Career Center, located in South Hall, or call 530-752-7841 to schedule an appointment.  Online resources and a calendar of workshops and events for graduate students are also available at  Also, as part of Financial Aid, the Student Employment Center coordinates employment opportunities, including community service jobs. Visit, or call 530-752-0502.


Online Funding Resources

•     Community of Sciences,

•     The Foundation Center,

•     UC Davis External Fellowship Programs and Grant Announcements,

•     Search Engines for Extramural Support,

•     Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Extramural Grant and Fellowship Application Procedures,

•     The Office of Research Web site,

•     General financial aid, see also the Graduate Studies Student Support Web page,


Online Grant Writing Resources



The Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group is committed to supporting its current students and attracting the very best new students into our program. In accordance with policies on graduate student compensation set forth by the Office of Graduate Studies, and in light of cost of living estimates made by the UC Davis Financial Aid Office, the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group offers the following plan for GSR appointments for students affiliated with the group:

As of August 1, 2014, the compentation is set as:

Graduate Students who have not passed PhD Qualifying Exam
48% GSR III, Academic year $15,098
100% GSR III, Summer $ 10,485
Total $25,583

Graduate Students who have passed PhD Qualifying Exam
48% GSR IV, Academic Year $16,308
100% GSR IV, Summer $11,325
Total $27,633

Graduate students paid as a 48 % GSR are expected to perform 19 hours per week of work directly on the research activities related to the grant that is paying for the position.  Time spent working on HYD 299 units may not be counted toward these hours, as coursework constitutes the other 50 % of graduate student time and are in addition to the paid hours.  Graduate students paid as a 100 % GSR are expected to perform 40 hours per week of work directly on the research activities related to the grant that is paying for the position.  This plan is identical to compensation plans of the two other graduate groups in the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources: Soils and Biogeochemistry as well as Atmospheric Science.


Following consultation with the graduate student, the Graduate Adviser recommends the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination committee membership to the Dean of Graduate Studies who then appoints the committee. Per Graduate Studies' policy, five members of the HSGG faculty are required to serve on the committee.  The committee examines the student in at least three major areas of hydrologic science, evaluates their research proposal and determines if the student is adequately prepared to conduct independent research.  No time limit has been set for the length of the examination, but a typical examination is three hours long.  It is the student’s responsibility to make sure the necessary form is filed and to arrange the date and time of the examination in consultation with committee members.  The student is responsible for reserving the room for the examination.  It can be helpful to coordinate with graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and/or visiting scholars to do a “practice” QE one-to-two weeks prior to the QE to evaluate the level of preparation.


Major Professor

The Major Professor guides and directs a graduate student’s research while assisting in locating and providing financial support for the student.  A major professor is usually identified for each student as a condition of admission to the graduate program. Once in the program, students are allowed to select a new major professor among the faculty in the Graduate Group, but changing could impact funding availability and source.  The choice is subject to mutual agreement by the student and the major professor.


Graduate Advisor

Graduate Advisors help graduate students understand and adhere to the degree requirements.  The Graduate Adviser also is available for advice on course requirements and academic concerns.  Typically there is one for every 10-15 students.  Graduate students are assigned a Graduate Advisor and are rarely assigned to their Major Professor or another faculty member with an overlapping area of research specialization.  The Graduate Advisor serves as aliaison between the student, the Graduate Group and the Dean of Graduate Studies.  The liaison role is to recommend examination, thesis and dissertation committee membership to Graduate Studies.  The Graduate Adviser is also responsible for appointing a Guidance Committee and for completion of various official forms and documents such as the Advancement to Candidacy form and Qualifying Examination committee nomination form.  These committees are described below.


Guidance Committee

TheGuidance Committee consists of the Graduate Advisor, the Major Professor and an additional Graduate Group member at large.  It is appointed by the Graduate Adviser when a new student begins his/her graduate program.  A graduate student should discuss the membership of the Guidance Committee with both the major professor and Graduate Adviser.  The Guidance Committee assists the student with academic planning such as course selection and timing and development of a student's Program of Study that is subject to approval by the Guidance Committee.  The Guidance Committee meets as needed until the student advances to candidacy.  Either the student or any member of the Guidance Committee may request meetings, though typically, the Guidance Committee will meet once a year.


M.S. Thesis Committee

The MS thesis committee consists of the student’s Major Professor and no fewer than two other HSGG faculty.  Committee members are typically selected through consultation between the student, the Major Professor and the Guidance Committee.  External scientists may serve on the thesis committee, especially if that provides access to experts with specialized knowledge for the research at hand.  However, HSGG faculty have wide breadth and depth, so students should make sure they know who in the Group might be a good fit for their committee.  The Graduate Adviser nominates the Thesis Committee to the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Dean makes the official appointment.  The Thesis Committee advises the student, supervises the student’s research and has the final authority to review and approve the thesis.  It is the responsibility of all students to meet with their committee members at least once a year (preferably once a quarter) to keep the Thesis Committee informed of progress.  A form is due each spring on May 30 to provide the Graduate Group with the dates that the students have met with each committee member during that academic year..  This is a minimum standard.  Close collaboration between student and committee ensures that the research adheres to high-quality standards.


Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Committee

Following consultation with the graduate student, the Graduate Adviser recommends the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination committee membership to the Dean of Graduate Studies who then appoints the committee.  Typically five members of the HSGG faculty serve on the committee, but the 1992 degree requirements state that only four are required.  The committee examines the student in at least three major areas of hydrologic science, evaluates their research proposal and determines if the student is adequately prepared to conduct independent research.  No time limit has been set for the length of the examination, but a typical examination is three hours long.  It is the student’s responsibility to make sure the necessary form is filed and to arrange the date and time of the examination in consultation with committee members.  The student is responsible for reserving the room for the examination.  It can be helpful to coordinate with graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and/or visiting scholars to do a “practice” QE one-to-two weeks prior to the QE to evaluate the level of preparation.


Ph.D. Dissertation Committee

Typically, this committee consists of the Major Professor and at least two additional faculty members.  External scientists may serve on the thesis committee, especially if that provides access to experts with specialized knowledge for the research at hand.  However, HSGG faculty have wide breadth and depth, so students should make sure they know who in the Group might be a good fit for their committee.  The Graduate Advisor in consultation with the Major Professor and graduate student determines committee membership and then recommends the Dissertation committee membership to the Dean of Graduate Studies who then appoints the committee.  The student submits the Advancement to Candidacy form to Graduate Studies with the recommended committee membership following successful completion of the Qualifying Examination.  The Dissertation Committee is formally appointed by Graduate Studies only after the student has submitted this form. The Dissertation Committee advises the student, supervises the student’s research and has the final authority to review and approve the dissertation.  It is the responsibility of the student to keep the Dissertation Committee informed of his/her progress.



Registered Status

Registered student status requires that you be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units of coursework or HYD 299 (research) units and that you pay fees for the quarter. If you have not enrolled and have not paid fees, you are a non-registered student. If you are on Planned Educational Leave (PELP) or are on Filing Fee status, you also are considered a non-registered student.

How to Register

•     Once you obtain your student ID, password, and personal access code (PAC),  you may complete your course registration online through SISWeb, the university computer system,

•     To learn how to activate your student ID, visit

•     Obtain your e-mail address and Kerberos password by visiting

•     To log onto SISWEB, you will need your Kerberos password and a personal access code (PAC). Initially, your PAC is your six-digit birth date. Once you access the system, be sure to follow the menu prompts to choose a new PAC. You will receive notification of registration dates by mail, and once you have the above identifiers, you can complete registration for classes online.

Class Schedule and Registration Guide

Consult the quarterly Class Schedule and Registration Guide at for registration dates and times, quarterly deadlines, course lists, wait list information, etc.

Late Registration

To avoid late fees and financial support problems, you must enroll, register, and pay fees in a timely manner. Keep in mind:

•     If you add or drop a course after the add/drop deadlines, you will be charged a fee.

•     Fees that are paid from sources such as fellowships and academic appointments will not be paid until you are registered for a minimum of 12 units. If you do not complete your registration by the last day to pay university fees, you will be charged a late fee. See

•     You may consult The University Catalog or Class Schedule and Registration Guide for add/drop deadlines, available at the


For full-time status, you must enroll in at least 12 units per quarter, which can be any combination of upper division (100-level) or graduate course units (200-level); Seminar (290), Group Study (298), Research (299) units; or Teaching Assistant Training Practicum (396) units.  HSGG encourages you to enroll in more than 12 units (up to 16 total) of upper division and graduate courses combined, or for more than 12 units (again up to 16 units) of graduate level courses.  Enrolling for great than 16 units requires the special approval of the dean of Graduate Studies.

Enrolling in Research (HYD 299)

HYD 299 is the course in which you enroll to receive credit for your research. The course registration number (CRN) is linked directly to the quarter and to your major professor/instructor, the individual with whom you are conducting research.  There will be 3 more numbers in the CRN number depending on the faculty member involved (e.g., HYD 299-034).  You may receive from 1 to 12 units, depending upon your research activity and course load and based upon the advice of your major professor and adviser.  For your CRNs each quarter, contact the Student Affairs Officer via e-mail, letting her know with whom you wish your CRN assigned and for which quarter.

Part Time Status

If you meet eligibility criteria, you may apply for part-time status, which is 6 units or fewer, through the Registrar,

Dropping Courses

If you want to drop a course after the 10th day of instruction, you must file a Permission to Drop Petition, available at

Late Add

If you wish to add a course after the 12th day of instruction, you must have approval from the instructor or program. If permission is granted, go to the course/program department for a PTR (permission to register) number. Use SISWEB to add the course by using the issued number within three days. You will be charged $3.00.

Temporary Study at Another UC Campus

If you are in good standing and have completed at least one quarter in residence at Davis, and you wish to study temporarily at another UC campus, you may obtain an application to the Intercampus Exchange Program, at


Repeating a Course for Improvement

With the consent of the adviser and the dean of Graduate Studies, you may repeat a course in which you received a grade of C, D, F or U up to a maximum of nine units for all courses repeated.  In such repeated courses, only the most recently received grade and corresponding grade points shall be used in calculating your GPA, but all units attempted and grades received shall remain part of your permanent record.


Opting for S/U Grading

You may elect to take one normally graded course per quarter on an S/U basis provided the course is used to explore an area unrelated to your academic discipline and cannot be used to fulfill any of your graduate program course requirements.  To receive an S grade in lower or upper division work, you must achieve at least a C-. To receive an S grade in a graduate course, you must receive a B- or better. S/U petitions must be filed with Graduate Studies by the end of the fifth week of the quarter. For more information, visit The form is available at


Incomplete (I) Grade

If you are doing well in a course but are unable to complete the work because of illness, personal emergency, or other good cause, an Incomplete is appropriate.  You must remove the Incomplete grade before the end of the third succeeding quarter, otherwise the grade will revert to an F. In other words, if three quarters pass with no completion, then at the end of the third quarter the grade will revert to an F.



If your performance is less than satisfactory or you are not meeting program requirements, you are placed on academic probation and given a timeline for removing your deficiencies.  Academic probation can result in disqualification, which means you are no longer eligible to continue graduate study at UC Davis.  (The term “disqualification” should not be confused with “dismissal.” Dismissal is removal from graduate study based on behavior or conduct.)  If you are subject to disqualification, you may submit an appeal within 30 days for reconsideration for cause to the Administrative Committee of the Graduate Council. For a full explanation of disqualification, see the disqualifation and appeal policy.



If you wish to take a break from your course of study or temporarily leave the UC Campus, you have the options listed below.

Planned Education Leave (PELP)

PELP status is available if you wish to take a leave for various reasons, including health issues, family crises, clarification of educational goals, or military service.  PELP may be approved for a maximum of three quarters.  An extension can be requested, form available at  International students must have their PELP status approved by the Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS),, prior to submission of the PELP application.  PELP applications must be submitted to Graduate Studies no later than the first day of the quarter in which the PELP status is to begin. If you begin the registration process and then withdraw from registration after the first day of the quarter, you may be billed for fees owed or have to repay funding.  The HSGG Student Affairs Officer will help you initiate the application process.


Filing Fee

Filing Fee is a non-registered status available if you have advanced to candidacy for your degree. Filing Fee status maintains your eligibility to complete your degree while not registered.  You can use this option when all of your courses and research have been completed and you no longer need to use campus facilities.  Application forms and information are available at  Graduate Studies may approve a maximum of two quarters of Filing Fee status. Requests for extensions considered by application, are available at


Registration in Absentia

Graduate students whose research or study requires them to remain outside California for the entire quarter may register in absentia and pay a reduced fee. The form may be downloaded at this link.



If aforementioned options are not appropriate for you, you may withdraw during the quarter by obtaining a withdrawal petition from the Registrar, available at



If you drop out of the graduate program, but wish to return, you must file an Application for Readmission, available at at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter in which you plan to enroll.  HSGG requires additional documentation for readmission application.  You should have a major professor identified and willing to serve in this capacity.  That faculty member should notify the Student Affairs Officer of the intent to readmit.  Please see the Student Affairs Officer for additional details.



If you are a new international student, you will have an immigration hold that must be released by Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) before you can complete registration. SISS information is available at


Prior to your first quarter of enrollment, if your native language is not English, and you have an undergraduate degree from an institution at which English is not the primary language of instruction, you are required to take the English examination given by the English as Second Language (ESL) office.  More information is available at  Results of this exam will determine what, if any, ESL class you will be required to complete.



Sometimes students can understand English well enough to attend classes, but are not confident enough with their speaking to be willing to participate in class discussions or seek help through mutual dialogue with other students and faculty.  For these students it is recommended that they continue to develop their skills to get the most out of the degree.  One option is to participate in Davis Daytime Toastmasters. Another option is to take the course LIN 391:

Linguistics - LIN 391. Oral English for ESK Students (3)

DATES: August 28 - September 17

Overall Objectives

  • To improve your oral communication skills in English as needed to communicate clearly in the university environment.
  • To improve your pronunciation as well as your ability to use the language needed in specific speaking situations.
  • To increase your confidence when you speak in English whether you are teaching, giving a formal presentation, participating in a discussion or group meeting, or presenting material informally in class or to a colleague or your professor.

More information can be found here.



If you receive your graduate degree in September, December, March or June, you are eligible to participate in the annual commencement ceremony held in June.  Immediately following the ceremony is a reception for degree recipients and their guests.  In April, Graduate Studies will send you information about commencement.



Department Staff and Administrative Clusters

Graduate students are predominantly employed by their departments and should consult departmental websites to be informed about personnel, space, equipment, information technology, and safety issues, among other things.  Departments are now often served by administrative clusters, so you should find out which cluster your department belongs to and which staff in the cluster perform which functions.  Administrative clusters may require you to update your funding status quarterly, turn in time sheets, or other activities.  Computers may need to meet specified requirements to participate on the departmental network.


Being an Organized Researcher

The following text is excerpted from the book 2D Modeling and Ecohydraulic Analysis (by Professor Greg Pasternack, published by Createspace, Seattle, WA) with permission of the author.


“Over the 13 years I have been a professor, I have noticed a phenomenon in which my students and I are pretty good about documenting what we do outside with our field work as river scientists, but we are terrible at keeping track of what we do digitally in processing and analyzing data. One graduate student I know repeated an arduous spatial analysis three times over two years, because each time he was unsure how he did it before, since he took no notes, and then since he was always starting over when he came back to that work, then he never got anywhere with it. I have noticed a similar pattern to that with many people doing GIS and other spatial analyses over the years. People do a rough analysis, then set it aside for a later write-up, and then when they go to write it up they have no idea what they did, so then they try to re-do it with variable success. Many people either do not consider whether their file contents and organization are clear or they assume that everything is self-evident, but often they are not. Some people do no organization at all, simply accruing hundreds to thousands of files in each folder with no hope of ever figuring anything out later, just trying to move forward by shear momentum and prayer.


As bad as the efforts are with simple spreadsheets and text files, the situation has gotten much worse with GIS and 2D modeling. Now calculations are not done with formulas on a spreadsheet, but by a series of irreversible, untrackable, non-reproducible steps. One ends up with a folder full of intermediate files that make sense as you go through (sometimes), but a few months later have no meaning at all. ArcGIS 10 software and some other programs include methods for recording and documenting steps, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. Also, one still has to choose to use those tools as part of their workflow.


Over the years I have had the debate several times with different people as to the merits of work speed versus thoroughness of transparency via organization and documentation. I do not believe that good science or engineering comes from poor organization. It is human to make mistakes, there is no fault in that. What distinguishes science is that the analyses need to be transparent, reversible, and reproducible, so anyone can see how something was done and do it themselves with their own data. That is one motivation for writing this book in the first place, to have a documented, standardized approach to 2D modeling and ecohydraulic analysis. Ultimately, I no longer value the concept that it slows one down too much to take thorough notes, which is a common complaint I hear. My experience is that things have to be redone at least once most of the time and often many more times than that. The time-savings in avoiding note-taking is more than offset by the lost time in re-doing work over and over, and at a slower rate trying to reconstruct past efforts by oneself or predecessors.


As a result, I strongly advise you to log all of the steps you do in any and all analysis in a digital records file. The best approach is to document steps in a text file kept open side-by-side with the working files for a project. This is the equivalent of a lab notebook. Further, after an analysis is done, then a "readme" file should be created in the folder stating the name of every file in the folder and a one-sentence description of what each file is. Taking these measures is an important part of quality assurance in good professional practice. ”


In addition to being organized in how you do your research and how you track your activities, it is important to name your computer files, so that each file is unique and of known vintage.  Hard disks have a way of corrupting creation and modification dates of files, so do not rely on operating systems to provide critical information.  Some good research on naming computer files is available at



Health Insurance

UC requires that all registered students have health insurance.  The Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan (GSHIP) is designed specifically for UC Davis students, providing medical, dental and vision benefits. Registered students are automatically enrolled in GSHIP.  Students with comparable health insurance may waive participation through the online waiver application. GSHIP coverage, fees, policies, and waiver application are available at Graduate and professional students who are enrolled in GSHIP have the option to enroll eligible dependents in a voluntary plan.  For information, visit


Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The UC Davis GSA is the officially recognized student government for the entire campus and serves to build community through activities and advocacy. Visit or network with your fellow graduate students to learn who is your current HSGG representative.


Additional Campus Resources

•     Graduate Studies:

•     Union for Academic Student Employees:

•     Library:

•     Internship and Career Center:

•     Learning Skills Center:

•     Student Health and Wellness Center:

•     Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS):

•     Student Disability Center:

•     Teaching Resources Center:

•     Housing:

•     Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS):

•     Recreation:



The Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group aims to serve a diverse student body and enable them to tackle complex environmental problems that impact inequity in the United States and around the world.  HSGG receives many requests for information from national and international perspective applicants, and we highly encourage all to apply.  In practice, our committment to diversity is exhibited in our faculty and student recruitment activities as well as in our efforts to provide mentoring to applicants, admitted, and enrolled students with regard to decisions that they have to make that will affect their whole career.  HSGG has been highly successful at advertising and admitting women, with women accounting for nearly half of admitted MS students and roughly 40% of admitted PhD students on average.  In terms of underrepresented minorities, HSGG receives only a modest number of applicants, but we encourage underrepresented minorities to contact us when they apply and find out how we can help. HSGG does not track the numbers of LGBTQ students or students with disabilities, but we have educated many over the years.  HSGG receives a large number of international applicants from some countries and few from others. We work hard to find means to pay for the non-resident supplemental tuition.

Definitions (Quoting from Emam et al., 2013)

People of Color: "An umbrella term describing people from groups that have experienced historical and currentmarginalization and/or institutionalized oppression on the basis of their racial or ethnicbackground. People of color are of a variety of cultural backgrounds, religions and ethnicities,including persons of mixed descent. In this document, we are specifically referring to personsprimarily residing in the United States, and not addressing international students at this time.When using the category “people of color” in demographic data, we include the followinggroups (when data is available): African American, Asian, Hispanic/Chican@/Latin@,Indigenous/Native American/American Indian, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander."

Underrepresented minorities: "A term used in describing demographic data to mean groups that are proportionally lower in numbers in a given population as compared to a wider population (e.g., inside or outside of academic institutions). For example, Asian students are not considered underrepresented within the general population of graduate and undergraduate students at UCD, but are underrepresented within the GGE compared to the population of California. In this document, “underrepresented (minorities)” is generally defined as persons having African American, Chican@/Latin@, or Indigenous/Native American/American Indian heritage; however, it should be noted that persons from groups which generally are not underrepresented in higher education (e.g., of Asian descent) still experience disadvantages and intolerance. In addition, it should be kept in mind that in California people of color are, in fact, the majority of the population."

Translating Ideals Into Actions

It is important to think about and state our ideals with respect to honoring human dignity and promoting cultural awareness through compassion and mindfulness in our educational programs and careers.  It is also important to find ways to translate those ideals into practical actions.  One action is to be aware that people from different backgrounds have different perspectives and these should be sought out to gain broader horizons.  Another action is to volunteer the skills you are gaining through your education to address real-world problems where hydrologic science is relevant to local, national, and international inequity.  The easiest way to do that is usually by finding a societal connection to a field site or research sponsor, because that is a short extension from what you are already doing. A third action is raise questions in the classroom about local, national, and global consequences of coursework topics in relation to inequity and social injustice.

Student Awareness

Students should be mindful about whether they are engaging equally among white students and students of color as well as among students with and without disabilities.  If you are hosting an activity, think about who you are inviting and why. Think about whether you know and can correctly pronouce the names of all the students.  If you are unsure or if you have a hearing disability, try emailing fellow students asking for the phonetic spelling of the name.

Students from different socioeconomic backgrounds may not have equal ability to participate in costly social, sporting, or travel events outside of HSGG sponsored events. When thinking about or planning activities with other students, try to be considerate of what people can afford.

Assume that jokes and comments related to racial, cultural, gender, disability, and socioeconomic stereotypes are not going to be appreciated and try to refrain from making them.

Literature Cited

Emam, T., Copeland, S., Morales, L., Yamane, L., Cortez, C. 2013. Report: Racial/ethnic diversity and experiences of students of color within the Graduate Group in Ecology. University of California at Davis, Davis, CA.


Please visit for the UC Davis Principles of Community.



There is a Graduate Student Bill of Rights. Please visit the website at


Updated: July 15, 2014