Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

H.L. Vacher, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jeffrey G. Ryan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey R. Raker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew A. Pasek, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer M. Wenner, Ph.D.


Careers, Confidence, Curriculum, Quantitative Literacy, Satisfaction


The Geoscience Quantitative Preparation Survey (GQPS) was developed to address a deficiency in the available literature regarding the competency and preparation of early-career geologists in geoscience job-related quantitative skills – namely, geologic numeracy. The final version of the GQPS included self-confidence, usage, satisfaction, and demographic sections. The GQPS was expected to produce data that would allow for an evaluation of the geologic numeracy of early-career geologists and the success of approximately 20 years of increased focus on quantitatively literate geoscience graduates.

The self-confidence section of the GQPS included quantitative methods and quantitative skills. The usage section asked whether participants used methods or skills from the confidence section in both work and non-work settings. Satisfaction items asked how satisfied participants were with the quantitative preparation they received as undergraduates, relative to career needs, and included items on quantitative problem solving, quantitative communication, and computers. Limited demographic information was collected including time since bachelor’s graduation, years of related experience, undergraduate alma mater, current job status and field, and highest level of education.

Satisfaction values for quantitative problem solving and quantitative communication indicate that respondents were largely satisfied with their undergraduate preparation, with values slightly higher for the geoscience department than for the university as a whole. Satisfaction items related to the use of computers were nearly uniform across all response levels and were not indicative of satisfaction (or any other particular response).

Demographic responses indicate it is reasonable to make some generalizations to the overall population of early-career geologists. Early-career geologists in the sample population showed indications of geologic numeracy. This result indicates the educational trend of the last 20 years of focus on quantitatively literate geoscience graduates has had some success, although this focus cannot be compared to prior years due to lack of data. The GQPS was successful for answering its research questions, but requires validation as a complete scale before it is likely to be used by outside parties.

GQPSDataC.xlsx (99 kB)

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