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Instructional Development Award Recipients

Several undergraduate instructors who attended the 2004 SPACE workshops were awarded funds to continue their efforts in integrating spatial analysis into their course curriculums. These pages showcase their achievements. See the full recipient list.

Veronica Arias, Heather Richards, & Judith Van der Elst

Affiliation: Archaeology, University of New Mexico
Workshop Attended: GIS and Spatial Modeling for Use in Undergraduate Education
Accomplishment: A new undergraduate course on Geospatial Analysis in Archaeology.

Notable Achievements in Their Own Words

SPACE and its resources continue to play a significant role in our mission to integrate spatial perspectives into the Anthropology Department's curriculum.
...
Participating in the SPACE workshop helped us tremendously with the pedagogical aspect of creating a geospatially-focused course in archaeology.
Veronica Arias

Three of us from the University of New Mexico (UNM) attended the OSU workshop. We found it to be invaluable in the development of a newly-offered course in the Department of Anthropology at UNM, Geospatial Analysis in Archaeology (ANTH 373). SPACE and its resources continue to play a significant role in our mission to integrate spatial perspectives into the Anthropology Department's curriculum. Our participation in the SPACE workshop has also helped provide recognition of our efforts within the Anthropology Department at UNM.

This newly offered course at UNM is designed for students interested in applying geospatial technologies, such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to anthropological and archaeological research. The class consists of two components - a lecture and weekly lab exercises. It provides a general introduction to geospatial technologies, from data acquisition to data integration to spatial analysis (e.g. accessibility and visibility analysis). Data for this class is provided by several New Mexico state agencies and students work on real-world archaeological projects that will benefit the archaeological community as a whole.

Our experience with geospatial technology prior to attending the SPACE workshop was limited to our own individual and joint research. Although, we have taught other courses in Anthropology, none of us had prior experience teaching a course on geospatial analysis. Participating in the SPACE workshop helped us tremendously with the pedagogical aspect of creating a geospatially-focused course in archaeology. Our course objectives were generated, in part, by our experiences at the workshop. They include:

  • familiarize students with spatial concepts and spatial analysis;
  • formulate and evaluate archaeological questions relating to geospatial approaches;
  • learn geospatial techniques such as GIS and remote sensing, and;
  • go from the field to the lab (data collection, conversion, integration, and analysis)

Moreover, we learned the usefulness of using local data in our explanations and lab exercises. This aspect has proved invaluable in student projects, which allow students to work with real-world data in collaboration with New Mexico state agencies and contribute to the preservation efforts of archaeological sites in conjunction with the Galisteo Basin Archaeological Sites Preservation Act.

Course Materials

While in attendance at the SPACE workshop, we developed the idea of a Portfolio, which will serve as a student resource for the future. In addition, we obtained the idea for weekly evaluations at the SPACE workshop. These evaluations help us to develop and modify learning objectives, lab exercise, readings, and lectures.

Future Participation

We will be presenting a paper at The 9th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM) entitled 'Using Aerial Photography and Geographic Information Systems for Spatio-Temporal Change-Detection Analysis to Assess the Effects of Urbanization on Historical Sites'. This conference focuses not only on the types of tools available for use in urban planning and urban management, but also on the applications of such tools especially in relation to networks, mobility, urbanization, planning support, new media, and spatial simulations. Attendance and participation in this conference will help fulfill our course-development goals by offering innovative and unique approaches to further integrate spatial perspectives into our courses.

We founded The Archaeological Geospatial Working Group to promote geospatial research at UNM. We have also thought of additional ways to encourage and promote the teaching of geospatial perspectives at UNM. We intend to present the faculty with a proposal to teach another course that moves beyond archaeology to apply spatial perspectives to the broader field of anthropology. The information and knowledge obtained at this conference will be used to help create this new course.

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