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.
Christopher L. Holoman
Affiliation: Political Science, Hilbert College
Notable Achievements in His Own Words
... The SFSU workshop was perfect for me. Although I had regularly taught courses with strong geographic content and had a sense of how GIS could be utilized, I had had no opportunity to learn the basics of the GIS software. Not only did I acquire this knowledge, but also observed excellent pedagogy in the field and got great ideas from my workshop colleagues in diverse fields. Most importantly, I have had my own ideas on spatial thinking broadened, especially in terms of spatial analysis as a tool in the classroom—a tool applicable over a wide range of subject matters.
I will be teaching an introductory GIS course in Fall 2006, using Richard LeGates's new book, Think Globally, Act Regionally as one of the primary texts. We used several of the exercises from the book during the workshop last summer. Although the class will largely be focused on basics of GIS and "driving the box," the emphases of LeGates's book are particularly appropriate given the curricular context of the course: it is within an interdisciplinary department (Law, Government, and Planning) and integrates well with our new Liberal Learning curriculum.
In a class I am teaching this semester (Spring 2006), Weapons and War, I am supervising one student for honors credit, which entails completing a separate project. Using ideas gleaned during the summer workshop, I am asking him to model the projection of military force across space. Using available data and GIS hardware and software, I hope we will be able to illustrate to the class the continued importance of space in war, even in this age of high tech weaponry.
One of the centerpieces of the new Liberal Learning Curriculum at Hilbert is an interdisciplinary, team-taught Current Events Symposium which, effective Fall 2006, will be required for all juniors. We have been teaching pilot sections for the last three semesters. As the text for the course, students are required to subscribe the daily New York Times. One of the requirements of the course is a weekly journal entry summarizing and commenting on one story in the Times during the previous week. During the 1/3 of the semester when the students are under my supervision, as a result of my participation in the workshop, this semester (Spring 2006) I have required that their journal entries focus specifically on one of the data-rich maps from the Times, which they publish regularly. As Edward Tufte notes, and was discussed at SFSU, the Times is a reliable source of well-done maps. This has made students aware of this tool and encouraged them to think spatially.
I will organize a workshop in Fall 2006 to provide orientation in spatial analysis for Hilbert faculty. The emphasis will be on understanding the opportunities for spatial analysis in a wide range of disciplines, and will give all interested Hilbert faculty exposure to and a chance to experiment with our newly installed GIS lab using ArcInfo 9.0. In developing this workshop, I will draw on my own knowledge gained through SPACE, as well as the expertise at the NCGIA at SUNY-Buffalo.