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Instructional Development Award Recipients

Several undergraduate instructors who attended the 2004, 2005, or 2006 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.

Claudia Scholz

Affiliation: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Trinity University, San Antonio
Workshop Attended: Spatial Analysis in the Social Science Curriculum: Enhancing Undergraduate Learning, UCSB
Accomplishment: (1) This fall I taught a class titled Social Change and Development for the first time and incorporated several spatial thinking exercises into the class; (2) I arranged for the Teaching & Learning section of the American Sociological Association to sponsor a panel on Integrating Spatial Thinking into the Sociology Curriculum during the 2007 annual meeting; (3) With University of Texas-San Antonio Archeology graduate student Jacob Freeman, I started a GIS Study Group at UTSA, meeting weekly to discuss and work on GIS-related problems; and (4) I assisted a UTSA Psychology graduate student in the preparation of a neighborhood map that will guide a door-to-door sampling strategy to survey the impact of urban green spaces (i.e., parks) on mental health.

Notable Achievements in Her Own Words

I would not be able to do any of these things were it not for CSISS and SPACE. Before the workshop, I had never used GIS tools. Today I am an evangelist for these tools, though my knowledge is still very basic. My SPACE experience also changed the way I approach teaching. I have increased my use of data visualization in lecture presentations. I have pushed students to look for the spatial aspects of their research problems.
Claudia Scholz

In the Social Change and Development class, one exercise had students match countries on a list to their shapes on a blank map. The goal was to encourage students to study atlases and become more aware of world geography in preparation for our discussions of global development. Alan Thomas’ Third World Atlas was used in at least half of the lectures to illustrate the spatial aspects of topics such as colonialism and environmental deterioration. In another exercise, students used interactive maps from the website of the PBS documentary Commanding Heights to trace dominant national development models across time and space.

For the GIS Study Group meetings at UTSA, each student worked on his or her own research, sharing knowledge and data and helping each other to sort out software-specific problems. One undergraduate sociology student mapped membership of a local neighborhood association in order to detect sections of the neighborhood that might not be represented.

Future Plans

Participating in an ESRI training course in spring 2007 will broaden the possibilities for using spatial tools in my teaching and mentoring of students and will build on the GIS skills I developed during my SPACE-UCSB-2006 experience.

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