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Instructional Development Award Recipients

Several undergraduate instructors who attended the 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007 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.

Michael Strager

Affiliation: Resource Management, West Virginia University
Workshop Attended: GIS and Spatial Modeling for the Undergraduate Social Science Curriculum, OSU, 2006
Accomplishment: Developed a new course on Applied GIS for the Social Sciences to be taught for the first time in fall 2008.

While attending the SPACE workshop, I was inspired to learn from not only the instructors at Ohio State but also my fellow workshop colleagues of the importance and opportunity to make a difference in extending GIS and spatial analysis to the social sciences. In addition, the many ideas I learned from the workshop also helped me to build a case to convince curriculum administrators of the benefit and usefulness of developing more specific GIS courses beyond those offered by a Geography program.
Michael Strager

Context for Course

Course Title: Applied GIS for the Social Sciences
The demand for this course at West Virginia University is being driven by many different University programs that include Business and Economics, Parks and Recreation, Natural Resource and Envionmental Economics, Sociology, History, and Rural Sociology. There is currently a course – Foundations for Applied GIS that has seen increased enrollment from 13 students during its first semester to now over 45. The interest has fueled the need for more specific courses with applications and examples for students in the social sciences. This course is designed to meet that need. The opportunity to extend GIS and spatial analysis to these programs will have profound effects on not only the undergraduate students, but also the many graduate students who can extend their research and the research of their professors. The goal is to develop pedagogical concepts for graduate teaching assistants and socioeconomic datasets and exercises to make the course very appropriate for the social science students.

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