Monthly Archives: June 2015

Summer Faculty Institute 2015

At this year’s Summer Faculty Institute, I presented on using PolicyMap to examine environmental justice issues in local Delaware.  Studying environmental justice communities with maps allows students to see several related social phenomena, including race and socio-economic status, layered with specific geographic areas that have disproportionate levels of environmental burdens.  The spatial patterns of race, socio-economic status, and pollution are not a coincidence, and have deep roots in industry, poverty, housing, race, and discrimination.  This presentation highlights one example drawn from the planned curriculum for a general education course on integrating spatial visualizations into social science analyses.  The curriculum, supported by a 2014-15 IT/CTAL Innovative Transformation Grant, is being developed for a course that will allow non-geography, non-social science students an opportunity to see the power of mapping in the social sciences without a sophisticated GIS background. The presentation is available via the link below, and the class will be taught in the Fall 2016 semester.  Stay tuned!

Presenting at the Summer Faculty Institute

At the 2015 Summer Faculty Institute at UD this month, I am presenting on my efforts to create a new course/curriculum that integrates geo-spatial visualizations of social science phenomena for non-social science, non-geography students.  This course will use PolicyMap – cloud-based software with a geographic information systems (GIS) underpinning – that has powerful mapping tools that can analyze a variety of sociological issues.  The students do not need any prerequisites, nor a social science/GIS background to take the course, and will ultimately come out with deep insight into how spatial context is an integral component of understanding complex social issues.  My presentation at the Summer Faculty Institute will focus on creating layered maps that exemplify environmental justice issues, examining residential areas with disproportionately high levels of environmental burdens, high levels of poverty, and concentrations of people of color.  Here’s a link to the webpage for the Institute: