The third cohort of faculty LENS (LEarNing Spatially) Fellows have been announced for 2012. Led by Dr. Diana Sinton, director of spatial curriculum and research, LENS is a campus-wide initiative that promotes spatial literacy as a foundational component in curriculum, programs, and research. In the coming year, the LENS Fellows will work on curricular ideas around the theme of “Mapping Communities.”
The 2012 LENS Fellows are:
- Dr. Lillian Larsen, Department of Religious Studies, who uses maps and mapping to teach critical reading and analysis of religious history and religious texts. During this fellowship year, she will develop materials that invite students to apply a spatial lens in exploring geographical networks of religious movement, intersection, and exchange.
- Dr. Rebecca Lyons, Department of Chemistry, who measures the amount of gasoline components and other compounds that are present in surface water, often as the result of motor vehicle traffic. One dimension of her fellowship project will be to compare watersheds in the Inland Empire and in the Eastern Sierras, understanding how they vary so the information can become part of spatial models for watershed management.
- Dr. Sharon Oster, Department of English, who teaches and writes about the Holocaust through its oral accounts and written memoirs. During this fellowship year, she will explore the spatial dimensions of Holocaust geography and investigate ways in which her students gain perspective on representing individual and collective suffering and loss through a geographical lens.
- Dr. Jim Sandos, Department of History, who is interested in mapping the depopulation of the Indian communities in the outreach area of the San Jose mission in California (1797-1850), after contact with Europeans. He hopes to illustrate the social dynamics and flow between the developing mission community and the remaining Indian population in tribal lands.
The LENS Fellows will participate in a summer institute on campus during which they will engage with disciplinary experts on these topics, as well as interact with other faculty from around the United States interested in similar disciplinary themes. The outcomes from their curricular development activities will be shared with students and the larger University community.
In 2010, the University of Redlands was awarded a three-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to support LENS activities. This funding along with a partnership with Esri, the Redlands-based world leader in GIS technology, create new opportunities for faculty and undergraduate students in multiple disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences at the University to use maps, mapping, and spatial perspectives in their teaching, learning, and research.