In 2010 the University of Redlands was awarded a 3-year grant from the W. M. Keck
Foundation to support our LENS activities. This funding creates new opportunities
for faculty and undergraduate students in multiple disciplines within the College
of Arts and Sciences to use maps, mapping, and spatial perspectives in their teaching,
learning, and research.
Faculty Fellowship Program
Each year LENS Fellows will be selected to participate in our Summer Institute
and focus on developing new curricular materials related to maps, mapping, and spatial
perspectives. Fellows will share their developments with their students and the
wider University Community. Each Fellow is eligible to receive up to $5500 in compensation
for participation in our program. Please click here for information on applying for a 2012 Fellowship.
FAQ for LENS Fellowship
The LENS initiative promotes spatial thinking as a component of a higher education
curriculum. Spatial thinking is the ability to interpret and visualize things like
location, distance, direction, movement, relationships, and change over space. People
are using spatial thinking when they study how a disease spreads, or when they characterize
different cities or regions, or when they imagine how geography influences military
decisions, or when they design a reconstruction plan following a natural disaster,
or envision how actors will fit together on a stage or musicians within an orchestra
pit. Spatial thinking allows us to understand “why it is like this, here” whether
we are talking about a pattern of stars in a distant galaxy, a pattern of crimes
in a neighborhood, or a pattern of growth in a petri dish. We believe it’s an important
part of learning overall, and one that deserves more attention. The W. M. Keck Foundation
Maps are a graphical representation of information. They are useful tools that support
learning, whether they represent geographic space (such as a map showing the geologic
fault lines that run through Southern California or Haiti) or intellectual space
(such as a concept map that helps to illustrate the connections within a complex
The act of mapping itself is instructional. When students read a historic text and
plot out the sequence of events on a map, they can see how the pieces of the story
fit together. Sketching a flow chart or building a physical model also creates understanding
about how ideas or objects work together, how they’re connected and what might happens
if something changes.
When we take a spatial perspective, we use our inherent capacity to learn through
information that’s arranged spatially. Those arrangements help us understand what
we’re seeing and how things are related to one another. We usually use representations
of that information, including maps, globes, models, graphs, charts, etc. This information
is also visual, and as we teach, we can help students develop graphicacy
skills and become critical viewers of the information that confronts them each day.
Each Fellow will decide what will work best for them, but their materials should
be designed to allow students to experience how maps, mapping, or spatial perspectives
inform the course content. An outcome could be an entirely new course or a revised
existing one. It could be a series of labs or a new module. It could involve historic
maps, hand drawn maps, or online maps. It could use a virtual globe or other 3-dimensional
model. It could use spatial data that you already have, that you or your students
collect, or that you purchase. Ideally the students eventually would get to do hands-on,
active work with whatever was organized or created.
Geographic information systems (GIS) is a powerful and versatile suite of tools
that lets us organize, manage, analyze, display and communicate with spatial information.
GIS can be used as software that is installed on your computer or accessed over
a web browser, in 2-dimensions like a traditional map or 3-dimensions over a virtual
globe (like Google Earth). GIS is used frequently on campus, in teaching, research,
and operations. Its use spans many scales, from a full graduate degree (the MS GIS
program) to single, stand-alone GIS-based modules or labs in many different courses.
Though there is no particular mandate that GIS must be used by the LENS Fellows,
there are a wide range of opportunities and ways to incorporate GIS, as best suits
each particular Fellow’s needs. If it’s appropriate, we will help identify the aspects
of GIS that may be most helpful for each Fellow to learn and will make training
You do not have to have experience with maps, mapping or spatial tools; if you do,
that will of course give you a “leg up” in starting your proposed project, but it
is not required. As long as you are open to spatial thinking approaches, we can
help you build a foundation for your Fellowship (for example, by attending the Short
Spring Spatial Workshop or some of the LENS mini-mapping sessions).
It is more important to have clear goals and objectives for what you want to do
with your Fellowship, and how you imagine achieving these goals, than to have prior
experience with maps or spatial tools.
As part of the Fellowship, we will have some access to the programmers and developers
at the Redlands Institute (RI) to help us create or customize GIS applications.
As an example for what kind of customization can be built, RI Developer Nate Strout
recently created our version of a “quad viewer” – so that users can visualize up
to four different “georeferenced” images or maps concurrently. Since these images
are all of the same location and extent, when you zoom into one of the frames it
will zoom into the same places in the other windows. We’ve used this interface to
compare historical maps made of the same place but from different times, but the
windows could also hold many other types of spatial information.
In order to begin the 2010 Fellowship year as quickly as possible, its theme (Mapping
People) was chosen right away because it is consistent with a broad range of faculty
interests and coincides with the Census Bureau’s (last) decennial census.
For the 2011 and 2012 Fellowship years, faculty will be asked to propose a theme
that describes their particular interests when they submit their proposals. The
selection committee will thus decide on a theme as they evaluate the proposals that
complement each other.
A group of multi-disciplinary faculty may submit their proposals together, if they
intend to work under a common theme. As a broad example, a mathematician, a physicist,
and an artist could apply together to work in parallel under the theme of “Learning
Through 3-Dimensional Representations.” Or, a political scientist, a biologist,
and a sociologist might team up to examine issues around “Borders and Boundaries.”
In addition, starting in 2011 two faculty may submit a joint proposal to work on
one project or class together, and share a single fellowship position and stipend.
For example, two faculty co-teaching a course on Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” might
decide to share a fellowship in order to develop a curriculum that includes spatial
approaches or tools, such as an interactive map showing the pilgrimage route as
described through key narrative passages or images.
In your proposal, be sure to describe your proposed theme for the year, and note
whether you are applying as: (a) and individual faculty; (b) a group of multi-disciplinary
faculty; or (c) two faculty sharing a fellowship.
The Summer Institute is central and very important. During that time, the Fellows
will have the chance to explore and develop their ideas within a space that has
both expert intellectual and technical help. You will have a chance to ask many
new questions, gain many new ideas from experts and fellow peers, and learn some
new technologies and methodologies. It is essential that the Fellows are able to
participate in the full 5-day Institute and be willing to give their full attention
to the experience.
There will be time to begin or develop the curricular component, but it will almost
certainly take more time beyond this week-long event. You are not expected to have
completed your curricular development work by the end of the Institute.
Yes, but it needs to be part of your sabbatical proposal submitted to the FRC.
The award from the W. M. Keck Foundation is for a three-year period, 2010 – 2012.
In order to both maximize and equalize the amount of time available to each Fellow,
we chose to run the Fellowships on a calendar year. The Summer Institute will form
the backbone of the year.
LENS Fellowship applications will be evaluated on three criteria:
- 1) The intellectual merit of the proposed mapping ideas
(innovation, creativity, connections to new or existing curricula, connections to
the year’s theme), (40 points).
- 2) The broader impacts of the proposed ideas (breadth,
depth, or both; the ways in which students may eventually participate and/or benefit;
the degree to which participating as a LENS Fellow may shape a faculty member’s
work in their discipline/their department/the Institution, etc.), (40 points).
- 3) The likelihood of success (how feasible are any new technologies to be built
or customized; how likely are data to be acquired and ready in a timely manner;
how committed is the person to learning new technologies or incorporating new approaches
into their pedagogy), (20 points).
In 2011, the LENS Fellows selection committee consists of the following people:
the Director of Spatial Curriculum & Research (Diana Sinton), the GIS and Mapping
Support Consultant in ITS (David Smith), the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
(Barbara Morris), and the current Chairs of the College of Arts & Sciences’ Assembly
(Kathie Jenni and Sandy Koonce.) 2010 Fellows (Wes Bernardini, Priya Jha, and Kathy
Ogren) may provide input as well.
The intention of the $5,500 grant money is to support a Fellow’s work with maps
and mapping. We have designed the program to be as flexible as possible, to accommodate
the wide range of faculty situations and needs. The funds could cover one course
release (to cover the salary of an adjunct instructor), and any remaining funds
could be provided as supplemental pay. Funds could also be reimbursed for project-related
expenses (data, materials and supplies, travel, child care, etc.). Or, the entire
grant can be dispersed as supplemental pay. In that situation, $500 of the grant
goes towards benefits and the balance will arrive as part of your regular (taxed)
Please be explicit in your Fellowship proposal about how you plan to use the stipend.
If you choose to request a course release, the funds to cover the release will be
made available to your department for the requested semester. If you choose to have
all or part of the stipend disbursed as supplemental pay, these funds will be paid
in two installments: half at the time of the Institute, and half at the end of the
Fellowship year upon completion of your project. If you have further questions about
the grant money, please contact the University’s grants administrator, Bob Baird
(x-8371 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
No, the course release is completely optional. Some people may be unable to devote
extensive summer time to curriculum development and the extra time during a semester
may be an option for them, but we realize that it would not be possible for all.
It is only one of several possible options.
Yes. That would allow you to have the curriculum development time while LENS staff
are able to work with you directly.
Of course we hope that this would not happen, but if the situation were to arise,
Dean Morris would work with the parties involved to find a resolution.
Each year, up to three students will be selected as interns to learn about maps,
mapping and spatial perspectives. They will be paid $3000 under the Keck grant.
They will participate in the Institute and will work with one of the Fellows. This
work can be done during the summer or during the academic year. The Fellows can
identify a student with whom they would like to work, or students who are already
studying mapping on campus could be selected as well.
Sure. As one option, with this new funding, in each year we will have a 3-day Spring
Spatial Skills Workshop (S3W) during which time faculty will explore a wide range
of mapping applications and get a sense of how geospatial tools can support teaching
and learning. All CAS faculty will be invited to apply to participate in this workshop.
This experience might inspire you to apply to be a Fellow in the following year.
Each participant will receive a $300 stipend to attend, and there is no obligation
to create any curricular component following the event (but we hope you would want
to!). The 2011 spatial skills workshop will be held April 28-29 (during the
week between the spring semester and May term). Other ways to participate include
mini-mapping workshops for faculty and students offered throughout the year, and
guest lectures and colloquia through LENS and MS GIS programs.
2010 and 2011 LENS Summer Institutes
Visit the 2011 Summer Institute website
and the 2010 Summer Institute website.
Short Spring Spatial Workshop
As part of building our spatially-infused learning community, we will be offering
a 3-day workshop to develop faculty awareness and early skills around maps and mapping.
Our objective is to have faculty become more confident and competent at imagining
and implementing the ways that spatial perspectives could be integrated into their
teaching and/or research.
This event will take place during the week between Spring Term and May Term (April
We can support up to 10 individual faculty at this event, and each person will receive
$300 in supplemental pay for participating. Attendance at all three days is obligatory.
Any person who is a tenured, tenure-track, or full-time contract instructor and
is part of an undergraduate academic program in the College of Arts and Sciences
at the University of Redlands is eligible to attend.
To attend, please send an email to Diana Sinton (email@example.com) and
David Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) in which you write a short (< 300 word) note
about what, if any, spatial curricular ideas you have or want to have. For example,
you could share an idea about a geographical question that you have always wanted
to explore with students, or comment on your current or future plans for working
with a spatial data set, or describe any ways in which you have students visualize
spatial arrangements of information in your classes.
Participation is on a first come – first served basis. Responses will inform workshop
content but will not be used for participation decisions. With the funding from
the W. M. Keck Foundation, we will have a S3W workshop in 2012 as well. We will
also continue to have mini-mapping workshops scheduled during the regular academic