The University of Redlands has been awarded a three-year grant from the W. M. Keck
Foundation for a project entitled LEarNing Spatially (LENS): Infusing Spatial Thinking
into Undergraduate Education. This funding creates new opportunities for faculty
and undergraduate students within the College of Arts and Sciences to use maps,
mapping, and spatial perspectives in their teaching, learning, and research.
Each year, several Redlands faculty will be selected as LENS Fellows to collaborate
around a unifying spatial theme or concept. Through consultations, workshops, and
technical support, the Fellows will explore ways in which their teaching and research
can be informed by innovative mapping ideas. At the center of this is a summer Institute,
when the Fellows will be joined by colleagues from other institutions as well as
domain experts who will give presentations, lead discussions, and share their insights.
During the Institute, participants will explore that year’s topic in discussions
that will be both structured and open-ended. The Institute is not a “technology
workshop” per se, though there will be times when we use technologies to illustrate
or demonstrate a point. Instead, this Institute provides an opportunity to understand
new questions and gain insights into these topics from an intellectual perspective.
We will in particular explore the connections between the participants’ domain areas
and the spatial or geographic questions we have about those, the capacity for existing
technologies to align with those questions, and how we can help students learn through
mapping to appreciate and address the questions themselves.