Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

Digital Pedagogy & Scholarship, Bucknell University

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Project Goal

Recognizing the need for broad support for GIS across the institution, Bucknell created the GIS Specialist position in 2009 and invested heavily in developing a program that would integrate GIS & spatial thinking into teaching and research across the university. Locating this program centrally on campus within the Library & IT division reflected our commitment to support GIS equally across academic disciplines. Our goal was to embed GIS & spatial thinking throughout the academic experience by growing and sustaining an interdisciplinary community of ‘spatial’ faculty. We partner with faculty and students to generate ideas for courses and research projects, identify/apply appropriate methodologies, create spatial datasets, write course materials, produce scholarly publications, and develop GIS technical expertise, and we have seen our program grow to include staff from 4 divisions within L&IT and support faculty/students from 27 academic departments, 58 courses and 91 research projects.
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Business Problem Solved

In many academic disciplines, it is increasingly an expectation that faculty will include GIS/spatial methodologies and approaches in their research and scholarship. Moreover, there is a growing demand for college graduates who can apply spatial thinking to solve problems. While integrating spatial thinking and methods into courses and research projects leads to deeply engaging learning experiences for students and faculty alike, it requires significant investment of time and energy up front. Prior to creating the role of GIS Specialist in 2009, there was no coordinated support for faculty or students who wanted to integrate GIS into their work. The tech infrastructure and support system we have developed over the last 8 years has helped create a climate in which innovative projects and partnerships can emerge and flourish.

Technology Implemented

We are currently using ArcGIS 10.3 for Desktop, ArcGIS 10.3 for Server and ArcGIS Online. We also regularly use ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, ArcGIS Network Analyst, ModelBuilder and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.

Development Team Biography

Bucknell Faculty advocated for GIS support and invited us into their teaching & scholarship - they are the heart of this program. Param Bedi is the VP for L&IT. He is the chief strategist and visionary for L&IT planning & implementation and created the GIS specialist position in 2009. Janine Glathar is the GIS Specialist. She has worked for more than 15 years in the field of geospatial technologies as a research specialist, technical analyst, and educator. Luyang Ren is the Web Application Specialist. She works with faculty and students on developing custom apps. Carrie Pirmann is the Social Sciences Librarian. She works with students and faculty across social science disciplines & collaborates on data-intensive projects. Lorraine Eisenhuth is a Systems Integrator. She built & maintains our ArcGIS Server infrastructure. Todd Fogle is a Senior Tech Support Specialist with 20+ years experience. He creates customized, automated installers for ArcGIS & related applications.

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