US: The University of Redlands has opened its Centre for Spatial Studies. The new Centre will provide expertise in spatial analysis, programming, project management, and fund development to aid in faculty research and student learning. The centre will also further the work the university has already done to integrate spatial reasoning into many different disciplines, including the arts, sciences, anthropology, sociology, history and government, officials said.
“There are growing benefits to spatial thinking, both in higher education and across our society,” said David Fite, the university’s interim provost and chief academic officer. “So much of our orientation now, so to speak, is towards spatial thinking, whether it’s the GPS we use in our cars or the ways in which urban and regional planners engage in their planning.”
Fite said the university has much to gain from the centre’s resources, including multidisciplinary engagement and the spatial-thinking-oriented School of Business programs.
“The mission of the Centre for Spatial Studies will be to help faculty and students think and act spatially, using geographic information systems (GIS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing, photogrammetry, scientific image analysis, concept mapping, emerging cloud tools for integrating narratives into visual representations, and even art, movement, and dance,” said Spatial Studies Director Steven Moore in a news release.
Also on the new centre’s staff are Spatial Technology Director Nathan Strout, Spatial Resource Manager Lisa Benvenuti and Spatial Applications Specialist Vani Nellaiappan.
Esri, the Redlands-based GIS software development firm, has been an integral part of the centre’s genesis, including the provision of licenses for the master of science program in geographic information systems, adjunct instruction from Esri employees, and the inception of the Redlands Forum, officials said.
Fite also indicated the possibility of a spatial studies major in the future but said nothing has been decided as of yet. “These would be possibilities that we will explore over the next three to five years.”
Source: The Sun Education