Upcoming Spring 2018 Workshops

The grand reveal: the spring 2018 workshop schedule! All workshops are held in the Lab, Sabin-Reed 104.  We like to offer a variety of workshops each semester, so we can also host tailored workshops for your group or department. If interested, please contact sal@smith.edu. Please note that two workshops require pre-registration — you can sign-up […]

J-Term 2018 Review

The SAL offered two courses during interterm: Introduction to GIS and Drone Thinking. Introduction to GIS As foretold by a fortune cookie, “the great aim of education is not knowledge but action…with GIS” — this year’s GIS class emphasized the pedagogical shift to how to learn GIS rather than teach GIS. The materials covered in […]

Interterm GIS

With 17 students, including Smithies, Five College students, and community members, this year’s interterm GIS class was one of the largest we can remember.  After modeling a flood scenario in Florence and discussing the nature of GIS data, the students were the first to test the blended learning module on cartographic design that we’ve been […]

Fly-Day the 13th: The Conclusion of “Fun with Drones”

This post was authored by Alex Widstrand ’17, co-instructor of the SAL’s interterm drone course “Fun with Drones”.  It originally appeared on the Drone Thinking Initiative blog on January 14th. As this week comes to a close, we marked Friday, 1/13, as the final day of our first interterm drone course here at Smith.  We […]

Wrapping Up Fall 2016

This semester has been one of the busiest that the SAL has seen.  In total, 11 classes worked with our spatial technology at some point during this semester.  We also supported student projects and worked on several of our own projects. Here are some of the highlights:   ~Classes~ Lisa Armstrong’s class Gender, Land, and […]

Drone Course – January 2017

The Interterm 2017 Drone Course will offer students an opportunity to learn about drone technology with a focus on mapping and image analysis to support conversation efforts.   In addition to gaining an understanding of the technology, students will learn how to fly drones safely, legally, and responsibly in the national and public airspace. The course […]

Summer science classes in the SAL

For four weeks during July and August, the SAL was abuzz with activity as dozens of high-school students designed web maps on topics ranging from local geology to bird migrations in East Asia.  We worked with three different classes in the high school summer programs this year: Anne Wibiralske’s Field Studies in Sustainability class, Ethan […]

Flying Drones in Popham Beach

Two weeks ago, the SAL team headed to Popham Beach State Park, Maine, with Prof. Bob Newton’s Geomorphology class.  Bob has taken his Geomorphology class there for several years to assess erosion at the beach. A major erosion event in the mid 2000s threatened the park’s facilities and nearby homes, which were previously shielded from […]

Story Maps in the Classroom

Maps are increasingly popular as storytelling tools in the world of digital media – just a glance at the homepages of the New York Times, The Atlantic, or the Huffington Post confirms that. We’ve experienced this wave of mapping enthusiasm in the SAL, and it’s already started changing how we teach GIS.  Moreso than conventional GIS maps, Story […]

Interterm GIS Course

Like most years, the SAL team taught a week-long GIS course during interterm to give a GIS jumpstart to students who want to learn what GIS is all about but can’t take (or haven’t yet taken) the semester-long GIS course. This year, however, we made some big changes to our curriculum that we’re pretty excited […]