Building upon groundbreaking efforts that began in the 1990s, the University of Redlands announced its new center of distinction, the Center for Spatial Studies (CSS). The Center for Spatial Studies, which opened on July 1, 2014, provides faculty and students greater access to staff who can help them integrate spatial thinking and technologies into instruction, research, and service to the University and community at large.
Additionally, the Center for Spatial Studies staff will support the efforts of faculty to secure sponsored projects that contribute to scholarship and instruction at the University with its expertise in spatial analysis, programming, project management, and fund development.
The University of Redlands houses several programs and centers focused on spatial studies such as the internationally recognized MS GIS Program, the new Center for Business GIS and Spatial Analysis, the innovative Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis, the Learning Spatially (LENS) Initiative as well as a Spatial Studies minor offered to students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The LENS program has led efforts to enhance spatial infusion within the broad framework of the liberal arts. The Center for Business GIS and Spatial Analysis in the School of Business has built a niche in business GIS instruction and scholarship that supports internationalization and community outreach.
“By increasing its support for integrating spatial studies into the campus community, the University of Redlands will reinforce its reputation as an innovator in higher education. Few institutions of higher education have attempted such a broad integration of spatial reasoning and professional practice into their teaching, scholarship, and research,” said David Fite, interim provost and chief academic officer.
According to Fite, the Center for Spatial Studies will benefit from its close relationship with Esri; the legacy of the Redlands Institute as an innovator in spatial decision support systems; the leadership of the University’s acclaimed MS GIS program; and the foundation laid by the LENS Initiative. “Spatial thinking is a key habit of mind for the 21st century,” Fite added.
Director of Spatial Studies, Dr. Steven Moore, will lead the center and explained that staff and resources will support faculty and student efforts to measure, interpret and think critically about spatial patterns in data “from nanoscales to the cosmos.”
“The mission of the Center 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,” Moore said.
“Students and faculty will work side-by-side using the technology to help visualize the consequences of alternative futures and collaborate to make better choices for our planet and ourselves,” Moore added.