We live, study, and act in places spatially. We need to understand what opportunities and constraints this framework imposes on others and ourselves. We need to develop this understanding in order to act as judiciously as possible in our personal lives, as voting citizens, and as members of the global community. In this capacity, geography is a vital discipline for the 21st century, as many of the challenges faced by the world's societies meet at the interface of social, political, economic, and natural environments.
The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at UAA seeks to understand complex relationships between people and environments, and to help students to develop the skills, concepts, and values needed to uncover and improve these relationships.
Faculty in the GES Department systematically integrate service learning, reflection and critical thinking activities across the departmental curriculum. Our hope is that by participating in such activities, students will become more familiar and more comfortable reflecting on their experiences and by the end of their undergraduate career they will be better able to articulate what they have learned and the importance of what they learned.
In every class, our objectives are to:
- use service learning as an effective means for bridging the gap between classroom-based knowledge and on-the-ground skill-building,
- reflect on lessons learned from partnering with community organizations in real-world problem-solving situations, and
- demonstrate how service learning cultivates environmental leadership and stewardship.
SPOTLIGHT ON FACULTY
Shannon Donovan is no master gardener, but she sure recognizes a good planning problem when she sees it.More about Shannon Donovan's research