MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Assistant Professor of Geography Jeff Howarth has won the 2014 Gladstone Award Honoring Excellence in Teaching. The award, established in 2012 by Middlebury parents Christopher D. Gladstone and Elise J. Rabekoff, was created to recognize faculty who have exhibited exceptional teaching and mentoring within and beyond the classroom. The award provides support for faculty to undertake a project that enhances their teaching within the classroom or supports collaborative student/faculty work outside the classroom.
“Jeff has been a pioneer in applying blended learning approaches to the teaching of Geographic Information Systems, for which he has received national recognition,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim Spears. “He has been a committed mentor to students, with several of his students winning or being named finalists for national awards for their work.”
In his Gladstone-funded project Howarth will collaborate with two undergraduate research assistants to create maps that visualize human history and activity on Santa Cruz Island, off the coast of California. Howarth and the students will conduct two weeks of fieldwork on the island, followed by a semester of map design and production, then travel to the North American Cartographic Information Society conference to present drafts of the work.
“The idea that maps can help natural scientists incorporate knowledge of historical land use activities in their studies was what got me excited about becoming a geographer 20 years ago,” said Howarth in his project proposal. “I would love to share this excitement with students, and complete a long-held dream of mine: making maps that help people see the past in the spaces they now experience.”