Teaching with Geospatial Technologies


This Community of Practice allows faculty to explore the use and infusion of geospatial technologies (Geographic Information Systems – GIS, Global Positioning Systems – GPS, and Earth Imagery) into the curriculum. Members will develop teaching strategies and customizable activities that can be used within and across disciplinary boundaries.


Facilitator: Mukila Maitha

  • Jennifer Bell, Adult Education Development
  • Tong Cheng, Biology
  • James Edstrom, Library
  • James Gramlich, Sociology
  • Kimberly Jaeger, World Languages
  • Rich Johnson, English
  • Nellie Khalil, Biology
  • Mukila Maitha, Geography
  • Michael Ribant, Geography




The artifacts found below have been developed by members of the Teaching with Geospatial Technologies Community of Practice.

Connecting Across Campus: Using a Community of Practice Model for GIS Infusion

This presentation was about how we formed a Community of Practice to infuse GIS into courses across disciplines, enabling training, collaboration, and innovation for faculty of differing skill levels and needs at Harper. Our projects range from teaching geography students how to use GIS to explore flood hazards and the collection and mapping of epidemiological data for a biology course, using online maps for wayfinding in German language classes, and by students in a study-abroad sociology course in London.

Story Map Tutorial for ENG 102 (Honors)

Students enrolled in Dr. Richard Johnson’s ENG 102 (Honors) service learning study abroad program to Nicaragua in 2018 were required to document their experiences by creating a dynamic GIS web application on ArcGIS Online that incorporated maps, narrative, static images, and in some cases video. The students completed story map tutorials, provided by Mukila Maitha (Geography), that helped them build technical skills and learn about the geography of Nicaragua, collected location information using GPS devices while in the field, and also kept journals which were used for the narrative text upon return.

GIS Story Maps in a German Language Course

Kim Jaeger created a new assignment for GER 201 in which students created their own ArcGIS Online StoryMaps as summaries of pretend trips to German cities. They had specific language goals for the assignment and were instructed to create a mock trip to the city. Each student researched tourism in his/her city of choice and made a StoryMap to summarize their pretend trip.