SpatiaLABS are written at three levels, which are broad enough to be used in a variety of disciplines in the arts and sciences.
Labs demonstrate the value of visualizing data and introduce students to spatial analysis and reasoning concepts.
Groundwater for Many People: The Spatial Science of a Shared Resource [Digital Magazine]
The fragile balance between groundwater supply and demand is being tested. Increasing rates of urbanization and irrigation place demands on water needs, while the natural aridity of some environments does little to increase supply. In this lab, students will explore the spatial characteristics of this problem.
Labs help students build a foundation in spatial reasoning and analysis by integrating GIS tools and spatial concepts for intermediate to advanced problem solving.
Predicting West Nile Virus Outbreaks [Digital Magazine]
What's the likelihood of a West Nile virus (WNV) outbreak where you live? Humans contract WNV through bites from infected mosquitoes, and areas that have high mosquito breeding activity are more likely areas for contracting WNV. In this lab, students will calculate county minimum and maximum temperature averages using monthly climate data for the 48 contiguous US states. Then, aggregating and averaging short-term monthly temperature data for any given month and comparing this to the climatic averages, they will determine counties that have mild winters, significantly warmer-than-average summer months, or a combination of these indicators of WNV threat.
Labs provide a framework for students to create customized spatial research projects and master advanced spatial analysis skills.
This lab serves as a guideline for an independent project in which students will perform an environmental scanning analysis for an actual client organization. In it, students will develop a profile of the organization and its objectives as well as an understanding of what environmental factors create threats and opportunities for it. They will then use online business GIS software to analyze the spatial distribution of those factors within the organization's market area.
I like the idea of having labs that address a variety of industries—site selection, natural resource management, demographic mapping, etc. This would enable me to use these labs in a variety of classes.