What is new on the Home Page Front? (June 1996)


There has been slow but steady progress in the development of our departmental home page and Internet presence. Plans are to extend and improve the research, teaching, administrative and historical components of the departmental homes pages in addition to the educational resource components (an effort spearheaded by the departmental Library and Information Resource Committee). The departmental "cover page system" is now directed by Sharon Frucci, our new administrator. Caroline Lange (graduate student) and Arron Pope (undergraduate) are actively helping in the effort. Technical assistance continues to be provided by Charles Hendricksen and others. Plans are to develop and improve organizational and design features of our Web site. At this time, home page revisions include course and time schedules, undergraduate and graduate programs, and faculty pages. In addition, graduate students have created a separate graduate student directory with links to their individual home pages. Ten courses (mainly in GIS and Economic Geography) have been taught with at least a partial online presence of their syllabi, resource pages, electronic class discussions, student projects or some other course component.

Several classes have become part of the University's UWIRED Program which meant both the ready availability of Geography/Uwired (Electronic Resource) Librarian Anne Zald and the use of the Pentium equipped computer collaboratory in the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. Students in such classes are now required to learn how to use and evaluate Internet resources. In addition, some students made use of the opportunity to present their class assignments and projects in their own web pages. Several of the latter students have already been able to market their new skills or to volunteer their cyber services to community organizations as part of internship arrangements or the University's "Service-Learning" Program. Most recently, the department has instituted an award for the "best" Web site created by a geography (undergraduate) major.

Nick Chrisman will represent the Department in Austin at the "Geography Virtual Department Workshop" at the University of Texas in early June. Sponsored by an NSF grant, the workshop is dedicated to the development of a web-based curriculum for geography. Some of our own classes in Economic Georaphy and GIS have already been incorporated into this virtual curriculum [See: http://www.utexas.edu/depts/grg/virtdept/contents.html]

The departmental Web site' URL address remains: http://weber.u.washington.edu/~geogdept/. From here, all other program, faculty, student and course pages can be reached. Questions regarding our Web pages should be directed by E-mail to geogdept@u.washington.edu or to the individuals responsible for specific pages.

G.Krumme & C.Lange

Collaboratory and Home Pages (June 1995)

At least two groups of departmental geographers worked hard this past year on bringing the Department on a good technological trajectory for the next century. Under the threat of an impending closure of our beloved Edward L. Ullman Library, the Department initiated a "Joint Working Group" with high-level librarians to sketch out both a model and some concrete steps towards not merely salvaging some benefits from the long-dreaded library closure, but actually creating a new vision for technology-based instructional collaboration between faculty, students and information specialists from the Library. Thus, part of this plan involves the conversion of the old Ullman-Library space into a "Collaboratory" (Our working definition for the Geography Collaboratory has been "a place where students, faculty, and librarians come together to enhance teaching, learning and research through synergistic sharing in the exploration of educational topics"). However, the plan also includes modifications and refurbishing of the Hudson- (Seminar) Room toward a Departmental Research Library/Seminar/Reading Room.

The other group was more informal, but instrumental in conceptualizing the departmental home page idea and getting the initial versions of a core Departmental Home Page, a faculty page and a couple of 'coursewebs' constructed. The emerging home-page system was connected in June 1995 to the University of Washington Home Page and thereby to the Internet (A Home Page might be defined as an individualized document serving as an entry-point to the Internet usually containing both, informational contributions to the Internet as well as selective (purpose-specific) and convenient access to Internet information).
The home-page model we are adopting will right from the beginning be highly decentralized. After establishing a small core of departmental and program-oriented information, faculty and students will be encouraged to accept responsibility for individual, but linked home pages toward what is hoped to become an informative overview of the work in the Department and diverse, substantive and dynamic contributions to the Internet. At the same time, it is anticipated that this system of wide-ranging and information-laden departmental home pages will become an efficient and painless, discipline-focused and course-/research- specific management tool for mastering the elusive Internet.

The two groups were spearheaded by Tim Nyerges (Co-Chair of Library/Technology Working Group) and Charles Hendricksen (anointed departmental "Web-Master") with many others sharing in a lot of work. Questions about the "Collaboratory" should be addressed to nyerges@u.washington.edu, those related to the Home Page effort to geogdept@u.washington.edu The Internet address of our effort ("under construction") will be:


Postscript by the rapporteur: The Geography Department's Home Page has been connected to the University's Home Page on Monday, June 12, 1995.

Return to: Velikonja's History of the Geography Department || UW Dept. of Geography
May 19, 1995; [krumme@u.washington.edu].