Call for Papers – GIS and the Anthropocene: Educational Perspectives

Abstracts are invited for a session jointly sponsored by the GIScience Research Group (GIScRG) and the Higher Education Research Group (HERG) at the Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers International Conference 2015. The conference runs between 2nd – 4th September, 2015 at the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus in Exeter, Devon.

“GIS and the Anthropocene: Educational Perspectives”

Convened by: Patrick Rickles and Dr. Claire Ellul (University College London)

From the dawn of humanity, people have generated information and constructed knowledge; these days, we do so at a staggering pace. With the amount of information generated, encompassing the wealth of knowledge of human history, we must store, manage, and analyse it to unlock the secrets of our existence. From within the discipline of Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been a vital tool in this undertaking, helping us understand, not only more about ourselves, but the impacts we have on the systems around us. This has lead GIS to be used in interesting, and daresay unconventional, ways by those from outside of the discipline of Geography, unlocking new potentials for it as a tool.

Applications of GIS, in particular as a tool for learning about Geography or other subjects, can vary in success, and intentions that may not come to fruition cannot necessarily be contributed to technical issues, as there are many challenges to consider (e.g. infrastructure, training, emotions, etc.). Regardless, as we press on into a world that uses GIS in a ubiquitous way to act as a lens of looking at culminated, locational knowledge, we must overcome such obstacles to adequately equip the next generation with the ability to adeptly use tools like this, beyond the boundaries of the disciplines. GIS today can not only be used to help us understand where places are on a map, but bring to life historic battles, animal migration, and allow students to interact with this information in a way they may not have imagined – making it a powerful educational aid.

This session brings together educators from primary school, secondary, and beyond from disciplines in and outside of Geography to share their experiences on applying GIS as a tool in teaching and learning. This may include, but is not limited to:
• Using GIS as a tool to encourage embodied learning about information and the world
• Interdisciplinary or cross-curricular applications of GIS in education
• Implementing GIS learning in secondary (KS3 and KS4) education
• Higher and further education to encourage and empower lifelong learning initiatives

We would like to welcome participants who have used GIS as a tool to aid and enrich learning about our world to send us a submission detailing your work. Titles, abstracts (roughly 250 words) and 5 keywords, along with contact details should be emailed to Patrick Rickles ( by Monday, 09 February, 2015. Notification of acceptance will be given by Monday, 16 February, 2015.

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