Geography & Anthropology Summary

Friday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“Utilizing ArcGIS Online in the Classroom
Suzanne Struve, Professor of Geography, Blinn College

Saturday, 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
“Getting Their Feet Wet: Dual Enrollment as a Low Risk Environment for Learning Academic Skills”
Anne Arundel Locker-Thaddeus, Anthropology Instructor, Blinn College; and Dr. Margaret Sabom-Bruchez, Professor of Anthropology and Archeology, Blinn College-Bryan

Friday, February 24th, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

“Utilizing ArcGIS Online in the Classroom”

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been used in geography classrooms for well over two decades. With the help of a GIS, instructors can easily compare different sets of spatial data. For example, in a GIS, you can compare the patterns of earthquakes, volcanoes, and plate tectonic boundaries in locations around the world. Unfortunately, one of the stumbling blocks that many have faced is getting access to costly software or site licenses. Since the summer of 2012, a free, cloud-based version of ArcGIS has been available to the public. ArcGIS Online can be used by anyone to create unique maps and access maps and map layers that have been created by others in the system. In this session, my colleague, Rhonda Reagan, and I will demonstrate simple steps that will allow you to navigate around the ArcGIS Online system. In addition, we will also introduce you to GeoInquiries, a set of pre-made activities that can easily be modified to suit a variety of uses in the classroom. These GeoInquiries can be used by faculty in both the natural and social sciences.

Suzanne Struve, Professor of Geography, Blinn College

Suzanne Struve, Blinn CollegeSuzanne Struve is a member of the Geography faculty at Blinn College. As a child, her family lived in a variety of locations; including Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These experiences cultivated a sense of curiosity about the world we inhabit. She received her BA in Geography from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA and her MA in Geography from the University of Memphis. After a short stint working in the private sector for a market research company, she returned to academia and eventually joined the Geography faculty on the Blinn College Bryan campus. Since joining the Blinn College faculty, Ms. Struve has played an active role in the growth of the Geography program on the Bryan campus. She currently serves as the chair of the Curriculum Resource Team for the discipline of Geography. Outside of the college, she is also involved with the AP Human Geography course. This involvement has included scoring, leadership positions at the reading, and question writing for the AP Human Geography exam.

Saturday, February 25th, 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

“Getting Their Feet Wet: Dual Enrollment as a Low Risk Environment for Learning Academic Skills”

Low water crossings are fun! Who doesn’t like splashing through the water as it flows thinly over the concrete? But they are dangerous, too. A low water crossing does provide firmer footing for crossing a river than is found at a natural ford. But, as the rising water markers seen by the side of the road attest, they are riskier than crossing on a bridge well above the water. Anne Arundel Locker-Thaddeus uses rivers to represent long-standing learning grounds for acquiring survival skills. In Anne’s mind, river crossings require ertain skills to negotiate currents — just as certain skills are necessary for college success. Anne speaks from experience. She currently represents the Anthropology Program at Blinn College, Bryan campus by teaching college level classes in Cultural Anthropology at the Bryan Collegiate High School. Her metaphor of a river, low-water crossing, and skillful negotiation of the river’s water current provides an elegant metaphor for closing the gaps separating high school students from the information, skills and resources necessary to successfully partake in higher education. The result is a structure capable of ensuring students will be able to successfully endure the pressure of college courses. The presentation begins with a glimpse into Anne’s fascinating venture to reach out to high school students and educate the future Texas workforce. She believes that students who not only expect success, but who also learn to do the work, and who learn to engage in mutual respect (even if it means learning to “know their enemy”), become better equipped to survive the rigor and navigate the difficult passage to a college degree. Modeling her plan on the benefits and hazards of a low water crossing, she emphasizes balancing the benefits of Dual Enrollment Programs with the special challenges that High School students face when taking college-level classes. Provided are some basic strategies she has used and found to be effective in building structures capable of (1) supporting Texas 60/30 education mandates and (2) strengthening the partnerships established between secondary schools and Texas colleges and universities.

Anne Arundel Locker-Thaddeus, Anthropology Instructor, Blinn College

Anne Arunde Locker-Thaddeus, Blinn CollegeAt the age of 40, after working in a series of jobs, Ms. Locker-Thaddeus finally decided what she wanted to be when she grew up: an Anthropologist! She now holds a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from the University of Texas Pan American (now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cultural Anthropology Program at Texas A&M University. Anne Arundel holds a “Provisional” (lifetime) secondary teaching certificate in Mathematics and Earth Science awarded in 1976 and updated in 1988. She has four years of experience as an academic advisor to freshman students for the College of Liberal Arts at UT-PanAm She was hired by Blinn College in 2014 as a part-time instructor for the Anthropology Department, teaching two sections of Cultural Anthropology at Bryan Collegiate High School, where she has been asked to teach a third section in Spring 2017 to accommodate increasing enrollment.

Dr. Margaret Sabom-Bruchez, Professor of Anthropology, Blinn College–Bryan

Dr. Margaret Sabom-Bruchez, Blinn CollegeMargaret Sabom-Bruchez, M.A., Ph.D., is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and Texas A&M University, College Station. A practicing anthropologist and archaeologist, Margaret’s research has focused on the peoples of Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala and the desert southwest U.S. A member of several honor societies and anthropological and archaeological associations, she has spent the past twenty years in education at the post-secondary level. Her numerous publications in books, articles, videos and presentations address the ways humans are shaped by the natural habitat. Interpreting sounds as archaeological artifacts, she has designed advanced computing techniques in areas of visualization and auralization of landscapes, especially very quiet soundscapes.



Geography & Anthropology Section Chair:
Susan C. Slowey, Blinn College–Bryan