REU Site Broader Impacts:
As a project funded by the National Science Foundation and as the first REU site dedicated specifically to community geography, the CSAW REU site has several specific broader, transformative impacts:
Broader Impact 1: Students will develop an understanding of and appreciation for community-based geographic inquiry. Undergraduate researchers and faculty mentors will investigate the spatial thinking and local knowledges of neighborhood residents who seek to identify and address social and environmental disparities in Atlanta, while drawing heavily from Participatory GIS, mixed methodologies, and critical urban theory.
Broader Impact 2: Students will develop a deeper respect for human subjects and increased self-awareness of their own ethics, identities and positionality as they engage in six weeks of community-based research. It is expected that such experiences will lead to a transformative experience that can be applied to future graduate work and professional careers.
Broader Impact 3: The REU site also has practical significance for local communities. Non-academic entities, especially underrepresented groups, can benefit from the community based-research. Shared Participatory GIS products and data will be developed and distributed (at no cost to community entities) in the forms of maps, datasets, an online GIS application, non-technical reports, oral histories and multimedia.
Broader Impact 4: Knowledge and practices gained from the REU site’s community-based research agenda can lead to disciplinary transformation as the research team develops a new conceptual and methodological framework for the subfield of community geography. The new community geography framework can be utilized in multiple disciplines (i.e. geography, geology, public health, library sciences, education, and other related disciplines).