Summer “Cartography Major” teaches across generations

Teaching GPS at Grandparents University
Karen Tuerk teaches students how to map features of Bascom Hill using GPS. (Photo: Dick Jones)

In early July the Geography Department participated in UW–Madison’s Grandparents University (GPU) by hosting a “cartography major” for 11 grandparents and their grandchildren.

GPU is an award-winning, two-day program that brings children ages 7 to 14 and their grandparents together to learn from each other and to experience the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s dynamic campus atmosphere. Participants have the opportunity to explore a “major” and participate in hands-on activities led by top UW faculty and staff. This is the third summer our department has taken part of this very successful outreach event sponsored by the UW Alumni Association.

Jude Leimer (left) talks history of cartography with an assist from Jaime Martindale.

In Science Hall, our cartography majors took part in a wide-array of lessons and activities. From 15th century maps of the world to the most cutting edge digital mapping technologies, the Cartography theme resonated with grandparents and grandchildren alike. Over the two days the participants were encouraged to think differently about maps, including how we define a ‘map’ and the differences in how maps have been created and used throughout history.

Cartography Major Activities:

  • Interactive lesson on the history of cartography with Jude Leimer of the History of Cartography Project.
  • Exploration of our famous Robinson Map Library with Map Librarian Jaime Martindale.
  • Cartography lecture by Prof. Rob Roth.
  • Outdoor mapping activity, tour of the UW Cartography Lab, and an edible map exercise with Lab Director Tanya Buckingham. Mmmm, geography!
  • Lesson on aerial photography and image interpretation with Associate State Cartographer Jim Lacy.
  • GPS presentation and field trip to collect GPS data with GIS Certificate Program Manager Karen Tuerk.
  • Computer lab exercise integrating GPS data into a campus map with GIS software.

    New GPU alum. (Photo: Dick Jones)

All of our participants successfully “graduated” from Grandparents University. Staff attended the graduation ceremony to present students with their Cartography Major diplomas.

We look forward to next year’s Grandparents University event!
See more photos here!

For more information on Grandparents University click here.


Author: Geography Staff

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