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Geography faculty conduct research in United Kingdom for new courses

Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Gripshover and Dr. David Keeling, cultural geographers in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, recently returned from a two-week research trip to the United Kingdom to collect new material for two Colonnade Connections courses in development.

Accompanied by Dr. Thomas Bell, a retired cultural geographer from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Chuck Decroix, senior educational ranger from Mammoth Cave National Park, the team investigated visual and cultural landscapes across the U.K.

The team met with Peak District Ranger Andy Ward in Edale, Derbyshire, to discuss national park management strategies and comparisons of the U.S. and U.K. systems. In Northumbria, the team met with retired political geographer and musicologist Dr. Peter Taylor, faculty emeritus at the University of Loughborough, to discuss regional differences in musical landscapes and styles. In Edinburgh, Scotland, the team met with Kevin Kane, who is the Business Director of the International Public Policy Institute at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, to discuss urban regeneration and the challenges of gentrification in former industrial landscapes.

Dr. Gripshover and Dr. Keeling are developing two new courses – The Geography of Potent Potables and Visualizing Geography — as part of the department’s ongoing restructuring of its general education curriculum to support the International Reach mission of the university more effectively. As the millennial generation is more familiar with the digital world through social media and other sources of information, the new courses are designed to analyze our global interconnected systems through visual and structural approaches to places and societies.

For information about the proposed courses, contact Dr. Keeling at (270) 745-4555 or david.keeling@wku.edu.

Contact: David Keeling, (270) 745-4555

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