Three scales of the Spatial University

Steven M. Manson, Francis Harvey, Brittany Krzyzanowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The spatial university foregrounds the spatiotemporal nature of people, places, and processes in meeting its core missions of scholarship, teaching, and service. The university works across scales by advancing macro efforts that capture the imagination of people on and off campus, developing meso themes that translate macro ideas in specific ways, and engaging in microscale efforts on the ground. We contextualize these three scales by examining key facets that define the spatial university: (1) thinking spatially is an approach for transdisciplinary research throughout the institution; (2) spatial thinking is integrated into liberal or general education requirements, just as writing and critical thinking; (3) specialized degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level in geospatial technologies and related fields; (4) service-based learning or community-based service projects or internships that employ Geographic Information Science (GISc) and other geospatial approaches; and (5) GISc is used to run the institutions administrative functions, such as physical plant and classroom management. This chapter frames how the spatial university operates and set the stage for later chapters that delve into service, teaching, research, and what the future holds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBuilding the Spatial University
Subtitle of host publicationSpatial Thinking, Learning, and Service Throughout the System
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783030928476
ISBN (Print)9783030928469
StatePublished - Feb 23 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022.


  • GIS
  • GISc
  • Spatial research
  • Spatial teaching
  • Spatial thinking
  • Spatial university


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