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Announcing the 2021 Virtual Falvey Forum & GIS Mapping Workshop Series!

Falvey Forum


Mark your calendars! Falvey Memorial Library will be holding the 2021 Falvey Forum Virtual Workshop Series this fall. Workshops will be held most Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. and will run approximately an hour in length.

The 2021 Falvey Forum is a series of virtual workshops dedicated to advancing research tips, techniques, and technologies. Drawn from Falvey Memorial Library’s successful Brown Bag seminar series, the conference’s 11 sessions will cover a wide variety of research and library-oriented information aimed at invigorating and improving research, informing new pedagogy, and encouraging the integration of advanced academic research into personal and professional lives.

In conjunction with the 2021 Falvey Forum series, Falvey’s Digital Scholarship Program is pleased to partner with Villanova University’s GIS Laboratory in the Geography and the Environment Department to co-sponsor a selection of introductory virtual digital research workshops that focus on GIS mapping and spatial analysis tools.

Workshops will be led by some of Falvey Memorial Library’s expert librarians as well as members of the Department of Geography and the Environment.

Those interested in attending any of the workshop sessions may scan the QR codes on the right of each workshop description with their phones or simply click on the invite image above to register.

If you have any questions about the workshops, you can reach out to Library Events staff at





Falvey’s Digital Scholarship Librarian Helps GIS Students Create Powerful Stories 

By Shawn Proctor

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then “story maps” might be worth a million. That’s what students in Professor Jennifer Santoro‘s Geographic Information System (GIS) for Conservation Management class learned as they worked with Erica Hayes, Falvey’s Digital Scholarship Librarian, to design digital maps and embellish them with a powerful storytelling tool.

In spring 2020, Esri Story Maps, an open-source web-based application by ArcGIS, allowed the students in Professor Jennifer Santoro’s class to weave text, still and moving images, videos, and navigation tools to give GIS maps new interactivity and dynamism. It is a popular method of presenting map data, too–in 2019 alone, more than 400,000 new story maps were created using this web-based application. “All fourteen final projects from the GIS class are available online and will be exhibited on the touchscreens in Falvey Memorial Library’s new Digital Scholarship Lab opening Spring 2021.  Each map tells a persuasive story about conserving our fragile environment and endangered species,” Hayes says.

“This story mapping application gives faculty and students the tools to inform, enlighten, and inspire those around them. In the past, I’ve worked with humanities students to develop GIS maps that tell stories about our history and how places have changed over time. The students in the Department of Geography and the Environment, however, used their spatial analysis skills to identify habitat suitability for endangered species.  They were also able to create impressive story maps that explore the pressing issues of our time, like the effect of the proposed US-Mexico border wall on wildlife and how climate change will impact the habitat polar bears need to thrive,” she explains.

Because the story maps are interactive, viewers can move through the narrative at their own pace, focusing on or bypassing information as desired. For example, in the aforementioned polar bear story map, titled “Ice, Ice, Save Me,” Beatriz DeJesus provides maps with copious data as well as implications and conclusions.

The presentation allows for viewing outcomes or data to be presented, but suggests a narrative flow along with providing some incredible photos of the species and the people who study them.

“The possibilities are endless for how GIS mapping tools can be used across the University’s many courses,” Hayes explains. “Once students have learned how to create GIS maps, they can explore ways the maps can be used to tell stories and enhance their classwork and research. I can’t wait to see what our students come up with next.”

To discuss story maps or integrating story maps into your classes, contact Erica Hayes or visit the new Digital Scholarship Lab online, which opens spring 2021.

Shawn Proctor

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is communications and marketing program manager at Falvey Memorial Library.






Last Modified: July 15, 2020

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