2018-19 Williams Instructional Fund Recipients

Exploring Oregon

Leslie McLees, instructor, Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences

The Exploring Oregon course will serve as an innovative way to show students the value of “doing geography.” Academic geography and budget models have pushed geographers back into the classroom, but geographers, and people in general, learn better by engaging in the areas they know and understand. This course is designed to give students direct hands-on experience with data collection methods, from surveys and interviews to using digital technologies to collect spatial data, and using tools that allow them to measure biophysical properties such as solar radiation and stream flow.  

Physics of Climbing

Graham Kribs, professor, Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences

Physics of Climbing is a 10-week long course aimed at linking the major principles of physics (mechanics) with climbing as a hands-on example. The course will be 1/2 classroom discussion, introducing fundamental physics principles, and 1/2 rock climbing demonstrations with hands-on applications at UO's indoor climbing wall. The course is designed to be an innovative way to teach undergraduate physics (mechanics) for students with no prior experience in physics, but who do have prior experience with climbing (attained through completion of some PE and REC courses on climbing).

History 290: Historian's Craft

Brett Rushford, associate professor and department head; Alex Dracoby, senior instructor II; and Julie Weise, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies; Department of History; College of Arts and Sciences

This will be a foundational gateway course, required within one year of declaring the history major but geared towards all who have declared, or are strongly considering, the history major. The course will enroll 20-30 students per section to create the experience of direct interaction with a faculty member and cohort building among majors earlier in the student's history career. Currently, the history major consists of a flexible structure with distributional requirements across the department's course offerings. The implementation of History 290 will help establish student cohorts that can be solidified through co-curricular activities and future coursework.