Satellite images, maps of the past reveal 'spatial history' of the community


  Spatial History Public Square LogoHave you noticed how a detailed map can draw you into the world it represents?

Two JMU professionals are capitalizing on that pull to create an online interactive map-based resource for Harrisonburg. Supported by a $4,000 grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Dr. Kevin L. Borg, an associate professor of history, and Bradley A. Andrick, GIS coordinator in Facilities Management and a 2014 graduate of JMU’s geographic science program, are hard at work stitching together today’s satellite imagery and century-old Sanborn maps, which were risk-evaluation resources for the U.S. fire insurance industry beginning in 1867.

Their project, “Spatial History in the Public Square: Maps, Images & Archives in the Community,” is important because it will allow users to fade between detailed historical maps of the city and 21st century imagery to see clearly the geographic changes in the city within the last century. Equally important, Borg and Andrick plan to share the technical building process of their resource with other communities interested in creating their own spatial history documentation.

Texts, photographs and other historical resources will further populate the map layers. Work on the VFH-supported part of the project will continue throughout the fall semester.

Check out more JMU faculty accomplishments below:

GRANTS (awarded in July)

Dr. Kenneth E. Barron (Professor, Psychology) received $50,000 from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for “Student Agency Improvement Community Support” to combine academic research on the psycho-social factors that affect learning with improvement science methods in order to design valuable classroom experiences.

Dr. Kevin L. Borg (Associate Professor, History) and Bradley A. Andrick (GIS Coordinator, Facilities Management) received $4,000 from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for “Spatial History in the Public Square: Maps, Images & Archives in the Community” to create an online interactive historical map-based resource using satellite imagery, texts, photographs and other historical resources.

Dr. Julia Wallace Carr (Associate Professor, Sport and Recreation Management; Senior Associate Director, University Recreation) received $15,842 from Blue Ridge Community College to oversee a graduate student’s internship experience, provided by BRCC Fitness & Recreation Center.

Dr. Julia Wallace Carr (Associate Professor, Sport and Recreation Management; Senior Associate Director, University Recreation) and Benjamin H. Carr (Associate Professor, Sport and Recreation Management) received $8,780 from Shenandoah Valley United to oversee a graduate student’s internship experience provided by Shenandoah Valley United.

Dr. Kerry F. Crawford (Assistant Professor, Political Science) received $50,000 from the International Studies Association to receive the James N. Rosenau Postdoctoral Fellowship to complete a manuscript during the 2015-16 academic year.

Dr. Maria G. deValpine (Professor, Nursing) and Dr. Christie-Joy Brodrick Hartman (Associate Professor, Integrated Science and Technology) received $17,104 from the Healthy Community Council to use new and existing data and community input to develop recommendations for enhancing community health and quality of life.

Dr. Elizabeth S. Edwards (Assistant Professor, Kinesiology) received $1,750 from the Ladies Professional Golf Association Foundation to support the LPGA-USGA Girls’ Golf of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Dr. Raymond A. Enke (Assistant Professor, Biology) received $100,000 from the Commonwealth Health Research Board for “Molecular and bioinformatics analysis of epigenetic gene regulation in the normal and diseased retina: Characterizing pathways for diagnosing and treating macular degeneration” to characterize molecular mechanisms shaping the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration in human ocular tissue.

Carol A. Fleming (Interim Assistant Vice Provost, Outreach and Engagement), Carrie H. Chenery (Executive Director, Shenandoah Valley Partnership) and Sarah K. MacDonald (Interim Senior Director, Outreach and Engagement) and received $271,016 from the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to provide economic development support services for regional members, prospects, existing businesses and the partnership.

Carol A. Fleming (Interim Assistant Vice Provost, Outreach and Engagement) and Christine Swayne (Chief Executive Officer, Shenandoah Valley Technology Council) received $59,565 from the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council to cover salary of a part-time administrator, an assistant and operational expenses for the council.

Kimberley A. Foreman (Associate Dean for Human Resources and Administration, College of Business; Lecturer, Accounting; Liaison, Institute of Certified Professional Managers) received $329,990 from the Institute of Certified Professional Managers to maintain the organization’s national headquarters on the campus of JMU.

Dr. Patty J. Hale (Professor, Nursing) received $374,490 from the Health Resources and Services Administration for an interprofessional doctor of nursing practice program to meet the needs of rural mental health and cardiovascular health conditions.

Alleyn S. Harned (Executive Director, Virginia Clean Cities) received $275,270 from the U.S. Department of Energy for the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Opportunity Center to facilitate the development and expansion of the supply chain of hydrogen- and fuel cell-related components in the United States. Harned received $50,000 from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to continue to update the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Inventory biannually and to collect and report on information relating to alternative fuel production.

Kimberlee Hartzler-Weakley (Director of Children and Youth, Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services) received $42,000 from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board to provide interpreter services to non-English-speaking clients.

Dr. M. Hossain Heydari (Professor, Computer Science), Dr. Sharon J. Simmons (Head and Professor, Computer Science), Dr. Brett C. Tjaden (Professor, Computer Science) and Dr. Xunhua Wang (Associate Professor, Computer Science) received $100,000 from Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology to support the Cyber Defense Bootcamp for Virginia high-school technology teachers.

Dr. Cynthia R. O’Donoghue (Head and Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders) received $45,500 from the Scottish Rite Foundation of Virginia to continue support of the JMU-Scottish Rite Language Disorders Clinic.

Dr. David A. Slykhuis (Associate Professor, Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education) received $30,392 from the National Science Foundation to develop a middle-school engineering course using historical reconstructions of the telegraph, electric motor and telephone and to assess learning outcomes and replicability.

Dr. Morgan M. Steffen (Assistant Professor, Biology) received $18,000 from the Eppley Foundation to examine microbial population dynamics and associated environmental factors in order to better understand the ecological mechanisms underlying the predominance of cyanobacteria in the Shenandoah River.

Dr. Isaiah C. Sumner (Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry) and Dr. Christopher E. Berndsen (Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry) received $100,000 from the Jeffress Memorial Trust to combine computer simulations with experimental biochemistry to uncover the mechanisms used by enzymes that catalyze two types of modifications: ubiquitination and acetylation.

Dr. Patricia J. Warner (Professor, Graduate Psychology) received $6,046 from the Virginia Department of Education to provide content information to guide the development of a Cognitive Test Guide for school psychologists.

Dr. Rhonda M. Zingraff (Associate Dean, College of Health and Behavioral Studies; Director, Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services) received $6,230 from Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery Inc. to provide services to individuals affected by brain injuries, maximizing rehabilitation and contributing to the community.


Sue L. Hutchinson (Instructor Emerita, Early, Elementary and Reading Education) received the Virginia Outstanding Service to Children Award from the Virginia Association of Early Child Educators at the professional organization’s 59th annual conference in Richmond in March.


David J. Pope (Professor, Music) and Robert Hallahan (Assistant Professor, Music) presented at concert at the Swiss meeting of the International Society for Improvised Music in July.


Dr. John T. Almarode (Interim Head, Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities; Assistant Professor, Early, Elementary and Reading Education), Dara M. Hall (Admissions and Field Experiences Coordinator, Education Support Center), Dr. Michelle A. Hughes (Associate Professor, Early, Elementary and Reading Education), Dr. Richard Ingram (Assistant Professor, Learning, Technology and Leadership Education), Dr. Amanda G. Sawyer (Assistant Professor, Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education) and Dr. Mira C. Williams (Assistant Professor, Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities) presented sessions at the MidValley Mentor Project workshop July 27-28. Sponsored by the MidValley Consortium for Teacher Education, the workshop for clinical faculty of the consortium focused on strategies to better mentor beginning teachers in identified critical shortage areas.


Susan Quaintance Ferguson (Lecturer, Accounting), a certified public accountant, has been appointed to the Board of Accountancy by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

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by Eric Gorton

Published: Friday, July 31, 2015

Last Updated: Monday, May 20, 2024

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