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Sharpe Community Mapping Project

The Sharpe Community Mapping Project is a team-based, teaching and research initiative that aims to train students to conduct participatory action research, using interdisciplinary mixed methodologies and GIS mapping technologies in contexts of community partnering.  The Sharpe Mapping Project aims to strategically sustain engagement with local and regional residents and leaders in forming content, design, and direction in the research process for understanding social issues.chai_closeup_jcc_map.jpg

Engaging Communities, Diversifying Human Knowledge

Community-driven goals and specific lines of inquiry will vary and evolve over time.  The Mapping Project expects to observe patterns for the emergence of regional social issues.  Our researchers aim to engage with residents in the region to gain deeper understanding about those issues--and about one another--in addressing them.  We also expect to learn continually from this mixed-methodological approach that some areas of thought and action in the region will converge, while others may yield divergent strategies for continued learning or action.   


The Mapping Project Team consists of: 

  • co-investigators who lead and coordinate the team (Dr. Monica D. Griffin, Director of the Sharpe Program, and Dr. Shannon White, GIS Certificate Coordinator, Center for Geospatial Analysis, W&M);
  • collaborator researchers who co-design strategies for outreach and participatory action research in specified regions (Beth Tremblay, MSN, Nurse Educator, ODU; Dr. Matthew Gerike, Geospatial Program Manager, VGIN, ISP, VITA);
  • affiliate faculty who teach courses that contribute to the Mapping Project’s goals and adhere to the ethical intent and practice with and within communities (in-progress);
  • students (enrolled in an affiliated course, or employed as teaching and research assistants); community residents, organizational leaders, and agency officials who participate to gather data, facilitate meetings, contribute analyses.