ERIC Number: EJ792499
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Research for the Community: Bates Students Learn as They Work Magic for Lewiston and Auburn
Harward, Donald W.
Connection: New England's Journal of Higher Education and Economic Development, v16 n1 p21-22 Sum 2001
When a fire breaks out in the twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn, Maine, the firefighter response time is just a bit quicker these days, thanks to student research at Bates College. When the alarm sounds, firefighters click on a computer map that tells them the size of the burning structure, the quickest route to the fire, the closest hydrant and whether it can provide enough water. Before his graduation in 1999, Bates geology student Peter Beeson researched and developed a Geographical Information System (GIS) for firefighters in the two cities. The system also is used to gauge environmental impact of road developments, and for other geographical purposes, such as optimum routes for sewerage. Municipal officials say that Beeson's research has saved them nearly $200,000. This experience illustrates the mutual advantages that research projects provide colleges and their communities--in this case, Bates College and its community development partner, an initiative of 36 local business, civic and institutional leaders in Lewiston and Auburn called LA Excels. Recently, Bates and LA Excels were awarded an $80,000 grant from the national Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education's "Engaging Communities and Campuses" program. Over the next two years, the grant will fund 10 summer Community Research Fellowships. These fellowships will take qualified students into Lewiston and Auburn to undertake research projects identified by the community as essential building blocks of ambitious community development efforts. The applied research opportunities afforded through the Bates Community Research Program further expand how service and undergraduate academic experience can be connected by enabling students to put their academic work into practice. Bates is able to enhance hands-on learning while addressing community needs.
Descriptors: Community Development, Student Research, Community Needs, Reaction Time, Research Projects, Service Learning, Information Systems, Research Opportunities, Fellowships, Partnerships in Education, Citizen Participation, Higher Education, Experiential Learning, Fire Protection, Geology, Geographic Location
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org/connection.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maine