As technology advances, research methodologies in the sciences, social sciences and the humanities are also shifting. A new resource at the FIU Libraries, the Digital Scholars Lab, aims to provide students and faculty with the necessary tools and training to analyze and create in a technology-driven era.
One of the earliest examples of what can be accomplished using the Digital Scholars Lab was recently completed. FIU undergraduates and the FIU Libraries Digital Collections Center (DCC) combined research, storytelling, art and communication related to work on sea level rise conducted by FIU faculty, students and staff. The resulting project, “Submerging the Sunshine: Explore Sea Level Rise in South Florida,” categorizes stories of rising seas into four main narratives that highlight FIU’s work on this pressing issue.
Some of the media captured, digitized and archived for the project includes work published on eyesontherise.org and work conducted in other units at FIU. The project was led by Robert Gutsche, Jr. in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and FIU Libraries’ Jamie Rogers.
Students in Professor Gutsche’s spring visual storytelling class were introduced to cultural themes of visual communication, museums and libraries. Through practical application and collaboration, they created digital narratives, using the content that is already in – and that was added to – the collections to make the archives approachable and sharable for and to wider audiences.
The project was a collaboration among several units and programs, including the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) and the SJMC Media Innovation Incubator Lab, the FIU Libraries Digital Scholars Lab, the FIU Libraries Digital Collections Center, the FIU Libraries GIS Center, the Sea Level Solutions Center and the Department of History, among others.
Funded by student technology fee grants, the Library Digital Scholar Lab, with a suite of specialized multi-media software and hardware and visualization tools, is expected to be fully open to students and faculty Fall 2016. Its resources will be available at both the Green and Hubert libraries, better enabling all FIU students to create visual representations of work in the humanities and the sciences.
“Submerging the Sunshine” uses content already in the FIU Institutional Repository, and as such is continually growing. Faculty can contribute their work to “Submerging the Sunshine” by contacting Gutsche at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jamie Rogers at email@example.com. For more information on the Digital Scholars Lab, contact Jennifer FU at firstname.lastname@example.org.