Timothy Baird, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, has received the university’s 2018 XCaliber Award.

Established in 1996 by the Office of the Provost, the XCaliber Award is presented annually by Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies to recognize individual faculty members or teams of faculty and staff who integrate technology in teaching and learning. The award celebrates innovative, student-centered approaches.

Baird teaches a two-course series: GEOG/NR 1115 and GEOG/NR 1116 Seeking Sustainability, commonly known as Seeking 1 and Seeking 2, respectively.

Seeking 1 examines fundamental concepts in the social sciences, including the evolution of altruism, social network types and functions, social dimensions of diversity, cultural patterns of property and commerce, disturbance and resilience in social settings and denialism. Seeking 2 examines several other social concerns, including visions of human nature, livelihoods and decision-making, demography, theories of poverty and social dimensions of public health.

The BUILD project (Boosting University Infrastructure for Learning + Discovery), an interdisciplinary project that includes Baird, has worked to examine how sensors can be used to better understand patterns of human behavior in formal and informal learning spaces. The Seeking courses have been one of the main foci of the BUILD project.

“He is developing exceptional learning environments that are technology-rich, student-centered, and active, and using them in innovative ways to improve student engagement, creativity and learning. A unique aspect of Tim’s project is that the technology is not in the foreground of the classroom, but instead disappears seamlessly into the background, allowing students to focus on learning and collaboration and providing teachers with objective measures of the effectiveness of pedagogical approaches,” wrote Thomas L. Martin, associate director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, in a letter of nomination.

Written by Lindsey Grooms, Class of 2019