The Place Studies program has supported a variety of research, teaching, and community-engagement projects since its foundation, all with the goal of deepening our understandings of communities, environmental histories and issues, and sustainability. Below is a selection of projects that demonstrate this work.
Coal Collections: Local, National, and International Stories (2016-2017)
A collaborative series between the Weis Center for Performing Arts and the Place Studies program that featured music, documentaries, noon lecture and panel discussions, invited speakers, theatre/puppetry and art to bring the broader Bucknell community into conversation with experiences, histories, cultures and stories from coal regions locally, nationally and internationally. The Coal Collections planning team was awarded Bucknell's 2016 Barry R. Maxwell Award for exceptional collaborative effort.
Coal Region Field Station (2015 - ongoing)
An interdisciplinary and community initiative that connects students, faculty, and staff to anthracite coal communities through projects that foster community revitalization, explore coal region histories and heritage, and imagine future possibilities. The Coal Region Field Station team was awarded Bucknell's 2017 Barry R. Maxwell Award for exceptional collaborative effort.
Pilot Study for Envision the Susquehanna: The Conservation Attitudes, Behaviors, and Values of the Residents in Counties Contiguous to the Susquehanna River (2014)
A study to capture residents' in-depth knowledge of cultural, social, environmental, and economic issues related to the Susquehanna River as part of the Chesapeake Conservancy's collaborative initiative Envision the Susquehanna to engage communities.
Central Susquehanna Affordable Care Act Project (2013-2015)
A research, teaching, and outreach program on health and the Affordable Care Act in rural Pennsylvania. The project resulted in publications about the process, products, and student involvement. Bucknell's ACA Project was considered to be a replicable model, inspiring other universities in Pennsylvania to develop similar projects.
"Understanding Place" (2013-14)
A series of lunch lectures on interdisciplinary perspectives of "place" from Bucknell and Penn State faculty. The "Understanding Place" series led to a special issue in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences in 2016.
"Same River" by the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble (2012-13)
A multimedia exploration of hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale based upon Bucknell student interviews with Pennsylvania residents impacted by fracking. Strike Anywhere worked with students to develop and produce a play that incorporated those first person accounts. Each performance was followed by town hall discussions with Bucknell faculty.
Stories of the Susquehanna Valley (2010-ongoing)
A long-term collaborative research and teaching project that utilizes multimedia scholarship, including a book series, a digital atlas, and a documentary series, to investigate the Susquehanna ecoregion as a confluence of cultures and ecologies.
Susquehanna Writers Institute (2009-2013)
A summer workshop on nonfiction writing for students to develop narrative content for online projects in oral history, nature writing, and "deep mapping" of cultural landscapes. Topics included journeys into the real and imagined Susquehanna Valley (2009), Marcellus Shale stories (2010), and cultural and historic resources of the Susquehanna River (2013).
John Smith Historic Trail (2009-2012)
An interdisciplinary team of faculty and students from Bucknell, SUNY Buffalo, and Bloomsburg along with Native American advisors developed a Feasibility Study on a Potential Susquehanna Connector Trail for the John Smith Historic Trail, resulting in the Susquehanna earning a federal designation as part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail in 2012.
Cultures at the Confluence (2008-2010)
A cross-disciplinary program that included a variety of projects to investigate cultural and environmental history of the Susquehanna River Valley, which began as a University Focus Year in 2008-09 to connect campus to the local eco-cultural region. Funded in part by support from the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust awarded in 2007.