Meg Stewart is an academic technology professional working with professors and students to successfully integrate technology into teaching and learning. With a master’s degree in geology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she worked in environmental consulting for a five years, and then went into higher education.
Starting out as a GIS (geographic information systems) consultant in the earth science and geography department at Vassar College, she helped faculty members teach with GIS software. Although GIS support was her first role in academic technology, she acquired other technology-in-teaching fluencies such as mapping in Google Earth, blogging, use of social media, digital alternatives to traditional written work and collaborative on-line writing options. Stewart has written several papers on the topic of teaching with technology in higher education.
She received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for developing a GIS-based environmental inventory and conducting an environmental justice study and another, from Hewlett-Packard, that provided a set of tablet PCs for use in teaching with GIS in outdoor field-based classes. Stewart has teaching experience at the community college level, at four-year colleges, and in graduate programs.
Stewart received a Fulbright Scholar award in 2009-10 to the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. She felt immediately at home in the department and was given a desk and computer in an office shared with other visiting scholars and CERMES grad students. While at the UWI, she assisted with teaching a GIS class, gave lectures on teaching with Google Docs, tablet PCs, and other technologies in education, and went with students and two faculty members on a field course to Belize. Her office door was always open for GIS assistance for the CERMES graduate students and faculty members. Her primary research project was one based in St Vincent and the Grenadines working with a CERMES PhD student who, for over five years, collected marine-based spatial data.
From the large marine GIS dataset, with information like locations of turtle-nesting beaches and mapped-out shallow water habitats, Stewart created a Google Earth file. This file went up on the project website for sharing with local residents of the islands and anyone else interested in the marine resources within and around the Grenadine Islands.
Stewart and her family adored the eleven months living in Barbados where they learned to snorkel, crack open coconuts, watch for baby sea turtles, sail, enjoy flying fish, and windsurf.