I am an exchange student from Germany and studying at Tufts for two semesters. Since I only get one credit transferred from Tufts to my German university, I am in the lucky position to be able to take only those classes that genuinely interest me. So far those have ranged from Swahili to Snowboarding, and now I added Crisis Mapping to my ‘collection’.
I skimmed through the Tufts ExCollege catalog when I stumbled across the description of this Crisis Mapping class. I have to admit that in the beginning, I had absolutely no idea what it was about, but after reading the syllabus it became a little bit more clear to me. I think I took the course because I really wanted to learn more about the field of Crisis Mapping – I never heard of it before in my life. It sounded like a hands-on class, where I could learn skills that I could actually apply and maybe even be able to help others with these skills.
During a crisis one often feels helpless in the face of devastation and misery, especially because being far away from the event there is nothing one can do to help, except for sending money. I think crisis mapping is (from what I’ve heard so far) a great tool to make it easier for those in the afflicted areas to help. Also, it seems like a great way to use technology to improve crisis response.
I hope that by the end of this class I will have a basis of knowledge that will enable me to engage in the crisis mapping community to improve my skills. I’m not planning to work in this field – I’m working on my teaching degree -, but I want to learn about Crisis Mapping out of curiosity.