Course Syllabus

DCP 1241 > Spring 2023


Be Here Now: Thinking Across Space & Within Time

Space becomes place, while time runs its pace, as your mind makes meaning from the hourglass sands changing. (Image source: Unsplash)

Space becomes place, while time runs its pace, as your mind makes meaning from the hourglass sands changing. (Image source: Unsplash)



“Time and space are modes by which we think, not conditions in which we live.” – Albert Einstein



Students are encouraged to employ critical thinking and to rely on data and verifiable sources to interrogate all assigned readings and subject matter in this course as a way of determining whether they agree with their classmates and/or their instructor. No lesson is intended to espouse, promote, advance, inculcate, or compel a particular feeling, perception, perspective, or belief. Your attention and intention are yours alone ... so own them.







Hal Knowles, Ph.D.

Instructional Assistant Professor  |  SBE + URP

Canvas (preferred) or (alternative) |  352-294-6781 

Office Hours  |  Mondays 12:50 - 13:40  |  ARCH 150 & Zoom (or by appt.)





  • DCP 1241 > Spring 2023
  • Class 12014 > Section 139A
  • Mondays > Period 3 - 4 > 09:35 - 11:30
  • Wednesdays > Period 3 > 09:35 - 10:25
  • 100% On Campus > RNK 0106
  • Not applicable
  • ~ $0 - 35 textbooks
  • ~ $0 materials & supplies
  • ~ $0 - 10 incidentals





Course Summary

This course introduces students to the core concepts of spatial and temporal thinking that underpin the planning, design, construction, operations, and management of built environments along the natural-to-urban transect.


Course Overview & Purpose

By college, many adults have already been exposed to the notion of the space-time continuum postulated in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and further explored by Hermann Minkowski. Yet, people rarely reflect on how space-time relates to their own thoughts, perceptions, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

Spatial and temporal thinking involves four fundamental elements:              

  1. Geography of physical space;
  2. Geography of social space;
  3. Tools of spatial representation; and
  4. Processes of spatial reasoning.

Collectively, these elements imbue meaning, frame questions, inform answers, and serve as crucial components in solving complex problems. Spatial and temporal thinking empowers people to better understand and cope with the challenges of change in social-ecological systems.


I am all ... I am not. (Image source: The Headless Way)

You are neither a human has been, nor a human will be … but rather a human being … so be here now.



Course Goals

This course teaches students, from any disciplinary background, to “think outside the box” such that they may sense, and make sense, of people (be), place (here), and pace (now) from multidimensional perspectives. Objectives flexibly address student goals and interests, though emphasis is placed on how spatial and temporal thinking facilitate the monitoring, measuring, and modeling of more resilient communities, rooted upon more sustainable values.


Course Content & Expectations

This course includes theoretical and applied readings, dynamic dialogues, and active learning via in-class and around-campus exercises. Students succeed when they are inquisitive, adaptive, creative, collaborative, self-directed, and willing to experience life as an endless string of experiments from which to make manageable mistakes and learn lessons for iterative improvement.


Student Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, successful students will be able to... 

Every thing from no thing ... dimensions one through four stretch and fold out of dimension zero.

Every thing from no thing ... dimensions one through four stretch and fold out of dimension zero. (Image source: Wikipedia)


The natural-to-urban transect is a framework for systemizing the coding and analysis of prototypical land use patterns. (Image source: Center for Applied Transect Studies

Within the Envision Alachua community engagement process, researchers used geodesign to develop multiple alternative futures scenarios. (Image with permission: Hal Knowles, University of Florida)

Within the Envision Alachua community engagement process, researchers used the science and practice of geodesign to develop, compare, and contrast multiple alternative futures scenarios. (Image with permission: Hal Knowles, University of Florida)

  • Relate space and time in human thought;
  • Describe a location using multiple methods;
  • Differentiate physical vs. social space;
  • Differentiate true vs. magnetic north;
  • Differentiate Euclidean vs. Manhattan distance;
  • Define Genius Loci;
  • Explore how space becomes place;
  • Define vernacular landscapes;
  • Define proxemics and its key concepts;
  • Define map projection and give some examples;
  • Perceive of purposeful mapping distortions;
  • Define scale in space (ratio, graphic, architectural, engineering) and time;
  • Describe multiple strategies for 2D, 3D, and multidimensional representations;
  • Define and relate fractals and complexity;
  • Provide examples of how mapping patterns have changed the course of history;
  • Describe methods for and the value of:
    • Mapping most and least
    • Mapping density
    • Mapping proximity
    • Mapping change
  • Explain the importance of density in the built environment;
  • Develop and deploy ideas via oral communication and presentation; and
  • Write literate, thoughtful and insightful reflection papers on topics addressed in class.





Required Text(s) to Buy (or) Download for Free Online

Image of the cover for the book "Space and place: The perspective of experience" by Yi-Fu Tuan.


Required Text(s) to Download for Free Online

Image of the cover for the report "Mapping for a Sustainable World" by the United Nations.


Optional Text(s)



Image of the cover for the book "Art and physics: Parallel visions in space, time, and light" by Leonard Shlain.


In addition to the required text(s), various supplemental, free publications identified for class discussion and/or assignments may be supplied via the UF Canvas e-Learning portal (



The required and optional technologies for this course are as follows:

  • A portable computing device (e.g., tablet, laptop) for in-class and at-home work



Beyond the required textbook(s), minor, out-of-pocket student incidental expenses may include those associated with personal mobile computing and file storage/transfer device(s) or web-based services to research, present, and share information in class.





For students who plan to stay in the course, please visit the Course Wayfinding page to learn about the your path, including the course structure, expectations, and preparation actions.

 Course Module > CM.00 > Start Here > Course Wayfinding



General course module main topics and sub-topics are summarized below. Official weekly readings, assignments, and course content will be posted within Canvas and are subject to change.


 Course Module > CM.01 > GPS > Geography of Physical Space

  • GPS.00 > What is Spatial Thinking?
  • GPS.01 > Location
  • GPS.02 > Perspective
  • GPS.03 > Proportion & Scale
  • GPS.04 > Direction, Distance, & Time
  • GPS.05 > Dimension


 Course Module > CM.02 > GSS > Geography of Social Space

  • GSS.01 > Sense of Space, Place, & Pace
  • GSS.02 > Memory, Moments, & Myth
  • GSS.03 > Proxemics
  • GSS.04 > Experience & Culture
  • GSS.05 > No Where, Never ... Every Where, Always


 Course Module > CM.03 > TSR > Tools of Spatial Representation

  • One-Dimensional (1D)
    • TSR.1D.01 > Single Indicator Time Series
  • Two-Dimensional (2D)
    • TSR.2D.01 > XY Geographic Information Systems (2D GIS)
    • TSR.2D.02 > Maps & Diagrams
  • Three-Dimensional (3D)
    • TSR.3D.01 > XYZ Geographic Information Systems (3D GIS)
    • TSR.3D.02 > Physical-to-Virtual (Digitization)
    • TSR.3D.02 > Virtual-to-Physical (Manifestation)
  • Multi-Dimensional (MD)
    • TSR.MD.01 > WXYZ Geographic Information Systems (4D GIS)
    • TSR.MD.02 > Virtual Design & Construction (VDC)


 Course Module > CM.04 > PSR > Processes of Spatial Reasoning

  • PSR.01 > Geodesign
  • PSR.02 > Map Use Environments


Informational Resources



Assignment details, deliverables, due dates, and grades will be published on Canvas and may be subject to change. Grades are generally based on 1,000 points over the course of the semester. See the syllabus page "Summary" (at the bottom of this page) and the "Assignments" tab (left sidebar menu) for the most current information.


Attendance & Punctuality (AP) @ 100 Points (10%)

  • Required


Discussion Posts (DP) @ 300 Points (30%)

  • Readings, Discussions, & Class Activities (@ 20 points/each)
    • DP > Weekly & Module-Based


Exams (E) @ 300 Points (30%)

  • Two Exams (@ 150 points/each)
    • E.01 > Course Modules (CM) 1st Half
    • E.02 > Course Modules (CM) 2nd Half


Student Projects (SP) @ 300 Points (30%)

  • Individual and Group (@ 60 points/each)
    • SP.01 > Individual > Location
    • SP.02 > Individual > Memory
    • SP.03 > Individual > Social Life of Small Urban Spaces
    • SP.04 > Team > Mapping Patterns
    • SP.05 > Individual Spatial Storytelling


Grades are based on evidence that students have completed assigned readings, participated actively in all class discussions and activities, completed writing and presentation assignments, and completed both in-class and outside-of-class activities throughout the semester. Completed tasks will be evaluated based on pertinence of content, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. Details and due dates for assignments are posted on Canvas. The University standard suggests students might expect to study outside of class for up to 3 times the weekly class contact periods (e.g., a 3-credit course might be 3 x 3 periods = 9 hours in Fall/Spring or 3 x 6 periods = 18 hours in Summer A).


Final student grades are rounded up on the hundredths units (i.e., a 92.95% becomes a 93.0%) and follow University of Florida grades and grading policies.





Teaching Philosophy & Expectations

I have experience in commercial construction management, planning, facilitation, systems ecology, and temporal and spatial analytics of land use change. I am passionate about the technologies and thought processes, policies, procedures, and decision-support strategies necessary to establish and sustain equitable, empowered, safe, healthy, and resilient communities adaptive to uncertainty.


  • Student expectations of instructor:
    • Enthusiasm for the course; engaging lectures and discussions; application of knowledge through classroom activities and fieldwork; organized and neat course materials; unbiased guidance; encouragement of critical thought; and reasonable availability to meet with students outside of class.
  • Instructor expectations of students:
    • Compassionate curiosity; positive attention and intention; willingness to learn with open heart, open mind, and open will; consistent attendance; punctual arrival; active participation in our class discussions and activities; advance reading of class content; on-time completion and submission of assignments; proper citation management; adherence to proper netiquette and all University rules and regulations.



Attendance is mandatory and participation is graded based on each class period (i.e., missing a multi-period day of class will count as multiple absences in accordance with the number of periods). Tardiness leads to point deductions from that class session.

Students may miss up to the equivalent number of class periods as the course credits (e.g., 3 credits = 3 periods @ 50 minutes/each in Spring/Fall & 2 periods @ 75 minutes/each in Summer A) without penalty and with no need for an excuse. Beyond those “waived” absences, students must provide a valid, and properly documented, excuse. Otherwise, unexcused points will be deducted proportional to the total number of periods where attendance was taken. Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with University policies as found at the following link.



As future sustainability professionals in training, you are preparing for potential future meetings and collaboration. Thus, students are encouraged to participate in-person and/or online with dress and demeanor befitting a informal workplace. 



Online Class Recording Privacy

Our class sessions may be audio and/or visually recorded for students in the class to refer back and for enrolled students who are unable to attend live. Students who participate with their camera engaged or utilize a profile image are agreeing to have their video or image recorded.  If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice audio recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the "chat" feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live. The chat comments get cloud archived alongside the video, audio, and machine learning transcripts for the convenience of all students to replay and review on demand.


What is Permissible

Beyond anything recorded and shared by the instructor, students are allowed to record video or audio of class lectures. However, the purposes for which these recordings may be used are strictly controlled. The only allowable purposes are as follows:

  1. For personal educational use;
  2. In connection with a complaint to the university; or
  3. As evidence in, or in preparation for, a criminal or civil proceeding.

All other purposes are prohibited. Specifically, students may not publish recorded lectures without the written consent of the instructor.


What Defines a Lecture

A “class lecture” is an educational presentation intended to inform or teach enrolled students about a particular subject, including any instructor-led discussions that form part of the presentation, and delivered by any instructor hired or appointed by the University, or by a guest instructor, as part of a University of Florida course. A class lecture does not include lab sessions, student presentations, clinical presentations such as patient history, academic exercises involving solely student participation, assessments (quizzes, tests, exams), field trips, private conversations between students in the class or between a student and the faculty or lecturer during a class session.


Publication Without Permission is Prohibited

Publication without permission of the instructor is prohibited. To “publish” means to share, transmit, circulate, distribute, or provide access to a recording, regardless of format or medium, to another person (or persons), including but not limited to another student within the same class section. Additionally, a recording, or transcript of a recording, is considered published if it is posted on or uploaded to, in whole or in part, any media platform, including but not limited to social media, book, magazine, newspaper, leaflet, or third party note/tutoring services. A student who publishes a recording without written consent may be subject to a civil cause of action instituted by a person injured by the publication and/or discipline under UF Regulation 4.040 Student Honor Code and Student Conduct Code.





Student Responsibilities

In 1995 the UF student body enacted an honor code and voluntarily committed itself to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. When students enroll at the university, they commit themselves to the standard drafted and enacted by students…”

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following responsibilities as delineated at


  • Academic Honesty
    • Preamble
    • The Honor Pledge
    • Student Responsibility
    • Faculty Responsibility
    • Administration Responsibility
  • Student Conduct Code
  • Alcohol and Drugs
    • What the University Community Can Do to Prevent Alcohol Abuse and Drug Abuse
  • Relations Between People and Groups
  • Service to Others
  • Standard of Ethical Conduct


It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams). Instructors reserve the right to use the TurnItIn app within Canvas to evaluate work originality. Plagiarism is a serious offense and will result in an honor code violation and potential failure of the course. Additionally, any use, access, or handling of technology (e.g., cell phone, smart watch) during an exam will result in an honor code violation and potential failure of the course.

Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code. Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action. For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see:


Software Use

All faculty, staff and students of the university are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. As such violations are also against university policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.


Course Evaluation

Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals. Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at



Students with Disabilities

Students requesting accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.

Upon registering, the DRC will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation. You must submit this documentation prior to submitting assignments or taking quizzes or exams. Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the office as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations. The DRC may be contacted by visiting 001 Reid Hall, calling 352-392-8565, or visiting their website.


Netiquette – Communication Courtesy

All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats. Please refer to these resources.


Religious Observances

Please inform the instructor of any religious holidays or other days of special religious significance that may interfere with your participation in this class so that appropriate accommodations can be made. For more information, please visit the Religious Holidays section of the UF Attendance Policies.


Special Consideration

The principle of equal treatment of all students is a fundamental guide in responding to requests for special consideration. No student shall be given an opportunity to improve a grade that is not made available to all members of the class. This policy is not intended to exclude reasonable accommodation of verified student disability or the completion of work missed due to religious observance, verified illness, or absence due to circumstances beyond your control. Reconsideration of subjective judgments of an individual student’s work will be done only if all students in the class can be and are given the same consideration.


Sexual & Gender-Based Harassment

Sexual and gender-based harassment is reprehensible and will not be tolerated by the University. It subverts our academic mission and threatens the careers, educational experience, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. The University will not tolerate behavior between, nor among, members of this community that creates an unacceptable working environment.





Your safety, health, and wellbeing are important to our University community. Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being or academic performance are strongly encouraged to talk to the instructor and/or to utilize the University’s confidential counseling resources, available at no cost to currently enrolled students.


Safety, Health & Wellness Resources


Student Complaint Resources



"A growth mindset’s defining characteristic—the belief that intelligence is malleable—provides a powerful formula for improving student outcomes. Students who believe that they can get smarter and that effort makes them smarter will put in the effort that leads to higher achievement." - American University School of Education

Change is the only constant. Within the SBE Program, we focus on a triple-E approach to intrapersonal and interpersonal growth and development. That is, we support our students in placing their attention and intention on effort, earnestness, and equanimity. In the lab of life, lessons are best learned when seeing failure as feedback for your future fitness and adaptability in uncertainty. Your instructor encourages you to foster a growth mindset and to leverage the resources available to help you thrive.


Academic & Professional Development Resources




Below is a timeline of class sessions and assignment due dates. This summary is listed in chronological order and provides direct links to each of them. As such, it offers a great snapshot of the course schedule for the entire semester. You can also click on the "Calendar" menu button on the left sidebar in Canvas and then filter to show only items related to this course.


Course Summary:

Date Details Due