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Tom Cornell's Face of the Land curriculum material

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0373

Scope and Contents

The Tom Cornell Face of the Land curriculum material contains correspondence, digital images of class field trips, photocopies of the digital images, student reports, and photocopies of slideshow images taken during the Spring 2009 quarter.

  • Folder 1 contains correspondence between Tom Cornell, professor of FOTL, and Becky Simmons, RIT Archivist.
  • Folder 2 contains photocopies of photographs taken on seven field trips to different locations in the area where students are exploring sites.
  • Folder 3 contains a powerpoint of the photos on a CD, and color digital images of the class on the field trips.
  • Folder 4 contains color copies of all the same slides as in folder 1.
  • Folder 5 contains field trip reports written by students from each outing.
  • Dates

    • Creation: Spring 2009


    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open to researchers.

    Historical Information: Face of the Land

    Fred Wilson taught this course until the mid-1990's when he retired from Rochester Institute of Technology. (RIT) He taught it more like a geology course for non-majors. After Mr. Wilson left, it was only taught occasionally until Tom Cornell took it over in the spring of 2008. He kept some of the geological material, but added more material from the history of technology. The premise according to Mr. Cornell, is that there exists on the land around us, "large-scale structures," from different times and in varying degrees of used or decay. These structures, although material, are too big to be placed in a museum-- and often too big to be visited on one trip. But by visiting them in various places (in the case of a canal, a lock here, a section of towpath there, perhaps even an aqueduct), you can develop an overall picture. He wanted to teach it by studying those large scale structures on the terrain and realizing that the terrain is covered with layer after layer, each layer put down at a different time.

    This course is a case study in the relationship of technology and society, involving off-campus field trips and focusing on the interaction of land, people and technology. By considering the natural landforms of the United States and other countries as appropriate, the students see how the nature of land determines its value. As technological innovations are made and introduced, old relationships with the land are altered, sometimes irreversibly. Through this study students have a concrete example of the positive and negative effects of technology on the social structure. Part of the science and technology studies concentration; the science technology and society minor; the environmental studies concentration and minor, the sustainable product development minor; and may also be taken as an elective.

    Thomas Cornell is a professor in the RIT College of Liberal Arts, Department of Science, Technology and Society/Public Policy and Department of History


    .5 Linear Feet (1 document box)




    Materials related to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) professor Thomas Cornell's class Face of the Land. The course was a series of seven field trips around the Rochester, NY area to study large-scale structures from different time periods, and in varying degrees of use or decay. Materials in the collection include a CD containing images taken during the field trips, photocopies of the images, and student reports of the field trips.


    Materials are arranged chronologically by each field trip.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The collection was donated to the RIT Archive Collections by Tom Cornell in 2009. Accession number(s): 2009:62

    Processing Information

    Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in January 2012.

    Tom Cornell's "Face of the Land" curriculum material
    RIT Archives
    Jody Sidlauskas
    19 January 2012
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description
    Code for undetermined script
    Language of description note

    Repository Details

    Part of the RIT Archives Repository

    Rochester NY 14623 USA