Project on Religion and Economic Change


Staff | Missions Team | GIS Team

  Xiaoyun Lu, Team Leader  
  Adam Sauer  
  Adam is currently a senior majoring in Geography with a concentration in GIS and City and Regional Analysis. He plans to pursue a master's degree in architecture beginning in the fall of 2006. One of Adam's dreams has always been to become an Architect that one day changes the way people view structures and their surroundings. Overall, I feel I am a very hard working and charismatic person who is always looking to make a few laughs.  
  Michael Tran  
  Mike loves the outdoors and being active and gets very fidgety sitting indoors all day. If he has to sit still, he likes to read history books or comic books. Mike is very active in the Martial Arts and was a competitor and eventually coach for the UT Taekwondo team. His ultimate goal is to serve as an officer in the Marine Corps, and have lots of stories to tell his grandchildren. As part of the GIS team, Mike enjoyed sharpening his creative skills with the use of ArcGIS software.  
  Brianne Yeary  
  Brianne Yeary is a geography student at the University of Texas. She also loves Austin, a wonderful city for outdoors entertainment, which allows her to do many of her favorite things. Whether boating on the lake, walking my dog at the local dog park, kayaking, or visiting one of the many hangouts at the springs, her geography interests are always entertained. By involving myself with courses that teach techniques within geography, Brianne have increased her knowledge, comfort, and liking of creating maps with the use of a GIS. The summer PREC position helped her learn about the many uses of a GIS outside of the geography field. Brianne's involvement with the project also taught her new things about Catholicism, such as the workings of dioceses and archdioceses. Her goal is to utilize the entire experience by observing the many aspects involved with conducting a large-scale research project, and all of the small details needed to successfully enter data.  
  Kristin Skelly  
  My main interest in GIS is to become familiar with the basic applications in order to integrate them into the fieldwork I hope to be doing when I graduate. My goal is to study aspects of cultural life in Latin America as they relate to contemporary land use patterns. But, my goal and interest change quite frequently so by the time I graduate in December I may have a completely different plan.I think the thing that I liked most about the GIS portion of the project was working with the old maps and having the opportunity to become better acquainted with ArcMap because I know that I will need it in the future. I also like the weekly team meetings and lunches because it gave the group a chance to discuss problems that we were having and solutions to the problems. Unfortunately, the GIS work is inherently tedious and at times very frustrating, but I'm not sure what would make it more interesting. Perhaps if we had our own lab where we could play music instead of using a bunch of different labs where we should be quiet and also close at 5 pm. My work could definitely use a little more organization. I always end up with fifty shapefiles on my desktop where some of my colleagues have all of their stuff neatly tucked into folders. For some reason the organizational aspect of computers escapes me. However, I did learn how to make folders and I have gotten much better at operating ArcMap as well as just a computer in general. During my 3.5 yrs. at the University I don't think that I have learned as much about computers as I have in the past few months as a result of working on this project. My advice to future RA's would be to keep their work organized and make up some sort of work schedule. not just to come into work when the mood strikes them. That is kind of what I did and I always ended up with a ton of work to do between Monday and Thursday.  
  Jorge Mata Otero  
  Jennifer Lipton  
  Brenda Baletti    
Population Research Center
The University of Texas at Austin
Project on Religion and Economic Change © 2005
Funded by the Templeton Foundation and the Metanexus Institute