Community, The Public, and New Expertise

Engaging Indian and Hispano Communities in Southern Colorado

In turn, we will extend and reach out to the deeply-embedded Indian communities and descendants of Spanish settlers. We seek their guidance via an advisory council, personal interviews, and routine reports to these communities. We have begun our efforts by visiting with Mr. Ernest House, Jr., Executive Director of the CO Commission of Indian Affairs and member of the Ute Mountain Ute, regarding our efforts. Per Director House’s advice, we will connect with tribal elders, governments, and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs) to solicit their early involvement in project decision-making. To further integrate communities into our creative and research activities, we will dedicate 21 % of the budget to supporting Indian/Hispanos student fellowships and community contributions to the project. We will target 10 multi-year fellowships for these students (see more below) and commission 25 Emerging Creators ($500 awards) and 5 Distinguished Creators ($1,000 awards) to generate original visuals and music that will be integrated into our AR world. Creators will retain full ownership of their physical works; however, the project will share rights to digital copies and depictions. We also anticipate outreach to Hispano cultural institutions and community groups in Trinidad, San Luis, and Antonito. For example, Prof. Church’s ongoing collaboration with Ms. Dawn DiPrince of the El Pueblo Museum, Trinidad History Museum, and Ft. Garland Museum, will facilitate integrated project relationships. We will involve local UCCS and Colorado Springs experts, such as Prof. Karen Larkin (Anthropology) and Ms. Anna Cordova, the lead archaeologist for the City of Colorado Springs and who is of Navajo/Apache-descent. To gather historical evidence on early Spanish-Indian relations, Prof. Martinez will activate his existing relationships with Director Dr. Andy Wulf of the NM History Museum, Director Josef Diaz of the Colonial Spanish Arts Museum (Santa Fe), and Deputy State Historian Mr. Robert Martinez of the NM State Record Center and Archives.

Experiential Dissemination: Public Programs, a Digital Platform, Univ. Courses and a MOOC

Our public dissemination efforts will be realized via public programs (onsite at the Heller Center and at three locations in southern Colorado), a digital platform (where users can download the AR experience), and in our university courses and a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) available to’s 30 million learners. Per Director House’s recommendations and interest in distance education efforts for Indian communities, we anticipate collaborating directly with tribal and Hispano communities to produce a “New History of Southern Colorado” MOOC that integrates video lectures featuring tribal elder and Hispano oral histories as well as studies of material culture/archeology. The MOOC will deliver distance education to Indian and Hispano youth.

Creating Expanded Horizons and New Expertise for Faculty and Students

Crucial to our success is the Co-PIs’ commitment to learning new technologies so that they can develop and manage future tech-dependent interdisciplinary projects. For example, this may include new visual programming/coding expertise using UnityScript and character (avatar) generation using MakeHuman. Garnering these abilities will allow us to marshal technology for our future efforts so that we are not dependent on other fields to achieve our goals. Via a new cadre of Augmented Reflection Scholars, we will solicit and award ten (10) annual fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students who will participate in the project. We will promote a professionalizing camaraderie where students will enroll in our respective courses (such as our fall 2018 courses, GES: Maps as Historic Document, VAPA: Sound, Listening & Imagination, ANTH: Landscape Archaeology, SPAN: Spanish Heritage of the Southwest) as well as a spring 2019 core seminar course, HIST: Digital History and Augmented Reflections, directed by Prof. Martinez and that includes faculty guest lectures. To maximize our collaboration, we request a dedicated lab space for faculty and student work. As project faculty apprentice and acquire new technical skills we also will collaborate with an outsourcing partner. Prof. Martinez successfully used this academic-private sector development model with the 120-day creation of the VR world Virtual Plasencia in 2014, a $15,000 proof-of-concept project funded by the University of Texas. Similarly, he managed the 60-day generation of the digital narrative “La Mota” with a $5,000 budget; this same digital storytelling will be used for this project. To expedite and lower the cost of our efforts, our outsourcing partner ( will prepare commonly-purchased technical infrastructure.