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The Digital humanities are shaping new frontiers of knowledge and action. For over a decade, Zappia has engaged in several digital collaborative projects intersecting his scholarship and outreach efforts which utilize spatial history to uncover deeper ecological and economic patterns. His first major effort began in 2008 as Project Manager of the Early California Cultural Atlas (ECCA).
Directed by Steven Hackel, ECCA was a digital public history project part of a National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH)-sponsored initiative exploring how innovative technologies can deepen humanistic inquiries through spatial analysis. As Project Manager, Zappia oversaw data analysis for the digital atlas, participates in external reviews, and co-authors white papers. This has contributed to the creation of ECCA’s digital map that explores the migration of goods and people occurring in California between 1769-1850.
More recently, Zappia has co-founded and launched Open Gärden, a history app connecting urban garden spaces with historical environments in Los Angeles and around the world. He is also co-director of California's Golden Brew, a digital humanities project visualizing and documenting the spread of coffee and avocado production in California. Both projects were supported by Whittier College's Digital Liberal Arts Center, where Zappia served as Project Leader.
Zappia has employed digital techonologies in his pedagogy as well. His students have produced numerous public history web curated projects in his courses, including topics ranging from Native California to environmental sustainability efforts around Los Angeles.
Past and Current Projects Include:
Project Manager, 2008-2013
Project Lead, 2018-2019
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