Westfield State University student Anna Therien’s poster wins NESTVAL competition

Westfield State University student Anna Therien, a senior from Woonsocket, R.I., won the undergraduate poster competition hosted by the New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL). Her poster, “Focusing Regional Conservations through Local Town-Based Plans,” evolved from a regional conservation planning project for the Pioneer Valley.

While interning at Harvard Forest, she compiled data on the resources and goals that the towns were prioritizing. After, she converted it to quantitative data to create maps that show the goals in 10 categories and how each town prioritized them. With this, all information was condensed into one document that is user friendly, especially for land conservation seeking personal approaches.

“NESTVAL brings together students and faculty from over 25 colleges with geography-related departments in New England and the St. Lawrence Valley (Canada). It is a testament that her strong work ethic and keen intellect, combined with her faculty mentoring, allows her to continually produce quality research that beat out students from traditional research tier-one universities that make up the membership,” said Timothy DeLoux, Ph.D., associate professor of geography, planning and sustainability, explaining the significance of this accomplishment. “It also shows how high impact practices can turn into quality undergraduate research opportunities, as much of her research came out of her summer internship experience.”

“I am so grateful. It really is a confidence booster when my work is acknowledged like that at a conference where I am making connections with people in my field,” said Therien.

Therien is pursuing a double major in regional planning and environmental science, with a particular interest in geographic information systems and land conservation.

Earlier this year, an article she co-authored with Westfield State’s Robert Bristow, Ph.D., a GPS professor, was published in the North American Archaeologist journal. It’s listed as “Discovering archaeological landscapes in parks and protected areas.”