Maral Tashjian, a UCSB Senior majoring in Geography, has become our third undergrad to receive a National Geographic Society Internship in the last year. Now in its 25th year, the NGS intern program offers “qualified students a professional learning experience through participation in various projects aimed at the diffusion of geographic knowledge,” according to program director Robert E. Dulli. Interns are given the opportunity to apply knowledge and classroom techniques to practical publication procedures or other geographic outreach projects, and they may be assigned to a project team to conduct editorial or cartographic research for one of the NGS magazines, books, or maps. The program is highly selective, and heads of geography departments at colleges and universities throughout the United States are asked to encourage only their strongest students to apply.
Maral is a student assistant in the Geography Department and is responsible for many of the dazzling digital graphics seen on our web site and in our Newsletter. Her interests in Geography include Geovisualization, GIS, and Sustainability. She has a webmaster internship with the UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference (to be held at UCSB June 25-26, 2006), does graphic design and web work for the MesoAmerican Research Center (MARC, part of the UCSB Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research), is working on visualizing the Mayan landscape using GIS under the supervision of Dr. Keith Clarke and Anabel Ford (from MARC), and continues to work with the NSF-sponsored ANIMEYE research project (Eye-Movement Analyses of Dynamic Geovisualization Displays) under grad student Stacy Rebich and PIs Dan Montello and Sara Fabrikant.
Maral joins an elite group. Graduate student Meri Marsh became the first UCSB geography student to garner an NGS internship (2003) in the last decade, and she seems to have paved the way for the department’s recent and successive undergraduate appointments—including Sean O’Connor, Katy Kontgis, and, now, Maral—no small feat insofar as only 11 internships are awarded nationally each fall, spring, and summer. While only the “strongest students” are encouraged to apply, we happen to have a lot of them! Application guidelines for the 2006 NGS Geography Intern Program can be found at: .