Lester Garvin began his career as a professional aerial photograph interpreter 55 years ago but it has only been during the last year he began to focus on finding likely Native American archaeological sites based on specific landscape characteristics. He will be displaying and describing his findings at the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival at Unity Park in Turners Falls on August 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Garvin’s observations led him to create a “predictive model” based on landscape characteristics such as the grade of slopes, southern exposure, fresh water sources, flood plains, wetlands, and soils. Using this model he has been successful in locating archaeological sites from Northampton to Greenfield. This recognition could help protect these sites from destruction and desecration.
Garvin is a professional aerial photograph interpreter and expert witness for attorneys relying on photographic evidence to support litigation. He received a B.S. Degree from the University of New Hampshire and a M.S. Degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While in graduate school he developed a methodology for mapping, state-wide, the forests and land use in Massachusetts based on 1951 and 1952 aerial photographs. The results were compiled by municipality, county and state. They became the baseline for measuring land use change in Massachusetts. The project was an early manual geographic information system. Mr. Garvin enlisted in the Navy as a photographic intelligence officer. Upon his release from active duty he continued his career as an image analyst and geospatial professional.