“Learning from the past to preserve the future of public lands”


My name is Adeline Renstrom, and I am a history major on my second to last semester of my senior year at Colorado State University. I am honored to have spent my spring semester 2019 as part of the intern staff at the Public Lands History Center. I was the undergraduate Research and Oral History Collections intern. My main objective for my internship was to collect, archive, and transcribe a collection of oral history projects house/done by the Public Lands History Center.


I was first introduced to this internship by my history advisor, Kim Daggett, and was fascinated with the idea of working alongside an organization that shines light on public lands and their historical significance. I worked alongside another intern, Brant Suazo, the PLHC staff, Ariel Schnee and Dr. Jared Orsi and my faculty advisor Dr. Sarah Payne.


I learned so much about resource management and the public sector of history! With the help of my faculty advisor, Dr. Sarah Payne, I developed a finding aid for all oral histories done by the center, compiled an information sheet to detail the components of every oral history project and assisted in starting an archival plan in association with Morgan Library Archive.


History is no longer just an academic tool, it can be used in so many different ways. That is one of the main takeaways that I got from my time at the PLHC. History can be used to determine the worth of a park, a house, or a story told by someone and all that information that is derived from historical research can then in turn change the outcome of the future.


I love history so very much and this experience has amplified my desire to pursue a career in Public History.