My internship with Pinyon Environmental, Inc. began in January 2021, but during the summer was when I dove deep into the world of cultural resource management and consulting. When I told people that I work for an environmental consulting company, they often asked how my degree in history was relevant to the type of work these companies do. Through this internship, however, I learned that history often intertwines with disciplines such as biology and engineering and that historical skills – research, analysis, critical thinking, and writing – are essential to our projects. For example, my research skills benefitted me when I was tasked with thoroughly researching the history of the High Line Canal for a project with CDOT and adding the information I found to the site forms. For this project, I also went to History Colorado and the Denver Public Library to look at primary sources such as maps, manuscripts, and photos. Some other work I completed this summer included reading a proposal and attending an interview with a potential client, completing a data scrub of community survey results for a project with the Colorado Main Street Program, leading a reconnaissance survey for a project in Denver, going to Arizona for 8 days to assist with an archaeological survey for SWCA Environmental Consultants, and setting up a variety of survey forms including cultural landscapes and linear resources.

My favorite part of this internship was that I was exposed to a variety of aspects of the CRM field – such as working with different kinds of stakeholders and completing a diverse set of tasks as mentioned above – which I believe prepared me well for my future career. I also love how Pinyon and CSU’s history department have a solid relationship that allows graduate students like me to experience what real consulting work is like. Having this valuable, practical experience at Pinyon complimented the knowledge I learned in the classroom at CSU.

An example of a word cloud that Paige made based on community survey results for the Colorado Main Streets project. Community members were asked to use one word to describe their main street, and this example represents the town of Rangely.
A very cool map from 1938 that Paige found while in the archives at History Colorado researching the history of the High Line Canal.
Photo of Paige attempting to get the perfect picture of the High Line Canal.