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.