My name is Shaun Rose, and my graduate internship was completed with CSU’s Public Lands History Center (PLHC) under on a contract with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to deliver a cultural resource stewardship chapter for land managers at Fishers Peak State Park near Trinidad, Colorado. My role was graduate research assistant, my faculty advisor was Dr. Jared Orsi, and I also worked with PLHC’s program manager, Ariel Schnee, CPW’s archaeologist Rachel Egan, Dr. Leisl Carr Childers, and Dr. Adam Thomas. In addition to a stewardship chapter, the scope of work called for three oral histories, two field surveys and six historic preservation inventory forms, GIS shapefiles, and interpretive recommendations. The project began in Spring 2021 as the major writing assignment for my graduate U.S. history Research Seminar and continued as a summer internship. I conducted initial research between February and April 2021 and drafted an article-length narrative history by May. I continued research and writing between May and August. We conducted fieldwork at Fishers Peak State Park in June, and in July I did research at the Steelworks Center of the West archive in Pueblo.

PLHC and CPW team surveying a sandstone outcropping at Fishers Peak State Park. Far left: Rachel Egan, middle: Ariel Schnee, right: Shaun Rose. Photograph taken by Adam Thomas, 06/23/2021.

This internship will serve as the foundation for my post-graduate career search because the deliverables touch on many facets of professional public history work. Moreover, the project was significant because Fishers Peak comprises Colorado’s newest State Park—a designation that comes with increased recreational usage and subsequent potential for damage. Thus, it was very important to research, interpret, and delineate Fishers Peak’s cultural pedigree for its various inhabitants. The narrative history, interpretive recommendations, maps, and other deliverables we crafted through this project will help park staff manage Fishers Peak’s cultural resources effectively into the distant future. Leading the research on such an important project gave me a positive impression of Public History because it exceeded my expectations, overall. I am particularly pleased with our fieldwork at Fishers Peak and archival research in Pueblo.

Action shot at Fishers Peak State Park. Left: Shaun Rose, middle: Ariel Schnee, right: Rachel Egan. Photograph taken by Adam Thomas, 06/23/2021.
Shaun Rose marking UTM data-points for the Starkville Mine Ruins site at Fishers Peak State Park. Photograph taken by Adam Thomas, 06/23/2021.