Associate Professor


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Associate Professor
    • Chair of Graduate Studies
  • Concentration:

    • Public History and Environmental History
  • Department:

    • History
  • Education:

    • Ph.D., University of New Mexico



I joined the faculty at CSU in fall 2012 when I was hired as one of the department s three Public Historians. Prior to my time at CSU, I worked in a wide range of Public History positions including at a consulting firm specializing in historic preservation and cultural resource management, as the managing editor of the New Mexico Historical Review, and as a consultant for museum and outreach projects. In addition to teaching and continuing to practice Public History my research is in the field of Environmental History. My current manuscript project Screwing with Nature: An Environmental History of Birth Control in the United States explores the production, consumption, and disposal histories of contraceptives from the late nineteenth century to 2010. In addition to teaching in the history department, I serve as a Faculty Affiliate of CSU's Public Lands History Center. At the PLHC my colleagues and I work with students on a wide range of projects that further knowledge of the history of America's public lands using our expertise in environmental history historic preservation Native American history social history museum studies and cultural resource management.


Cultural Resource Management/Historic Preservation with Adam Thomas.

Public History with Leisl Carr Childers and Adam Thomas.

History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality with Professors Ruth Alexander and Ann Little.

Environmental History with Professors Jared Orsi, Leisl Carr Childers, Michael Childers, and Ruth Alexander.

Public Lands History with faculty at the Public Lands History Center


Dr. Payne advises and mentors graduate students training in the Cultural Resource Management (CRM) & Historic Preservation Concentration of the Master of Arts in History program. She takes 3-4 graduate students per year who want to earn an MA in the CRM&HP Concentration (program code HIST-CMHZ-MA). Dr. Payne is also interested in working with graduate students who want to complete a thesis, studying the intersections of environmental history and public history, or environmental history and gender history. She will consider taking 1 thesis graduate student each year. Graduate students interested in working with Dr. Payne must email her for an introductory meeting before they apply.


  • HIST 503 Methods Seminar in Historic Preservation (odd springs)
  • HIST 479 The Practice of Public History (every fall)
  • HIST 478 Heritage Resource Management (cross-listed as ANTH 478, offered even springs)
  • HIST 476 The History of America s National Parks
  • HIST 355 American Environmental History
  • HIST 151 U.S. History since 1877



Select Publications:

Confinement in the Land of Enchantment: Japanese Americans in New Mexico During World War II. Natl Park Service Japanese Confinement Sites Program, 2017. This project produced a publication, StoryMap, research materials, and interpretive plans. The collaborative, engaged research project won the Honorable Mention Outstanding Public History Project Award from the National Council for Public History in 2018. See my Ted Talk on the project.

Changes in Riverine Agricultural Practices at the Pueblo de Cochiti, 2012. Prepared for the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Pueblo de Cochiti and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) Albuquerque District.

“Place, Gender, Ethnicity, and the Role of the Nation in the Lives of Northern Plains Women.” In Women on the North American Plains, ed. Renee M. Laegreid and Sandra K. Mathews, forward by Joan M. Jensen.  Texas Tech University Press: 2011.


  • SP22: ANTH/HIST 478 Heritage Resource Management

    Why do we care about the past and how do we protect it? In this course, we’ll investigate these questions by combining lectures, readings, and classroom discussions with practicing the very management theories and methods we learn about. Heritage/cultural resource management is an interdisciplinary practice that uses the methodologies of history, architecture, archaeology, ethnography, landscape architecture, and others to identify, preserve, interpret, and/or mitigate damage to heritage resources. We will learn about heritage resource management legislation in the U.S. and internationally. We will discuss the “how-tos” of managing resources, including public involvement and stakeholders, site protection, and interpretation. We will investigate the current conflicts and ethical dilemmas in the field. As a class, we will identify, document, and work on management plans for a local heritage resource. Through the above classroom and project activities, we will sharpen critical thinking and writing skills.