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Learning from the past to preserve the future of public lands

Welcome to the Public Lands History Center!

Established in 2007, the award-winning Public Lands History Center (PLHC) integrates research, education, and outreach in the best tradition of a land-grant university. Projects with National Parks and other public land management agencies enlist faculty, graduate students, and other researchers to conduct historical research that directly informs current resource management challenges. Our American West Program seeks to expose audiences to significant research, dynamic speakers, narratives of change and contestation, and the excitement of interdisciplinary dialogue on human-environment issues in the West.  The PLHC gets students out of the classroom and into the field to get the experience and connections they need for fulfilling careers after graduation.

PPL 2019 group photo: Top row left to right: Ariel Schnee, Michael Childers, Ella Rupp, Isabel Wilsons, Gentrice Petrie, Kayla Steele Second row: Alexander Miller, Isabella Condon, Marielle Lenderts Third row: Kurt Kneirim, Rebekah Schields, Leslie Moore, Hailey Doucette Bottom row: Tristan Purdy, Craig Somers, Andrew Olson, Jacob Swisher
PPL 2019 group photo: Top row left to right: Ariel Schnee, Michael Childers, Ella Rupp, Isabel Wilsons, Gentrice Petrie, Kayla Steele Second row: Alexander Miller, Isabella Condon, Marielle Lenderts Third row: Kurt Kneirim, Rebekah Schields, Leslie Moore, Hailey Doucette Bottom row: Tristan Purdy, Craig Somers, Andrew Olson, Jacob Swisher
Participants Carly Boerrigter, Daniel Gilbert, and Kylee Cole at PPL 2018 rephotographing the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Participants Carly Boerrigter, Daniel Gilbert, and Kylee Cole at PPL 2018 rephotographing the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Recent News

Research Collaboration with Colorado Parks and Wildlife Featured on State of Research Podcast

November 22, 2019

The Office of the Vice President for Research recently launched podcast showcasing research initiatives at Colorado State University. For the inaugural episode, State of Research host, Ty Betts, chose to highlight the Public Lands History Center’s ongoing research partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Now in its second year, the collaboration brings graduate student researchers […]

PLHC Intern Hailey Doucette on Her Day Shadowing an NPS Cultural Resource Program Manager

October 7, 2019

The following is written by Hailey Doucette, an intern at the PLHC during the fall ’19 semester: On October 2, 2019 I had the opportunity to shadow Rocky Mountain National Park’s Cultural Resource Program Manager, Kelly Dick, and a seasonal employee in cultural resources, Emilio Santiago.  The day was spent in the field at Lake […]

Luce Foundation Awards PLHC $225,000 Grant for “Telling Untold Stories” Project

October 7, 2019

We are very excited to share that the Henry Luce Foundation has awarded the PLHC a $225,000 grant for our “Telling Untold Stories” project.  Through this project, the PLHC plans to identify two under-served communities that have a story to tell, conduct research to help these communities claim a voice, and incorporate them into our […]

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