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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

CSU Faculty Member Douglas Sheflin Receives Choice’s Outstanding Academic Title Designation for Legacies of Dust

February 11, 2020

Colorado State University History faculty member, Dr. Douglas Sheflin, recently received the 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title designation for his book Legacies of Dust: Land Use and Labor in the Colorado Plains. Dr. Sheflin has contributed to the PLHC’s research as a co-author on our Scott’s Bluff digital history report.  He is also the current […]

Faculty Director Jared Orsi Published in The Conversation

December 13, 2019

Last Week, PLHC Faculty Director Dr. Jared Orsi published an article in the Conversation discussing Quitobaquito, an oasis in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  With a rich historical and ecological past, Quitobaquito will be impacted by the Trump Administration’s planned border wall.  Head over to our blog to read the full article, or view the […]

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 […]

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