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33 Historic Vehicles and Me

Jul 18 2019

Working with Thomas Moran's Watercolors (photo credit, Kaidin Phelan).  


By Theiline Pigott '20

Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Curatorial Intern, Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center

Out West Student Blog

Student Blog



Why did you want to do this internship?

I wanted to get out of the city and be surrounded by nature. I also wanted a summer experience totally different than what I have done in the past. Interning at Yellowstone provided the perfect opportunity to not only let me work in a beautiful area but also to learn more about the curatorial field.

How does your role support the host organization's mission?

This summer I am a museum intern at Yellowstone's Heritage and Research Center (HRC). I work to collect, preserve, and present to the public a wide variety of natural and cultural resources related to the park.

How would you describe one of the projects you will be working on this summer?

The HRC has 33 historic vehicles stored in an off-site location. I am maintaining the vehicles and monitoring the storage facility to make sure it remains suitable for the vehicles. My favorite vehicle stored there is the beautiful, orange Vespa (pictured). Rangers used the Vespa to patrol paved areas of the park in the 1970s. It is incredible to work with such historic and cool objects on a daily basis.

1970s Park Ranger Vespa

How does this project relate to your studies and/or career goals?

Winter Quarter of 2017, I studied abroad at Oxford. During the last few weeks of that quarter my tutor took me behind the scenes at several museums and I was introduced to the field of museum curation. This summer I am diving deeper into this fascinating field as I learn all the ins-and-outs of working in a museum.

Has anything surprised you about the work, the organization, or the environment?

I was surprised at how quickly I grew accustomed to seeing all the animals along the sides of roads or sometimes in the road! I see herds of elk and pronghorns most days and bison several times a week. I strive to constantly remind myself not to take such sights for granted and truly appreciate the wonders of nature that surround me.


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