Skip to content Skip to navigation

Out West Student Blog

Aug 10 2016 | Out West student blog
Our western summer intern Kate Roberts is learning about historical ecology at the San Francisco Estuary Institute. Scientists use historical ecology research to help restore landscapes and ecosystems – which means digging through archives and historical documents, maps and data to create an image of how a landscape looked, and how its ecosystem functioned.
This summer also taught me to look at history differently. I once thought history depicted long-lost civilizations that are researched through old manuscripts. This “Ancient History” does exist, but History encompasses much more. History includes the events that happened yesterday, next door. It includes any actions that any person has taken ever.
I had no idea what I would be walking into the first day in the office. Having been to Colorado Springs, but never Denver, I arrived two days early to acclimate myself and figure out what I was going to do for the next two months.
Jul 27 2016 | Out West student blog
One of the more bizarre objects I’ve been tasked with cataloguing was a misspelled “Yeleowstone” souvenir beaded belt. The catalog number of the belt is “YELL 62824,”and I staged the photograph on July 5th. Interestingly, though the belt appears to be inspired by Native American design motifs, there is a stamp on the inside that reads, “Made in Hong Kong.”
Jul 25 2016 | Out West student blog
4am and the pre-dawn darkness saw me jolting awake, wriggling into some hiking clothes, and stumbling out the door with pack and camera in hand. By 5am I was in government vehicle with the park videographer, literally racing the sunrise. Our goal: capture the Mariposa Grove in early morning light.
Jul 25 2016 | Out West student blog
Our main goal on the grants team is to design, fund and implement environmental projects. It helps that the health and economic benefits associated with parks and public spaces are easily defensible.
Jul 20 2016 | Out West student blog
I usually spend at least half of my day in the field, though, as my main task now is to find and record anti-aircraft positions from WWII. It is hard to imagine, even as I wander through batteries and find fire control stations on various ridges, the state of military readiness that San Francisco used to be in.
Jul 17 2016 | Out West student blog
I see real-life (and really cute) examples of these wildlife problems. The other day, I held a Cooper’s hawk in a beach towel while Christy drove it to the local wildlife rehabilitation center. It had flown straight into a transparent glass-covered breezeway, and glared at me for the whole ride.
Jul 13 2016 | Out West student blog
I’ve decided to research the park service’s relationship with the seven American Indian tribes traditionally associated with the Yosemite area. I hope to revise several web pages on the official Yosemite National Park website and perhaps lay the groundwork for a future exhibit. It’s a very complex topic with a lot of conflict.
Jul 13 2016 | Out West student blog
Having been here for five weeks, I can say that the park is wild. I’ve had to stop in the middle of the road to let a herd of bison pass me, and I’ve hiked trails that lead to beaver dams miles away from any human settlement. However, I can also say it is run efficiently and effectively. All sorts of people in all sorts of occupations work here. There are rangers and shopkeepers, true, but there are also architects and geologists and computer scientists and even a historian.

Pages