Out West student blog

Exploring the West from the Midwest

Nina Wagner, boating on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota in her free time (Photo credit: Nina Wagner).

By Nina Wagner BS '20, MA '21
Hometown: Tonka Bay, MN
Major: Biology and History
Museum Intern, Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center

Why did you want to do this internship?

As someone studying both history and biology, I was interested in exploring the intersection of these two fields, and working with a national park is one of the best ways to do so. I greatly enjoy visiting national parks and wanted the opportunity to learn more about their history, while also cultivating skills in museum and curatorial work. 

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

The mission of Yellowstone HRC is to document, preserve, and make accessible to the public the abundance of natural and cultural resources within their collection. I support this mission by assisting in the documentation of many of these resources, as well as through advocacy for greater preservation and working to increase accessibility through social media and digital archives. 

Describe one project you will be working on this summer.

This summer, I am reorganizing and analyzing documentation of Yellowstone's historic vehicle collection to inform the proposal I am writing for a new storage and walkthrough space for the vehicles. As a part of this project, I am also researching the history of the varieties of vehicles within the collection.

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

This coming year, I will be returning to Stanford for my coterminal Master’s program in history. This project, and the internship as a whole, are helping me develop foundational skills relating to handling and analyzing historical documents and items that will be applicable to the classes and research I do for my Master’s degree, as well as help inform my future career path in relation to history. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am incredibly lucky to live on a lake here in Minnesota, so I enjoy spending my free time out on the lake boating and swimming. I've also been enjoying spending time with my family and my cats! At the beginning of this summer, I also was able to spend time in Northern Idaho exploring the rivers and mountains in that area.

 

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