Historical Mapping the Colorado River Headwaters

College of Liberal Arts





Primary Topic:

Natural Resources and Sustainability

Other Topics:

Economic and Community Development

Lead Mentor:  

Michael Childers

Associate Professor

Internship Overview:

Located wholly in Grand County, Colorado, the headwaters of the Fraser and Colorado Rivers are among the most threatened rivers in North America. Decades of diversions, drought, and overuse had dramatically impacted both river’s fisheries and overall environmental health. This internship will trace the historical changes of both rivers through the use of historical satellite imagery, re-photography of historical images, and archival research. This research hopes to track the deterioration of the rivers’ riparian zones, and document which have been most heavily impacted by ranching practices providing a road map for the planning of future willow planting projects and historical preservation efforts.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

The internship’s goals are to help local stakeholders answer historical and environmental questions concerning the Colorado and Fraser Rivers, provide the intern experience in historical, natural resources and sustainability research, historical mapping, and community engagement.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

The intern will work with the Grand County Historical Association and Colorado Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Other stakeholders may be identified during the project.

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

Upon successful completion of this internship, the intern will demonstrate ability to work with stakeholders, meet deadlines in producing deliverable products, and an understanding on the connections between changing environmental conditions, ranching, fisheries, and community history.
Scroll to Top