Summertime Standouts: Craig Somers
Beyond the walls of academia, the field of public history uses the methods of historical research to interpret the past and educate the general public and public agencies. From historic preservation to oral history techniques, public history aims to deepen public connection with the past.
Craig Somers, a graduate student in Colorado State University’s history department, is inspired by preservation’s move toward more inclusive practices that “engage underrepresented communities to recover cultural identity and history.”
Somers is somewhat of a nontraditional student in the public history program. While he has a passion for public lands and American history, his previous experience is in design.
Somers had visited multiple national parks throughout his time as an undergraduate and was curious about how the National Parks Service functioned from the inside. After completing his undergraduate degree in design, he interned at North Cascades National Park. He then went to Seattle and worked for an exhibit design on several projects with the National Parks Service. 15 years after he completed his undergraduate degree, he decided to “formally study historic preservation in preparation for a career in cultural resource management.”
“I’d like to work as a historic preservation specialist. There are so many ways that history and preservation can benefit local communities,” said Somers. “I would also really like to be involved in interpretation at public sites.”
This summer, Somers is working with the Public Lands History Center (PLHC) and the City of Greeley’s Historic Preservation Office to conduct various public history projects.