My name is Heather, and I am a junior in college studying History with minors in Public History and Spanish. I am interning this summer at Pueblo Grande Museum in the education department, but I will be working with various other departments as well.
For vacations, my family has never simply been content with lounging on a beach. Most of our vacations are spent visiting as many museums, historic buildings, battlefields, and anything else that has any historical significance whatsoever. Therefore, I have been to a huge variety of historical institutions all over the world. However, my parents also made certain my sister and I also visited the world-class institutions located near our home in Phoenix as well. When I was younger, I actually attended an archaeology camp at Pueblo Grande Museum. This camp was one of the reasons I knew I would never be content sitting in a library all day reading about history. I needed to be out in the field, experiencing the sites and materials first hand and sharing my love for the past with others. Therefore, when the opportunity arose for me to intern at Pueblo Grande this summer, I was ecstatic because I knew that not only would it be a great experience to help prepare me for my future career in the museum field, but it would also allow me to learn more about a part of Arizona history that I had not studied since elementary school.
Today is my second day at work, and my head has not stopped spinning. I have studied the various departments of a museum like collections, education, and exhibits at my university, but it is fascinating to see all of the thought and planning that goes into every single piece of information presented to the public. Every employee is responsible for a variety of jobs due to the size of the institution, and I will have the chance to shadow some of the different people here to better understand what exactly makes a successful museum. Pueblo Grande Museum is also in the Natural Resources Division of the Parks and Recreation department in the city of Phoenix, and it is intriguing to see how this site interacts with the other recreations sites and what is its place within the city.
The museum itself includes several galleries and an outdoor walking trail around the Hohokam ruins. Every time I walk around the site, I remember why I thought prehistoric history was so cool and why I spent hours in my backyard trying to create yucca paintbrushes and pots from the mud from my mom’s garden. My job this summer will not include as many cactus spins or countless hours in the hot sun (hopefully), but it will include creating blog posts, like this one, researching new ideas for programs for the museum, and working to create new ways to explore the museum virtually. I am also going to try to learn and experience as many aspects of the museum as I possibly can like the tour I went on this morning. I am quickly learning that just because I have been to dozens of historical sites, does not mean I fully understand how each functions or the unique story behind every site. This summer will be spent getting to know Pueblo Grande, learning better techniques to share my knowledge, and growing my love for the desert and the people who live here.
Posted by Heather, Pueblo Grande Museum Summer Intern