Colorado State University Spotlights Water Resources Archivisit, Patty Rettig

By October 3, 2017News

Exerpt from full article: https://source.colostate.edu/provosts-council-engagement-spotlight-patty-rettig/

How have you, your program or students benefitted from what you have learned as an engaged faculty member? And, has there been any sort of reciprocity – or two-way learning – with the communities outside of CSU that you have been involved with?

An archival repository that collects historically important materials from outside its home institution is inherently dependent on engaging with the appropriate communities. The Water Resources Archive cannot be isolated and effective at the same time. From the beginning of the Archive in 2001, with the assistance of numerous university water folks along the way, I have been active in the Colorado water community, listening to issues, learning about organizations, and meeting individuals.

The outcome of my work, as far as saving and making available historically important water-related documents, benefits not only students who might be interested in using such materials for research, but also the whole state and anyone around the world who might want to learn about the important achievements related to Colorado water. The water community also benefits not only through having their heritage prioritized, preserved, and honored here, but also through events we have held, such as Water Tables, which allows them to both learn from us and teach us – and each other – more about our common history.

The best example of reciprocity that I have is a recent one, when I began working with the Land Rights Council in the San Luis Valley. They needed assistance with their historical documents and, though wary of outsiders, were open to discussions about the Water Resources Archive’s expertise. I in turn learned a great deal about their needs and concerns, and it has resulted in the start of a great partnership to preserve their history.