The Meeting of Past and Present

  As I finish my second week with the Anza Trail I feel I have learned so much but also feel there is so much more to learn, which I think is a good place to be. This week I had the opportunity to interview a geography professor who worked on a project that connects to my current project, in terms of using GIS to outline the Trail and the campsites of the expedition. Talking to him gave me so many ideas to be able to incorporate into the Story Map I am developing for the trail. I have already begun creating a practice story map that tells the story of the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail, which has familiarized me with the information and the software. This week I also had the opportunity to speak to one of the staff members who works in the office and works in the field that I am interested in, and she gave me advice on how use GIS as a tool and what it’s like to work for the National Park Service (NPS). I have also had the chance to further familiarize myself with the national park system and talk to other people that work for the NPS and hear their perspective on it. Although being able to learn so much and meet new people is great, I think my favorite adventure this week has been being able to go to the Peralta Hacienda. I really like to experience new things and try to feel how the people who came before us felt at that point in history, and visiting the Hacienda gave me just that feeling. The Peralta Hacienda belonged to one of the families that came on the Anza expedition, and being able to see this little piece of history of the Anza expedition really gave me an inside perspective of what the Trail is about. Prior to this internship I had never even heard of the Trail, and now being able to meet all these people who are fascinated, committed, and excited about the Trail has made me more excited about my project, and has made me realize that the NPS does so many great things that communities all over the United States can enjoy.

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