CU-Boulder’s Center of the American West works on a variety of regional issues, including water management, relationships between federal agencies and communities and economies, land planning, Native identity, recent art and literature, and the balance of power between tradition and innovation in Western life. The Center takes as its mission the creation of forums for the respectful exchange of ideas in pursuit of solutions to the region’s difficulties. The Center believes that an understanding of the historical origins of the West’s problems, an emphasis on the common interests of all parties, and a dose of good humor are essential to constructive public discussion.
The Center’s motto is “Turning Hindsight into Foresight.” While the motto captures the Center’s vision, Applied History serves as its central technique for turning Hindsight into Foresight. How do you best use historical perspective as a navigational system in difficult times? The Center does so by paying equal attention to accurate and thorough historical research, and to the needs, identity, and concerns of the audiences we are addressing.
Although the Center is very much engaged in a wide spectrum of conversations going on in the region, as well as nationally, it is equally engaged in spreading the methodology of Applied History to students, engaging them in conversations and providing them abundant opportunities to explore and expand their education, their skill sets, and their life goals The Center provides a range of academic opportunities including a Certificate in Western American Studies, internship opportunities, a writing contest, and scholarships for Certificate Students.