Colorado Water History
CSU Water History
Today's Colorado State University students, employees, and partners have inherited a substantial legacy when it comes to water-related education, research and outreach. Because these achievements emanate from across the institution, there is no single history of CSU water. Rather, many tributaries make one great stream.
To explore such a diverse and broad history, it is therefore necessary to examine the mainstem as well as the tributaries, that is, general institutional histories along with resources about individual colleges, departments, centers, programs, groups, and people. Lists below present some recommended starting places for reading and research. For further information, contact Archives and Special Collections at any time.
If you have resources to recommend (or donate!), send Patty Rettig an email (see box at right).
The "CSU trilogy" is the place to start for the overall history of the institution:
Democracy's College in the Centennial State by James E. Hansen is a history of CSU from its founding to 1970.
Democracy's University: A History of Colorado State University, 1970-2003 by James E. Hansen
CSU's Sense of Place: A Campus History of Colorado's Land-Grant University by James E. Hansen, Gordon A. Hazard, and Linda Meyer is a history of campus buildings and areas.
Books specific to water-related teaching and research include:
Department of Atmospheric Science: Fiftieth Anniversary: An Abbreviated History by the College of Engineering (2012)
Early History of the Watershed Science Program at Colorado State University, 1958-1973 by Robert E. Dils and James R. Meiman (1995)
Engineering for Agriculture at Colorado State University by A. T. Corey (1990)
Fifty Years at Colorado State University by Maurice L. Albertson (1998)
Hydraulics, Fluid Mechanics, and Hydrology at Colorado State University - Hunter Rouse (1980?)
International Education and Development at Colorado State University. Papers from a symposium to honor Maurice L. Albertson, March 16, 2998
One Hundred Years of Engineering at Colorado State University: Fulfilling the Land-Grant Mission: 1889-1989 by Ann Hilfinger and James E. Hansen
For additional university resources, see the University History Research Guide.
CSU's water history begins with the hiring of Elwood Mead in 1883. Read about his life's journey in:
Turning on Water with a Shovel: The Career of Elwood Mead by James R. Kluger (1992)
Articles and Websites
College of Engineering’s excellence rooted in its history (SOURCE, November 15, 2016)
Colorado Water Institute, 50 Years (Colorado Water, July-August 2015)
History of Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics at Colorado State University - Pierre Y. Julien and Robert N. Meroney (2003)
Impact of Reclamation's Hydraulic Laboratory on Water Development - Philip H. Burgi (2003)
Knowledge and Water: Colorado State University's Water History - Neil S. Grigg (2003)
Archival Collections - Water Resources Archive
CSU engineers/engineering collections:
Papers of Evan Vlachos (and sociology!)
Papers of Raymond L. Anderson - natural resource economics
Papers of Robert Young - agricultural economics
Papers of Edwin W. Mogren - forestry
Papers of Daniel Tyler - history
Papers of David M. Freeman - sociology
Papers of James R. Meiman - watershed science
Papers of Ted C. Sheng - watershed science
The Water Resources Archive has additional relevant collections that have not yet been prepared for use. Find those within the full list of collections, and contact us for additional information.
Oral history interviews with CSU water folks are scattered in various collections. Search for names of interest in these:
Oral History Tapes (University Archives)
Society of Senior Scholars Oral History Project (University Archives)