High Desert Curation offers professional museum, archival, and historical research services on a contract basis. We are passionate about preserving the resources that tell the story of our past; who we are and where we came from. We are available to partner with federal and state agencies, municipalities, museums, archives, historical societies and private individuals to ensure that these tangible pieces of history are managed according to current professional standards. Our core values include honesty, integrity, excellence, stewardship, and cultural awareness. Our firm is a woman-owned small business.

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Talela Florko, Curator and Project Coordinator

Talela Florko is a museum, archives, and cultural resource specialist with over 15 years of experience working with museums and archives. She brings broad experience to her consulting role and assists museums and archives in meeting professional standards through plans, recommendations, and projects which are tailored to the organization. She holds a master’s degree in museum studies from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Utah. Before founding High Desert Curation in 2014, she worked for organizations including the National Park Service (2005-2013), Natural History Museum of Utah (1997-2004), and completed internships and/or volunteer service at the Museum of Northern Arizona (2002), University of New Mexico Art Museum (2003), Texas Archeological Research Laboratory Archives (2004), Zion National Park (2006), and Idaho State Museum (2014). She is a member of the American Alliance of Museums and the Society of American Archivists and believes in creative problem solving, positive collaboration, and a commitment to professional excellence.



Elizabeth Watry, Project Historian

Elizabeth “Betsy” Watry is a researcher, author, speaker, and scholar specializing in nineteenth and early-twentieth century cultural history of the American West. Her newest book Women in Wonderland: Lives, Legends, and Legacies of Yellowstone National Park published by Riverbend Publishing in 2012, was the winner of the 2013 Willa Literary Award in the category of Scholarly Non-fiction.

She holds a master’s degree in history from Montana State University and is the co-author of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America: Yellowstone National Park (2008); Images of America: Fort Yellowstone (2012); Images of America: Livingston (MT) (2009); and Ho! For Wonderland: Travelers’ Accounts of Yellowstone, 1872-1914 (2009) published by the University of New Mexico.


Photo Credit:  Mitya Ku

Joseph Florko, Operations

Joseph Florko brings extensive experience in logistical planning and historical site protection to the team. He believes that successful stewardship begins with community partnerships and teamwork; a belief developed while serving as a law enforcement officer for the National Park Service for nearly a decade. Joe provides business operations support and museum disaster/emergency planning consultation for High Desert Curation.    


Become a Volunteer!

Volunteers help us with our mission and get exposure to a variety of cultural, social, and historical experiences and organizations. We're currently looking for volunteers to assist with:

Social Media Content Development
Collections Assistance

Volunteers work between 5 and 20 hours per week, with flexible times. Benefits include professional training, exposure to a variety of cultural institutions, and opportunities for exploring your personal interest while acquiring new skills. Volunteers over age 18 are required to complete a criminal background check. Please contact us if you are interested: hdcuration@gmail.com.


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