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An Integrated Analysis of Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments for National Park Service Cultural Resources

Across America, cultural heritage objects, places, and knowledge are threatened by impacts associated with changing climate. These include archaeological sites, historic structures, cultural landscapes, ancient artifacts, archives, and more. To assess vulnerability in a measurable and comparable manner, the National Park Service has conducted an array of vulnerability assessments for climate change impacts for the cultural heritage resources it manages. In this project, 14 vulnerability assessments in park units nationwide are analyzed to identify needs, themes, and patterns. The goal is to improve the practice of vulnerability assessments as well as scientific understanding of cultural resources vulnerability to climate change. This analysis, the first of its kind, produced a report listing high priority data gaps, summarizing best practices including blended quantitative/qualitative methods, and clear recommendations for improvement of coverage and data sharing platforms. The next phase, to apply these methods to park units in the American Southwest, is underway.


  • Dr. Pei-Lin Yu, Boise State University – Anthropology
  • Dr. Marcy Rockman, National Park Service Climate Change Response Program
  • Mr. Connor Neal, Boise State University – Anthropology MA Student

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