Historic Preservation

  • Management decisions for places such as Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park must incorporate both climate projections and assessments of what cultural heritage is significant and should be saved for the future (NPS photo/Marcy Rockman).

Marcy Rockman: Social Ecosystems, Policy Interface, and other Unexpected Contributions of Cultural Heritage for the Challenges of Climate Change

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 6:00pm
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Meyerson Hall Upper Gallery
The University of Pennsylvania School of Design
210 S. 34th St
Philadelphia, PA

Marcy Rockman, Ph.D., RPA

IPCC Team Lead, Climate Change and Heritage Working Group
International Council on Monuments and Sites


The video recording of this lecture is available here.

Presented by The PennDesign Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology
Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Archaeology and cultural heritage broadly generally aren’t the first things most people think of when describing the challenges of and potential solutions for modern anthropogenic climate change.  But in fact they have a great deal to offer. For seven years, 2011-2018, Dr. Marcy Rockman served as Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Cultural Resources with the U.S. National Park Service.  This role required figuring out what climate change means for all of the cultural heritage (sites, historic buildings, landscapes, traditional and indigenous knowledge and practices, and museum collections) of the country and what to do about it. In this talk, Dr. Rockman shares what she wanted to build in this role, what she was able to build, and what is next for efforts to use the past to help respond to our climate changed future.

Marcy Rockman, PhD, RPA is an archaeologist turned international climate change policy wonk. Her research focus is how humans gather, share, remember, and transmit environmental information, particularly during colonization, and she’s used this to address situations as diverse as cultural resource management in the American Southwest and homeland security risk communication in Washington, DC. From 2011-2018 she served as the US National Park Service (NPS) Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Cultural Resources. She is now taking on new work with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Climate Change and Heritage Working Group as the team lead for coordination with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Dr. Rockman holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, and B.Sc. in Geology from the College of William and Mary. Her major publications include Colonization of Unfamiliar Landscapes: The Archaeology of Adaptation and Archaeology in Society: Its Relevance in the Modern World.