National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: 7 Culture and Sense of Place
Suggested Citation:"8 Geoheritage Tools." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26316.
×

8

Geoheritage Tools

Throughout the workshop, participants suggested tools that extend knowledge about geoheritage, from printed maps to cutting-edge technology. Many expressed the advantages of a set of common tools to stretch resources, maximize impact, avoid the duplication of efforts, and assist in developing common terminology and branding.

SITE DEVELOPMENT AND MONITORING TOOLS

As part of the Geoheritage Tools focus group, Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College, discussed the elements of a checklist that could be adapted to assist in site identification and development processes. These include the proposal process (site identification and prioritization, availability and accessibility, and identification of stakeholders), area/site development, consensus building, maintenance, site use policies, funding and ongoing support and long-term oversight responsibility. “One of the important things I want to mention is consensus building,” he added, linking with some of the earlier presentations. “As sites are identified and developed, one of the key aspects is making sure local people and interested parties are on board. Different groups may have different priorities.” He noted the need to achieve consensus throughout the process. Katherine McCarville, Upper Iowa University, added the group stressed using tools to think “outside the box.”

Amanda Lanik, NPS, described a checklist focused on monitoring sites to evaluate vulnerability and degradation that may warrant mitigation measures. A vulnerability assessment tailored to the specific site is a useful initial action, she suggested, followed by monitoring of visitor use/damage, natural hazards, construction/development, and invasive species. In addition to site visits, photography and 3D methods can be used, which would give a wider range of people virtual interactions and remote access to the sites while preserving the site from anthropic degradation.1 Brilha has described methods and generated a flow chart to help with site inventories, characterization, and development. 2

___________________

1 Also see García-Ortiz, E., I. Fuertes-Gutiérrez, and E. Fernández-Martínez. 2014. Concepts and terminology for the risk of degradation of geological heritage sites: Fragility and natural vulnerability, a case study. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 125(4): 463-479. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2014.06.003.

2 In Crofts, R., J.E. Gordon., J. Brilha, M. Gray, J. Gunn, J. Larwood, V.L. Santucci, D. Tormey, and G.L. Worboys. 2020. Guidelines for geoconservation in protected and conserved areas. (p. 25). Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines, Series No. 31. Gland, Switzerland, IUCN, 144 pp. DOI:10.2305/IUCN.CH.2020.PAG.31.en.

Suggested Citation:"8 Geoheritage Tools." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26316.
×

TECHNOLOGICAL TOOLS

Throughout the workshop, participants described their use of technology in all aspects of geoheritage. For example, Mattathias (Max) Needle, University of Washington, explained the benefits of 3D capture technology to complement in situ experiences and increase remote access to the site, but said they need to be interactive to have a full experience. Roy Plotnik, University of Illinois at Chicago, suggested that existing areas are “low-hanging fruit” to incorporate geoheritage content, as done for spots in the I&M Canal National Heritage Area.3

Damian Spangrud, Esri’s Director of Solutions, spoke about the digital transformation of geoheritage sites during a webinar. All parts of life are becoming not only digital but also interconnected, he noted, and “the built and natural environments are being brought together “to augment what we understand and represent about a geoheritage site” (see Figure 6). Technology innovation and integration with other information are part of the future and are already under way. “Digital natives” on campuses and in organizations are driving innovation. Moreover, COVID-19 turned “interesting” digital projects into “must-have” projects, such as getting students into the field digitally. Examples include virtual tours of sites or stories about broader landscapes, 3D exploration, and rediscovery of the past. Class materials are becoming virtual and integrating different areas of science and data sources. Other cutting-edge applications integrate sounds with geography (e.g., “soundscapes” created at Montana State University and from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks) and create multilayered digital twins (e.g., a digital twin and research repository created by The Nature Conservancy on the southern California coast). Realizing the transformation requires more than science and technology, he concluded. It requires the art of storytelling, collaboration, innovation, and an inclusive mindset.

Social media “is an efficient, low-cost way to circulate the term ‘geoheritage’ with tangible results, but you need to know your purpose and think carefully before posting,” said Natali Kragh, Montana State University, who also remarked that using the hashtag “#Geoheritage” in social media posts can make geoheritage more explicit and inclusive of work done by others while working in their own disciplines. Reporting from the Geoheritage and Geotourism/Outdoor Recreation focus group, Carol Frost, University of Wyoming, reiterated that while social media is a “great way to promote and build community around geoheritage sites,” it requires daily attention to keep content fresh. In addition, she cautioned, “once posted, content is no longer yours.” A geoheritage-specific concern relates to integrity of a site. “Social media promotion may lead to over-visitation,” she said. While heightened interest has its advantages, managers must also consider security and safety, especially for places that have few or no staff people on site.

OTHER TOOLS

In addition to technology-based tools, a range of other ideas surfaced throughout the workshop to include maps and field guides, interpretative signage and exhibits, and illustrated lectures and field trips. One focus group pointed to the frequent presence of geoheritage in popular culture, and suggested that movies, television shows, novels, and other “general

___________________

3 See https://iandmcanal.org.

Suggested Citation:"8 Geoheritage Tools." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26316.
×

audience” outreach serve as a great entry point to highlight geoheritage. This presents an opportunity to describe geoheritage in the context of popular culture.

Participants expressed interest in continuing work through increased scholarly publications on geoheritage to elevate the U.S. presence, organization of theme sessions at diverse professional society meetings, continued participation in international geoheritage events and associations, the potential establishment of a Geoheritage Scientific Division at GSA, and in continuing to grow the U.S. geoheritage community via communication networks (listservs, such as AMERICA-GEOHERITAGE (AMERICA-GEOHERITAGE@LSW.NAS.EDU), created after the workshop) and site visits.

Image
FIGURE 6 Representation of geoheritage sites is evolving.
SOURCE: Damian Spangrud, America’s Geoheritage Workshop II, Webinar, December 1, 2020.
Suggested Citation:"8 Geoheritage Tools." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26316.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"8 Geoheritage Tools." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26316.
×
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"8 Geoheritage Tools." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26316.
×
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"8 Geoheritage Tools." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26316.
×
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"8 Geoheritage Tools." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26316.
×
Page 36
Next: 9 Conclusion »
America's Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy: Proceedings of a Workshop Get This Book
×
Buy Ebook | $14.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

America is endowed with places that embody a rich geoheritage, from sites where indigenous people subsisted for millennia, to mines that furnished the raw materials that built U.S. industry, to mountain ranges and river gorges with unparalleled recreational opportunities, to field sites where students can truly understand a geological process, to places of aesthetic or spiritual value, and many more across all states and territories. In order to assess the status of geoheritage and the activities of its practitioners in the United States in light of social, political, and environmental changes over the past ten years, the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine convened a series of virtual webinars and a workshop. From September to December 2020, a Distinguished Speakers Webinar Program composed of eight webinars provided an overview of geoheritage initiatives, as well as focused presentations on geoheritage related to federal and state lands, cultural heritage, education, research, and economic development and geotourism. In January 2021, 101 land managers, state geologists, educators, researchers, and members and staff of professional societies and nongovernmental organizations participated in a virtual writing workshop to aggregate and organize community input on strategies and best practices in developing geoheritage sites across the United States. The participants were divided into focus groups that roughly aligned with the topics explored in the fall 2020 workshops. The groups worked synchronously and asynchronously over the course of a week, then presented their ideas in a plenary session. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussion of the webinars and workshop.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!