California Archaeology and Climate Change

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

The impacts of anthropogenic climate change are currently eroding California's cultural heritage. Over the past three years, the Society for California Archaeology (SCA) has been organizing efforts to address these impacts and survey the state's coastline before thousands of archaeological sites are lost. Across the state, different agencies, tribes, university anthropology programs, avocational societies, and volunteers have been working collaboratively in conducting field studies and bringing their results to a larger public through different media venues. To date, over 80 volunteers from 7 universities, working on the lands of multiple state and federal agencies, have donated their time to survey public lands. In addition, agencies and tribes have been conducting their own studies in the hopes of managing impacts at a local level through their site-specific expertise. Tribes in particular face special challenges in protecting ancestral collection and ceremonial areas on public lands and have created their own tribal preservation programs. This symposium presents a cross-section of these efforts and offers different models for preparing for climate change for archaeologists and cultural resource preservationists worldwide.

Other Keywords
Climate ChangeCaliforniaPhotogrammetryImpactLiDARUAVdroneSea Level RiseSan Diego

Geographic Keywords
North America - California

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-4 of 4)

  • Documents (4)

  • Cruising Along the Coastline: Exploring the Possibilities of using LiDAR Data to predict Climate Change Affects Along the Southern Monterey Coast (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Annamarie Leon Guerrero. Whitney Kirkendall.

    This paper presents the collaborative efforts of the Society for California Archaeology, the US Forest Service and the Cabrillo College Archaeological field school to document sites along the southern Monterey coastline. During the 2012 field season, a new generation of archaeologists documented sites along a 2-mile stretch of coastline in order to study how coastal erosion is affecting these sites. Part of the purpose of this presentation is to highlight the importance of these types of...

  • Downpours, Storm Surges and Wildfires, Oh My! A Look at how Climate Change will Affect the Archaeological Record of San Diego County (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sandra Pentney. Marc Cavallaro.

    The effects of climate change on the physical environment are just recently beginning to be understood by scientists and local planning agencies. Climate Action Plans and Future Proofing studies are being conducted to help planners implement policies and plans to protect communities from the various effects of rising temperatures, fluctuating weather patterns, more intense storm and flood events, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. However, one area of research that has not received much...

  • Impact of Rising Sea Levels on Native American Cultural Sites in Southern California (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jeannine Pedersen. Jere H. Lipps.

    Humans arrived in Southern California about 13,000 years ago, shortly after sea level began rising following the last glaciation. Most of their sites along the shoreline of the time have been inundated and are unknown. Now hundreds of remaining sites on-shore are threatened, or will be threatened, in the foreseeable future by rising sea levels. A survey of prehistoric and historic human site elevations in Southern California reveals the 1.4 m rise in sea level expected in 2100 due only to the...

  • Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Aerial Photogrammetry on the San Diego Coastline (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maximilian Jewett.

    Developments in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) over the past five years have allowed for their use among non-experts and the rapid development, at relatively low cost, of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) or drones. UASs use the UAV platform to carry a variety of sensors. One of the most important developments coming from this technology is the ability to collect aerial photos for photogrammetry at relatively low cost. In an effort to better understand the uses, practical issues of operation, and...