The objective of this Topic Area was to demonstrate and validate advanced cultural resource survey technologies, techniques for historic property rehabilitation, content management systems, emerging and maturing remote sensing platforms, and advanced analytical processing algorithms that improve the pace, scale, and accuracy of such tools and approaches on DoD lands.
Proposals focused on:
Proposals considered cultural resources management needs relevant to DoD installations.
The proposed research work will benefit the DoD’s statutory obligations for cultural resources management by providing improved tools and procedures for identification, evaluation, and mitigation of cultural resources degradation or loss in support of mission activities. This research work will improve DoD compliance with all cultural resource statutes, regulations, and executive orders including:
The Department’s cultural resources are part of the nations’ assets, and the Department holds these resources in trust for future generations. Properly managed, cultural resources are mission-enhancing assets, connecting our fighting men and women with their proud history and traditions. Some of the nation’s most prized cultural resources continue to be maintained and managed by the Department and are directly tied to the mission and used for its benefit. These projects will provide installation managers with the ability to make informed decisions about cultural resources to best fulfill installation needs.
Fulfilling its obligations of identification and evaluation of historic properties is critical for DoD to meet its compliance requirements. The National Historic Preservation Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Native American government-to-government consultations require knowledge of which assets are historic. These compliance requirements take significantly longer without complete surveys because unevaluated properties must be surveyed first, prolonging environmental assessments of planned mission activities, slowing tribal consultation, and limiting access to training lands.
Recent advances of remote sensing technology and analytical algorithms have revolutionized the ability to identify and map cultural resources at landscape scales. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are a key part of scaling observations from lidar, ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and sensors affixed to unmanned aerial systems. Increasing the pace and accuracy of cultural resource surveys and site mapping is a priority for DoD cultural resource managers and installation environmental staff.