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Projects with Promise

Vol. 26 No. 1

Tides of History: Utilizing Service-Learning to Prepare and Preserve Local Historical Resources for Climate Change

June 7, 2020


As storms become more intense and sea levels rise, coastal cultural institutions are seeking ways to protect and preserve their collections within the challenging context of limited budgets and human resources. These institutions are not alone in their consideration of climate change risk; coastal colleges and universities, which are also threatened, are striving to develop strategies of adaptation and preparation. Collaborations between institutions of higher education and local communities have developed general municipal climate change adaptation and mitigation plans, but historical and cultural resource preservation have not been a focus in this work to date. This article describes a service-learning collaboration between a public R1 university and a small local history museum in coastal Florida, including methods and outcomes of three major course projects, to model how student labor can help meet historical preservation and adaptation needs while also fulfilling the learning outcomes of a public history course.