ICCROM and Nantucket Historical Association create an internship programme to face climate change’s impact on built heritage We are proud partners of a new initiative to involve graduate students in creating a disaster and climate risk management plan for the historic island of Nantucket in Massachusetts, USA. The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) has partnered with ICCROM and Integrated Conservation Resources Inc. and Integrated Conservation Contracting, Inc. (ICR-ICC) and the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania to assist in developing this initiative, which results from last year’s international workshop and Climate Change and Cultural Heritage Symposium, organized by the US National Park Service (NPS) in collaboration with NHA and ICCROM. The December 2022 event examined the impacts of on cultural resources.  

ICCROM and NHA ProgrammeThis multiyear programme brings private and public partners together to apply an integrated framework to assess Nantucket’s built heritage. To foster collaboration among team members and broaden its impact to a wider audience, the project has launched a dedicated website.  

A graduate student internship programme for summer 2023 is currently underway, beginning with a preliminary survey and assessment of the NHA’s approximately 20 historic properties, along with several other representative historic properties on the island, including a review of archival records, documentation, material assessments, and environmental risk mapping. By leveraging regional climate data and site-specific environmental assessments, the project will identify the critical factors threatening the island's cultural heritage and define site vulnerabilities and risks. Such analysis holds the key to more sustainable interventions and long-term preventive conservation and management of sites and collections. 

ICCROM and NHA ProgrammeThe programme recognizes Nantucket’s unique island laboratory and its potential as a training ground for young professionals and those who will confront these issues in their careers. It will also allow the NHA to move forward quickly in a manner that not only protects its historical assets but also satisfies its mission to promote and educate. The knowledge and experience gained from this initiative will be shared with the local community and other communities, both national and international, that find themselves facing similar threats, fostering global exchange of solutions.