Management of Cultural Heritage Sites:
Tourism, Archaeology, and Preservation in the Postmodern World

Email for next course offering.

Elizabeth A. Comer
Dr. Douglas C. Comer

Telephone 410 243-2626
Fax 410 243-8383

This course will provide students with a basic knowledge of current internationally accepted approaches to the management of historic and cultural sites. The cornerstone of this course is that successful management must be guided by those qualities that render a cultural site significant. The relationship between site significance and site values, management objectives, site operations, site development, staffing, training, interpretation, maintenance, visitor protection and safety, tourism, marketing, site monitoring, and relationships with local business and population groups will be explained. The course is geared to those who have or will have responsibilities for the management of cultural sites. Internationally known experts will speak on appropriate topics. Class members will participate in the development of a carrying capacity study for a cultural site near the College Park campus as a vehicle with which to engage the gamut of site management issues. Carrying capacity studies, a long established management tool within the U.S. National Park Service, attempt to answer the question of how much public use is appropriate in order to sustain a site economically while avoiding degradation of the visitor experience and damage to site resources.

Course requirements:

This course will be conducted as a seminar. Students will be expected to review certain assigned readings and to participate in classroom discussions. Grades will be determined as follows:

*Participation in the preparation of a carrying capacity study for a local cultural site. Portions of these studies will be assigned each week.

*One page review of reading assignments and leading a 30 minute classroom discussion based on this review.

*Classroom work, including submission of two questions about the week's reading assignments at the beginning of each class and participation in class discussion.

A written, critical evaluation of the carrying capacity study formulated by the class, addressing both process and product, based in assigned readings.


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