Cultural Resources

The numerous and valuable cultural resources found in Coastal Southern California national parks, including nationally significant ethnographic, archaeological, historic and scenic sites, as well as historical structures and cultural landscapes that are, or eligible for, listing on the National Register of Historic Places, provide a wealth of opportunities for researchers interested in various aspects of cultural resource science, management and research, and historic preservation. Understanding the past history is crucially important to park managers since decisions made in the present are often influenced by the events of the past.

Past Research

  Cabrillo Channel Islands Santa Monica Mountains
Identification and evaluation of historic structures, sites, cultural landscapes, and related historic themes     X
Baseline data on the distribution, status, condition, and historical context of cultural resources.      
Identifying and documenting archaeological resources (including shipwrecks)   X  
Studying the interaction of maritime adapted peoples with their changing environment   X  
Influences of environment and cultural evolution through time   X  
Documenting the historical architecture and landscape resources and their change over time   X  
Chronicling human history on the islands   X  
Documenting the native Kumeyaay people on Point Loma X    

Current Research

  Cabrillo Channel Islands Santa Monica Mountains
Developing collections and database of historic photos and maps     X
Identifying existing oral histories and conducting oral history research     X

Research Opportunities
Because of the diversity and complexity of cultural resources in our parks, past and current studies only scratch the surface of needed cultural research. The parks are interested in and welcome any future studies in the following topics:

  Cabrillo Channel Islands Santa Monica Mountains
Research that complements current studies with detailed looks at peoples, sites, and themes X   X
Contemporary oral histories and individual and family life histories     X
Ethnobotanic and ethnomineralogical studies of resource usage by native peoples     X
Ehtno-historic research, especially of the 1850s to 1950s     X
Identification and analysis of museum collections   X X
Settlement studies     X
Detailed looks at the people who owned, occupied, and used the islands their ethnicities, the remains and influences of their period of use   X  
Examination of prehistoric and historic settlement patterns and changes in subsistence, trade, and political economy through time   X  
Migration to North America   X  
Human settlement and historic ecology   X  
Fishing and maritime adaptations (pre-historic and historic)   X  
Ethnography and ethno-history: the various groups who occupied the land and/or exploited the resources   X  
Historic, economic and social aspects of sheep and cattle ranching   X  
Military and Coast Guard uses of the islands   X  
Conducting a comprehensive archival survey to document potential underwater resources off Point Loma to understand the human prehistory of the peninsula X    
Identifying resources of interest in other museums and private collections X    
Studying the intertwined processes of Spanish colonialism, military activities, whaling and development, lighthouse utilization, and urbanization of the West Coast X    
Composing archaeological, ethnographic, and ethno-historic overviews that address the human impact over time X    
Developing collections and databases of historic photos and maps X    
Identifying existing oral histories and conducting additional research on local oral history X