How to Be Cultural Resource Manager - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

Cultural resource managers are responsible for preserving and protecting the cultures of a specific area. They must identify, evaluate, and protect historic sites and artifacts, as well as ensure that cultural practices are respected and maintained. The effects of cultural resource managers are diverse and far-reaching.

They help to preserve cultural heritage, foster communication and understanding between different cultures, and create economic benefits for communities through the establishment of museums, cultural centers, and protected areas. In addition, they also help to promote environmental sustainability by protecting natural resources, as well as protect people’s health and safety by preserving archaeological sites and other cultural artifacts. they play an important role in preserving and protecting the cultural heritage of an area, which is key to understanding its history and identity.

Steps How to Become

  1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree. The first step towards becoming a Cultural Resource Manager is to earn a bachelor's degree in a field related to cultural resources management such as archaeology, anthropology, history, or museum studies.
  2. Gain Work Experience. To become an effective Cultural Resource Manager, you will need to gain work experience in the field. This can be done by working in an archaeological field school, on a research project, or in an internship at a museum or historical society.
  3. Obtain Certification. In order to demonstrate your expertise in the field of cultural resources management, you may wish to obtain certification from a professional organization such as the Society for American Archaeology or the Register of Professional Archaeologists.
  4. Apply for Jobs. Once you have obtained a degree and gained experience in the field, you can begin searching for jobs as a Cultural Resource Manager. You can find job postings online and in print publications as well as through networking and job fairs.
  5. Advance Your Career. As you gain experience as a Cultural Resource Manager, you may wish to pursue more specialized positions such as an Archaeological Site Steward or an Archaeological Site Supervisor. You can also pursue higher-level positions such as a Historic Site Manager or an Archaeological Project Manager.

The need for a reliable and capable Cultural Resource Manager is becoming increasingly important in today’s society. Without such a professional, organizations and communities can suffer from a lack of understanding of the cultural heritage and history of their area. Consequently, the value of preserving and protecting this cultural legacy can be overlooked, leading to negative outcomes such as a lack of preservation of archaeological sites, destruction of traditional cultural practices, and a decrease in public appreciation for cultural diversity.

A competent Cultural Resource Manager can help to prevent these issues by developing and implementing effective policies, procedures, and programs that promote the understanding, protection, and appreciation of our cultural heritage. By doing so, these professionals can ensure that our history and cultural heritage is preserved for future generations to enjoy.

You may want to check Paleontologist, Remote Sensing Specialist, and Photographic Interpretation Specialist for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Develop and implement cultural resource management plans, including survey and inventory activities.
  2. Monitor and document cultural resources in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
  3. Coordinate with local, state, tribal, and federal agencies to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  4. Prepare reports and presentations to summarize archaeological surveys, inventories, and other cultural resource management activities.
  5. Research and analyze historic documents, photographs, maps, and other records to identify and evaluate cultural resources.
  6. Assist with the development of environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, and other documents related to cultural resources.
  7. Liaise with Native American tribes to ensure proper consultation and coordination regarding cultural resource management activities.
  8. Provide technical guidance to staff regarding cultural resource management issues.
  9. Identify and assess potential impacts to cultural resources resulting from proposed projects or activities.
  10. Develop strategies to mitigate impacts on cultural resources due to proposed projects or activities.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of cultural heritage management practices and principles.
  2. Understanding of relevant state, federal, and international laws and regulations pertaining to cultural heritage management.
  3. Ability to lead teams to accomplish cultural resource management objectives.
  4. Ability to develop and implement strategies to protect and/or preserve cultural resources.
  5. Proficiency in project planning, budgeting, and contracting.
  6. Ability to research and analyze data related to cultural resources.
  7. Knowledge of archaeological methods and techniques.
  8. Knowledge of historic preservation principles and practices.
  9. Ability to prepare and present project reports to stakeholders.
  10. Knowledge of public engagement strategies and techniques.
  11. Knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other mapping software.
  12. Understanding of tribal consultation processes and protocols.
  13. Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
  14. Ability to work collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders.

Having knowledge of cultural resources is essential for a Cultural Resource Manager. This knowledge is necessary to ensure that all cultural resources are protected and managed in accordance with regulations, ethical standards, and best practices. Without this knowledge, Cultural Resource Managers would struggle to properly assess the risks and benefits associated with managing cultural resources, leading to decisions that may have unwanted environmental or cultural impacts.

Furthermore, without understanding the importance of cultural resources, Cultural Resource Managers would be unable to effectively communicate with stakeholders or influence decisions about how to best manage those resources. Finally, having a deep knowledge of cultural resources is also necessary to ensure that any decision or activity undertaken by Cultural Resource Managers aligns with the goals of the organization or project. In sum, Cultural Resource Managers must have a comprehensive knowledge of cultural resources in order to protect and manage them in a responsible manner.

GIS Specialist, Field Supervisor, and Historian are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have as a Cultural Resource Manager?
  • Describe a successful project that you have managed as a Cultural Resource Manager.
  • How do you prioritize tasks and ensure all projects are properly completed?
  • What challenges have you faced while managing cultural resources?
  • How would you handle a complex cultural resource issue?
  • What strategies do you use to ensure cultural resources are protected?
  • How do you stay abreast of the latest developments in cultural resource management?
  • What do you believe are the most important qualities for a successful Cultural Resource Manager?
  • What experience do you have working with different stakeholders in the cultural resource management field?
  • How do you ensure that cultural resources are used ethically and in accordance with regulations?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. GIS Software. A geographic information system (GIS) that stores, analyzes, and visualizes data related to locations on Earth (e. g. ArcGIS).
  2. Archaeological Data Recording Software. Software used to record archaeological data, such as site information, artifact catalogues, and survey notes (e. g. SiteRecorder).
  3. Database Management Software. Software used to store and organize cultural resource data (e. g. FileMaker Pro).
  4. Digital Photography Software. Software used to capture and store digital photographs of cultural resources (e. g. Adobe Photoshop).
  5. Cultural Resource Inventory Software. Software used to create and manage inventories of cultural resources (e. g. Heritage Inventory System).
  6. Online Mapping Tools. Web-based tools used to map and visualize geographic data (e. g. Google Maps).
  7. Remote Sensing Software. Software used to interpret aerial and satellite imagery (e. g. ENVI).
  8. Cultural Heritage Management Software. Software used to create and manage heritage databases (e. g. PastPerfect).
  9. Public Outreach Software. Software used to communicate cultural resources to the public (e. g. WordPress).

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA)
  2. Association of State and Interstate Water Management (ASIWM)
  3. National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO)
  4. National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE)
  5. National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)
  6. Society for American Archaeology (SAA)
  7. Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA)
  8. Society for Industrial Archeology (SIA)
  9. Society for Professional Archaeologists (SOPA)
  10. World Archaeological Congress (WAC)

We also have Topographer, Artifact Analyst, and Archaeometallurgist jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Archaeology. The scientific study of past human cultures and their artifacts.
  2. Historic Preservation. The protection and conservation of historically and culturally significant sites, buildings, and other structures.
  3. Cultural Landscape. The physical features of an area that are associated with its cultural values, traditions, and history.
  4. Built Environment. All of the structures and surrounding environment, including roads, bridges, parks, and other components, that have been built by humans.
  5. Cultural Resource Management (CRM). A professional field that focuses on the identification, evaluation, protection, and interpretation of archaeological, historic, and cultural resources.
  6. Site Assessment. An evaluation of the significance of a cultural resource site in order to determine its eligibility for protection under federal or state laws.
  7. National Register of Historic Places. The official list of properties deemed worthy of preservation by the U. S. government due to their historical and cultural significance.
  8. Heritage Tourism. A form of tourism focused on cultural and historical sites, such as cultural landscapes and historic buildings.
  9. Public Education. Outreach programs and educational materials created to educate the public about cultural resources and their importance.
  10. Cultural Resource Planning. A process in which CRM professionals create strategies for the management and preservation of cultural resources based on their assessment and evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Cultural Resource Manager?

A Cultural Resource Manager is a professional responsible for identifying, preserving, and managing cultural resources such as archaeological sites, historical buildings, and other cultural artifacts.

What qualifications are needed to become a Cultural Resource Manager?

To become a Cultural Resource Manager, one typically needs to have a Bachelor's degree in archaeology, anthropology, history, or a related field. Additional qualifications may include certifications in related fields and experience in archaeological field surveys and excavations.

What type of tasks does a Cultural Resource Manager typically perform?

Tasks typically performed by a Cultural Resource Manager include conducting field surveys, excavations, and research; preparing reports and documents; monitoring and managing cultural resources; and working with local stakeholders and communities to promote the preservation of cultural resources.

How many Cultural Resource Managers are there in the United States?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 3,700 Cultural Resource Managers employed in the United States in 2019.

What is the average salary of a Cultural Resource Manager?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Cultural Resource Managers was $62,020 in 2019.

Web Resources

  • Cultural Resource Management - University of Oklahoma
  • Graduate Program in Cultural and Heritage Resource …
  • Master of Arts in Cultural Resource Management
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