Click the icon for more background information about education opportunities using Cultural Resources.

The USFWS is responsible for protecting and managing tens of thousands of cultural resources located on its lands or affected by agency undertakings. By law, the Service is required to identify cultural resources, evaluate their importance, and consult with interested parties concerning their protection. But cultural resources are much more than simply a legal responsibility. They are also assets that have the potential to help foster better relationships with communities and tribes and commemorate significant events in national and local history. For example, the study of cultural resources provides important information on environmental changes that have occurred over thousands of years, generating information that can be used for managing FWS lands.

Many cultural resources embody values important to communities and tribes that are near to refuges and hatcheries. Cultural resource studies often create partnerships that cultivate support for FWS programs from these communities, tribes, other Federal and state agencies, friend organizations and volunteers. Historic buildings conserved and reused as offices or visitor facilities provide economic benefits to the FWS and community. And, cultural resources also offer excellent interpretive opportunities to educate visitors about how humans have affected and been affected by the environment.

This can be a powerful element of any interpretive or environmental education program. Below are some resources that are available to help you with managing and interpreting cultural resources.

Fish and Wildlife – Then and Now

USFWS biologists study and examine in detail the life ways and habitat use of many different types of animals in order to determine the best ways of managing habitat resources. In most instances they rely on biological data from living animal communities to base their management decisions. In some instances, USFWS biologists have also made use of the large body of information on animal life ways that can be gleaned from the animal remains recovered from archaeological sites. Using this type of date is the focus of a subset of archaeology called Zooarchaeology. Zooarchaeological data offers a wealth of information of the past life ways of animal species, much of which can and is being used by the biological community to understand current habitat needs.

Please click on the links below to read more about zooarchaeological studies conducted on USFWS lands.

Using Archaeological Data for Biological Research (157 KB PDF)

Use and Importance of Zooarchaeolgical Research Biological Expeditions (107 KB MS Word)

Wild for History

Educating the public has always been a primary function for the USFWS. Recent trends in public use and visitation indicate that many more people are interested in learning about history in addition to other, more traditional recreational activities. Additionally, many school curricula have begun to use subjects like archaeology to teach students not only about history, but about mathematics, physics and philosophy. Archaeological data can be applied to a great variety of classroom situations and can help students grasp concepts that might otherwise prove difficult in mastering. The vast array of historical assets in the possession of the USFWS is well-positioned for use as educational tools for students in a variety of subject and topics.

Please click on the links below to learn more about how USFWS cultural resources can be applied to learning not only about history but other topics of importance to young minds.

The Battle of Midway, a Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan for teachers.