Latest: Top National Park Service climate official resigns

Marcy Rockman cites pressure from agency.


Marcy Rockman (right) at the 2017 Climate March at the White House.


In 2011, archaeologist Marcy Rockman became the first person appointed to study climate change’s impacts on cultural resources in national parks. That year, the GOP-controlled Congress cut her program’s budget by 70 percent; with less than $3 million, Rockman studied national parks across the country. At the same time, then-Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis commissioned a scientific report that urged park managers to “boldly and decisively” prepare for severe climate shifts (“How the Park Service is planning for climate change,” HCN, 8/22/16).


On Nov. 2, Rockman resigned, saying that she had to fight to perform even basic tasks. Her resignation letter reiterated the importance of addressing climate impacts, and added that the Park Service did not adequately support cultural resources, which hampered her efforts, “as throughout I’ve remained effectively a program of one.” Rockman plans to work with the International Council on Monuments and Sites to encourage greater inclusion of cultural and natural heritage considerations in reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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