Communities, Climate Change, Culture and the Coast (REF2014)

Impact: Cultural, Creative Impact, Public Discourse Impact


Dawson’s research into climate-driven threats to coastal heritage has established a practical methodology for prioritising action and engaging communities in recording vulnerable sites. The work has been described as having ‘a major impact on international archaeology, heritage, public engagement, and education for sustainability’ by the North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation (NABO), while the US National Parks Service has said that his work has been an invaluable source of ‘both inspiration and practical how-to research in the analysis and protection of coastal cultural heritage’. Dawson’s research is cited in Scottish Government heritage policy and his commissioned reports have informed national archaeological frameworks. His collaborative community projects (Shorewatch and SCHARP) have directly impacted upon hundreds of participants throughout Scotland, often in distant and inaccessible places. Dawson’s frequent public talks, use of mobile technology & video, and press and broadcast interviews mean that many thousands of people globally are more aware of the richness of coastal heritage and its vulnerability to climate change.
Impact statusClosed
Category of impactCultural, Creative Impact, Public Discourse Impact


  • REF2014 case study