Melting ice poses a risk to previously preserved cultural and natural resources. The Glacier National Park Ice Patch Archeology and Paleoecology Project is a first-ever cultural resources partnership for the park with tribal and university partners conducting cutting-edge, culturally informed fieldwork to survey, map, and sample stable ice patches in the park in 2010 and 2011.
The research will be used to establish a National Park Service-wide protocol for the collection, documentation, analysis and curation of artifacts recovered from melting ice patches. This project has directly engaged Native Americans in NPS cultural and natural resource stewardship in an era of climate change and has reached a wide audience, including tribal schools, with educational and interpretive materials.
The project won a Department of the Interior Partners in Conservation Award in 2012.