Site Vulnerability Assessment Form Summary Page

Site Vulnerability Assessment Form Summary Page

As part of our Remote Site Surveillance event in August of 2008, which I’ve mentioned in the prior two blog posts, we are working to enhance the joint U.S. Forest Service-Louisiana Army National Guard’s “Site Vulnerability Assessment Model.”  This effort also has direct bearing on Preserve America, in some strange way.  The vulnerability model, quite simply, consists of a sheet of paper with a bunch of questions that help land managers determine how vulnerable a site is to destruction (e.g., looting or erosion), and where extremely scarce surveillance resources should go.  It consists of a series of penetrating questions like, “does it look like it’s being looted?,” “how far is it from the road?,” and “is it important to the tribes or local community?”

But okay, I may be downplaying this too much.  It’s really much more involved than I have let on.  In reality it consists of three sheets of paper.  Yet Martin McAllister, one of the great dons of ARPA training for feds, says he often references the model in his classes, because most federal land managers have yet to come up with or employ anything this sophisticated.  Sigh.

by Phosy, Flickr, credited Alfonso Silóniz, Nova-Foto.net

by "Phosy," Flickr, credited Alfonso Silóniz, Nova-Foto.net

One of the specific recommendations from the Preserve America summit’s “Addressing Security Panel” was to “develop risk assessment methods appropriate for…archaeological properties” (p12).  In my mind that is exactly what the model is doing.  NCPTT’s efforts to automate that process using GIS and state site file data simply make it functional in the digital world.   Next stop?  Data tablets and PDAs in the field….or maybe just a nice binder for the sheets of paper.

—David W. Morgan (NCPTT, A&C, blog 4)

P.S. Our IT guru will release open-source code for the vulnerability model in the near future, so that land managers anywhere can adopt the USFS-LAARNG system for their use.

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2 Responses to The Highest of High-Tech: A Sheet (or Three) of Paper

  1. Tom says:

    So how long before any of this is implemented?

    • I expect to release an iPhone app called Vulnerability this calendar year. I am developing a suite of iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad applications for use in preservation. Rather than release an asp.net web-based version as I originally developed, I will release a WordPress plug in for each of these applications.

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