A Charles Sturt University academic will receive a major United States award in recognition of his untiring efforts to help preserve the culture and history of the tiny former US colonies found scattered across the Pacific Ocean.
Associate Professor Dirk Spennemann will be presented with the 2001 Partnership Stewardship Award for Cultural Resource Management from the US National Park Service at ceremony to be held next week in San Francisco.
Professor Spennemann will receive the award for his outstanding accomplishments over nearly twelve years in research and education in the fields of archaeology, cultural resource management, heritage eco-tourism and disaster preparedness across the region.
According to the Pacific West Regional Director of the National Parks Service, John Reynolds, Professor Spennemann's activities have greatly benefited tiny island nations and administrations such as the Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and the Northern Marianas through the Micronesian Historic Preservation Program.
"It is an honour to be so publicly recognised for my work in helping small Pacific Island nations maintain their cultures and histories," Professor Spennemann said.
"For the first time, the US National Parks Service has recognised the importance of conservation work in the Pacific Basin. These awards normally go to groups on mainland USA.
"The event is particularly special as I will be the first non-American to receive the award," he said.
While attending the ceremony on 26 June, Professor Spennemann, who is Associate Professor in cultural management in the University's School of Environmental and Information Sciences, will also give a presentation on cultural heritage management in Micronesia.