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Cultural heritage parks make up more than 60% of the total number of America’s national parks, and cultural heritage exists in 100% of our parks. This heritage, which includes more than 10,000 years of Indigenous culture, is being irreparably changed or lost due to impacts of climate change, yet there is no standardized method to measure the vulnerability of cultural heritage resources. This severely hampers our ability to identify, measure, and implement adaptive measures to save cultural heritage in US national park units. In this paper I present new strategies for assessing exposure to climate impacts in US National Parks, the sensitivity of cultural resources to those impacts, and combining these values into a vulnerability measure. A mixed approach for qualitative and quantified data is featured, along with recommendations for measuring adaptive capacity. These methods can be transferred to assess other stressors such as impacts from over-tourism.

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This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:

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