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World Heritage

UC Merced World Heritage montage with drones documenting the the UC's Red Barn


World Heritage focuses on the natural heritage and cultural legacy of the human past, and how it is reflected today in places, landscapes, and intangible aspects of our cultures. Through the perspective of heritage studies, the World Heritage minor stimulates students to develop a critical understanding of heritage, to investigate the conservation, protection, and management of natural and cultural resources, and to analyze both institutional and multi-vocal approaches to the study of past and present cultures.

The World Heritage minor offers coursework and applied labs related to the study and mapping of monuments, buildings, cultural and natural sites and to the preservation and management of natural and cultural resources using methods and tools from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, 3D mapping, digital data curation, and interactive visualization technologies. Skills and methods in these fields are very high-demand, employable talents in government, business, and academic sectors.

Currently, only UC Merced runs a set of courses in World Heritage, making our campus a pioneer in this field of study within the University of California system.

Program Learning Outcomes

The main task is to study the evolving methodologies and techniques of documentation, analysis, visualization, and management of heritage sites (natural and cultural), and to evaluate their potential to enrich contemporary societies in the light of the interpretation of the past and of the preservation and conservation of natural and cultural resources. Students will be able to:

  1. Explain and illustrate heritage as a cultural process and the role of World Heritage in contemporary society.
  2. Use field methods and digital technologies to investigate and document heritage case studies
  3. Dialogue with different disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art, art history, cognitive science, computer science, cultural and natural resource management, earth science, geography, global policies, and history to interpret how various academic disciplines and methodologies contribute to World Heritage.
  4. Explain key principles and policies of natural and cultural heritage protection and management by mastering international policies, theoretical approaches, best practices, and operating procedures.
  5. Analyze monuments, cultural landscapes, museums, and historic sites and explain their value for local communities and humanity at large.

For additional information on the World Heritage minor at UC Merced, please visit the World Heritage website.

For World Heritage minor requirements, please consult your catalog.

Updated 2021