Past event

Digital Action on Climate Change in Heritage Environments (DACCHE) STACEES Research Seminar - Dr Alan Miller, Maria Andrei, Catherine Anne Cassidy (School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews)

The climate crisis poses an existential threat to the world and by extension to our ability to pass on heritage. It threatens the parts that make up cultural landscapes, including bio diversity, archaeological sites, historic buildings, historic artefacts and the ways of life that give rise to intangible heritage. Consequently, heritage organisations including museums, world heritage sites, geo parks and heritage agencies are increasingly concerned with monitoring, adapting to and mitigating against climate change.

A new project DACCHE brings together partners in Iceland, Faroe Islands, Sweden, Norway, Ireland and Scotland to investigate how digital technologies can help address the impacts of climate change on heritage and wider society. Through DACCHE we will be exploring how citizen science can help monitor effects of climate change, how digitisation can provide some resilience and how virtual reality simulations of climate futures can motivate behavioural change to mitigate against climate change.

Although climate change poses immediate and long-term challenges to many aspects of our lives, these are often perceived as ‘distant' since climate information is often communicated in abstract ways, inhibiting pro-environmental behaviour. We are investigating how immersive technologies contribute to overcoming this psychological barrier by enabling people to experience the past, present and future of climate change in concrete ways which in turn can induce ecological attitudes and behaviour. To achieve this, we are developing several climate simulations, such as ones depicting extreme weather and flooding in Scotland's Western Isles, or the melting of glaciers and sea ice in Greenland and Antarctica.


Alan Miller lectures on “Computer Communications” and “Digital Preservation and promotion of heritage” in the School of Computer Science. Alan's research explores the ways that 3D technologies can be utilised to address sustainable development including the promotion of Climate Action.

Maria Andrei is PhD student in Computer Science at the School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews. She is researching how Virtual Reality can improve climate change science communication and influence pro-environmental behaviour.

Catherine Anne Cassidy is a Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science. She recently completed her PhD which investigated strategies for preservation and promotion of threatened cultural and natural heritage using democratised 3D digitisation.

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