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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Environmental Analysis of Submerged Cultural Resource Survey Areas of the Kiska Island National Historic Landmark Maritime Battlefield

  • Author(s): Taylor, Tarice
  • et al.

Project Recover, formally established in 2016, fuses historical data with the latest technology to research and locate submerged WWII wreckage and the associated servicemen that have been missing in action (Project Recover, 2018). In July 2018, Project Recover will conduct remote-sensing surveys in four locations off Kiska Island, Alaska. The terrestrial component of the Kiska battlefield has been well researched; the maritime component remains largely unknown. Little research has been done in the area regarding the submerged WWII cultural sites, as well as environmental assessments and analysis. Historical analysis of the Battle of Kiska, applying KOCOA (key terrain, observation and fields of fire, cover and concealment, obstacles, and avenues of approach) analysis to submerged maritime sites in the area, assessments of active contaminant sites, and analysis of environmental and habitat data of the area will aid in the creation of one composite geodatabase. The implementation of the geodatabase and other environmental support information is important in the planning stages of the survey and will serve to be a timely reference during the field data collection phase. Furthermore, analysis done in this Capstone project will help ensure another efficient and successful Project Recover survey and will contribute to the overall goal of Project Recover, which is to document and honor the final resting place of 167 U.S. and Japanese service members who lost their lives in the waters surrounding Kiska Island, thus ensuring the preservation of maritime cultural history.

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