Tom Dawson is a Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. His research focusses on the archaeological and historical heritage of the coast and threats posed by natural processes and climate change. He works closely with the Government Agency, Historic Environment Scotland, to gather information on the scale of the problem around Scotland.
Recent work has included the management of a series of Coastal Zone Assessment Surveys and the analysis of results, developing a system to prioritize action at some of the most valuable, yet threatened sites. Assigning value can be problematic, and Tom has a strong interest in public value and the promotion of cultural heritage through community projects.
Tom manages the Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project (SCHARP), a groundbreaking approach to heritage management which involves citizen archaeologists editing and updating records on threatened sites using an interactive website and mobile technology. He also manages practical projects at a number of sites, and recent work has included archaeological excavations, digital 3D recording projects and the relocation of threatened structures.
Tom is the Managing Director of the Scottish charity, the SCAPE Trust (Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion); a Trustee of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; and was a Commissioner sitting on the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland until its dissolution in October 2015. He also sits on several boards and committees, including two international Taskforces looking at climate change and heritage.