Dirk H.R. Spennemann, MA (Frankfurt) PhD (ANU) is an internationally recognised leader in the field of Micronesian history and heritage. His research has an international outlook, focussing on the Indo - Pacific region. In the past 30 years he has conducted research in and/or visited Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, Western Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, the Marshall Islands, Guam, the Northern Marianas, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk and Pohnpei only) as well as Hawai'i and California. His publication record demonstrates this breadth.
Dirk is a leading authority in the emerging research field of heritagefutures, which examines issues such as the conceptual understanding of contemporary and emergent heritage(s) (e.g. modern architecture, nuclear power, space exploration, robotics) and applies futurist theories, such as strategic foresight, to conceptualise how cultural heritage may manifest itself in the future. This entails a critical examination of the relationship between the nature and construction of cultural heritage values and the influences of management processes as they may play out between heritage professionals and the general public in the near- and medium-term future. Dirk's second research area considers the discourses that play out in the conceptual space of the heritage of digital age including the materiality and heritage of virtual objects.
In international recognition of his active professional service and community collaboration record, Dirk was the first non-US recipient of the "Partnership Stewardship Award for Cultural Resources, Pacific West Region, US National Park Service" in 2001 (for 2000) and the first non-US recipient of the Governor's Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Publication, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (2004).
Dirk is the author/editor of 24 books and monographs, with a life-time publication record of over 400 book chapters and peer-refereed academic papers, in excess of 150 non-refereed papers, and over 100 technical reports and consultancy studies.
Dirk Spennemann lectures in Cultural Resource Management and Historic Ecology at Charles Sturt University, Albury-Wodonga campus at under and postgraduate levels and supervises postgraduate research students in the discipline. Dirk has run and co-taught several training workshops on physical conservation techniques and other aspects of cultural resources management in conjunction with the US National Park Service, UNESCO Pacific Regional Office, Pacific Islands Museums Association and the Tourism Council of the South Pacific. In addition, he has provided technical advice on aspects of cultural resources management in Australia, Alaska (Aleutian Islands) and numerous countries of the Pacific.
He was awarded the CSU Vice-Chancellor's award for Teaching Excellence in 1995 and the CSU Vice Chancellor's Award for Research Excellence in 1996.