Will drowned city specialists be a new career?
Sunken cities, such as the legendary lost city of Atlantis, and the fascinating jobs focused on their oceanic mysteries are nothing new in the education world. Students study archeology/anthropology, geology, history, or sociology to uncover the secrets, both physically and culturally, of these submerged, ancient ruins. Often times, these students parlay their studies into careers that are well known to the public. However, published reports indicate a new occupation may soon surface due to the recent high number of tsunamis and earthquakes plaguing and then inundating coastline cities within recent years.
Although no known job yet exists, “drowned city specialists” may soon be a job term familiar to students by 2020, according to published reports. Futurist Stewart Brand indicated to Forbes these specialists would likely straddle various tasks, from the rescue of belongings to the movement of homes to higher ground, according to the Forbes report.
"There will be a whole lot of jobs for people who deal with drowned cities," Brand, also the co-chairman of the Long Now Foundation, told Forbes.
Although the 2006 Forbes prediction is now dated, the growing need for these “drowned city specialists” is more evident now than ever as the world’s climate shifts increasingly bully civilization. The Pacific coastline of Japan, New Orleans, and 1/5 of Pakistan’s land are all just a handful of the cities subjected to water submersion induced by natural disasters in the 21st century. granted, some of the water has receded in some of these affected areas, making them not “drowned,” per se and perhaps demystifying the allure some students find with ancient sunken cities. However, the ongoing threat of today’s civilization’s becoming the future’s underwater discoveries is very real.
“It's a threat that is becoming even more real in the 21st century,” according to the history website, Heritage-Key.com. “With sea levels predicted to rise between 28-43 cm this century (IPCC 2007 estimate) and many major cities around the world currently on or below sea level, there's a likelihood that in a few centuries there will be several more submerged cities for the archaeologists of the future to explore.”
The site further points to several cities teetering between land and water. These include Rotterdam, Maputo, and Venice, Italy. Any sea level rises (or events that preemptively shift such levels) could also easily submerge more densely populated cities, including New York and London, the website notes.
While uncovering and cataloging objects from sunken, ancient cities will steadily remain the primary professional task of archaeologists and related occupations, drowned city specialists may evolve into being those workers, as Brand notes, who battle on the frontlines to salvage these cities’ livelihoods. In other words, without any clearer definition officially available, drowned city specialists may be responsible for saving endangered cities before they are permanently lost to the sea.
So what does one study?
The kind of curriculum and degree to establish this job occupation remains unknown. Yet suffice to surmise, as in most developing industries, that technology and business management would likely rule. Perhaps courses in economy and emergency management will also prove helpful as these specialists deal with financial rebuilding and population management, respectively, among other elements necessary to salvage a once fully occupied city.
Perhaps this particular job may never come into fruition the way experts currently predict. However, one site, Technology.Gather.com, may wisely summarize the advice educators similarly proffer students looking for entrepreneurial careers.
That is, states Technology.Gather.com, “the prevailing sentiment is that the best we can do is to arm tomorrow’s kids with problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, and endless curiosity.”