National Park Service
US Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Interpretive Development Program

IDP Newsletter--October, 2015


Results Are In - Your Top Training Needs for I&E -219px -129px no-repeat;"> 
Facilitated Dialogue training in August - Kenai Fjords National Park in Seward, Alaska.


To equip you in serving an ever-more globalized, digitized, and learner-centered public, this past spring we asked you to complete a Training Needs Assessment for Interpretation and Education. Thanks to over 1000 of you, we have robust data to chart a forward course for the Interpretive 

Development Program. 


What's next for the IDP

Almost 20 years after the first I&E needs assessment, we now have fresh feedback on new skill sets for 21st century interpretation. 

As we expand beyond assessing the basic components for I&E through the Peer Review Certification Program, which sunsets in December (see below), we will base our direction on the evolving needs you expressed. Click here to read the full report -- including a list of the "Top 7 Training Needs" (see page 2).


What's next for you? 


As the fiscal year ramps up, work with your supervisor to complete your Individual Development Plan (the other IDP). Use the Needs Assessment results to make a case for your training needs. Now that the data is in, our team will be ramping up to support these emerging needs in the coming months. In the meantime, we've pulled together key opportunities that can help fill the gap now. Check out our training grants, first quarter IDP offerings, and new comprehensive Learning and Development Training Calendar and find your future!




Katie Bliss 

Training Manager for Interpretation and Education

Inside This Issue
IDP Training Grants
From the IDP
NAI Opportunities
Peer Review Transition

IDP Training Grants

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We're striving to offer learning opportunities that model 21st Century skills and we see the obvious need to expand and leverage our resources. Our IDP Training grants give interpreters an opportunity to find their own training (defined by their Individual Development Plan).
Take a look at the results for the 2014 Interpretation and Education Needs Assessment. We encourage you to find opportunities that fill the gaps you've already defined. If selected, NPS employees will be given funds that will help reduce the cost in either face-to-face or distance learning. Check out the many proposals that were approved last year, click here!


 To submit a grant proposal, visit this form...

From the IDP -- 1st Quarter Training Opportutnities

  • Interpreting Climate Change Self-Study Modules - Great News!The Interpreting Climate change Self-Study Modules are now available on the IDP website. These are great tools to provide an overview of this important competency, with plenty of additional resources to allow you to dig deeper into the content as you have time and interest. These study materials are completely self-paced, self-directed. 

    There are four modules: 1) Introduction to Interpreting Climate Change 2) Knowledge of the Resource Issues 3) Knowledge of the Audience, and 4) Appropriate Techniques and Strategies. Each of the four Modules has a Study Guide.

    Take a look and share the link with others at your site: 
  • Interpretive Facilitator's Toolkit -
    A "starter kit" of resources to help you develop and hone your skills as an interpretive facilitator, a 21st century skill set!
  • On-line Courses - Available at
    • Informal Visitor Contacts
    • Interpretive Talk
    • Foundations of Interpretation
    • Causes of the Civil War
    • Media Fundamentals for Interpreters
    • And many more!


By Educators, For Educators webinar series - This forum provides space for educators to share and learn about relevant topics that directly impact youth and teacher engagement in an effort to build a more collaborative community that inspires open exchange of ideas among park educators.                        

  • Exploring the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) - Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 2:00 - 3:30 PM ETRegister Here
  • Meaningful Community Service through Service Learning - Thursday, November 13, 2014, 2:00 - 4:00 PM ETRegister Here 
  • Exploring College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards - Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 2:00 - 4:00 PM ET.Register Here

Face-to-Face Classroom Training:

  • Interpreting Critical Issues Using Civic Engagement & Facilitated Dialogue Techniques  - This classroom course focuses on the front-line interpreter's role as a facilitator of dialogue and discussion, and a range of ways to incorporate these techniques into new and existing park programming.  
    • Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania - October 20 - 24, 2014 - last minute seats still available contact John Rudy
    • Women's Rights National Historical Park, New York - November 3-7, 2014 - class is full. 
    • Southeast Regional Office, Atlanta - December 8-12, 2014. Click here to view announcement- 15 seats are open. 
    • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - January 26 - 30, 2015 - contact Becky Lacome
    • Check the IDP website, more courses will be added for 2015. 
Virtual (Online) Classroom Courses:  
  • Curriculum Based Ed Virtual Course  - January 13 - 16, 2015. This 4-day virtual learning experience for the park educator will examine the park service as an education institution and parks as places of learning through civic engagement and citizen stewardship. Register in DOI Learn, search by course title. To view the announcement, click here
  • Digital Media for Interpreters - January 19-23, 2015. This course will provide a venue for investigating new and innovative ways of interpreting to park visitors, both within the park and beyond, using social media and new media platforms with existing interpretive theory and best practices to offer visitors innovative interpretive experiences. Register in DOI Learn, search by course title.   
NAI Opportunities

Don't forget to vote! NAI elections are in progress
Ballots for the election of NAI's Board of Directors and other officers were distributed to members Monday, October 6. The election process will be open until Thursday, October 30. Candidate statements can be found on NAI's website.


NAI Workshop approval update

As of October 15, WASO IE&V reported that the NAI conference approval for 172 NPS employees to is now at the department level awaiting approval. You are on the to-be-approved list if you completed the 2014 NAI Workshop Pre-Registration Data Collection google form by August 31. WASO will inform people on the list about the status of approval. Please continue to be patient as the approval process run its course. Contact with questions. 

For more information on additional training opportunities, check the NAI website.

Peer Review Transition

 In May we announced that, after 18 years, the current process for the IDP Peer Review program will be discontinued as of December 31 this year. See the news item and instructions for final submissions . However, peer assessment remains a critical tool for professional accountability and evolution -- and 2015 will be a transitional year when we will ask for your input and participation with new experimental ideas. SO watch this newsletter for ways you can contribute, beginning this winter/spring.


I interpret with my AUDIENCE.
 I believe in MEANINGS.
 I foster DIVERSITY.
Sound like you? Join the IDP community for thought-provoking news, conversations, and training about relevancy and meaning making in parks.