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

IDP Newsletter -- October 21, 2013


Interpretive Development Program
Professional Standards for Learning and Performance

From Shutting Down to Ramping Up - Facing FY14 with Focus and Clarity   


Chalk on a path reading,
Photo: Stephanie Loeb, VAFO

With the shutdown now behind us, I think we start this fiscal year with a renewed sense of who we are and what we represent as an agency. As a community, we watched our fellow interpreters berated for following policy - and standing strong, saw our director defend our proud service-minded "culture and DNA," and supported those concerned for the welfare of isolated "excepted" rangers. As the politics of our agency shutdown played out in the press, we felt the effects in our communities, in our homes, and in our hearts.  


While that has taken its toll in and beyond our community, I think it provides a clarity and focus for our work. How do we use this episode to find strength and value in our work? How do we step unashamed into a new dawn for interpretation and education?   


This is a pivotal moment for our agency. As we look towards our 100th anniversary and boldly engage 21st century audiences, we (the IDP staff) want to support you by providing the tools you need to do your work. Please take full advantage of the offerings of the Interpretive Development Program and help us identify what is needed for the future.  




Katie Bliss 

Training Manager

Interpretive Development Program

Inside This Issue
The I&E Training Needs Assessment and the Future IDP

In response to evolving visitor trends, and to provide an updated understanding of field training needs, the IDP team at Mather Training Center started an Interpretation and Education Best Practices and Training Needs Assessment project this summer in partnership with Clemson University under the guidance of a new I&E Learning and Development Advisory Committee. The last I&E training needs assessment was completed in 1995 and informed the development of the Benchmark Interpretive Competencies. Evolving from this foundation, it is an exciting time to renew our understanding of interpretive skills and competencies through the new needs assessment project.   


Please help us shape the future of the Interpretive Development Program by joining our interactive broadcast from the National Association of Interpretation Workshop:


Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM EST

2013 NAI Workshop - Registration and Free Preworkshop seats

The NAI logo.Hoping to attend the National Association for Interpretation Workshop in Reno, Nevada on November 6-12? 
We have 6 *free* seats available in the Facilitated Dialogue Preworkshop session to be held the first days of the conference available on a first come-first served basis to NPS employees.
WASO I&E is still waiting on official approval from the Department of the Interior for participation at the National Association for Interpretation Conferences and Workshops. But NAI has offered us some help; they will still be offering Early Bird Registration for DOI folks after we've been approved.
To receive the Ealry Bird offer, NAI is asking you to fill out a paper registration form and fax it to their office to register.

To register for the free seats, make sure to indicate on page two of the registration form your desire to attend the Facilitated Dialogue Preworkshop session, and include a note that you would like one of the 6 free NPS seats.

WIN AN AWARD for contributing a new Training Example

We need videos of YOUR fantastic interpretive programs, so get out there with those video cameras! If your program meets the criteria and is selected as an example for training other interpreters, YOU will receive a $250.00 training grant!


We are especially looking for products that illustrate the effective use of audience-centered techniques (such as dialog, resource immersion, directed experiences, or other types of facilitated engagement and audience co-creation strategies) and programs that focus on audience relevance.Read more...

The IDP's NEW Training Grants - Help Build the Catalog

  Education Training Grants

A pencil and paper on a green background.As the Interpretive Development Program (IDP) strives to offer learning opportunities that model 21st Century skills, there is a obvious need to expand and leverage our resources. The IDP Education Training grants will allow park educators to seek out their own training that has been defined by their Interpretive Development Plan. If selected, NPS employees will be given funds ($250.00) that will help reduce the cost in either face-to-face or distance learning. 

Digital Training Grants

A green computer and monitor.An IDP Digital Training grant allows a park interpreter to seek out training which may help them navigate the world of digital interpretation more effectively. If selected, NPS employees will be given funds (up to $250.00) that will help reduce the cost of registering for the training.

Training submitted through the program does not *need* to cost money.  You may submit free training opportunities through this form as well, if you would like to take and review those offerings.  Together, we can create a vibrant training catalog for our peers.

Training Exchange

Here are some training opportunities that might interest you. What training have you found and loved? Share any gems on the IDP facebook page.


From the IDP
  • By Educators, For Educators webinar series - an effort to build a more collaborative community for park educators that inspire and fosters open communication and exchange of ideas. The purpose of this forum is to establish an additional opportunity or "space" for educators to share and learn about relevant topics that directly impact youth and teacher engagement.   

    • Integrating Technology - Monday, October 28, 2013 from 2:00PM - 4:00PM EDT. Register Here.

    • Distance Learning - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 from 2:00PM - 4:00PM EDT. Register Here.  

  • 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. 

        Currently Scheduled Classes:

    • Nov. 5-6, 2013 - Reno, NV - See Above
    • Nov. 19-21, 2013 - St. Louis, MO - Register Here
    • Dec. 16-17, 2013 - Miami, FL - Registration Coming Soon    
  • Interpreting Climate Change Virtual Class The next classes will be offered in Winter/Spring of FY2014 - watch the IDP website for official announcements. Each day will involve a schedule of webinars, activities, and discussions. See the full announcement [pdf] from the last class.    
  • DigInterp Indepth Webinar Series - This monthly webinar series investigates new and emerging interpretive theory and the digital world.  Check out the#diginterp Facebook community or the IDP Facebook page for monthly announcements.  


Northeast Regional I&E Webinar Series
The interpretive team at Northeast Region headquarters are continuing their successful series of webinars themed around "How to Play the Game: Working with, through, and for others" throughout 2014. 
  • The Combined Call - Get the Competitive Edge
    November 12 & 14, 2013 
  • User's Guide to What Used to be the Future - Navigating New Realities
    January 2014 
  • Learning to Share - Audience-Focused Interpretation and Experiences
    March 11 & 13, 2014 
  • Couldn't Have Done it Without You - Ways to Work With & Through Others
    May 6 & 8, 2014 
  • The New A, B, C's - Informal, Self-Directed, and Free-Choice Learning in NPS
    July 8 & 10, 2014 
  • The Art and Advantage of the Critique or, Beyond Positive Assessment
    Sept 9 & 11, 2014

Look for more information and registration links in the coming weeks from NER I&E

Climate Change, Earth to Sky NPS/NASA Partnership

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.  
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