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

Clemson and Virginia Tech issue Report on Interpretation

Dr. Marc J. Stern (Virginia Tech) and Dr. Robert Powell (Clemson University) have just released their final report on National Park Service Interpretation, based upon intensive study done in cooperation with interpreters and visitors in the field. 

image of sample pages of reportFrom their executive summary: "NPS interpretive programs tend to produce high levels of satisfaction and experience enhancement for attendees regardless of their specific characteristics.... This study identified a set of practices that appear to commonly make the difference between good programs and excellent programs (with regard to visitor outcomes). We recommend these practices be incorporated into current interpretive training in the NPS where appropriate."

The work undertaken by Stern and Powell will undoubtedly help to chart a course for the future of interpretation in the National Park Service, and particularly for envisioning how we train the 21st Century Interpreter.

The full report, Identifying best practices for live interpretive programs in the United States National Park Service is now available for download [PDF, 700kb].