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

Training

Life-long learning is at the heart of interpretation. By becoming better professionals, we enhance our ability to help park audiences care about park resources.

On this main page (below) we will maintain a clearing-house list of upcoming servicewide and regional training courses and courses of study as they are announced, along with training offered by NPS partners. If you know of upcoming training that should be listed here, please contact becky_lacome@nps.gov to get it added to this page.

Also -- click on the developmental level tabs at the top of this page to find a variety of downloadable worksheets and resources for each of the benchmark interpretive competencies.

Instructor-led IDP Training and Forums:

  • 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. To bring this course to your park or region, complete this form.

    Currently Scheduled Classes:

         --April 21-25, 2014 - Brown vs Board of Education, Topeka, KS -- a few seats still available through April 10,
         contact Kimble_Talley@nps.gov for application form

          Upcoming dates/locations yet to be scheduled include:
         - Kenai Fjords National Park, AK
         - Intermountain Region -- location TBD
 

  • Train-the-Trainer -- Facilitated Dialogue -- September 15-19, 2014 -- Mather Training Center -- save the date and watch this space for the announcement coming in July -- this course will be open to those who have already taken the 2-5 day facilitated dialogue training (see above). 
     
  • Interpreting Climate Change -- Virtual Class -- the next class is scheduled for July 22-25, 2014, so save the date and watch this space for the announcement. Each day of this popular class involves a schedule of webinars, activities, and discussions.
     
  • DigInterp Indepth Webinar Series -- Join John Tobiason from Harpers Ferry Center's office of Digital Media and John Rudy from the Interpretive Development Program, for these provocational and practical sessions focused on the interpretive power of digital media. Contact john_rudy@nps.gov for additional info.

  • 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 monthly 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. Contact kimble_talley@nps.gov for details on upcoming sessions.

    Registered Local Coaches Courses -- offered by the Regional Lead Coaching teams to train park-level interpretive coaches – contact the office of your regional Chief of Interpretation for upcoming dates and registration information.

    Coming later this year:

          Classes are in the planning stages for Curriculum-base Programs, Living History, and more! Watch this space! 

IDP On-line Self-study Courses

A series of training courses has been developed by NPS interpreters in partnership with Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands-- continuously available to all interpreters from any computer:

Offsite Link - Foundations of Interpretation Course  Offsite Link - Interpretive Talk Course  Offsite Link - Informal Visitor Contact Course  Offsite Link - Interpretive Writing Course  Offsite Link - Training & Coaching Interpreters Course  Offsite Link - Other Training & Learning Opportunities

Offsite Link - ParkTraining.org

 

IDP Training Examples of Interpretive Products

Click here to see a list of samples of interpretive products that have met IDP peer review certification standards and are useful for training and coaching other interpreters, including videos, written products and media examples.

 

Additional NPS-sponsored Interpretive Training Opportunities

How To Play the Game webinar series
(Northeast Regional Office of Interpretation, Education, and Partnerships) -- contact dominic_cardea@nps.gov for additional information.

 

Interpretive Training Offered by NAI and Other NPS Partners

Click here to see a list of upcoming webinars offered by the National Association for Interpretation.

Click here to see a list of the 2014 history seminars sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute -- these outstanding seminars are presented for teachers, but two spots in each class are always reserved for NPS interpreters or educators.