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

Interpretive Media

Core Resources

Discounts are available to NPS employees and partners – check with your Regional Chief’s Office regarding the annual discount code for your region. A basic certificate is available for this course (see the “Certificates” section of this website). 

  • Media Fundamentals for Interpreters Competency Narrative (coming soon)

This document defines the content (knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors) of this competency. It begins with a competency description and competency standard. All related learning opportunities should be based upon the source curriculum in this document. 

This tool provides a step-by-step process for analyzing the elements of interpretive effectiveness in any interpretive product. It is the foundational process for the IDP Peer Review Certification Program.  

This tool provides a step-by-step process for creating interpretive products.




Samples of Effective Interpretive Media (have met peer review standards):

Web Resources



Handles: A Compendium of Interpretive Techniques to Help Visitors Grasp Resource Meanings. Peggy Scherbaum, 2006.Can be used for self-study or classroom training. Includes the definitions and examples of 200 interpretive techniques. (Note: Most parks probably have a copy of this book -- but it is currently out of print.)

Interpretation by Design—Graphic Design Basics for Heritage Interpreters. Paul Caputo, Shea Lewis and Lisa Brochu, 2008.

Interpretive Writing.Alan Leftridge, 2006.A practical guide to the basics of interpretive writing.

The Non-Designer’s Design Book-- by Robin Williams, 2004 -- covers basic design principles and applications – a copy of the first edition of this book was sent to all parks in 1998.