Concurrent Sessions


Monday, March 20


Boost You Interpretation Repertoire: Awaken Curiosity About Butterflies (and Insects too!)
Virginia Bourdeau, USA
Janet Nagele, USA
See the benefits of programing for butterflies and participate in hands-on activities from the 4-H Project Butterfly WINGS curriculum. Bring your smart phone to experience interactive insect tutorials used to prepare students for field experiences.  You can develop tutorials too!

Leading With Story: The Hidden Power of Nostalgic Storytelling
Gideon For-mukwai, USA
Identify, craft and tell captivating stories that win hearts and minds for a cause or purpose.

Leave No Child Inside! Interpreting Childhood's Outdoor Heritage: The Connect to Nature Challenge for Healthier, Happier, Smarter Kids and Communities!
Cinda Hanbuch-Pinkerton, USA
Lead your community to be  “The Best Community for Connecting Kids to Nature"  where people are healthier, happier, environmentally smarter!  Nature Play Places and Learning Spaces -this session offers powerful inspiration, innovative ideas and partnership success stories.  Take the challenge!

Smithsonian Gardens: Promoting Connections, Culture and Conservation
Erin Clark, USA
Smithsonian Gardens is the public garden of the Smithsonian Institution and an accredited museum.  We use a cooperative and interdisciplinary approach to create mission-focused living exhibits. Discover our newest projects and learn to create interpretive panels and engage visitors outside.

Evolution of Heritage Interpretation in Latin America and the Role of the PUP Global Heritage Consortium
Jon Kohl, Costa Rica
Latin American interpreters yearn for regional professional interpretive associations, publications, and university degrees, yet “interpretation” is still largely perceived as a non-professional discipline. This panel discusses where interpretation is going and how the PUP Consortium contributes to its growth.


Exploring the Stories: Collaboration in the heart of Sydney’s Commercial District
Natalie Vinton, Australia
A close examination of how a key site in Sydney’s CBD has utilised art, technology, architecture, archaeology and history to create a new building that exemplifies contemporary design, and embraces the site’s heritage as part of its long-term vision.

Partnerships from little to big: sustainable seafood and connections for conservation
Karen Burns, USA
Partnerships help conservation programs thrive and are essential for conservation advocacy. How do we cultivate those partnerships? Sustainable seafood programs provide a model for building both conventional and unexpected partnerships in order to foster public engagement in conservation.

Full Circle Messaging:  Aligning Agency Mission, Site-specific Interpretive Themes and Training
Kimberly High, USA
While most of us acknowledge our agency's mission as quintessential, we sometimes fall short in efforts to align it with site-specific interpretative themes that are effectively translated to staff and volunteers. This session will offer suggestions for improving such shortcomings.

Interpreting cultural values as a way to awake curiosity for ancient people
Antonieta Jimenez, Mexico
I present a way to recognize human values from archaeological data in order to use them on the construction of narratives about ancient people. We can use those values on dynamic stories using social change as a platform.

A Case Study on how OSU Sea Grant Extension is helping develop Interpretive Programs to Impact Visitor Perceptions of Place and the increase the value of an Interpretive Guide.
Miles Phillips, USA
A goal of this presentation is to present usable techniques organizations can use to increase their triple bottom line. Increase revenue, increase the meaningful experience for  visitors, and to increase the positive effects on the natural resources of the destination.


Are Interpretation Centres effective in aiding Conservation Knowledge amongst visitors in Tiger Reserves in India?
Bitapi Sinha, India
Protected Areas in India have the primary objective of strict protection of natural conditions and tourism and recreational use is allowed. Protected areas are becoming popular destinations for tourists because of growing interests in wilderness and large mammals like Tiger

The Future Has Other Plans: How to avoid barriers to interpretive plan implementation
Jon Kohl, Costa Rica
Interpretive plans often end unimplemented. The reasons go much deeper than a simple lack of money, time, personnel or political will. Learn about deep assumptions that cause plans to fail as well as specific, innovative approaches to overcome these barriers.

Build Stronger Local Relationships with a Multi-Session Program
Emily Anderson, USA
Virginia Bourdeau, USA
Interpretive programming for youth in natural areas benefits families, the landscape, and your interpretive site.  The Junior Master Naturalist program will help you build relationships with your local community by offering a multi-session program engaging participants with your site.

Hearts First, Then Minds: Using Emotion to Connect People and Places
Cal Martin, Canada
Interpreters often say, “if people only knew more, they would behave differently.” However, studies show that knowledge about a subject is not necessarily connected to how much someone cares. This inspiring presentation will suggest a new approach for our craft.


Training non tourists for tourism: The importance of capacity building in Indigenous tourism projects.
Amy Lethbridge, USA
The indigenous community of Embera Drua in Panama has offered cultural interpretation of their village for over 20 years. How do they develop their own capacity to grow their tourism product?  What are the barriers and what are the opportunities?

Crafting Themes With Sustainable Tourism In Mind
Don Enright, Canada
Interpretive themes can be more than just an intellectual framework—they can become a manifesto for sustainable tourism. This presentation discusses interpretive theming through community Essence of Place exercises—and their potential to influence destination development, promotion, and conservation.

Maximizing Park Equity Through Community Partnerships
Andy Bleckinger, USA
The Community Nature Connection is a nonprofit organization that advocates for access and equity in the outdoors. Take a closer look at the barriers faced and how community partnerships help overcome these challenges.

Conversation not Confrontation: Interpreting Sensitive Topics to Diverse Audiences
Roger Riolo, USA
A thought provoking open panel discussion with Q & A and audience participation. Topics to be addressed include recognizing audience, agency, and personal bias and becoming more aware of possibilities for different perspectives to be addressed in open conversation,

Interpretation and Restoration Go Hand in Hand: The Restoration of Anchialine Pools at Kekaha Kai State Park, Hawaii Island
Dena Sedar, USA
The restoration of three anchialine pools within Kekaha Kai State Park on Hawaii Island provides an opportunity for educational outreach about an incredible natural resource while also providing community members with the chance to mālama ‘āina (care for the land).


Catalina Island Conservancy: Bridging the Living Landscape with the Living Laboratory
Hillary Holt, USA
Kristin Howland, USA
Catalina Island Conservancy’s longstanding history in education provides an opportunity to examine interpreting conservation through a different lens.  Let us guide you through our experiences of making hard choices, overcoming resistance, dispelling myths, creating ecoliteracy and stewards of the island.

Last Standing Giants Trail: A Collaborative Project
Xavier Rodriguez, Puerto Rico
Angelis Cantero, Puerto Rico
Marialexandra Addarich, Puerto Rico
Janeliz Torres, Puerto Rico
Dr. Sandra Bravo, Puerto Rico
Following Tinsley, Ham, and others, a group of University of Puerto Rico students provided interpretation at a property belonging to a community non profit. The Last Standing Giant Trail captures the mission and purpose of Casa Collores resources.

Interpretation in the Heart of the Wilderness: Ethnographic Research and Wilderness Education on Isle Royale National Park
Joshua Hunter, USA
This presentation exhibits research conducted on Isle Royale National Park in the United States. This ethnographic study examined small group dynamics and interpretative lessons for 14 year-old campers and their trip leaders as they traversed the wilderness island.

Integrating Interpretation, Resource Management and Community Engagement: Hints from Changing Views in Public Process, Resource Management, Brain Science
Gail Vander Stoep, USA
Explore how trends in resource management, public participation, and interpretation – informed by brain science and social psychology – are related. Discuss how interpretation can be used to more effectively engage citizens in becoming informed decision-makers and action-takers.


PUP Global Heritage Consortium Meeting: Interpretation in Latin America
The PUP Global Heritage Consortium invites those interested in its work to promote heritage interpretation and management in Latin America. Meet like-minded folks and help us to form new regional initiatives in Latin America.

Wednesday, March 22


Interpretive Techniques for Communicating Climate and Ocean Chemistry Change
Simone Mortan, USA
Sarah-Mae Nelson, USA
Jessica Reese, USA
This workshop will introduce participants to a tested style of communication that helps interpreters and their audiences have positive, productive and hopeful conversations about Climate and Ocean Chemistry Change.  Participants will practice crafting strategically framed conservation messages.

Making Live Animal Collections Work for You!
Rita Peralta, USA
Natalie Sutton, USA
Using live animals during interpretive programs is a wonderful tool to connect with audiences. How do you improve upon your collection? This interactive program will help small to medium sized nature centers enhance the quality of their live animal collections.

Inspiring the Next Generation
Sue Schafer, USA
The Inspire Initiative is a grant aimed at inspiring kids, to take care of our environment.  Project Outdoors is a coalition of educators who partnered with schools and community groups to find innovative ways to connect under-served youth to nature.

Write as an Interpreter
Alan Leftridge, USA
Enhance your writing talents. The ability to write clear, concise messages to advance agency goals is an essential professional competency. This session is an interactive exposition of the tenets of interpretive writing as they relate to all media.

Interpretation is Good for Business
Jim Covel, USA
New partnerships between interpreters and the hospitality industry are helping to create guest loyalty, strong destination brand identity and add value to the guest experience.  This brings new opportunities for partnerships and resources to interpreters in many destinations.


Interactive, issue-focused whale watching can promote conservation
Cynde McInnis, USA
Want practical ideas? Do you have a semi-captive audience (on a boat)? Is there travel time to and from a resource? Learn about teaching tools we use at Cape Ann Whale Watch that really make a difference for our visitors.

Interpretive curatorship: a teaching strategy for the dissemination of heritage.
Alejandra Mosco Jaimes, Mexico
"Interpretative Curatorship" a methodology designed for planning and development of scripts for exhibitions, with theoretical foundations of thematic interpretation. A teaching strategy for students from the posgraduate programs in museology and museography.

Protected Areas as Resources for Knowledge in Science
Seung-ho Shin, Republic of Korea
Kye joong Cho, Republic of Korea
The protected areas as Resources for Knowledge in interpretive and science program is helping 22 national parks partner with local schools to embrace and implement the National Interpreation and Science Education Standards. After presentation the audience should understand our parks.

"Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Wall": Interpreting Borders and Boundaries
Christopher Bentley, USA
Borders and boundaries are more than political lines and barriers. Divisions and dividing lines offer an opportunity for the interpretation of timely, worldwide issues of migration, human movement, and the celebration of the ideas, cultures, and traditions that transcend borders.


The Franklin Expedition Outreach Project: Sharing Stories and Building Bridges With Indigenous People North of 60
Tamara Tarasoff, Canada
Leanna Ellsworth, Canada
How can meeting Inuit face-to-face in Canada's far North help a team develop a computer interactive about a famous shipwreck? See what Parks Canada's Franklin Outreach Team learned when they traveled to Nunavut in November 2016.

La interpretación personal como eje del entrenamiento de los facilitadores de Papalote Museo del Niño.
Adán Fuentes, Mexico
Papalote Museo del Niño ha integrado los principios de la interpretación personal al programa de entrenamiento de sus facilitadores (Cuates) con resultados positivos. ¿Cuales han sido los retos y logros alcanzados?

You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Developing a Volunteer Corps to Support the Work of Your Organization
Brenda Lackey, USA
Catherine Scheder, USA
Megan Espe, USA
Discover how your interpretive organization can form, develop, and nurture a corps of volunteers who can provide needed resources that supports your mission. Walk away with ideas to develop your own plan for implementing a volunteer corps.

Exploring Models for Change
Marissa Llanes, USA
Using the well recognized promotora model within the health care sector, park staff at Los Angeles State Historic Park work closely with community members to co-develop "culturally relevant" programming. Learn more about the process of harnessing this model's potential.


Developing interpretation for developing countries: challenges and opportunities for interpreters in Mesoamerica
Mariela García-Sánchez, Costa Rica
Orly Peralta-Perez, Honduras
Marisol Mayorga, Costa Rica
This interactive presentation uses examples from Mesoamerica to discuss needs and challenges in professional practice as well as opportunities to improve interpretation that will benefit visitors, communities, heritage sites, and, most of all, the interpretive community.

Protection is Just A Start
Robert Peloquin, USA
Mindy Grabko, USA
Biodiversity and sustainability are in decline for many reasons in currently protected areas, including exemplary Costa Rica. Interpretation must address these declines. What can curious, motivated interpreters and tourists do to preserve threatened biodiversity? Interactive audience elements will be included.

Pokemon GO Figure: Using Viral Media in Interpretive Spaces
Anna Turkett, USA
Have you experienced the worldwide phenomenon of Pokemon Go? We will discuss one case of using Pokemon Go to interpret at a zoo and how Pokemon Go and other viral media can be used in interpretive spaces.

Effectively Presenting Your Message to International Audiences
Gail Richard, USA
Certified Interpretive Trainer and multicultural cultural expert Gail Richard will demonstrate how cultural, rhetorical, and linguistic styles vary and share effective cross-cultural interpretation strategies.

Interpretive Service Learning Projects for University International Study Programs
Wendy Walker, USA
University students studying ecotourism assisted local parks and organizations to develop interpretive experiences for the tourists from their home country.  Come to hear about interpretive service projects on Mexican monarch butterflies, Spanish urban arboretum history and English black plague cemeteries.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Kid’s Care: Engaging Youth in Coastal Conservation by Promoting Action
Leisyka Parrott, USA
Suzie Fortner, USA
Ocean Day engages youth in conservation by empowering them to act. Participants will brainstorm ideas on how to create and organize an Ocean Day event that inspires conservation and stewardship. Topics include organizing collaborative partners, logistics, and action plan development.

Satisfaction and the interpretive experience
Jane Beattie, USA
What does visitor satisfaction look like when it comes to interpretation? What can it measure, what affects it, and why should you care? Let’s explore the research – what have we learned from it, and how can we apply it.

Drumming the Rythym of Life
Ian Signer, USA
In this experiential workshop, we'll use African Drumming to create conversations that transcend culture and language, learning techniques that build listening, leadership and other skills critical to successfully sharing complex environmental messages with diverse audiences.

Interpreting Conservation Science and Stories
Sarena Gill, USA
This session shares how the Phoenix Zoo plans and facilitates a community event focusing on Conservation Science and local species. Using this information and interpretive strategies, we will work together to design interpretation about conservation issues important to your site.

Zoo, Wildlife Parks, and Aquarium (ZWPA) Connects Interpreters Virtually...You Can Too!
Jess Reese, USA
The Zoo, Wildlife Parks, and Aquarium (ZWPA) section of NAI connects interpreters in an annual InterpNET conference for a fraction of the cost of traditional conferences. Learn how easy it is to participate in the webinar, and run your own!


Monarchs, Bees, and the Power of Pollinators: Expanding the Idea of Living Collection in Zoos.
Jess Reese, USA
Chicago Zoological Society expanded their definition of a living collection when interpretive staff delivered daily zoo chats about honeybees and monarch butterflies. Come make seed balls in this workshop and learn how everyday animals can be included in living collections.

Working in International Settings: Best Practices
Chuck Lennox, USA
Gary Cook, USA
Dr. Amy Lethbridge, USA
Do you have an interest in working internationally? How do you get started? What do you wish you knew ahead of time? What are the joys and perils? Join three panelists with international experience to gain their insight and advice.

Community Building Through Interpretive Planning
Anne Ketz, USA
Interpretive planning processes can be effective means for community building. The processes help break down stereotypes and address disparities. We'll present valuable lessons with two case studies involving an African American community in Virginia and an Ojibwe community in Minnesota.

Poster Sessions

Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots: A Global Network of Youth-led Community Action
S. Marisol Asselta Castro, Puerto Rico
Join us for an introduction to the exciting world of Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots! Learn how this free global network geared toward knowledge, compassion, and action can connect your program with the local and global community.

Cute and Fuzzy as Gateway Drug: Sharing the Stories of Southern Sea Otters to Reveal the Recovery of the Monterey Bay
Lauren Daly, USA
Who doesn't love cute and fuzzy? Come learn how the Monterey Bay Aquarium leveraged our location as well as our exhibit animals to tell the story of groundbreaking otter research and coastal recovery - talk about charismatic conservation!

Check Out What NAI is Doing to Make Your Conference Sustainable and How You Can Help
Dan Albro, USA
Hear what's being done to make NAI's Conferences sustainable.  Using Conference site environmental partners, the latest in sustainability and fun giveaways, NAI is helping Conference attendees become environmental champions by walking the walk and leaving nothing but good memories.

Public Archaeology: Inviting Visitors to Engage with Sites
Ernesto Perez, USA
This poster presentation will look at public archaeology as an interpretive strategy and how existing programs carry out public archaeological work. It will look closely at open-site public archaeology and how it can be evaluated in promoting conservation among visitors.

Authenticity in World Heritage Sites: Research and Applications in Interpretation
Marisol Mayorga, Costa Rica
Ted Cable, USA
Despite fifty years trying to define “authenticity,” academics have still achieved neither consistency nor accountability necessary for empirical enquiry. This research illuminates a new way of operationalizing authenticity that will provide interpreters with insights to improve visitor experiences and conservation.

International Conference on Interpretation

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
March 19-23, 2017

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