International Conference
on Interpretation

Concurrent Sessions

Tuesday, April 17

Block 1

9:00- 9:50am

A New Conversation on Climate Change
Josh Dodson
Interpreting climate change through story and metaphor promotes meaningful conversation and depoliticizes a topic that is relevant at so many natural and historic sites.

Green Walls|Indigenous Graphism In Favelas
Dinah Tereza Papi De Guimaraens
Architecture can engage in transcultural communication of favela populations at Morro do Palácio, Brazil through Green Walls|Indigenous Graphism project in MACquinho.

Across the Seas: America over here…
Suzie Harrison, Anne-Sophie Navet, Flora Gueguen
At Normandy American Cemetery, the overlap of U.S. History and multicultural relations creates interpretive opportunities for a lasting bond between people and nations.

Interpretive Writing for What is Real
Alan Leftridge
Participants will review three writing projects, two from USA and one from France. Attendees discuss how critical thinking skills honor the interests of the diverse audiences.

Block 2


Sensitive heritage, sensitive interpretation
Michael H. Glen
This presentation is about 'heritage that hurts', either host communities or visitors, and how we can prevent upsetting people when seeking to gain respect for everyone's heritage.

Using Historical Voices to Guide Restoration
Amanda Thompson
This presentation will challenge participants to become interpretive stewards of the land by using the site's historic voices and ecological connections.

Critical Thinking in a Concrete World
David S. Harwood
Skilled interpreters develop intra-interpersonal processes essential to creating a critical thinking approach to facts and emotions as they relate to ideological formation.
Technology in Interpretation
Paul Caputo
It's decision time for interpreters: Is technology as a tool that can enhance our communication abilities? Or is it an intrusion that shortens attention spans and inhibits our ability to reach audiences?
Attitudes toward Interp Program Development
Kye Joong Cho
It's time that planners begin the process of researching the psychosocial dimensions of interpretation and then use the findings to enhance the quality of the experience for client groups.

Block 3


Defending the Opposition
Tina Salata, Cory Avila
Tackle controversial topics by educating people on the opposing environmental viewpoints. The key to successfully defending your position is by understanding your opponent.

Interpreting People's Values
Antonieta Jimenez
How to make interpretation about people (ancient or modern), more relevant and meaningful to the public? In this paper we will find a way to use cultural values in our planning

How to Interpret Challenging Issues
Valeria Klitsounova, PhD
Presentation describes Belarusian practices in creating experience and critical thinking in two interpretive programs about cultural identity and conflicting attitude to Chernobyl.

This is Geotourism: A New Approach to Interpretive Signage
Sonja Prendivoj
Employing a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to develop iconic interpretive signs that engage recreationalists with topics such as geology, culture, and biology.

Interpreting China's Dujiangyan Irrigation
Xue Dong
Based on a specific interpretive planning project for a World Heritage Site in China, the presentation focuses on the five key components of the research design and methods.

Block 4


Sex, Lies, Videotape, and Bears Ears
Larry Beck
This case study inspires critical thinking, touching on cultural (and natural) subtheme strands, using an interactive format that results in participants returning home with new id

Slavery & Sovereignty at the Bray School
Nicole Blundell Brown
Using letters, journals, and other primary documents, participants will consider how the Williamsburg Bray School both subjugated and empowered the enslaved of Colonial Virginia.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident
Pam Amy Douglas
This session will help interpreters develop a framework to navigate the 
challenges of audience interaction when tackling difficult topics and political 
hyperbole and histrionics

Driving the Diversity Discussion Forward
Toya Jervay, Marisol Castro, Ramsey Harris
Contribute to the conversation of cultural, gender, and race inclusion outdoors as this interactive panel shares their journey, best practices, and tools used along the way.

Block 5


Training interpreters for botanic gardens
Costantino Bonomi, Serena Dorigotti
Learn to Engage is an Erasmus plus project (2016-2019) aiming to train in interpretation professionals from botanic gardens and museum in Italy, Great Britain and Portugal.

Assessing interpreter training course in Japan
Naoka Yamada
This exploratory research assessed an interpreter training course in Japan and identified effectiveness and improvement. Future training should focus on articulating goals and prin

Outlook of Heritage Interpretation in Ukraine
Nataliia V. Gudkova
The project on nature interpretation in Ukraine was realized by Ukrainian Environmental Club "Green Wave" in collaboration with the US Forest Service (2016-2017). The project’s obj

Talking in 3D
Adda Gabirela Plumasseau
Learn how using the basic rules of sign language and incorporating key "words" when you communicate an idea can help the audience remember easily important facts.

Thursday, April 19

Block 6


Meaningful Meaning Making
Jeff Aarnio
Tonia Herndon
Come experience an interactive glimpse into the power of making meaning. Explore how we can use meaning to better express who we are and share our passions with others.

The Amoral Skillset
S. Marisol Asselta
Interpretation is an intimately powerful skill set, capable of inspiration and connection or manipulation and abuse. Let's discuss potential dangers behind our beloved techniques.

Outdoors for Users with Mobility Impairments
Topher Downham
This program shares what the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks has done to promote access and connect visitors with mobility impairments to local public lands.

Tourism as an opportunity – not a curse
Jane Beattie, Amy Lethbridge, Lima Rosalind, Bill Taylor, Sue Hodges
Both natural and cultural heritage sites face increasing pressure from tourism. Join a panel of tourism experts from around the world as they discuss recommended approaches and str

Block 7


Empathy and Identity in Interpretation
Natosha Wengreen
Identity and empathy are used to empower children as community members, at a mining museum in California. Experience a demonstration of this innovative technique

Telling An Untold Story
William Chimborazo
The entertainment industry as well as many cultural institutions have shaped the narratives we have about indigenous cultures. Still today, there are many narratives untold.

Russia: The Pacific Northwest-California Colle
Robin Joy Wellman
I will be sharing the details of this international project between Russia and California in regards to the world renown collection/collaborative work as well as the academic part

Interpretation and Tour Guides
Amy Lethbridge, Tracey Gage, Stefano Spinetti, Evarist March Sarlat
This panel will feature representatives from successful guide associations that have committed to making interpretation a critical element of their training.  They will share their successes as well as requests regarding how the global interpretation community can be more embracing of tourism and tour guides.

Block 8


Culturally Sensitive Interpretation
Andrew Bleckinger
Explore the concepts of cultural relativism, cultural literacy, and cultural engagement, and discover how cultural interpretation can connect with all cultures sensitively.

Dark Matters Matter
Suzie Harrison
Interpreting dark history at American overseas cemeteries demonstrates the complexity of telling the whole story whilst maintaining credibility as interpreters.

Reflecting on Practices for Transformation
Marissa Llanes
This presentation examines how organizational practices shape interpretive undertakings. By examining such practices, we transform our interpretive roles and work.

Giving online interpretation in-person power
Monica Van Der Vieren
Personal interpretation includes a powerful and irreplaceable human element. With careful planning, online interpretation can engage people across the globe in a natural resource.

Block 9


Telling Our Own Story: Choctaw Code Talkers
Tiajuana Cochnauer
Interpreters seeking ways to "tell the story" of another culture will learn how a U. S. Federally Recognized Tribe helped end World War I in France: Choctaw Code Talkers.

Challenging Organizational Culture
Janet Nagele
Organizations in the U.S. may say they are open to all people, but often lack the structure and culture that supports this claim. Develop strategies for diversity and equity.

Explore the world with inspiring storytelling
Molly Postlewait, Judy Sweeney
Storytelling, a powerful tool for understanding the world and building connections. This session will explore 2016-17 case study at International Universal American School of Duba
Overarching Themes Lift All Boats
Jay Miller
This presentation will discuss the power of well-crafted themes to provide focus and shape the site experience and programs.

Block 10


Interpreting LGBTQ histories
Stuart Michael Frost
This presentation explores recent initiatives at the British Museum (and other heritage organisations) to interpret LGBTQ histories meaningfully for broad and diverse audiences.

(Selectively) Remember the Alamo!
Vincent Jacot
This presentation will explore the Alamo's situation by discussing its mythologizing, its redevelopment, the issues surrounding it, and possible solutions to them.

French origins of professional interpretation
Catherine Morgan-Proux, Ted Cable
Decades before Mills' nature guiding activities in U.S., a collection of notebooks used by early 19th century mountain guides hold clues to the origins of the profession in France.

Interpreting Ecology in a Cultural Context: Respecting the “Buffalo”
Lauren Markewicz
What is truly the difference between "bison" and "buffalo" in North America, and whose knowledge is privileged when interpreters insist that "buffalo" is wrong?

Friday, April 20

World Café

Amy Lethbridge

NAI International Conference

Reims, France
April 16-20, 2018

The conference starts with a reception Monday, April 16. Educational off-sites take place Wednesday, April 18. (Some may have an additional cost.)


Register online
Download the registration packet

How do you pronounce "Reims"?

We don't blame you if you thought it was "Reems," but no, the word is closer to "Rance," as in, rhymes with "France." Roll the first R a little (on the back of your tongue) and let the word disappear somewhere in your throat and you've got it.