InterpCon: Virtual Conference

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Streamed live from NAI 2019 in Denver  
Purchase recordings here.

Can’t join us in the Mile High City for our NAI 2019 National Conference? You don’t have to feel left out!  

Welcome to InterpCon – NAI’s first virtual conference!

We are happy to announce that this year we will be offering a one-day virtual event during our national conference. You will be able to do everything that a person who attends a session in person does—watch the presentation in real time, hear the discussion in the room, and ask questions yourself. Featured sessions will be broadcast live directly to participating attendees across the globe. All you need is access to the internet.  

Cost for one FULL day of virtual learning 

NAI member:  $125.00
Non-member: $160.00
Retired/Seasonal/Volunteer Members: $100.00
Student Member: $75.00

Attend online and earn nine credits toward your NAI recertifications all while live streaming content directly to your office or home.  


Accessibility for All: Promoting Inclusion

10:30am Eastern / 9:30am Central / 8:30am Mountain / 7:30am Pacific (one hour) 
Presenter: Ann-Marie Lisi, Manager of Instruction & Interpretation for The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT

Join Ann-Marie Lisi as she guides you through a snapshot of how interpreters can better understand the needs of individuals with disabilities. According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 20 percent of the United States is living with some form of disability. It is important that this population is not excluded from visiting your site due to simple modifications that you can make to your programs or sites that would allow them to engage. 

The Maritime Aquarium along with ten other non-profit organizations came together to form Accessibility for All, an initiative promoting inclusion at their sites and programs. This initiative focuses on providing training to front-line interpreters and how to make modifications to their sites and programs so that all may feel welcomed and included. A training module was developed by a disability’s expert in a train-the-trainer format allowing for participants to facilitate the training at each of their sites. Panelists representing people with disabilities allowed participants to learn first-hand what the challenges and needs are of those with disabilities who want to engage with programs. 

The focus of this session will be facilitating parts of the training developed for the initiative,  presenting what they learned from the panel discussions, and  asking participants to conduct an accessibility self-evaluation of their programs and sites. 

Participants will:
  • become more knowledgeable about working with disabilities 
  • learn techniques for how to make their programs and site more inclusive 
  • and how to share best practices

Organizational Change to Reach New Heights

11:45am Eastern / 10:45am Central / 9:45am Mountain / 8:45am Pacific (one hour)
Presenters: Ky Harkey, Director of Interpretation for Texas State Parks & Tara Humphreys, Texas State Parks

Do you have a great vision for keeping interpretation relevant to the audiences you serve, but lack the tools on how to get the rest of your organization on board? This session will help you create a vision, get buy-in, and build the change you want to see. 

A collaborative vision, and the right relationships are critical to helping your organization reach new heights. Change begins with a vision – one that, not only sparks the passion of your team, but is relevant to your visitors. Learn how Texas State Parks created an Interpretation Advisory Group that collectively brought together a diverse internal perspective to help create the Texas State Park Visitor Experience Plan - a division-wide plan for improving outreach and interpretation services. Launching a plan takes some finesse and requires ongoing follow-through. Respected voices and grassroots educational campaigns help bring your vision to life.

In this session you will discuss:
  • how to use tangible strategies that starts with your vision
  • how you can engage internal audiences to get buy-in from the correct voices 
  • which trusted leaders will help you navigate internal politics 
  • how you can convince the skeptics

Utilizing Technology & Building Partnerships to Effect Global Change

1:00pm Eastern / 12:00pm Central / 11:00am Mountain / 10:00am Pacific (one hour)

Presenter: Erin Gates, K12 Access Project Coordinator, Interpretation & Education Division of California State Parks

Incorporating technology into our interpretive programming is essential in allowing our profession to retain its relevance in the 21st century educational field!  

Distance learning allows our organizations the ability to provide digital interpretive programs that help increase access to our parks and museums. Reaching a global audience with our distance learning program is not an easy task.  Building partnerships is essential to our overall success in maximizing the reach of our interpretive distance learning programs.  

This session will discuss how California State Parks collaborated with Microsoft Education’s Skype in the Classroom Program to utilize its industry power and access its international audience of educators from around the world.  Learn how building a partnership with Skype in the Classroom has allowed the California State Parks PORTS (Park Online Resource for Teachers and Students) Distance Learning Program to dramatically expand its reach into classrooms around the world and foster connections across boundaries, borders, and cultures.  By expanding our audience, we expand the opportunity for the audience to connect their issues, opportunities and successes with other communities across the globe.  

This presentation will showcase:
  • how a distance learning program can be an extension to the interpretive programming already offered by an organization
  • highlight how building a partnership with a globally recognized company allows your local acts of interpretation to reach a global audience 
  • in-depth discussions on how distance learning programs allow more focused discussions on culturally relevant issues including climate change, ocean conservation, and sharing interpretive stories with more inclusive perspectives.

Got Millennials? And not sure how to connect with them?

3:30pm Eastern / 2:30pm Central / 1:30pm Mountain / 12:30pm Pacific (one hour)

Presenters: Rachel Roth & Lyndzee Rhine - lead interpreters at the Great Plains Nature Center, Wichita Kansas 

Who better to tell you how, than millennials! Join Rachel and Lyndzee, two twenty-something (aka Millennial) award-winning interpreters as they share tips and program successes for reaching young adults.

The presenters will first discuss young adult perspectives that they feel the interpretation field is missing, how they have successfully connected with young adults, and the four keys to engaging young people: authenticity, technology, experiences, and respect. Additionally, they will discuss what turns young people away, and the importance of interpreting online to reach young adults. During their presentation you will have the opportunity to ask those burning questions that you’ve always wanted to know about millennials!

Your takeaway:
  • Gain a better understanding of the perspectives of young adults 
  • Gain skills to increase engagement with young adults 
  • Gather program ideas that can be implemented at sites to attract young adults

Tying It All Together with Native Communities

5:00pm Eastern / 4:00pm Central / 3:00pm Mountain / 2:00pm Pacific (90 minutes)
Presenters: Francis Mendoza, Chairperson for ChangeScale, an Environmental Education Collaborative in Central and Northern California, and Naturalist, East Bay Regional Park District; Sonja Gomez, Supervising Naturalist, Coyote Hills Regional Park, East Bay Regional Park District

Indigenous people across North America shaped and nurtured the landscapes we now think of as wilderness. Their stories, traditional skills, and land management techniques teach us valuable lessons about the connection between people and place. This session will present best practices for working with Indigenous peoples in order to interpret their cultural traditions in a respectful way.  The presenters will discuss what Coyote Hills Regional Park is doing to support tribal organizations in revitalizing their language, reconnecting youth to their ancestral ways, and presenting themselves as contemporary people who are not only “still here”, but still thriving. They will explore the intersection of natural and cultural history through TEK (Traditional Ecological Knowledge) and demonstrate how to interpret the old ways without culturally appropriating them. An argument will be made for how cultural and natural history, when it comes to native peoples, are one and the same. Hear how intersectionality within BIPOC (black and indigenous people of color), two-spirit natives, and other marginalized communities need to be a part of the conversation for it to be a meaningful one. 

In this presentation the presenters will:
  • present a case study of a project that brought together three different tribes, many of them youth, to build and launch a tule boat into the marsh. 
  • explore the ways you can maintain meaningful relationships with the native community.
  • discuss Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) as a lens through which programs and collaborations can highlight indigenous peoples and practices as technically and scientifically advanced and relevant in modern times. 
  • practice traditional skills with participants, making cordage out of plant material and incorporating beadwork into their newly-made string.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Streamed live from NAI 2019 in Denver  
Download webinars on the NAI Store

How it Works

  • NAI will broadcast the sessions live during each time block.
  • Once you register, you will receive instructions via email for downloading the software and how to log in from your computer to access sessions.
  • Registration will close at noon Mountain time, Wednesday, November 13, and you will then receive an email with a link to the virtual conference.
  • We will have a staff member available by email or phone ready to assist you with technical issues the morning of the conference.
InterpCon will be held on the Zoom platform.