Note from the Editor

It has been my pleasure to serve as the editor of the Journal of Interpretation Research since 2004. I have worked with hundreds of practitioners, managers, and researchers to help advance both the science and the practice of interpretation. There is no aspect of our tribe more important for our future than the continued development of the profession through rigorous systematic examination and disseminating that research back into the field. This is the role of the Journal of Interpretation Research, and it has been an honor to help preserve its place in our world. 

I can’t thank you enough for helping continue the tradition of the Journal of Interpretation Research and ensuring its role in advancing the practice, management, and evaluation of interpretation. Thank you to all the managers, public land agencies, and park leaders for allowing research to be conducted at your sites. Thank you for embracing critical examination regardless of the outcomes demonstrated. Thank you to all the scientists and researchers for conducting forward-thinking research and doing the hard work to conduct rigorous evaluation. You are the backbone of the advancements of our field. To the team of people who take over once the manuscript is submitted, including associate editors, advisory board members, NAI staff, countless reviewers, and numerous editorial assistants, thank you! Although your names never appear on the articles, your work and commitment to the field makes every research paper possible. And finally to all those giants who came before me, those upon whose shoulders I stood—thank you. 

After 16 years serving as your editor for the Journal, it is time to pass the torch of leadership. I am happy to announce that Marc Stern and Bob Powell will be assuming the co-editor roles starting with the next issue. Bob Powell is the director of the Institute for Parks at Clemson University and the George B. Hartzog, Jr., Endowed Professor in Philosophy, Parks, and Environmental Ethics in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. His research and outreach program focuses on park and protected area management, ecotourism, interpretation, and environmental education. Marc J. Stern is a professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech, where he teaches undergraduate courses in Environmental Education and Environmental Interpretation and graduate courses in Social Science Research Methods and Sustainability. His research focuses on human behavior within the contexts of environmental conflicts, natural resources planning and management, and environmental education and communication. 

Each has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles in top academic journals, and Stern has recently published a book with the Oxford University Press titled Social Science Theory for Environmental Sustainability: A Practical Guide. Together, Powell and Stern have been conducting research for years on the programmatic and pedagogical characteristics of interpretive and environmental education programs that are most consistently linked to more positive outcomes for program attendees in a wide range of contexts. 

Please make Bob and Marc feel welcome in their new roles, and I look forward to the continued developments in the field through the Journal of Interpretation Research.