Interpretive Trainings

Learning to help others better connect with the forest.

Interpretive Training with the US Forest Service and ENFIA

An online interpretive training program was set up by Jennifer Chapman, Public Affairs Officer for the Eldorado National Forest. The program consisted of three online sessions (the third has been temporarily postponed) and are posted here for ENFIA Members and other organizations who would like to sharpen their interpretive skills.

Session 1 – Informal Interpretation

Instructor / Facilitator: Kara Stella, Interpretive Specialist – Yosemite National Park
1. Understand the interpretive equation: KR + KA + AP = IO  (note acronyms: KR, knowledge of resource; KA, knowledge of audience; AP,   appropriate techniques; IO, interpretive opportunity)
2.  Understand the difference between information, orientation and interpretation, and when, why and how to move from one to the other.
3.  When appropriate, link tangible resources to intangible meanings using appropriate techniques in order to facilitate opportunities for the audience to form their own intellectual and emotional connections to resource meanings.

To view the video, please click here.

Session 2 – Guided Walks / Conducted Activities 

Instructor/Facilitator: Peter Ostroskie, from the CA State Parks Sacramento Office
Conducted activities provide a sequence of interpretive opportunities through physical movement and immersion in the resource. Guided walks and other activities offer a journey that can lead to greater awareness of the resource. Opportunities for group experiences and interactions, as well as cohesive development of relevant ideas, can encourage visitors to develop an enriched appreciation and support for the resources. While immersed in the resource(s), the visitor and interpreter will be able to capitalize on spontaneous situations to provide for meaningful moments and continuity of thought.

  • organize a program around a cohesive development of relevant ideas;
  • identify specific strategies for immersion in the resource;
  • plan for physical logistics and ensure employee and visitor safety;
  • provide an opportunity to immerse in the resource and discover multiple personally significant meanings and connections

To view the video, please click here.

Session 3 – Interpretive Demonstrations & Other Illustrated Programs

Instructor / Facilitator: Kristi Schroeder,  Public Affairs Specialist, Eldorado National Forest  

Kristi also volunteers for Sierra Wildlife Rescue where she does live bird demonstrations to educate the public about rehabilitating injured birds

An “illustrated program” is planned from the outset to integrate slides, maps, demonstrations, objects, or performing arts in order to enhance access to resource meanings. Effective interpretive talks, on the other hand, are designed for the narrative to stand on its own. Each type of program serves different needs and functions. The effectiveness of illustrated programs depends on the integration of the illustrations and the narrative; they are a package of interdependent media and narrative. When successfully integrated,  they move visitors toward their own intellectual and emotional connections with the meanings inherent in the resource.

To view the video, please click here.