10 Guidelines for a Useful Brochure

  We once asked a state park office how often they have to fill their brochure rack. The enthusiastic clerk explained, “It’s great, virtually never. No one takes them.” Here are ten guidelines to keep your brochures where they belong, in the hands of your guests, instead of in the rack or on the ground.Continue reading “10 Guidelines for a Useful Brochure”

Living Off-grid – A Lesson in Energy Consumption

  In the early 1980s I was a nature center director in Pueblo, Colorado. The energy crisis nationally energized us to be early adopters and models of conservation measures. We put a solar hot water heater on the center, added clivus multrum composting toilets and built a solar greenhouse both as demonstrations and to showContinue reading “Living Off-grid – A Lesson in Energy Consumption”

Message Your Waste

Locations where people throw away items or use bathroom facilities can be great opportunities to send messages that matter. Here are nine thoughts on creative ways we see messaging of varied kinds at facilities the public almost always has to use wherever they go.   Art in bathrooms or on recycling centers can help tell yourContinue reading “Message Your Waste”

The Bad Guide, A Parody with a Purpose

Those of you who have been to guide or trainer training with us may remember Ace Adventura, my alter-ego, the bad guide. I like portraying this rogue interpreter because he provides a chance for guides and trainers to critique guide performance with no concern for hurt feelings. Ace intends to be bad and is. AndContinue reading “The Bad Guide, A Parody with a Purpose”

Science Interpretation on a GRAND SCALE

Virtually all people everywhere enjoy the innovations of science but often without any appreciation of what it took to develop that innovation. We rely on and love our technology, but many people don’t seem to understand that the same scientists who bring us technology are the same ones who are telling us about the effectsContinue reading “Science Interpretation on a GRAND SCALE”

Missed Opportunities – Video and Photographic Histories

I recently spent several days going through boxes of family photos left to me in my mother’s estate and given to me by my sister just months before her passing. I scanned each photo and attempted to add a meaningful tag on the title of the jpeg file. Many of the photos have a questionContinue reading “Missed Opportunities – Video and Photographic Histories”

Biocoop Rwanda: Entrepreneur at Work

Lisa and I took our first hike at Nyungwe National Park in 2012 with Ange Imanishiwmwe. He proved to be a talented park guide and naturalist, engaging us in a discussion of the importance of forest elephants and helping us identify the birds calling in the distance.   What we also learned about Ange rightContinue reading “Biocoop Rwanda: Entrepreneur at Work”

Viral Video Ethics – Eagle Snatches Kid

  I just watched a cable TV show, Caught on Camera, Viral Videos – Is That Possible, about the making of videos that have gone viral with some fake and some real situations. One was a “phony” video of a man flying like Icarus with wings flapping through the man’s arm movements. The show debunksContinue reading “Viral Video Ethics – Eagle Snatches Kid”

Build It and They May Not Come

Who doesn’t enjoy the passionate pursuit of a romantic dream? Kevin Costner’s successful movie, Field of Dreams, fed a new generation of dreamers in 1989 when it came out.   Many organizations plan their future facilities with the “Build it and they will come” idea in mind, but just because a facility works well inContinue reading “Build It and They May Not Come”

Birding with the Blind

I just spent several days digging through three boxes of personal family photos. Among the photos were news articles my mother had saved for me, including one entitled “Birdwatching for the Blind.” It took me back to 1974 when I was a naturalist-interpreter managing a Visitor Center at Giant City State Park in Makanda, Illinois.Continue reading “Birding with the Blind”