Ecological Restoration – a Story Worth Telling

  We live next to the Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins, Colorado. It meanders out of the Rocky Mountains toward the Platte River, which eventually joins the Missouri River and travels onward into the Mississippi basin at St. Louis. More than a century of agriculture and community development have led to numerous waterContinue reading “Ecological Restoration – a Story Worth Telling”

Loving It to Life – A Nature Center is Born

    Kahalu‘u Beach Park is one of those unique places where the resource surprises visitors, charms them and brings them back. I have been visiting this shallow bay on the traditional sacred grounds of the ali‘i (Hawaiian royalty) for 27 years. It’s four miles south of Kailua-Kona and walking distance from where we usually stayContinue reading “Loving It to Life – A Nature Center is Born”

FameLab Revisited

  We just took part in another FameLab competition in Troy, New York, at Rensselaer Polytechnic (RPI) Institute sponsored by NASA’s Astrobiology program in collaboration with the British Council. Lisa Brochu is one of three judges along with Cheryl Zook of National Geographic and Planet Science researcher, Dr. Alex Lockwood from Caltech. After the morning roundContinue reading “FameLab Revisited”

5 Reasons to Share Personal Stories

When I was a young boy I spent every free hour wading in the Town Branch, a local stream near my home in Vandalia, Illinois. I was looking for crawdads, my favorite critter in nature, but I studied everything else that turned up around them. Tadpoles, minnows, turtles and mud puppies were always fun encountersContinue reading “5 Reasons to Share Personal Stories”

Messages Matter

I just posted the video seen above on my Facebook page after Carolyn Widner Ward (thanks, Carolyn) posted it on hers. I had seen the original award-winning video, La Historia de un Letrero by Alonso Alvarez Barreda, several years ago (thanks to Eliezer Nieves-Rodriguez for the reminder and Dr. Sam Ham for the deep background on hisContinue reading “Messages Matter”

How and Where Do We Learn?

Fareed Zakaria had an interesting discussion this past Sunday on his CNN GPS show about the educational gap in America. His guests, Teach for America Founder Wendy Kopp, Sal Khan of Khan Academy, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and former New York City school administrator Joel Klein made up the panel. Their discussion wasContinue reading “How and Where Do We Learn?”

Science Interpretation – A Different Approach

I started my career as a biology teacher and honestly enjoyed being in a high school classroom as a teacher. But I found jobs at an outdoor learning center and a state park early in my career and never found my way back to the classroom. Over time, I slowly discovered the difference between scienceContinue reading “Science Interpretation – A Different Approach”

Program Scope Objectives, A Measure of Success

If you’re an interpreter or guide working on the front-line of an agency, organization or tour company, how do you evaluate your success on a daily basis? Is it the number of smiles you receive, the volume of the applause, the “good job” comments made by your peers or supervisors? More than a dozen yearsContinue reading “Program Scope Objectives, A Measure of Success”

The Blackfish Movie Makes You Think

CNN recently aired the Blackfish film by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and it has sparked deep conversations among parents, animal lovers and zoo aficionados. Much of the film is about SeaWorld and the 2010 death of Dawn Brancheau, by Tillikum, the 12,000 pound orca she trained. I think this is an important conversation but the reaction toContinue reading “The Blackfish Movie Makes You Think”

Brain Research – Some Thoughts for Interpreters

Sperry’s famous research at Caltech on the “split-brain” was shared with the scientific community in the 1960s, and since then, numerous other studies have been done that provide more insight into the varied specialized functions of different parts of the human brain. These studies suggest that there is no simplistic explanation of “right-brained” and “left-brained”Continue reading “Brain Research – Some Thoughts for Interpreters”