Successful Partnerships and Shifting Perspectives

I recently had the opportunity to hear a dynamic speaker with an important message. Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is a veterinarian and conservationist and listening to her talk about her work in her birth country of Uganda was inspiring in a number of ways. The unique organization she founded, Conservation through Public Health (www.ctph.org), provides wildlifeContinue reading “Successful Partnerships and Shifting Perspectives”

The Ethics of Interpretation – Choosing to make a difference

A friend and colleague in Panama recently posted a question that caused me to think more deeply about a conservation issue. It seems a private zoo owner had attempted to move about ten percent of the remaining animals of a rare and endangered species from their natural habitat in Panama to his zoo collection inContinue reading “The Ethics of Interpretation – Choosing to make a difference”

Professionalism – Six Ideas to Consider

Several years ago we were in the Galapagos Islands leading an ecotour along with our local guide who grew up on the islands. He admitted to having some interpretive training but it was not evident in his performance. He glibly told us the names of things with no explanation of their role in the ecosystemContinue reading “Professionalism – Six Ideas to Consider”

Try to Remember – Keep a Journal

I am reading Undaunted Courage  by Stephen Ambrose and the wonderful journals of the men on the Voyage of Discovery from Washington, D.C. to Oregon coast with Lewis and Clark left us amazing accounts of their journeys. Where would we be without journals? It was ornithology class in college that made me start keeping aContinue reading “Try to Remember – Keep a Journal”

Training Guides to Interpret

We were walking down a path through a beautiful botanical garden many years ago and our guide was talking over her shoulder with only a few able to hear. When she stopped she would start talking and not wait for the group to gather. When asked a question she could not answer, she pulled aContinue reading “Training Guides to Interpret”

Five Ideas to Engage Your Audience

When I have the opportunity to speak to a group, my challenge is to find the most bored and tuned out person sitting in the audience and get him or her more fully engaged with whatever subject matter I’m presenting. Given that I’m usually trying to influence audience members to move toward greater stewardship ofContinue reading “Five Ideas to Engage Your Audience”

Five Reasons Why You Should Have an Interpretive Plan

I cringe when I hear the words Ready-Fire-Aim used to describe the planning approach that many organizations use in developing new programs and facilities. I cringe because it was my favorite approach thirty years ago. I simply had no planning experience and it seemed reasonable to try something, anything, and hope it would work. FundersContinue reading “Five Reasons Why You Should Have an Interpretive Plan”

Facilitators – the Question People

We have just returned from an excellent Interpret Europe Conference in Sigtuna, Sweden, with about 165 colleagues from 40 nations. I am mulling over the ideas than ran through the presentations. “Be a facilitator,” certainly seemed to be one of the consistent messages. Excellent keynotes by Ted Cable, Mette Knudsen, Poul Seidler and James CarterContinue reading “Facilitators – the Question People”

Broken Glass – Some thoughts from Tim Merriman

I was just walking back the last quarter mile after running with Blue, my blue heeler running buddy. Lisa Brochu, my wife, and I pick up litter every day on this stretch of road near our home in Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s an early morning stewardship task that we willingly and voluntarily take on toContinue reading “Broken Glass – Some thoughts from Tim Merriman”

The Lettuce Tower

I have been a gardener my whole life and Lisa and I have now established eight large raised-bed gardens behind our home in Fort Collins. My mother and sister were florists, my dad ran a lawn mower business and my grandparents were farmers. Growing things has always given me a source of renewal and connectionContinue reading “The Lettuce Tower”