8 Key Ways to Keep Valued Employees

We create a culture at work made up of behavioral norms. One of the most important roles of a manager or director is setting values for that culture. Ideally, the corporate culture promotes a feeling of comfort and support that keeps employees motivated and productive. Here are eight key ideas to consider if you wantContinue reading “8 Key Ways to Keep Valued Employees”

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”

Five Ways to Better Understand Your Audience

    I will never forget my days running a state park visitor center when we counted people going through the building. These daily numbers went into a report we submitted to the state office annually. We detected the presence and number of our visitors and that was about it. Most of us do notContinue reading “Five Ways to Better Understand Your Audience”

When the Wow Trumps the Message

Have you ever spent an hour with mountain gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes following trails once traveled by Dian Fossey? Have you had your photo taken with baby pandas in a Sichuan panda reserve where George Schaller once studied these amazing animals? Did you climb out of your panga in the Galapagos to walk inContinue reading “When the Wow Trumps the Message”

Maslow on safari!

We are in a classroom at Akagera National Park at this moment and Lisa is facilitating a discussion about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with safari guides and game lodge workers. It’s a very rewarding conversation because most of these folks exemplify an understanding of this concept in their daily work, even if they have notContinue reading “Maslow on safari!”

Guide Training in Rwanda – a Rewarding Venture

In October 2012 we made our first trip to Rwanda to work with Nyungwe Nziza, a USAID funded project with Development Alternatives International (DAI) to help the fairly new Nyungwe National Park (2005) reach its potential as a tourist attraction and valued nature preserve. It has been a national forest since 1933, but the changeContinue reading “Guide Training in Rwanda – a Rewarding Venture”

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”

Six Reasons to Train Collaboratively

I recently stood for several minutes at an information desk at a park waiting for one of several workers on duty to notice me and ask to help. They were deeply engaged in personal conversations. Their uniforms indicated that some were employees and others were volunteers. At any park, zoo, museum, historic site, forest, aquariumContinue reading “Six Reasons to Train Collaboratively”

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”

Eight Strategies for Community Collaboration

Communities employ varied strategies and tactics to create positive change. These  strategies are a starting point for communities seeking ways to collaborate and improve their tourism products and experiences. 1.    Assess what’s working and what is not – This usually requires a consultant who can serve as an objective observer. Analysis of the visitor experienceContinue reading “Eight Strategies for Community Collaboration”