Tourism Collaboration Should Be Easier – 5 Reasons To Collaborate

Remember when we were children? Our mothers worried about how to get us to play well together, to share toys and to cooperate. There seems to be some natural inclination among humans to compete. But even as children we found ways to overcome the tendency and collaborate. We built sand castles on the beach together,Continue reading “Tourism Collaboration Should Be Easier – 5 Reasons To Collaborate”

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”

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”

Learning from Failure

I once had a government job as a manager with a small direct-report staff and responsibilities for training more than 200 employees. I was called into my supervisor’s office and asked to stop talking about mistakes I had made and failed business efforts. I was destroying employee confidence in me it seemed. Our corporate cultureContinue reading “Learning from Failure”

Let’s Get Personal

Every time I go in my bank I expect to hear one of the clerks I’ve seen many times to call me by name. It never happens. I am in there every week or two and have been using this bank for 15 years. They are consistent. No one, even if they’ve seen me aContinue reading “Let’s Get Personal”

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”

Making a Difference on Purpose

Dr. Sam Ham is a well-known name in the interpretation profession. He has just completed a new book entitled Interpretation – Making a Difference on Purpose. His classic first text, Environmental Interpretation – A Practical Guide for People with Big Ideas and Small Budgets was published in 1992 in English and Spanish. It has servedContinue reading “Making a Difference on Purpose”

Get To the Point

We were in San Francisco last December to work with NASA and National Geographic’s Famelab competition. Shayle, one of the young scientists who presented, said, “Nudibranchs steal poison from their prey. They carry it around like a poisonous backpack, using it for their own defense.” I remember the point of the talk because the main ideaContinue reading “Get To the Point”

Don’t Dumb it Down

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard someone say, “Oh, interpretation, that’s just dumbing down science so everyone can understand it.” If you’re an interpreter and you’ve ever said something similar, stop it. If you’re a scientist and you’ve said something like that, stop it. If you’re anybody else, not in one or bothContinue reading “Don’t Dumb it Down”