Posted by: rmorrisey | May 4, 2007

Interpretive Training Opportunities

In earlier posts, I explain that the National Park Service generally hires two different kinds of Park Rangers:  law enforcement rangers and interpretive rangers.

Interpretive Park Rangers are America’s storytellers.  They educate and inform park visitors through various forms of interpretation designed to communicate the history of park resources, artifacts and various interpretive themes.  Depending on the type of national park you’re working at, you may be giving tours of presidential homes, guiding nature hikes, working in a visitor center, giving classroom presentations or doing what they call “roving” interpretation. 

Every park has multiple stories (interpretive themes) to tell.  For instance, an interpretive Park Ranger at Grand Canyon might tell the story of the natural processes that created the Grand Canyon, or the story of the first explorers to discover the Grand Canyon, or the story of the Native Americans who inhabited the area, or the story of current environmental issues.

If you want to be an Interpretive Park Ranger, you should check out the training opportunities on the National Association for Interpretation website.  The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) defines interpretation as a communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource.

The NAI mission is to inspire leadership and excellence to advance heritage interpretation as a profession.

The NAI online bookstore carries some really great books to help you develop your interpretive skills.

So what are ya waiting for?




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