What Are Interpreters’ Roles?
Interpreters wear many hats and fill many roles within a park. Their work includes:
- On-site programs with families, school groups, scouts, religious organizations, or avocational enthusiasts
- Off-site programs in schools, for local organizations, etc.
- Contribution to planning
- Taking part in special events
Park managers are constantly figuring out what to manage, how, and what to prioritize. Interpreters inform these decisions by knowing the significant places within a park for effectively transmitting its meanings to the public. Their front-line position in the public eye means that they can tell administrators about visitors’ positive reactions to particularly successful elements of a park, or advise on those elements that need work.
Archeologists who step into the interpretation arena of park operations gain insight on public use of and reactions to the resources. They can speak with greater confidence on the broad implications of archeological contributions. But archeologists who interpret also take part in an ongoing dialogue about the presentation of the past to the public. They, as a result, embark in a different way on the management and future of resources by inspiring public stewardship.