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NPS Archeology Guide > Archeology Outreach > 6. Training


Training is available in-person and online in topics related to archeology outreach. Courses are frequently held in topics such as visitor services, volunteer programs, archeological resource protection, interpreting climate change, and more.

Effective Interpretation of Archeological Resources

The NPS Interpretive Development Program offers Module 440: Effective Interpretation of Archeological Resources, Archeology-Interpretation Shared Competency Course of Study. A cadre of archeologists and interpreters have developed a curriculum for developing outreach products. Both classroom and on-line training is available. The course of study includes in-person sessions and online courses for credit through DOI Learn that may be taken at any time.

The manual, “An Inspiring Guide”: Effective Interpretation of Archeological Resources
describes the curriculum, which can be adapted to any geographic region by any agency or organization desiring to improve the quality of archeological presentation to the public. Employing the concept of “shared competency,” archeologists and interpreters receive training in each other's disciplines and work together to provide effective and accurate interpretation of archeological information and resources to the public.

In-Person Training

Check the Southeast Archeological Center's website for Module 440 training opportunities offered through their public interpretation initiative and for other information about education and outreach.

Distance Learning courses

Four courses that comprise Module 440 are online. See the Course Certificate pages in each course for information on registering for credit in DOI Learn.

Interpretation for Archeologists: A Guide to Increasing Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Archeologists can now explore the world of interpretation through online activities, illustrated case studies, fun facts, and more. This guide introduces the art and science of interpretation, methods and techniques for engaging the public with archeological resources, and the significant role interpretation can play in encouraging public stewardship.

Archeology for Interpreters: A Guide to Knowledge of the Resource
Use this online guide to learn about archeological methods that explores how interpretations are made and meaning ascribed to archeological resources, with the goal of increasing public understanding of preservation. Although the guide is designed to help interpreters gain basic knowledge, the ten sections (with bibliographies and links) may be used by anyone with a desire to learn the basics of archeology.

Study Tour of Archeological Interpretation
Study Tour takes archeologists and interpreters through the process of evaluating the interpretation of archeology both in parks and historic sites and through virtual visits. Downloadable worksheets are available. This course assists archeologists and interpreters in working together to provide effective and accurate interpretation to engage the public and foster a preservation ethic. The Study Tour can be used by individuals or adapted by groups who wish to work together to improve archeological interpretation. Suggestions for potential instructors are included.

Assessment of Archeology Interpretation
Use the analytical framework to assess outreach products for archeology according to interpretive principles.