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Fulfilling the NPS Mission 101
Informal Visitor Contacts 102
Interpretive Talk 103
Conducted Activity 210
Interpretive Demonstration 220
Interpretive Writing 230
Curriculum-based Program 270
Planning Park Interpretation 310
Interpretive Media Development 311
Leaning Interpreters 330
Interpretive Research
Other Developmental Competencies


Planning Park Interpretation Curriculum-based Program Interpretive Writing Interp. Demonstration Conducted Activity Interpretive Talk Informal Visitor Contacts Fulfilling NPS Mission IDP Homepage Interp. Media Development Leading Interpreters Interp. Research Interpretive Writing Curriculum-based Program Planning Park Interpretation Interp. Media Development Leading Interpreters Interpretive Research Interp. Demonstration Conducted Activity Interpretive Talk Informal Visitor Contacts Fulfilling NPS Mission IDP Homepage





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Module 102: Demonstrating Successful Informal Visitor Contacts

Competency Curriculum

The following curriculum components outline the developmental learning elements that compose the skills set for this competency. From these outlines, 1) employees and their supervisors can determine learning needs and strategies, 2) instructors can develop sessions and lesson plans. Each component also contains a list of useful references and developmental activities.

At the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  • Develop strategies that provide opportunities for quality service;

  • Move along a "decision path" between orientation, information, and interpretation as appropriate, without inflicting any service on a visitor;

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between providing information and interpretation, and an understanding of an intentional strategy/methodology for introducing visitors to the intangible meanings associated with park resources;

  • Demonstrate effective meanings-based interpretation in informal encounters.

Visitor orientation, information, and informal interpretive services; basic communications skills; assessing basic audience needs and deciding how/when to end contacts; quality service; working with upset visitors; identifying sources and resources to assist information and interpretation; local and competing/complementary information sources; understanding the information "continuum" and the information network; recognizing and providing opportunities for visitors to form intellectual and emotional connections to resource meanings.

Individuals with informal, spontaneous public contact responsibilities in National Park areas including park rangers and other NPS staff, cooperating association employees, volunteers, concessionaires, and park partners.

Park and region-level seasonal or group training; servicewide courses; university courses; Traditional and distance learning in classrooms; computer- based training packages and CD-ROMs.

Within first year of appointment.

Editor: STMA Training Manager Interpretation

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