International Activities Update, January - March, 2018

A visiting Tanzanian Ranger stands with mountains in the background.
Asangye Bangu, a ranger from Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Yosemite.

Image by NPS.

Africa - Yosemite Hosts Colleague from Tazanian Sister Park

Asangye Bangu, Deputy Conservator from Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) visited Yosemite recently, meeting with more than a dozen NPS and concessioner staff members, as well as with several of our partner organizations, including Yosemite Conservancy and Yosemite Gateway Partners. By the end of the trip, Asangye had come up with a list of four key areas where he would like to develop collaborative projects with Yosemite –park interpretation, tourism promotion, water resource management and human-animal conflict. NCA is opening a new museum and he would like to work with our Interpretation staff to figure out how to tell the story of the human history of NCA - Olduvai Gorge is part of the area - and link it to the current story of the indigenous residents and the wildlife. The park is keen to figure out how to work with reporters and visitor bureaus to bring more visitors to Ngorongoro -- particularly areas outside the crater itself. The NCA is also trying to figure out ways to improve access to water for the indigenous communities within the park, since people, livestock and wildlife all compete for water. Staff from Yosemite’s Bear Team has already provided some training on the use of radio telemetry to monitor wildlife - elephants in NCA's case - to help them better track animals and keep them out of villages and the crops and livestock resident people raise

NPS Contact: Jodi Bailey
A collection of photographs of Japanese interpreters at the Grand Canyon.
Photos from the NPS Interpretive Workshop for Japanese park rangers.

NPS image.

Asia - Sharing Innovation in Park Interpretation with Japanese Parks Colleagues

Park interpretation and training specialists at the NPS Albright Training Center (HOAL), as well as the NPS Office of International Affairs, convened with Japanese governmental and NGO counterparts at Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) for the 22nd Japan-U.S. park Interpretation Training Seminar (JUITS). This marked a return to the Seminar’s roots, as the initial training for Japanese practitioners of park interpretation was held at Grand Canyon in 1995. HOAL and NPS Learning and Development division staff shared how they design interpretive plans for national parks, while GRCA staff shared best practices in park interpretation for a changing and more diverse visitor audience - the theme of the Seminar. Participants learned more about the expanding tool kit for park interpretation, which now includes not only the classic ‘sage on the stage’ ranger-led talk, to the ‘guide on the side’ available ranger, as well as facilitated dialogue between interpretation rangers and audiences. The Seminar also visited Petrified Forest National Park to learn about innovative methods that park scientists and interpretation rangers share their findings with visitors to this unique arid landscape, replete with fossils and petrified wood. This seminar marked the first held in the U.S. to include participation by a park ranger from the Japanese Environment Ministry. Closer NPS-Japan cooperation is developing as Japan looks to the NPS for lessons learned as it prepares for a large influx of international visitors expected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
NPS Contact: Rudy D'Alessandro
An image of the participants who made up the review panel.
The Beringian Heritage review panel.

NPS image.

Euasia - NPS Shared Beringian Heritage Program Reviews Proposals

Since 1992, Congress has provided funding to the National Park Service’s Alaska Region to support the Shared Beringian Heritage Program (SBHP), which recognizes and celebrates the unique natural resources and rich cultural heritage shared by Russia and the United States across the landscapes and seascapes known as Beringia. Projects, research, and staff of the program aim to improve local, national, and international understanding of these shared resources and values and to sustain the cultural vitality of Native peoples in the region. Specific programmatic goals are to: improve conservation, sustainability, and knowledge of the region's natural and cultural resources; preserve subsistence opportunities and other historic traditions and practices; interpret and communicate about the region's unique and internationally significant resources and values; and provide opportunities for cultural connections and knowledge exchange. An interagency panel comprised of archaeological, botanical, cultural heritage, geological, international relations and park management specialists met at NPS Alaska Regional headquarters to review and make recommendations on over 20 natural resource and cultural heritage proposals for funding from the SBHP for the 2018-2020 timeframe. We look forward to learning from the Russian and American cooperators as they carry out their project activities.

NPS Contact: Peter Neitlich

A French International Volunteer (L) stands with her NPS supervisor.
Aude Claret (L) stands with her NPS supervisor in a HABS office.

NPS image.

Europe - French Curator Assists NPS Historic American Building Survey

The NPS Historical American Building Survey (HABS) was pleased to host Aude Claret, a heritage curator in the French Ministry of Culture, for an internship. The French Government sent Aude to the HABS Program Office in Washington, D.C. to learn about NPS’s role in protecting American historical architecture. Aude worked on a project for the NPS National Capital Region to document the historical statues of Latin American Liberators near The National Mall. As well as completing this important study, Aude brought interesting perspectives to HABS’ work. Comparing France’s historical building preservation efforts to those in the U.S. was intriguing since the two countries’ systems are somewhat similar.

Each year, the NPS Office of International Affairs coordinates over 100
international volunteer programs like Aude’s with U.S. national parks and NPS offices.

NPS Contact: Catherine Lavoie

North America - NPS Joins Southwest Border Working Group

In March, the NPS Southwest Border Resources Protection Program, in cooperation with the International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA), held its third international partnership-building and training workshop in Ajo, Arizona, outside of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Approximately 60 participants from the U.S. and Mexico participated in the workshop, which provided an opportunity for conservation professionals along the border to learn new skills and conduct collaborative dialogues and work planning. For more information on the Southwest Border Resources Protection Program.
NPS Contact: Jon Putnam
Ranger Alex Picavet with two German staff.
Midwest Region Communications Chief Alex Pickavet in Germany.

US Embassy photo.

Europe - NPS Supports Public Diplomacy in Germany
The U.S. Embassy in Germany invited a U.S. national park ranger to take part in various learning programs and the International Tourism Board (ITB), an important international tourism trade fair held annually in Berlin. This was the seventh time the NPS has provided a ranger for this public diplomacy mission. Midwest Region Communications Chief Alex Pickavet had lively exchanges in German with government leaders within the Nature Protection Division of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Vice-Consul of the U.S. Embassy, staff and Director of Hainich National Park, and with members of the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). Alex participated in several roundtable discussions and gave presentations in German on the management of national parks in the U.S., including management challenges and how the NPS is working to address those challenges. Alex accompanied Chargé d'Affaires Kent Logsdon and U.S. Embassy staff at the International Tourism Board/Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin and met with Brand USA staff at their booth.

NPS contact: Alexandra Picavet

These are among the most outstanding examples of ongoing international engagement by the NPS. Follow us on Facebook for updates on these and many other NPS international activities.

Last updated: May 4, 2018

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