Toolkit: Training

NPS Climate Training

Interpreting Climate Change Self-study Modules
The NPS has provided a free self-study course in Interpreting Climate Change to work through at the learner's own pace. The course consistents of four Modules, featuring both a learning companion and study guide: Introduction, Knowledge of the Resources, Knowledge of the Audience, and Appropriate Techniques. Here you can download each of the modules in PDF form:

Module 1: Study Guide | Learning Companion
Module 2: Study Guide | Learning Companion
Module 3: Study Guide | Learning Companion
Module 4: Study Guide | Learning Companion

Interpreting Climate Change Virtual Course
This course provides an overview of the practical knowledge and skills that will enable interpreters to develop effective, engaging climate change programming for both natural and cultural sites. Participants consider a range of engagement techniques such as facilitated dialogue, skills for dealing with controversy, and presenting multiple perspectives. These and other techniques are applied to an overview of climate science and audience research. Participants engage in group discussions to share best practices, build confidence and identify meaningful site connections. Although the focus of this course is on personal services interpretation, many of the best practices are also applicable to media development.

This course is presented via a distance learning "virtual" classroom -- each day involves a schedule of webex plenary sessions, activities, and group discussions. Virtual class participation requires a work station with computer, reliable internet and phone access.

Participants are ideally interpretation and education practitioners and supervisors – from both natural and cultural sites -- who are developing/presenting climate change programming at their sites, or are interested in doing so but aren’t sure if/how to proceed. Interested employees from other career fields and other agencies are also welcome to apply, on a space available basis. For more information, please email us. You can find the course on DOILearn by doing a search for "interpreting climate change."

Other Organizations and Agencies

Earth to Sky
Here, interpreters, educators and scientists join in a collegial environment to learn and share science and communication techniques. They offer periodic courses and webinars for climate change communicators, and hosts an information clearing house on their website. The NPS is a partner in this working group.
MetEd is a free collection of learning resources for the geoscience community. They have developed a training module that discusses climate change, particularly as it is currently being affected by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities.
Climate Basics - Climate Change Resource Center
The U.S. Forest Service's Climate Change Resource Center contains a breadth of information about all kinds of climate topics in our natural landscapes. This Climate Basics section provides an overview of current climate science and answers frequently asked questions.
The Climate Interpreter
A collaboration of national aquariums and the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation has developed a number of good training references based on research and social science. Their approaches are adjusted and refined based on lessons learned from the latest research. Look particularly to their video units focusing on "Interpretive Techniques for Challenging Topics."

Other NPS Training

Foundations of Interpretation
This free online self-study course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the theory and practice of interpretation, this course is ideal for those new to the field or anyone interested in a refresher on interpretation concepts.

Interpreting Critical Issues Using Civic Engagement & Facilitated Dialogue Techniques
Interpreting critical issues with 21st century audiences requries a fundamental change in approach, using engagement strategies that involve visitors as co-creators of their interpretive experiences – interpreting WITH visitors, not just FOR them. This course will focus on the front-line interpreter’s role as a facilitator of dialogue and discussion, and a range of ways to encorporate these techniques into new and existing park programming. By thoughtfully facilitating dialogue around issues critical to the National Park Service and the public, interpreters will learn to be catalysts to engage citzenry in new and exciting ways. You can find this course on DOILearn by searching for "facilitated dialogue." A self-study Facilitator's Toolkit is also available.

Last updated: February 5, 2024


  • Site Index