ZWPA 2015 InterpNET Conference



October 14, 2015  12 – 5pm EST


Heather Crandall

Heather Crandall, Denver Zoo

The Winding Road to Creating Interpreters of an Entire Zoo!

Denver Zoo has developed a program to add the continued engagement and connection of all zoo visitors to animals.  What was once used only among education staff, mostly as support for our interpretative-trained volunteers, has grown in the last 18 months to become a program on guest engagements and interpretive best practices which all staff and volunteers, to varying degrees, will complete.  This training is also now being incorporated in to new staff and new volunteer orientations, to institutionalize this new focus on the engagement and education of guests.  Explore some of the twists and turns a small group of staff experienced as we expanded a awesome departmental program to the entire zoo!

Madeleine Irving Chan

Madeleine Irving, Vancouver Aquarium

Personality: the Challenges and Possiblities in Interpretation

Personality helps to form the way we see the world, learn new things, process information and make decisions, and so it is actually a key aspect of interpretation.  Despite it importance, it is something we do not often consider when doing out work.   Having a greater understanding of personalities will help to make our work as interpreters more effective as we learn to interpret for different audiences.

Lynn Tran et al., Lawrence Hall of Science

How learning happens: Discussing the research and how it applies to your practice

This session engages participants in a discussion on current research about how learning happens and how to support learning.  The learning sciences offer insights and evidence on how learning occurs across multiple timeframes and settings.  Participants talk about foundation-al ideas on learning, explore practical implications of current resesarch, and share strategies for transforming practice.  This session is an adaption of a Research Discussion from the Reflecting on Practice professional learning program for informal science educators.

Teresa Randall et al., Oklahoma City Zoo

Interpreting Big Ideas WITH your audience, not just FOR them

What happens when you turn 14 environmental education professionals, both formal and informal, loose deep in the Amazon rainforest?  Transferrable magic!   During this session we will share our field based professional development model which is designed to arm environmental educators in understanding and interpreting big conservation topics WITH their diverse 21st century audiences by use of interpretive communication, citizen science, ecotourism and social media.

Tom Mullin et al., Unity College

Creating Sustainable and engaging Internship Programs

Many of you have said in a meeting “Let’s get an intern to do this.”  This interactive workshop will provide zoo, wildlife park, aquarium and wildlife rehabilitation interpreters with an overview of how to develop an effective internship program.  Learn how to leverage staff resources by partnering with academic institutions, students and future ZWPA professionals.  The session will include a combination of lecture information and group discussion.  Participants will be provided key resources related to Best Practices, legal considerations, and the nuts and bolts of designing an internship program that meets academic standards.  Tips on how to recruit, effectively supervise, train and evaluate student interns in the context of their academic program needs will be covered.  Special emphasis on how Zoos, Wildlife Parks and Aquariums can find the best interns and provide an outstanding experience for both the agency/organization and the student.

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