mute swan

The World’s Worst Interpretive Themes

Writing great interpretive themes is not rocket science. Why do we make it so hard? In the world of interpretation, we refer to messages as themes. The word ‘theme’ has different connotations and meanings. Sometimes I wish we didn’t use the term at all; it’s confusing, and this is one area that we really need to get right. Let’s see what the dictionary has to […]

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2016 Interpretive Programs Announced!

Some time ago, I was asked to submit a selection of programs for the upcoming season. Here are the ones I didn’t submit. Bugs, Bogs and Browbeating Our wetlands are in trouble, and it’s all your fault! Naturalist Tabitha Smugge plays a wacky “Judge” who enumerates all the ways that you’ve ruined our watershed for generations to come. Rodentia: The Musical Little Douglas Squirrel has lost his […]

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Lagoon Silhouettes

The Interpretive Voice: Find Your Spirit Guide

Finding Your Voice… On A Graph This is part two of a series. You should probably start with part one, here. In trying to craft my own voice as an interpreter and interpretive writer, I often look to some of the great interpreters I have seen over the years. And one of the things these inspiring people have in common is that they speak with a […]

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Barred owl

Dear Don: We’re Too Successful.

Welcome to the first in my Dear Don series, in which I do my best to answer questions from my readers about interpretation and visitor experience. (And if I don’t have the answers, I’ll be featuring wise experts who can help.) Dear Don: I attended your webinar on target audiences and have a question: We offer a variety of adult-only programs but there seem to be […]

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Song sparrow, singing

The Interpretive Voice

… have you found yours? Have you ever tried writing interpretive text as a committee? It’s about as delightful as being pecked apart by mergansers. Each writer contributes a piece, and each piece might be lovely on its own, but you put the bits together and they just don’t get along. And so you talk and you edit and you re-write and edit some more… until you […]

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Woman in Manila

2015: A Year In Photographs

2015 was a cornucopia of photographic opportunities. I visited places I never thought I’d see (Myanmar, Mumbai) and revisited places I’ll never tire of photographing (Stanley Park.) I hope you enjoy a sampling of my favourite shots of 2015. Happy new year, everyone.  

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Honey bee and lavender

 The Interpretive Soapbox

  Interpreters are purveyors of wonder. Never, ever forget it. Those of us who work with endangered species (or endangered resources of any kind) tend to feel fairly passionate about them. We also tend to be have long personal histories with our subjects, and a high level of knowledge about them. As a result, we are prime candidates for committing what I’d like coin as Enright’s Cardinal […]

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Learning And The New Visitor Experience Paradigm

Let us talk less about learning, and more about connecting with essence of place, about the forging of links, the fostering of emotions and the long-term making of meaning. This is the conclusion of my series on the Visitor Experience (VE) Revolution. You might want to start with the first chapter, here. I consider myself both a champion and a casualty of the new visitor experience […]

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