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Hello, friends.

I hope this finds you well. Life here on Mayne Island is good if a bit snowy. I've just returned from travels to India, Australia and the Middle East, and it's good to be home. I'm looking forward to an interesting year: tomorrow I'm off to Texas for my first meeting as a board member of the National Association for Interpretation (NAI.)
In case you're wondering why you haven't heard much from me lately, the link below should give you some idea how I spend 2017. Busiest year of my life. This year, a little more balance, a little more gardening.
Please feel free to hit "reply" and let me know what you've been up to.
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The Louvre Abu Dhabi: A Review

abu dhabi louvre courtyard
I found myself in Abu Dhabi, UAE in January.The place is fascinating, in all kinds of ways. I can't give the city itself a sterling recommendation—there are more interesting places you could support with your tourist dollars, frankly. Maybe some places that don't still do flogging and stoning, say. But …

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Dear Don: Our staff aren't sticking around.

revolving door
Dear Don, I recently read your articles about hiring better interpretive guides and really enjoyed them. I work for a museum that is currently in the process of trying to do just that, hire better guides. The biggest problem that we have incountered is getting the right people for the job to learn/hear about us. Up until this point most …

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A Field Guide to Content Developers

A Field Guide to Content Developers
If you’re trying to put together a design project, it pays to know who to hire. I often see “interpretive writer” in an RFP when it’s clear that you’re really looking for a content developer or an interpretive planner. And while it’s not unusual to find someone (like me) who can do all three, the scope of work (and the price tag) for each is radically different.

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Essence of Place and Sustainable Tourism

Haida Gwaii, rock
As an interpretive planner, I’m always on the lookout for tools that help me in my work. A few years ago, when I was working with the Parks Canada agency, we began to develop a creative model we called Essence of Place. It turned out to be not only a good …

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Should parks and museums have free entry?

we believe
(This article first appeared in Legacy Magazine, published by the National Association of Interpretation.) When they say “can’t”, we need to re-train our ears to hear “choose not to”. Two years ago, I fulfilled a lifelong dream and visited the Republic of Ireland. Among its many treasures (endless green hillsides, first-rate beer, friendly locals), I discovered that the Irish national …

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It's Time to Stop the May Madness

Writing and producing three programs in three weeks is madness. It has to stop. Here's a proposal that will result in better programs, better promotions, less overtime, and less stress.

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