Interpretive Techniques for Challenging Topics

Throughout the tenure of—and the various grants and coalitions that this website supports—one of the most frequent requests has been more resources showing effective interpretation around climate change issues. This new training module, Interpretive Techniques for Challenging Topics, is that resource come at last.

The module is arranged in three units. Unit 1 – Interpretation Basics introduces ideas of how to best approach interpreting difficult topics using tools such as universals, multiple points of view and positive emotions. Unit 2 – Audience stresses the importance of knowing who you are talking to when you are interpreting. Unit 3 – Techniques and Methods shares best practices established by interpreters communicating on the frontlines of challenging topics.

This training module is the final piece of the BOAT project. Over the last two years, a team of people from The Florida Aquarium, Alaska SeaLife Center, and Monterey Bay Aquarium have been contributing to the Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT) project funded through a generous grant from NOAA. Last year, we produced three training modules focusing on content related to climate change, energy literacy, ocean acidification and oil in the Arctic. Additionally, teams of Certified Interpretive Guide Trainers in Alaska, Florida and California used the National Association for Interpretation’s certification program to train cohorts of Certified Interpretive Guides. This new module is a direct response to the overwhelming number of requests for examples of effective interpretation around these controversial issues.

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