AMI Conference welcomes keynote speakers Grady Manus and Chip Taylor

This year’s AMI conference will welcome two inspirational keynote speakers-Grady Manus (AMI founding member and past president) and Chip Taylor, Founder of Monarch Watch.   The conference committee is honored that both of these men will join us at Cuivre River State Park for the 2016 AMI workshop.   Chip Taylor will provide the kickoff keynote with his presentation, “Monarch Butterflies: From Decline to Recovery”, and Grady Manus will provide a banquet keynote with a special message to AMI members and guests.  As an added bonus, both speakers are providing a concurrent session during the conference.  To register for the conference, click on the “Conference” tab at the top of the page.  One-day registration is available, and each speaker is also providing a session at the workshop!   For those unfamiliar with our keynote speakers, here are their bios:

Dr. Chip Taylor, PHD-Founder of Monarch Watch

Chip Taylor

Trained as an insect ecologist, Dr. Chip Taylor has published papers on species assemblages, hybridization, reproductive biology, population dynamics and plant demographics and pollination. Starting in 1974, Chip Taylor established research sites and directed students studying Neotropical African honey bees (killer bees) in French Guiana, Venezuela, and Mexico. In 1992, Taylor founded Monarch Watch, an outreach program focused on education, research and conservation relative to monarch butterflies. Since then, Monarch Watch has enlisted the help of volunteers to tag monarchs during the fall migration. This program has produced many new insights into the dynamics of the monarch migration. In 2005 Monarch Watch created the Monarch Waystation program, in recognition that habitats for monarchs are declining at a rate of 6,000 acres a day in the United States. The goal of this program is to inspire the public, schools and others to create habitats for monarch butterflies and to assist Monarch Watch in educating the public about the decline in resources for monarchs, pollinators and all wildlife that share the same habitats.


Grady Manus, CIT, CIP


Grady Manus has been involved with the interpretation of both cultural and natural resources for most of his adult life, serving at public and private locations. He has been a historic site administrator, natural resource manager, project manager and director, and served a dual role as Chief of Interpretation and adjunct professor at the Historic Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center in Defiance, Missouri, owned by Lindenwood University. He has been certified as an NAI interpretive trainer (CIT) since 2007 and also received his NAI certification in interpretive planning (CIP) in 2009.  Grady received his MFA in writing from Lindenwood University in December 2011.  He has had pieces accepted by Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Tanka Journal, Four and Twenty, and Three Line Poetry.


Grady and his wife Lynn Youngblood teach the CIG course and do special programming and consulting work through their company, Black-eyed Pea Interpretive Services. They live on twenty-four acres of wooded hills with their dog and two cats.  When not working or writing, they love to spend their time admiring their granddaughters and grandson.


2016 AMI Conference Registration Now Open



This year’s AMI conference will be held in the Northeast Region in beautiful Cuivre River State Park in Troy, Missouri.   Registration is now online-check out the conference tab for information about the conference.  You can register by using this link-


Big News from Dakota


Still adorable, and still unrelated

Apologies for commandeering the official AMI website, but I have news to spread, and this is the easiest way to do it. At the end of this month, I’ll be moving to Wyoming.  My wife Greta has accepted an awesome position with the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody, and we’re very excited.  You should be excited, too.  Here’s why:

First, AMI is going to need a new webmaster, and that could be you! It’s a great way to serve the organization, it doesn’t take up much time, and you can do it in your underwear. I’ll even train you. Contact President Steve Jacobsen if you’re interested.

Second, Missouri’s best interpretive site is going to be hiring a new interpreter. I helped build Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site, and I’m a little emotional about handing over the reins. I need you to come here and be outstanding, because this place deserves it. If you have any questions about the job, Kim Todey with Missouri State Parks can fill you in.

I feel so fortunate to have learned at the feet of some of the world’s greatest interpreters here in Missouri. I’m going to miss AMI, and I’m going to miss all of you and the amazing work you do.  Thanks for the past 15 years.


Important Info for Job Seekers from Missouri State Parks

UPDATE: The Interpretive Resource Specialist II register is now open, as well.  It will remain open until April 22.

The Interpretive Resource Specialist III (IRS III) register is now open for application. The register will close April 20, 2016. Anyone interested in working for Missouri State Parks as an IRS III MUST be on this register to be considered for future vacancies! This is also a good time to update your information if you are already on this register.

Open Merit Registers can be viewed at

Should you wish to add your name to the merit registers for the classes listed above, please complete the EASE application at

While these classes have been opened for recruitment, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a corresponding vacancy. Please view the vacancy announcements at to determine classes that have a current vacancy.

2016 Conference


“Crafting Lasting Legacies Through Interpretation”

September 12-15, 2016

Cuivre River State Park – Troy, Missouri

Mark your calendars for the 2016 AMI workshop at beautiful Cuivre River State Park in Troy, Missouri!  This year’s conference will take place  at the historic Camp Sherwood CCC group camp.  Hosting our workshop at a group camp keeps our costs low and means FREE lodging for YOU!  The committee is busy planning some amazing field sessions in the northeast Missouri region.   Be thinking of a session that you could present to fit our theme.   More information and a call for papers will come out very soon.


Free lodging will be available in Camp Sherwood.   Camp Sherwood is divided into 4 “villages”, each with cabins that sleep up to 6 people.  Each village features a restroom/shower house.  Participants will need to bring their own bedding and towels.  To view photos of Camp Sherwood, visit the album on the park’s Facebook page.

If a participant wishes to stay in a hotel room in Troy, the Super 8 hotel is conveniently located by Highway 61 and rates run about $108/night.

Tentative Workshop Agenda

Monday, September 12

Preconference field sessions

Tuesday, September 13

Conference kickoff and keynote speaker

Concurrent sessions at Camp Sherwood

Awards Banquet at the historic Troy Odd Fellows Lodge in Downtown Troy

Wednesday, September 14

Conference field sessions at Camp Sherwood

Scholarship Auction at Camp Sherwood Recreation Hall

Thursday, September 15

Concurrent sessions at Camp Sherwood

Business meeting and lunch at Camp Sherwood

AMI Scholarship and Professional Development Auction

As always, dig around in your basements, closets, and offices for those unique items for the auction!   The AMI auction is our only fundraiser for our scholarship fund, which allows AMI to provide student scholarships as well as professional development stipends for our members.

Save the Date-AMI Conference 2016

AMI-2016-logoMark your calendars for the 2016 AMI workshop at beautiful Cuivre River State Park in Troy, Missouri!  This year’s conference will take place September 12-15, 2016 at the historic Camp Sherwood CCC group camp.  Hosting our workshop at a group camp keeps our costs low and means FREE lodging for YOU!  The committee is busy planning some amazing field sessions in the northeast Missouri region.   Our theme this year is “Crafting last legacies through interpretation”, so be thinking of a session that you could present to fit our theme.   More information and a call for papers will come out very soon.  Stay tuned to the Conference page for updates!

NAI Region 6 Workshop Seeking Vendors

r6wkshp2016Region 6 of the National Association for Interpretation is having its annual workshop in Springfield, Missouri in February 2016.  They are currently filling out their vendor area, and seeking groups or business that would like to be part of it.  Vendor spaces are open to both private sellers and government/non-profit organizations that just want a showcase for what they do.  At the workshop, vendors will be able to talk with interpreters from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri,  Oklahoma, and Texas.  You can find out more details in this vendor letter.

Make a Difference — Run for Office!

AMI offices for President and Secretary are open for 2016. This is a great opportunity to develop strong professional relationships, to enhance your leadership skills, as well as to enrich AMI with your creativity, experience and knowledge. Please email an electronic “head shot” photograph and your “campaign” write-up on or before August 21. Please consider giving back to this excellent organization by running for office. We need you!

If you are interested in running for either office please contact Elections Chair, Lisa LaCombe at or (816) 228-3766.


(Taken from the AMI By-laws)

Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Chair and the Elections Chair.

Section 2. The 5 elected officers, the Elections Chair and the immediate past president (if available and willing to serve) shall constitute the Executive Committee. In the case of the immediate past president being unable to fill this position, a member at large will be appointed by the officers to fill the opening.

AMI President 2 year term

Section 3. The President shall be the presiding officer at all meetings of the Association and at all meetings of the Executive Committee.

AMI Secretary 2 year term

Section 5. The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Association and its Executive Committee in a suitable book. They shall also submit reports at the annual business meeting and shall publish a membership directory yearly.

Important 2015 Workshop Information

JCNicholsFtThis year’s workshop in Kansas City promises to be another great one, and we hope to have as many AMI members there as we can get.   Not only because we love gathering with fellow interpreters, but also because there is a very important vote coming up at this year’s business meeting.   For those that cannot attend, there will be a chance for you to cast your vote after the workshop.    But we would rather see you at the conference!   You can register online at or download the paper registration form.  The deadline for registration is Friday, August 14.

It is also very important for you to book your hotel room by Monday, August 17.  AMI will suffer serious financial penalties if rooms are not booked by then.  The conference hotel is the Holiday Inn Kansas City Downtown – Aladdin at 1215 Wyandotte Street, Kansas City, MO 64105.  To receive the group rate of $109 per room, you will need to call the hotel at 877-224-2870 and tell them you are with the Association of Missouri Interpreters Conference.

Breakfast is not included at this hotel. One valet parking voucher, which is valid for the whole conference, will be included with your room. The hotel reservation staff may not know this because it is a central reservation system, but the Aladdin hotel will have the voucher when you arrive.

Finally, please remember to bring items to donate for the AMI auction. This auction benefits AMI scholarships for students to attend future conferences.  Thank you on behalf of the 2015 AMI Conference Committee.  See you in Kansas City!

AMI Workshop 2015 – Call for Papers

kc logoThe 2015 conference committee is looking for dynamic presenters for the 2015 workshop.  In other words, we need YOU! The state of Missouri is rich in talented, professional interpreters whose role it is to help Missourians make connections to our natural, cultural, and historical resources.

With focus on our title: The Art of Interpretation in the City and Theme: Embrace your niche as you interpret nature and culture in the city, please share your creativity and talents with fellow interpreters by presenting a session at the conference.

There is a short turnaround time on the call for papers. The deadline is August 7.

Download the workshop proposal form for more details!