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Missouri DNR is Seeking a Natural Resource Education Coordinator

dnrThe Missouri Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for protecting, preserving and enhancing Missouri’s natural, cultural and energy resources.  An important part of that responsibility is educating Missourians about those resources.

The department has been working to reinvigorate their department-wide education strategy.  The person hired to the Natural Resource Education Coordinator position will have the opportunity to assist in that process.  The Department’s education strategy provides information and tools to teachers, youth leaders and students statewide, promoting the department’s mission, stewardship of Missouri’s natural resources, and encouraging a healthy and enjoyable outdoor lifestyle.

For more information on this job opening, see full job description.

Interpretive Writing Workshop

leftridgeThe Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center in Kansas City will be hosting “The Art of Interpretive Writing” on Friday, October 25.  The workshop will be led by Alan Leftridge, author of Interpretive Writing.  See below for more details:

Write compelling interpretive messages! This workshop offers you the basics of interpretive writing that apply to signage, exhibit labels, brochures, websites, public service announcements, books, and magazines. You will understand how to create clear, dynamic, and concise interpretive texts, reveal meanings, and ways to excite visitors about your site, whether it is a museum, park, zoo, nature center, or aquarium.

Topics include:

  • The Interpretive Writing Process
  • Concept Mapping 
  • Universal Concepts
  • The Five Elements of Interpretive Writing
  • Meeting Your Audience’s Needs
  • Concise Wording
  • Keeping Your Reader’s Attention
  • The Importance of Fluency
  • Redundant Wording
  • Understanding Readability Indexes
  • Using a Human Interest Scale
  • Capturing Your Reader’s Attention
  • What to Avoid
  • Connecting with a Narrative
  • The Editing Process
  • Evaluation

The fee is $275 and includes instruction, refreshments, handouts, and a copy of the Interpretive Writing textbook.

Contact Alan Leftridge,, 406.754.2940 to register.

“The Art of Interpretive Writing” flyer (pdf)

Register Now for the 2013 Workshop!

AMI-2013-Morgan-logoThere’s still five days to get the early registration rate for our upcoming workshop in Branson, Missouri!  After August 20, the cost will go up.

Registration forms are included in the 2013 AMI Workshop Registration Packet.  So are all the details on field sessions, lodging, and costs. 

If you have any other questions, please contact Workshop Committee Chair John Miller at or at (417) 334-4865, ext. 0.

We hope to see you in Branson!

2013 AMI Workshop

AMI 2013 logoThe 2013 Association of Missouri Interpreters Workshop will be held September 12 – 14 in Branson, Missouri.  The workshop theme is “Interpreting New Heights in the Depths of the Ozarks”.  Details are just now begining to be announced, but here’s your quick-&-easy guide to everything you need to know:

First off, visit the Conference Page.  This page will always have the most recent news and updates about the workshop.

Want to present a session at the Workshop? Session proposals are due June 15.  Here’s the Call for Papers (Adobe pdf).

You should seriously consider nominating one of your colleagues for AMI’s awards.  Recognizing outstanding interpretation is a big part of what we do.  For more information, download the Award Criteria and Nomination Form (Word doc).  Awards nominations are due July 15.

Are you a college student?  Then you should think about applying for one of our George Kastler Interpreter Scholarships.  Scholarship Applications (Word doc) are also due July 15.

If you need a little financial assistance to attend the Workshop, you might check out AMI’s new Professional Development Stipends (Word doc).  Stipend applications for the upcoming Workshop are due August 11.

Need some help convincing your supervisor or organization that the AMI Workshop in worthwhile?   Share these two articles by John Miller: “Sharpening Your Saw” and “How to Get Management Approval to Attend the AMI or NAI Regional Workshop” (Adobe pdf).

If you have any other questions, please contact Workshop Committee Chair John Miller by e-mail or at (417) 334-4865, ext. 0.

See you in Branson!

Registration for the 2013 NAI Region 6 Workshop

Pardon the recent rash of NAI Region 6 postings– the region’s website is temporarily down, and they need a little help getting info out about their upcoming workshop.  And I didn’t think you guys would mind learning about a really awesome professional training opportunity taking place right next door to us.  Here’s the details:

EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE is more than the answer to the question, “Which rock group had the 1970s hits Shining Star and Boogie Wonderland”.  Earth, Wind, and Fire are the forces that shaped the Flint Hills of Kansas and it is the theme of the 2013 NAI Region 6 Workshop to be held in Manhattan, KS from February 24-27. As the gateway to the Flint Hills and the world’s largest remaining track of tallgrass prairie, Manhattan might not be a boogie wonderland (although after this workshop it may be known as that!), but you certainly will see many shining stars in the brilliant Kansas night sky as well as your colleagues who are the shining stars of interpretation.

For full information on the workshop, please take a look at the registration packet (Word)

NAI Region 6 Workshop Financial Aid

Are you interested in attending the 2013 NAI Region 6 workshop in Manhattan, Kansas — but need a little financial aid? Thanks to generous donors and funding from the members of NAI Region 6, financial assistance for the Region 6 Workshop is available in the form of a Free Workshop Registration. These stipends are open to any current NAI Region 6 member (not just students and volunteers, but also professionals, seasonals, and vendors) demonstrating need and service to the field of interpretation.

Please see the information and application below. Questions? Direct them to John Miller, Region 6 Director.

Following the Rivers: AMI 2012

The theme for this year’s AMI workshop is “Rivers connect us to life-sustaining resources through time.”  We will be exploring how our cultural and natural heritage has shaped the state, with a spotlight on the deep Missouri Ozarks and the stories we tell to interpret our resources. Pre-conference activities start August 20 in Van Buren, Mo. The workshop is Aug. 21-23, so mark your calendars.  

Of course we can’t have a workshop without you! We need presenters for sessions and as field trip leaders (either preconference or on Wednesday, Aug. 22).   We are especially looking for presentations on the Civil War in south central Missouri, Ozark grist mills, and storytelling. 

E-mail your program proposals to Matt Kantola or mail to:

Matt Kantola
Grand Gulf State Park
Route 3, Box 3554
Thayer, Missouri   65791-9305

Conservation Careers Academy

This summer, the University of Missouri School of Natural Resources will once again be hosting its Conservation Careers Academy (formerly known as the Conservation Honors Program).  The five day course is open to high school juniors and seniors, and offers hands-on training in natural resource conservation.  College credit from MU is also available for the course.  This looks to be a very cool program, so pass the word on to any students who might be interested!

Storytelling Workshop Offered in KC Area

The Greater Kansas City Interpretive Sites Coalition will be hosting a storytelling workshop on February 2. 

This three-hour workshop will open the world of storytelling possibilities to you.  Tap into the amazing power of storytelling to educate, entertain, enlighten, and empower.  Discover how to reach out through the magic of stories and explore the use of stories to enhance your interpretive programs. Storytelling helps your programs come to life, cost nothing and can be taken with you anywhere! Learn about stories for nature walks, wildlife presentations, history and more.  Folklore, personal memories, multicultural stories, and myths all can be used to spice up your presentations.  Anyone can become a storyteller!  Instructor Molly Postlewait has been telling stories for over 20 years and is an award-winning storyteller.

Participants will receive a professionally-produced CD, Whisper in the Wind, created by the National Association for Interpretation.  The stories are told by interpreters from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas display a variety of story styles.  This CD was awarded the National Association for Interpretation Outstanding Product for 2011.

Proceeds from the workshop will go to the Greater Kansas City Interpretive Site Coalition and to the NAI Region 6 for the production of the CD.

Download the registration form (Microsoft Word Document) for additional details.

Constitution & Bylaws Update

In March of 2011, Eugene Vale and John Miller undertook the task of revising and “cleaning” the Association of Missouri Interpreters’ constitution and bylaws.  No significant changes were made for the “cleaned” AMI bylaws.   This version simply removes duplications, places items in the proper headings, and posts the bylaw changes approved over the last 9 years.  A huge THANK YOU to Eugene Vale for his hard work in cleaning up these bylaws.  The bylaw committee will begin work in the coming year to identify areas where the bylaws need to be updated or amended before the next AMI business meeting at the 2012 conference.

The original 2004 bylaws and the revised 2011 version are available for your review on the Members Only page of the website.  You will need to log in to view the bylaws.