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Call for Papers for 2023 Conference

Are you interested in presenting for 2023’s Association of Missouri Interpreters Conference? Submit your session proposal now! There are now two ways you can submit your session proposal. You can either fill out the SurveyMonkey provided (link provided here), or fill out and email the document below to Kimberlea Scott at Forms and surveys are due July 15th, 2023, so act fast!


2022 AMI Conference Session Proposal Form

If you are interested in presenting at the 2022 AMI Conference, please complete the form below. If you would rather submit your papers by mail, there is a form you can download at the bottom of this page. The 2022 AMI conference will be held from September 20-22 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Proposals were due on July 10, 2022.

Create Your Own Path at the 2017 AMI Workshop-Registration Now Open!


In September the Association of Missouri Interpreters will travel to Steelville, Missouri for the 2017 annual conference. The focus will be “Creating Your Own Path” to better interpretation through sessions, keynotes, and field trips.  Those who call the Ozarks home, and those who called it home in the past, know exactly what it is like to create their own path.  The rugged landscape of the Ozarks, along with the allure of its rivers and streams and mysterious caves, has drawn people to its beauty for centuries.  The rich forests and rivers were paths to commerce and recreation; sustaining those who chose to stay and make a home there.  For these reasons, the field trips offered this year will focus on our Missouri heritage in the Ozarks.  We will visit places of splendor and history within each field trip because, let’s be honest, we cannot truly think about one without the other.  These trips will emphasize the rock upon which the beauty of the Ozarks resides, the rock upon which the towns, homesteads, and industry grew.  We will look at the natural, commercial, and recreational value of the area’s springs and streams.  They are the veins pumping life into the communities and into the verdant landscape. We will visit towns and people who celebrate our natural and cultural heritage by protecting and displaying it for those who choose to visit.  These people are the life blood of this part of the Ozarks.  They celebrate the natural beauty through paths of preservation, conservation, and education.  They display the heritage of their communities- from the Osage Indians who trekked the rugged terrain to the flashy “new” Route 66 that has brought travelers from distant places to experience our Midwest Americana.  This conference’s field trips will not only lead you down the area’s natural and cultural paths, but also challenge you to create new paths of interpretation.  Whether it is through reaching out to new or underserved groups or rethinking activities and partnerships to reach diverse audiences, there will be something for everyone at the 2017 Association of Missouri Interpreters conference.  Make plans to join us September 11- 14 in Steelville, MO!  Check out the Conference tab for more information, call for papers, and registration information!

Upcoming Certified Interpretive Guide Training

CIG photoThe Certified Interpretive Guide program is designed for anyone who delivers interpretive programs to the public. It combines both the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to visitors.





This 32-hour course includes:

  • history, definition, and principles of interpretation
  • making your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic
  • using tangible objects to connect audiences to intangible ideas and universal concepts in interpretive programs
  • presentation and communication skills
  • certification requirements (optional)


Dates: March 14-17, 2017 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Location: Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, Blue Springs, Missouri

Cost: $45 for course instruction, workbook and materials (does not include certification)

Certification Cost: $195, includes 1 year complimentary National Association of Interpretation membership (includes workshop cost $45 plus $150 certification cost)

Sign-Up: Wendy Parrett (816) 759-7305 ext. 1133 or


The CIG certification will also be offered as part of the Missouri State Park’s Spring Interpretive Training School being held at Cuivre River State Park May 21-24, 2017.   Anyone interested should contact Kendra Swee for more information.

AMI Challenges You to “Create Your Own Path” at the 2017 AMI Workshop

 AMI - Create Your Own Path

As many of you may know I am a bit of a Star Wars nerd. I also tend not to follow protocol.  So when asked to chair the 2017 AMI Conference committee I am sure there was a collective cringe and immediate thought of “oh no, what is she going to do?!”  Although I find your lack of faith disturbing, that was probably an apt assessment because the planning committee is going ROGUE.  We are breaking boundaries (as in regional boundaries) and looking to showcase how you can Create Your Own Path to better interpretation.  We as an organization are finding our way again, creating a new path.  We have gone through a lot of changes this past year and some of that change has been painful.  This is a new day, a new beginning…because we have hope.  Rebellions are built on HOPE.  🙂

With any rebellion, there must be a base from which to gather intel, rally the troops, and deploy the squadrons to affect change. So a short time ago, in a part of Missouri far, far away our rogue group found the perfect location from which to train our elite force, the interpretive troopers. Located in the crux of 3 regions (St. Louis, southeast, and southwest), Steelville is an area rich in natural beauty and cultural significance.  It is small town (population 1,692) and Crawford County seat, but most often known as the “floating capital of Missouri”. It is nestled between such popular floating rivers as the Huzzah, Courtois, and Meramec.  Although smaller than many of our previous conference locations, Steelville is located less than 10 miles from Interstate 44, near historic Route 66, and in close proximity to the Ozark’s natural beauty and cultural sites often overlooked by our membership.

1WildwoodSpringsLodge-499x333One culturally significant location is our conference headquarters. Wildwood Springs Lodge was built in 1922 by a group of sportsmen from St. Louis.  As was popular at the time, these men planned to develop a resort, complete with lodge and cabins, for their membership to enjoy the beauty and outdoor recreation the Ozarks had to offer.  Upon completion of the Lodge the leading members of the group decided the lodge should be open to the public. The group initially had plans to develop the style of resort saw in the movie “Dirty Dancing”, but fell on hard times and only the lodge and couple other building were completed.  The resort was very popular until it closed during WWII.  While closed, the lodge served as a boarding house for the wives of military men.  These women made bandages to supply the troops overseas.  After the war the lodge reopened.  The lodge has remained a popular vacation venue ever since.  To learn more about Wildwood Springs Lodge or to view photos, please visit their website at

For over 100 years, the interpreters have been the guardians of knowledge and stewardship in our natural and cultural resources. Being successful for so long means you must adapt to changes in society to stay relevant.  You must search out new ways to reach your audience.  You must reach out to audiences with whom you have not had contact before.  You must create a new path, your own path, to better interpretation. Do or do not, there is no try.

So if you are ready to join forces with our band of rebels, we would be honored if you would join us September 11th through 14th at our base in Steelville, MO for the 2017 Association of Missouri Interpreters Conference.  If you would like to join the rebellion even earlier, your assistance with planning the conference would be greatly appreciated.  Contact Kendra Swee at  for ways you can help!

Stay tuned for updates on field sessions, the call for papers, and registration details!

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.