AMI Membership

A Message from the Membership Chair:

I hope this message finds all of you healthy and safe. I know this has been an interesting year for everyone and I am looking forward to a better 2021. I hope that in the past you have found your membership within this organization useful and enjoyable.

This letter is a reminder that your membership within AMI is up for renewal. Each year’s membership begins the first day of that year’s conference and expires the day before the start of the following year’s conference. The sooner you renew the sooner you will start getting the AMIgo newsletter. Please also remember if you are serving in ANY capacity for the organization (board member, member at large, committee member, etc) you are required to be an active member of the organization.

If you would like to renew your membership, please complete the form on the following page, along with your minimal dues which can be sent to AMI Treasurer Phillip Brinkley (see address following form).

Thank you for your continued interest in the Association of Missouri Interpreters. I look forward to seeing you at the next AMI conference in 2021 in Central Region. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me.


Stephanie Kemp Membership Chair

Listing of Free Nature-Based Resources

The listing below is a compilation of free nature-based resources available to any citizen during the COVID-19 school closures. If you have any further questions or need ideas in implementing these resources, please reach out to your local Conservation Educator in your region at We want your families to stay safe and healthy during this time period while taking the opportunity to explore and enjoy your backyard areas in a safe way.

K-12 Nature Activities and Family-Friendly
Citizen Science Opportunities

  • Project Learning Tree Listing of activities to do with children inside and within a safe space outside.
  • Kid Wings Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection – Dissect an owl pellet virtually and become a barfologist!
  • Ranger Rick – Free digital access to educator guides, magazines, outdoor activities, and crafts.
  • Litzsinger Road Ecology Center – Litzsinger Road Ecology Center (LREC), has started a shared folder with resources for Outdoor Learning from Home. Simple activities suitable for teachers and parents.
  • National Geographic Kids Explore mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and fish.
  • Butterflies and Moths of North America – Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) is an ambitious effort to collect, store, and share species information and occurrence data. You can participate by taking and submitting photographs of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars.
  • eBird – The core activity for BioB takes advantage of the bugs in your own backyard, schoolyard, or neighborhood. Students can become citizen-scientists by surveying this diversity of insects and plants.
  • Project Feeder Watch – Participants periodically count the birds they see at their feeders and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. Your bird counts help you keep track of what is happening in your own backyard and help scientists track long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. With FeederWatch, your observations become part of something bigger. (App available for download)
  • Budburst Budburst brings together researchers, educators, gardeners, and citizen scientists on a shared journey to uncover the stories of plants and animals affected by human impacts on the environment.
  • Nature’s Notebook – Tracking seasonal changes in plants and animals.
  • Project Noah – A global citizen science platform to discover, share and identify wildlife. Students can create and publish their own multimedia wildlife journal.
  • SciStarter – Over 3,000 projects and events are searchable by location, scientific topic, and age level, and by joining SciStarter, members can track their contributions and provide valuable feedback. Can also search for ongoing projects near you to contribute too as a class or family!
  • Grow Native! – A great resource on learning the habitat need of native plants as well as connecting to resources to further this process. Families can start planning their own native rain, bird, or pollinator garden in their backyards!

K-12 Nature-based Lessons and Curriculums

Online and Interactive Field Guides

  • MDC Field Guide – Identifies a variety of Missouri’s plants and animals, including fungi.
  • Plant Snap – Identify plants, flowers, cacti, succulents, and mushrooms in seconds with the click of a button on your mobile device.
  • iNaturalist – App for phone and tablet that identifies photographic observations of plants and animals (suggested use with middle school through adults). This information is uploaded to fellow naturalists for additional identification and then used for citizen science projects. Activity Suggestion: Download the app and identify/observe every species of flower, insect, backyard weed you can find – then you are doing a bioblitz (inventory) of your own backyard! – (you will need to create an account first – video tutorials are available)
  • SEEK – App for phone and tablet that identifies photographic observations of plants and animals (suggested use with preschool to elementary students). “Use the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals all around you. Earn badges for seeing different types of birds, amphibians, plants, and fungi and participate in monthly observation challenges with Our Planet on Netflix.” Simply point your phone at any living thing. Activity Suggestion: Download the app and identify/observe every species of flower, insect, backyard weed you can find – then you are doing a bioblitz (inventory) of your own backyard! – (you will need to create an account first – video tutorials are available)
  • Herp Mapper – Download the app to identify the reptiles and amphibians in your area. Upload to observations and contribute to the wider scientific community!
  • Arbor Day Foundation Tree Identification – Helps citizens in identifying trees in the Midwest.
  • Wildflower Identification – Wildflower Identification using the color of flower and number of petals.

UPDATE: AMI Conference 2020

After a lengthy discussion, surveying our AMI members, and working with the executive board, the AMI 2020 Conference Committee has decided to postpone this year’s conference. The committee would like to express our sincere gratitude to the northwest Missouri committee in allowing us to move our conference to 2021. Please SAVE THE DATE for the 2021 AMI Conference to be held at Lake of the Ozarks September 19th – September 23rd, 2021! We cannot wait to see all of your smiling faces when we can meet again!

Although a conference will not be held in 2020, AMI does plan to continue with awards and scholarships. If you or someone you know is deserving of an award or scholarship, please visit our webpage to find the scholarship and award forms. We are working on ways to virtually honor award and scholarship recipients this year as well as other opportunities for AMI members to socialize and gain continuing education, so please stay tuned for more information.

POSTPONED: AMI Conference 2020


Good Afternoon,

At our committee meeting this afternoon, the members were all in consensus to postpone the AMI Conference that was to be held at Lake of the Ozarks this coming September 2020.  The committee has made the decision after discussing survey results, personal thoughts, and reviewing the AMI Board’s e-mails from last week. The committee also decided to maintain the same committee and job duties and we will meet this September to discuss next year and rearrange as needed.

I will contact Lodge at Port Arrowhead and let them know our decision and see if we can get dates secured for next September 2021.

We did brainstorm ideas for virtual webinars through the year and Kendra will be bringing ideas to the board for discussion.  Amber will be scheduling and hosting social hours as well through a web platform.

Thank you for your support and please pass on to those who need to be aware of the change.

AMI 2019 Conference Awards

Congratulations to all of the 2019 AMI award winners!

Outstanding Interpretive Volunteer

Barney Combs, Historic Daniel Boone Home Award accepted by Amber Edwards (left). Lee Wilbeck (right)

Interpretive Giant

Janet Price, Moon Shadow Moments

Best Workshop Presentation

Jo Schaper, Geo Communications Services Jo Schaper(left), Lee Wilbeck (right)

George Kastler/Aubree Schmid Student Scholarships

Marissa Ginger, University of Central Missouri
& Anna Skalicky , Macalester College, MN Marissa Ginger. Anna Skalicky, not pictured.

Outstanding Interpretive Media

David Spear, Susie Wachowski, Lisa May
Missouri Department of Conservation- Outreach and Education

Outstanding Service

Steve Jacobsen, Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center Lee Wilbeck (L), Steve Jacobsen (center), Adam Brandsgaard (R)

AMI Interpreter Quiz

Adam Brandsgaard, Shelly Colastkie, Connie Weber, Cyndi Cogbill, Mike Duane

AMI Interpreter Quiz Champion

Jordi Raos, Springfield Conservation Nature Center John Miller (left), Jordi Raos (right)

Click Here to Learn More About Awards and Scholarships

A Message from the AMI President

As we all know these are difficult times for our members and for people around the world. Many of us are reeling from the rapid changes in our home and work lives. For many of our interpreters, this may result in temporary loss of income or job. These are trying times but I know that we are a resourceful bunch who are capable of helping people see our sites in new lights – I urge you to find this inner light for yourself during this time. Although we cannot surround ourselves with interested guests, we can still help our friends and families through this time with our skills. Help them see the light at the end of the tunnel, there is one. we may have to slog through the dark for a long time before we reach it but knowing that the light is there can help us keep going.

We, interpreters, have ways to be social in our isolation, if you use social media please check out these pages:

AMI Facebook Page

NAI Region 6 Facebook Page

NAI Facebook Page

I also highly suggest this article from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Even if you aren’t a bird person it might help you think creatively for ways to handle this time.

There is some upcoming AMI business that will need to be handled in the near future, look for emails soon! If you need us to email you at a different address due to changes in work email availability please let us know and we will handle that.


Jordanya Raos

AMI President

2019 AMI Conference Program

This PDF will function as a paperless Conference Program that allows attendees to bounce between schedules, session descriptions, maps, and keynote.


“Let your Resources Roar!” Keynote Speaker: John Cunning

John says his work in parks started when he was four years old when his family visited the Grand Canyon.  He picked up litter in the picnic area and could trade a bag of litter for ice-cream. Throughout his 34-year career with Missouri State Parks, he worked as a historic site manager, a museum director, and as director for the Resource Management and Interpretation Program.  In 2013, John was awarded AMI’s Outstanding Professional Interpreter in and NAI Region 6’s Distinguished Professional Interpreter. John has helped plan and has been a trainer at the annual Spring Interpreter School for many years.  He has presented living history programs as a snake oil salesman in a 1870s medicine show, guided countless historic building tours, interpreted Tom Benton’s capitol mural to Chinese diplomats, and interpreted interpretation to elected and appointed officials.  And he loved just about every minute of it.

Now retired, John started a consulting business (Heritage Interpretation Services LLC), works part-time with an estate sale management company, and is planning a few motorcycle trips.

2019 AMI Conference Registration

September 15-17, 2019
AMI Conference Registration has been extended to August 31st!

See the updated registration packet for conference details.

Full Registration:

Pre-registration deadline is August 22, 2019–after that, you must register at the Workshop ($10 higher fee))

(includes membership renewal for the upcoming year, banquet & some meals)

A 2019 Registration Packet, with a paper registration form, is available for download below. To register online, please fill out the linked form on SurveyMonkey.

The SurveyMonkey registration form will give the workshop committee a means of tracking registrations electronically, but you will NOT be able to pay for your registration form here.  Your confirmation email will include instructions on how to send payment to AMI treasurer Phillip Brinkley via mail, email, or fax.  We realize many of you will use your agency’s purchasing cards for payment, so AMI obtained the ability to accept credit card payments.  To save service charges, you will be asked to fill out a form and mail or fax the information to Phillip, or call him and give him your credit card number.  We hope to have online payment capability in the future without the use of third-party processors, but we are still looking for a safe and affordable option.


CLICK HERE for more information on the 2019 AMI Conference.


It takes many hands willing to work together to continue to build a strong foundation. This is YOUR opportunity to grow your leadership skills and make a difference in this organization that we all care so deeply about. As interpreters, our role is critical for connecting Missouri citizens and each other to our natural and cultural, and historical resources.

The AMI offices for President, Secretary and Membership Chair are up for election for 2019.  This is your opportunity to serve, whether you are new to AMI or have been a long-standing member, a student, volunteer, or full-time interpreter.  AMI needs your leadership right now!  

Interested candidates, please send a “head shot” photograph and a paragraph campaign write-up by July 31st

AMI President: 2-year term

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

The Secretary shall keep the corporate records of the Association, including records of all meetings of the members and the Board of Directors. The Secretary also shall chair the Audit Committee.

Membership Chair: 2-year term

The Membership Chair shall be responsible for the oversight of membership solicitations, getting news out to membership in a timely manner, and the members-at-large.

AMI also seeks the following positions:

Newsletter Editor: This position is responsible for putting out the call for newsletter information (photos, articles, site updates, anniversaries, etc) and developing the quarterly newsletter.  The position must stick to deadlines to receive the information, work on laying out the newsletter and getting the newsletter into member’s hands.  The type of format that is used for the newsletter is flexible and creativity is welcome.  Below are the deadlines.  Please keep in mind that the dates can be adjusted a day or two depending on how it falls during the week. 

Fall: Information in hand by Oct. 1st 
Newsletter to members by Oct. 31st

Winter: Information in hand by Jan. 1st
Newsletter to members by Jan. 31st

Spring: Information in hand by March 15th
Newsletter to members by April 15th

Summer: Information in hand by June 5th
Newsletter to members by July 5th

Auction Chair: This position shall coordinate with the conference planning committee each year to form an auction committee. The position shall work with the conference committee to advertise and recruit auction items, maintain and organize auction materials coordinate and set up the auction and work with the Treasurer to process payment on purchased items at the event.  

If you have questions or are interested in running for or being considered for any of these offices please contact Elections Chair, Lisa LaCombe, at or by calling Burr Oak Woods Nature Center at (816) 228-3766.