Thank you to the members of NAI who cast a vote to support me as a candidate for president of the National Association for Interpretation. The entire ballot was filled with excellent people who want to serve our profession. I am honored to be selected as your president. I stand on the shoulders of giants. I promise to listen to you and strive to continue to move the organization forward during my term.
I will be attending the NAI Region 6 workshop, and am preparing for the NAI International Interpretation Conference in Los Cabos, Mexico. In April, the Board of Directors will join Region 5 for our spring meeting. The Board meets only three times a year…once at the national conference, once at the national office in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the third meeting in conjunction with a region workshop.
Delmarva Discovery Center & Museum, Pocomoke City, Maryland
I’m continuing to work with the Delmarva Discovery Center & Museum on a grant to evaluate programs and exhibit copy, and to provide interpretive training for their staff and others on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The center is located in Pocomoke City’s old downtown, just steps away from the boardwalk along the Pocomoke River.
CIG Training at Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Education Center, June 16 – 19, 2017
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is hosting a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) workshop at Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Education Center at Columbia in Southwest Arkansas. Rick Evans Grandview Prairie features 4,885 acres of the most significant example of Blackland Prairie in Arkansas. It includes open prairie, woodlands, savanna, and some non-native grasslands. This diversity of habitat accounts for the variety of wildlife found here. You will want to bring your binoculars.
This is a unique opportunity to get CIG certification at minimum cost. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is providing lodging at NO COST, so participants pay only the normal NAI training and certification fee, travel expenses to the training location and individual incidental expenses. We will stay in one of two lodges, and meals are furnished. Our schedule includes evening programs and time on the 3-D archery and shotgun ranges.
Find more information at: https://www.interpnet.com/nai/nai/_events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=CIG061617
I’m wrapping up two wayside exhibits interpreting the oldest surviving bowstring arch steel bridge in Arkansas. The old photos, plans, and stories are fascinating and bring the value and history of the bridge to life.
CIG Training in Little Rock, Arkansas
The Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock, Arkansas hosted a great CIG workshop in October. Everyone successfully completed the course and received certification. Here are some comments from the very involved group of professionals.
“Jay was an absolute treasure, gifted interpreter and teacher. His enthusiasm and expertise in this field rekindled my passion for my profession.”
“Jay Miller was a great instructor. He was always calm and acted professionally. He was patient with all the people in the class, and always offered advice how people could improve.”
“Jay Miller presented the program in fun ways that engaged the class.”
“Good content and helpful presentation.”
“Outstanding. Learned new and creative ways to communicate teaching points.”
“It helped me move out of my comfort zone and learn new techniques to use every day on the job.”
Successful Interpretation Workshops in Jefferson, Texas
Thanks to General Manager Nikki Elms at the Excelsior House in Jefferson, Texas for hosting my two workshops…one for historic site tour guides and another for first contact staff. The hotel facilities were wonderful and the staff was excellent. A good time was had by all!
If you are in east Texas, be sure to take a detour to this charming little town. You will be surprised at the history there, and can purchase some of the best pralines made in the 1870’s mercantile store.
I’ve had several opportunities to coordinate work with talented interpreters, educators, and tour guides.
- Enjoyed traveling back to Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia to speak to the Southeastern State Park Programs Seminar.
- Led/taught the “Interpretation Road Show” traveling class for Arkansas Tech University. Once again we traveled to south Arkansas and enjoyed meeting interpreters and managers at excellent museums, parks and nature centers.
- Led a Certified Interpretive Guide workshop in Natchitoches, Louisiana
- Presentation on the values of strong themes for the NAI Region 4 workshop in Columbus, Ohio.
- Thematic exhibit planning for the Coyote Creek Nature Center in Santa Clara, California
- Led a Certified Interpretive Guide workshop for Vicksburg National Military Park
- Thematic exhibit planning for the Global Power Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
- Led interpretation training for the Arkansas Humanities Council’s Hometown Teams Smithsonian traveling exhibit site managers and educators.
- Co-taught a graduate course in interpretation planning for Stephen F. Austin State University
- Thematic exhibit planning for Beaver Lake Nature Center, Baldwinsville, NY