The Minnesota Master Naturalist program will welcome Dr. Sam Ham to Minnesota for a environmental interpretation presentations on July 21-22, 2015 in Mankato MN.
In two-hour keynote address on July 21, Dr. Ham will draw on recent advances in communication research to pose some questions about the "endgame" of interpretation--when is interpretation "successful?", what does professional "excellence" in interpretation look like?, and how would you recognize it? Interpreters who want their work to make a difference have a great advantage when they can envision the pathways through which making their difference can plausibly happen. And seeing these pathways is far easier when you have a clear sense of interpretation's endgame.
In a July 22 workshop, open only to Master Naturalist Instructors, Dr. Ham will lead participants through a series of practical exercises that they can use to train others in thematic interpretation. These exercises will emphasize how to think thematically, how to distinguish between strong and weak themes, and how to craft strong themes that will provoke an audience to think. Ham will also introduce the "zone of tolerance" idea and explain why it is needed to know how "successful" a thematic interpretive product is.
Dr. Sam Ham is Professor Emeritus of communication psychology and international conservation in the University of Idaho's Department of Conservation Social Sciences. Sam's research has focused on the role of interpretation in parks, protected areas and sustainable tourism destinations and in applying communication theory to heritage and nature-based tour guiding, travelers' philanthropy, and other free-choice learning settings.
Master Naturalist instructors can attend these events for FREE (all expenses covered by Bertha Lewis Trust Fund)
All others are invited to the evening Keynote program for a plated dinner and evening with Sam Ham! Students $20, General registration $40.