Communications, Outreach, & Visitor Services

Communications Video Index

2016 National FWS Communications, Outreach, & Visitor Services Workshop

Breaking Through Barriers (01:04:03)

Presented by Jennifer Kobylecky, Running Grass, Tamara Johnson, and Gwen Kolb. August 2016.

It’s in our nature to think about disagreement and difference as obstacles to progress. But when we truly recognize, honor, and welcome diversity and difference to a conversation, it presents opportunities for tremendous growth. The Breaking Through Barriers panel discussion will broaden your perspectives; demonstrate the necessity of diversity and inclusion within the environmental profession; and allow you to engage with the panelists on issues that are sometimes difficult yet crucial to discuss. Each panelist will share personal insights on the ingredients to successful diversity & inclusion efforts and common pitfalls to avoid along the way. There will be time for dialog and questions, followed by an optional peer to peer breakout session to continue exploring solutions. As we discuss how to be more inclusive in engaging others in our education and outreach efforts, we hope to point the way toward common ground that will help unite us in our shared care for both natural and human communities.

Designing Opportunities for All Facilities (00:41:46)

Presented by Kevin Painter, Interpretive Specialist, USFWS's Alaska region and DC Carr, Visitor Services Planner for the National Wildlife Refuge, Sacramento, CA. August 2016.

Interactive and hands-on presentation that covers:


• Cultural inclusion - not just being ready but actually being inviting • Disability culture
• Section 508, offering materials and equipment for individuals with visual/hearing impairments
• Considering audiences with differing learning styles and differing cultural norms


• Site Layout
• Kiosks and other structures
• Exhibit panels & tactile elements
• Trails, bridges, and other access features

Bringing it all home:

• Ask your vendor and your CO for what you want
• Working as COTR on an

ABA project:

• Assessing bridges and developed walkways (focus on railings, surfaces, passing space)
• Measuring kiosk structures (use the one in front of the Commons, focus on exhibit height & text size)
• Measuring trail structures (focus surfaces, outslope, and grade)
• Ensure participants get hands-on opportunity to try these

Why this is important:

• Relevancy, openness, universal design, public health

Introduction (00:50:40)

Presented by Laurie Heupel, Course Leader, NCTC/USFWS Jim Willis, Deputy Director, NCTC/USFWS, Dan Ashe, Director, USFWS, and Shaun Sanchez, Deputy Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, USFWS. August 2016.

Range Mapping: Blurring the Lines of Sustainable Co-existence between Birds and People (01:17:22)

Presented by Featured Keynote Speaker - Drew Lanham. August 2016.

J. Drew Lanham grew up on a family farm in Edgefield, South Carolina. Honored as a Distinguished Alumni Professor and Alumni Master Teacher at Clemson University, Drew brings 20 years of teaching, research and outreach in woodland ecology, conservation biology, forest biodiversity, wildlife policy and conservation ornithology to his perspectives. Drew believes that it is critical that science move into action beyond the ivory tower. Drew serves as a board member with the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, South Carolina Audubon, American Birding Association, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, BirdNote and the North American Association for Environmental Education. He has also partnered with Audubon/Toyota Together Green Fellows; fellow writers at Wildbranch Workshop in Craftsbury Common, Vermont and Knoll Farm’s Whole Thinking Community. Drew is a widely published essayist and poet who has contributed to several anthologies with pieces focusing on a passion for place and internal and societal conflicts that sometimes put ethnicity and passion for nature at odds. His new book, The Home Place-Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature will be published by Milkweed Editions this fall.

Visitor Interpretive Experience Planning

Presented by Dave Busy, principal of Bucy Associates. August 2016.

In 1998 Pine and Gilmore coined the term “Experience Economy” to describe a world in which memories are the products that people seek. If that is the case, instead of preparing Interpretive Plans, we should be preparing Interpretive Experience Plans to guide developing visitor experiences within which interpretive opportunities are a major component. Most good interpretive planning models used today reflect the need to take target audience, goals and objectives, constraints, opportunities, and themes into account when selecting information delivery strategies and content. However, they still treat the array of strategies – the Interpretive Program as a whole – as the focal point of the plan. Although any interpretive planning effort should result in identifying the array of interpretive opportunities to develop, the focal point of the planning effort should be to first identify the ideal visitor experiences from the perspective of those developing the interpretive program, and then use those experiences to determine what information is needed at different points within the continuum of the visitor experience to create the ‘interpretive experience product’ to offer. Doing so ensures that you develop a plan for a complete information network that includes strategies to reach out to your target audience where they are, whether in the real world or cyberspace, and take them where you want them to go – physically, emotionally and intellectually – using a linked network of trip planning information, orientation, way-finding and interpretation.

The BIG Picture on Communications: Telling Better Stories and Telling Stories Better (01:11:55)

Presented by USFWS Kristin Gilbert, Visitor Services in the Alaska Regional Office; Laura MacLean, Communications, Office of Science Applications; and Gavin Shire, Chief, Office of Public Affairs, August 2016.

Websites - CMS, Drupal and Beyond (01:31:33)

Presented by David Yeargin and Danielle Brigida, USFWS. August 2016. Your web presence makes a huge difference. Learn how to meet expectations for visitors to your website and get a glimpse of the future of the web for the Service. We’ll be talking about ways to integrate social media and web content as well as how we can improve our current sites.

What we’ll discuss:

• Updates on CMS best practices
• Better integrated web and social media - how they are and how that will continue
• Updates for the future and techniques for today.


2014 National FWS Communications, Outreach, & Visitor Services Workshop

Telling Stories, Making Connections (00:40:19) Presented by Marcia Pradines, HQ, National Wildlife Refuge System. September 3, 2014.

Communicating Science (00:57:55) Presented by Jana Goldman, Press Here, Inc. September 3, 2014.

Sneak Peak into NWRS's Volunteer Tracker (01:27:13) Presented by Kristin Gilbert, Region 7, NWRS. September 3, 2014.

Creating Images to Tell Your Story (01:25:38) Presented by Brett Billings, NCTC and Kayt Jonsson, HQ, External Affairs. September 3, 2014.

Interpretive Nuggets about the Secret Love Life of Birds (01:25:11) Presented by John and William Schaust, Wild Birds Unlimited. September 3, 2014.

Distilling Your Message (01:31:35) Presented by Christine O'Connell, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. September 4, 2014.

Interpretive Skills for Volunteers (01:44:42) Presented by Amy Shoop, Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge. September 4, 2014.

Why do People Pay Attention? Using the Wiring of the Human Brain to Our Advantage (01:13:40) Presented by Dave Bucy, Bucy Associates, Inc. September 4, 2014.

The Power of Stories to Connect to Your Visitor's Hearts and Minds with Climate Change (01:23:15) Presented by Angie Richman and Paul Ollig, National Park Service. September 4, 2014.

NWRS Ambassadors Program - Creating a Personal and Emotional Connection with our Visitors (01:30:16) Presented by Kevin Kilcullen, HQ-NWRS, Toni Westland, and Mike Carlo. September 5, 2014.

Land Ethic Leaders (00:59:23) Presented by Jennifer Kobylecky, Aldo Leopold Foundation. September 4, 2014.

2014 Visitor Services Training Needs Assessment (00:56:02) Presented by Kevin Kilcullen, HQ-NWRS, and Julie Study, NCTC. September 5, 2014.


Other Videos

Cross Cultural Communication for Law Enforcement (00:12:33) This video is intended to provide awareness to Federal Wildlife Officers and Special Agents regarding Alaska Native communication differences, especially in rural areas.

Randy Olson: Communicating a Message through Storytelling (01:07:36) Why is storytelling so important when communicating?