Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Introduction to Ranger/Naturalist Outdoor Education Syllabus

Team Contact: Robin Freeman M.A., 434-3840, robinf5713@aol.com, Office hrs (call first) @ SRH; Field cell 510-915-1452

Instructor and guests: Robin Freeman, Michael Charnofsky, Kevin Demstra, Bob Flasher, Kate Freeman, Megan Hess, Nancy Ceridwyn, Regie Archie, Janet Gomes, Tara Reinertson, Shirley Knight, Adrienne Peer

Tuesdays 6:30-9:20PM at the Environmental Center, Self Reliant House
Sundays 9:30 - 5:30 (hours may change)


COURSE: Overview of nature/culture interpretation and education: Planning for age-, theme- and place-appropriate presentations for diverse ages and settings; resources and employment opportunities in the environmental management field. Survey of park management, planning and community relations. This course is required for Environmental Management Fundamentals Certificate. As an introductory course, it also is useful for new students who are taking the general core and are exploring options in the Environmental Management program.

Beck, Larry, and Cable, Ted Interpretation for the 21st Century: Fifteen Guiding Principles for Interpreting Nature and Culture, 2nd edition Sagamore Books 2002

3/22 Tuesday. Introductions & Welcome
Brief introductions of class participants and professional interests; Descriptions of assignments and projects
Trail experience: Tour of Environmental Center and Hilton Trail
Robin Freeman

ASSIGNMENT: What stuck with you the most or you liked best about the tour? Do you have new questions? Text Reading: Handout; Read Introduction, Chapters 1, 3, 5, 6

3/29 Tuesday. Defining the Profession: History, Definitions, Audiences
Survey the development of the professions; define terms used in the ranger/naturalist, outdoor educator and recreation professions; discuss audiences.
Trail experience: Hilton Trail Interpretation and Signage
Robin Freeman, Nancy Ceridwyn, Naturalist Aide, Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

ASSIGNMENT: Text Reading: Chapters 2, 4, 7, 8, 13
Written assignment: Write directions to a trail, park or event.
Due: Discuss Environmental Center (SRH)Tour

4/3 Sunday. Elements of Interpretation. Black Diamond Regional Preserve.
Meet at SRH to carpool. 10 AM-4 PM Bring lunch and hiking gear.
What is interpretation and why we interpret? Explore the difference between interpretation and information, techniques, styles, and methods. On a hike through the park, observe non-personal interpretive media and how the same techniques apply while leading a hike as when writing a panel. Critique an interpretive program. Discuss the role of professional organizations
Kevin Damstra, Naturalist, East Bay Regional Park District
Trail experience: Black Diamond

4/5 Tuesday. Universal Access and Other Audiences; Trail Design and Maintenance
Making programs and appropriate for all physical and mental abilities; addressing other special audience such as teens in the outdoors. What are the steps in designing a trail and maintaining it? Discuss park management, planning and community relations.
Applying Experienceology: Follow-up to field trip
8 steps to a better visitor experience.
Nancy Ceridwyn
Trail experience: Interpretive SRH Trail and Train maintenance work

ASSIGNMENT: Text Reading: Chapters 9,10,12,14
Projects: 1st Draft description of projects that Interest you for a final project
Due: Directions

4/10 Sunday. Learning Styles and Engaging Participants through Questioning
10:00 - 12:30 SRH Interpretive planning. Finding your own learning style and understanding styles of your audience. Presenting age-, place-, and culturally-appropriate lessons and activities.
Robin Freeman
Sobrante Park and San Leandro Creek.
2:00 – 4:00. Observe interpretation and participate in hands-on volunteer trail work with the Green Works Development Project
Richie Archie

4/12 Tuesday. Life as a Ranger
Explore organizing outdoor activities, interactive indoor activities, interacting with the public and enjoy real stories of working in parks organizations.
Bob Flasher

ASSIGNMENT: Text Chapters 11, 15
Written Assignment: Write a critique of an interpretive program, graphic or written text. What interpretive principles were used? Were you engaged by the presentation? Was there a beginning, middle and end? What was the take home message?
Due: Ist Draft interests

4/17 Sunday. Sausal Creek Restoration Day
9:30 Meet at SRH (optional) or meet at site @ 10am; 10:00 - 1:00. Joaquin Miller Park Monterey Redwood site Bring lunch and outdoor clothing, gloves
Shirley Knight and Adrienne Peer, Friends of Sausal Creek Interns

ASSIGNMENT: Written Assignment: Develop a brief lousy first draft project proposal of interpretive text and activity for a walk/talk, volunteer coordination or campfire program. Include preliminary location and ideas/questions.

Eco Tourism TBD

4/19 No Class- Spring Break

4/26. Tuesday. Interpretive Writing for Brochures and Panels
Meet at Crab Cove Nature Center, Alameda Explore writing styles for brochures and panels. Also discuss job websites of different organizations that post them for a planning or interpretive career.
Michael Charnofsky, Naturalist, East Bay Regional Parks District

ASSIGNMENT: Written Assignment: Create an interpretive paragraph or graphic
Develop a brief lousy first draft proposal of interpretive text, an activity for a walk/talk, volunteer coordination or campfire program. Include preliminary location and ideas/questions.
DUE: Critique
Lousy first draft project proposal

4/30 & 5/1 Saturday and/or Sunday Optional Field Trip to Redwood Forest Institute

5/3 Tuesday. Organizing Volunteer Programs, Trail First Aid
Friends of Sausal Creek, a case study in volunteer organizing and management.
Megan Hess, Restoration and Nursery Manager, Friends of Sausal Creek
Kate Freeman, Emergency Room R.N.

ASSIGNMENT: Continue work on proposal
DUE: Interpretive Paragraph or Graphic

5/10 Park Program Management
What are the major issues in parks operation? What careers are available in these areas?
Janet Gomes, Supervisor East Bay Regional Parks District
Present walk/talk/brochure and comment

ASSIGNMENT: Research resources for planning an interpretive career

5/15 Sunday. Volunteer Event Organized by Students & Class Presentations

5/17 Tuesday. Class Presentations
Present walk/talk/brochure and comment

ASSIGNMENT: Plan and prepare as a group for final night cookout and campfire program
Due: Interpretive text/sign/brochure

5/24 Tuesday. Cookout, Campfire Presentations and Evaluations
Present walk/talk/brochure and comment

Final Project: Conduct an interpretive walk, activity, volunteer event or campfire (i.e.a single location). Choose a location from the Merritt Environmental Center, Hilton Nature Trail, Lion Creek/York Trail, EB Parks Leona Open Space Arroyo Viejo or a site of your choice. Identify principles from the text or class that you used. One (1) interpretive text/sign/brochure station will be due May 17 from the same choice as above. This can be one sign, one description of a station, or a map of a path with multiple stations identifies OR a brochure. These can include graphic illustrations, photos, or suggestions for illustrations. The single station should be accompanied by a map or detailed location description. Again, include principles you used. Research the costs of preparing and printing or installing the interpretive element you choose. Include goals and /or learning outcomes for your interpretive project.

GRADES: For a letter grade (required for Certificate/Degree), reasonable attendance (70%), class participation, and completion of assignments will be used by students to suggest your own grade and evaluate the course. The course may be taken for Credit only - participation is required for this option. No Credit - same as auditing, you choose your level of participation.

Students will be able to:
Distinguish between environmental education, outdoor/adventure education, ecotourism and interpretation.
Set appropriate learning goals for a particular time and place.
Research resources for preparing an interpretive activity.
Prepare and present an appropriate walk/talk.
Prepare interpretive text for signs and brochures.
Research resources for planning an interpretive career.

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