Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Thursdays 6:30-9:20PM @ Self Reliant House, Saturdays; Sundays (see field instructions available before each trip)
Team Contact: Robin Freeman M.A., 434-3840, rfreeman@peralta.edu 510-915-1452 cell  Call or email Robin for office hrs @ SRH.
Nancy Ceridwyn, MS, MEd., 415-640-4270, nancyceridwyn@comcast.net
This course is an overview of nature/culture interpretation and education including  planning for age-, theme- and place-appropriate presentations for diverse audiences and settings; survey of park management, planning and community relations.Content will include resources and employment opportunities in the environmental management field.

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

1)     Thursday 2/7.  Introduction
Instructors: Robin Freeman & Nancy Ceridwyn
Introduction to the Course; Brief introductions of class participants and professional interests; Discussion about grades, attendance, mini-internships, journals and presentations either oral or written.
Trail experience: Tour of Environmental Center and Hilton Trail 
ASSIGNMENT: Please begin a class journal and begin with one of two questions: How is the natural world part of our community culture or is it? OR What stuck with you about the evening walk? Text: Purchase. Handout: Syllabus. Bring flashlights, umbrellas for next week.

2)     Thursday 2/14.  Defining the Profession.
Instructors: Robin Freeman & Nancy Ceridwyn
History of the profession, How do we define the jobs of ranger, naturalist, environmental educator as professions and in what arenas do each work? 
Trail experience: Leona Canyon and/or Hilton Trail.
ASSIGNMENT: Write directions to a local park. Text Reading: Intro, 1, 3, 4, 7,15
Begin to think about mini-internship sites.

3)     Sunday 2/17.  Elements of Interpretation: Cultural Interpretation.
Eugene O’Neill’s Tao House, National Park Service Historic Site.
NPS staff with Robin Freeman and Nancy Ceridwyn
Presentation and planning for interpretation of cultural and historic sites.
Meet at Merritt College at 9:00 am and drive to Danville where we will board the Park Service van as a group.  Bring lunch, water and hiking gear.
ASSIGNMENT: Make a rough first draft of the types of mini-internship sites which interest you. Due Thurs 2/21

4)  Thursday 2/21.  Engaging Environmental Education: New Techniques for Learning
Lynn Barakos and Ken Beals-Lawrence Hall of Science, Better Environmental Education Teaching, Learning, Expertise and Sharing (BEETLES)
Innovative, practical strategies for making outdoor science experience more learner-and discussion-centered.
Way Finding- Preparing for the Experience
Instructor: Nancy Ceridwyn/ Robin Freeman
The importance of thorough directions.
ASSIGNMENT: Text: Reading: Chapters 2, 8, 12,13  Handout: Directions to Big Break Visitor Center DUE: Mini-Internship draft list. Begin arranging your site. You may ask Robin or Nancy for help.  These often take time to arrange.

4)     Saturday 2/23. 10:00 - 1:00  Elements of Interpretation
Kevin Damstra, Naturalist, East Bay Regional Park District with Robin Freeman and Nancy Ceridwyn
Meet at Merritt College at 9:00 am or meet the group at Big Break Visitors Center @ 10:00 am.
What is interpretation and why do we interpret? Explore the difference between interpretation and information, techniques, styles, and methods.
Bring lunch and outdoor clothing
Trail experience: Big Break, Antioch
ASSIGNMENT: Journal notes on your impressions of Big Break, developing your style of interpretation and your thoughts on the presentation content.

6)  Thursday 2/28.  Organizing Volunteer Programs and First Aid for Participants
Instructor: Robin Freeman 
Megan Hess Lilla- Volunteerism and Friends of Sausal Creek
Kate Freeman: Safety and First Aid
Discuss Journal assignment
ASSIGNMENT: Reading Text : 6

7) Thursday 3/7.  Who Is the Audience?  From Pre-school to Older Adults.
Instructor: Nancy Ceridwyn    Making programs appropriate for various ages, physical and mental abilities. Matching the program to the learning styles
ASSIGNMENT: Reading Text: Chapters 9, 10.  Journal: What audiences do you feel most comfortable with and why? 

8)  Thursday 3/14.  Teaching without Talking: Outdoor Activities; and Coordinating with Large Park Organizations
Bob Flasher, Golden Gate Park Conservancy with Robin Freeman
Interactive outdoor games and interpretive activities make nature more accessible supplemented with great ranger in-the-field stories.
ASSIGNMENT: Reading Text: Chapters 11, Handout: Directions to Crab Cove

9) Thursday 3/21.Environmental Writing for Brochures and Panels
Michael Charnofsky Naturalist, East Bay Regional Parks,Robin Freeman
Meet at Crab Cove Visitors Center, Alameda 6:30. 
NOTE: Brief proposal of interpretive text and activity, or walk/talk ideas/questions/lousy first draft due April 4
Reminder: Mini-internships will be due in less than a month
ASSIGNMENT: Reading Text: Principles 14. Journal: What were your impressions of Crab Cove Visitor Center?  When has the non-personal interpretation been most useful for you?  When is it less useful? Handout: Directions to Anthony Chabot Eagle Campground

**Spring Break – 3/25-3/29

10) Thursday 4/4.  Park Management 
Host: Janet Gomes, Supervising Ranger, East Bay Regional Parks with Jim O’Conner, Assistant Operations Manager EBRPD, Eric Folmer, TreeWolf Tree Service and former EBRPD Ranger Union President and Robin Freeman
Meet at Merritt at 6:30pm and drive to Anthony Chabot Eagle Campground
The panel will discuss changing views of park maintenance, preservation and community interaction.
ASSIGNMENT: Brief proposal of interpretive text and activity, or walk/talk ideas/questions/lousy first draft due .
Research resources for planning an interpretive presentation; Due April 18.

11)  Thursday 4/11. Experienceology and Story telling
Instructor: Nancy Ceridwyn
Examine 8 steps to a better visitor experiences at your site.  Stories to make your program come alive.
ASSIGNMENT: Journal: What was your best and worst Park or Museum experience? Why?  Handout: Directions to Sunol Regional Park

12)  *Saturday 4/13. Interpretive Plans that Work with Park Activities
Instructor: Nancy Ceridwyn, Katie Colbert, Naturalist, East Bay Regional Wildrness
Meet at 9:00 in the Merritt parking lot and drive to Sunol-Ohlone Regional Wilderness near Pleasanton or at 10 am at the Sunol Green Barn Visitors Center
Interpretive plans connect the themes of a park with park programs.  Participate in two programs generated from Sunol’s interpretive plans. 
ASSIGNMENT: Prepare for April 18 Presentation

13)  Thursday 4/18.  Class Presentations – potluck. Present walk/talk/brochure and comment on each
ASSIGNMENT: Prepare interpretive activities for volunteer program on Saturday
Class members organize the event

14)       Saturday 4/20. Class Volunteer Coordination in Action
Instructor: Robin Freeman
Class members coordinate volunteers for projects and interpretation of San Leandro Creek.

GRADES: For a letter grade (required for Certificate/Degree), reasonable attendance, class participation, and completion of assignments will be used by students to suggest your own grade and evaluate the course.  If the course is taken for Credit/non credit only, participation is required for this option. 

Mini-Internships consist of 5-8 hours volunteering at a park, nature center, camp, outdoor class, volunteer environment clean-up or other venues where interpretation, parks management/maintenance or outdoor/environmental education takes place.  Reporting back verbally to the class or in writing include the name of your intern site, the leader who worked with you, date and times and your impressions if what was most useful to you and what was least useful.

Presentations may be an interpretation,  an environmental education activity of about 10 minutes, a site management activity or plan, or a volunteer activity (on Earthday)  or  designing and writing a brochure or interpretation panel. 

Grading Rubric

80% Attendance or as agreed
Mini-internship: 5-8 hrs,; report back verbally or in writing
Presentation: oral or written

Internship or Presentation
 Internship or Presentation
F – suggest you withdraw

Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities who wish to receive services and/or accommodations are asked to submit a form from the Disability Services Program (DSP). Receiving services and accommodations will not adversely affect your grade. This information will be kept confidential (FERPA). Please meet with me in private as early in the semester as possible to discuss your learning needs. If you think that you could benefit from the services offered by DSP, please contact a counselor in R-109, 510-436-2429, or go to our College website for more information: www.merritt.edu, click on "Student Services," and then click on "Disability Services Program."