A big thank you to everyone who nominated the deserving folks for this year’s NAI Sierra Pacific 2021 Professional Awards! Awards given this year include Outstanding New Interpreter, Meritorious Service, Outstanding Senior/Retired Interpreter, Master Frontline Interpreter, and Master Interpretive Manager. Check out all of the winners here! CONGRATS TO OUR 2021 AWARD RECIPIENTS!
|We are very pleased to announce that Shelton Johnson will be the Keynote Speaker for the upcoming Virtual Workshop! |
Mr. Johnson is a Yosemite National Park Ranger and known to many as the interpreter who brought stories of Buffalo Soldiers in the National Parks back from obscurity. He is an author, the star of Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion in parks and outdoor spaces.
Shelton Johnson will speak on Monday, March 1 beginning at 6:00 PM. This keynote presentation is included with Workshop registration.
For more about Shelton Johnson, continue reading the PBS biography of him below:
Shelton Johnson dreamed of mountains as a boy, living in inner city Detroit. He had never been to a mountain range in the United States and his only experiences with nature and wildlife came through television and movie screens.Enrolled in an MFA program at the University of Michigan, Shelton applied to be a seasonal worker at Yellowstone, thinking the park would provide a quiet place to work on his writing. “I got off a bus in Gardiner, Montana,” Shelton remembers, “right outside the north entrance….And as I was stepping down onto the ground, there was a bison – a 2,000-pound animal – walking by. There was no one else around and the bison was just strolling by! I looked up at the driver and I said, ‘Does this happen all the time?’ And he looked at me and said, ‘All the time.’ And I said to myself, ‘I have arrived.'” Shelton has been working in national parks ever since, spending time in Yellowstone, Great Basin, and as an interpreter at Fort Dupont Park in the Anacostia section of Washington, DC. There, he met students like himself and his friends who had grown up in Detroit – tough inner-city black kids whose understanding of nature was about as distant as Mars. “That’s when I first made the resolution that I had to figure out how to connect these kids with nature, to get them to have a nature experience.”
Shelton found his key for connecting with audiences after being transferred to Yosemite. Deep in the archives of the park, he stumbled across a faded photo of buffalo soldiers who had patrolled Yosemite at the turn of the 20th century. Since 1998, Shelton has told the story of the Buffalo Soldiers in the national parks – in print, on camera, and in person. He has traveled to public schools and spoken with kids throughout America. He has tracked down descendents of the soldiers, authored an award-winning website, and been lauded by civic groups and governments for his work. During evening programs and daytime ranger walks in Yosemite, he tells the story through the dramatic portrayal of a character he’s developed: Sergeant Elizy Boman.
All the while, Shelton has remained true to the reason he started this work. “I can’t forget that little black kid in Detroit,” he says. “And I can’t not think of the other kids, just like me – in Detroit, Oakland, Watts, Anacostia – today. How do I get them here? How do I let them know about the buffalo soldier history, to let them know that we, too, have a place here? How do I make that bridge, and make it shorter and stronger? Every time I go to work and put the uniform on, I think about them.
Article Source: A Film by Ken Burns, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. (2009). PBS. Retrieved 2/6/21 from https://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/people/nps/johnson/.
Call for Presenters!
Be a PRESENTER at the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Sierra Pacific Region (Region 9) Spring 2021 VIRTUAL Workshop, March 5-7, 2021, with Pre-Workshop Virtual Field Trips March 1-4. This year’s title is: “Resilient Interpretation: Adapting to Our New World.”
This year, there are TWO ways to share with your interpretation community: present a talk (Presentation Format) and/or produce a video (Field Trip Format).
Virtual Presentations (talks) will be offered Friday and Saturday, March 5-6.
Virtual Field Trips (videos) will be posted during the pre-Workshop, Monday, March 1 through Thursday, March 4.
To learn more and to apply head here.
Your Sierra Pacific Region is here to help you recognize and honor outstanding achievements in interpretation. Don’t delay, act now to nominate inspiring, amazing, innovating colleagues for an award! Awards showcase achievements of Sierra Pacific members and others working to advance the profession of interpretation; awards will be presented during March’s regional workshop. See below for category qualifications and instructions. Due: January 8th, 2021. Submit nominations electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head here to see the different categories and qualifications!
This is your year to attend the NAI National Conference! With the Conference going virtual this fall, there are no travel costs or approvals to consider and registration is considerably lower than usual. We hope many of our members will take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the top-notch concurrent sessions, professional development, and networking opportunities the National Conference provides. Head here to learn more and apply!
National Association for Interpretation Sierra Pacific Region Spring 2020 Workshop: “Turning the Tides Through Interpretation” Call for Presenters!
Be a presenter at the annual National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Sierra Pacific Regional Workshop, being held March 6-8, 2020, at NatureBridge in the beautiful Marin Headlands of the San Francisco Bay Area. The workshop’s theme, “Turning the Tides Through Interpretation,” reminds us of the power – and responsibility – we have as interpreters to promote and inspire meaningful change. Share your experiences, knowledge, and perspectives on what it means to influence change as we come together to learn, reflect, and grow.
Learn more about submitting here!
Inspiring! Amazing! Innovating! Do you know an interpreter who does remarkable work and deserves recognition? Your Sierra Pacific Region is here to help you honor outstanding achievements in interpretation by launching an Awards Program in November. Awards will showcase successes of Sierra Pacific members and others working to advance the profession of interpretation and be presented at March’s Annual Workshop. Learn more here!
In response to our members’ requests that we make scholarships and support for students and seasonal staff a regional priority, we’ve made some changes to our scholarship program!
This year, there will be three types of scholarships offered:
To learn more about changes to Sierra Pacific’s scholarship program and to see current scholarship opportunities head to the scholarship page here.