I & E News @GGNRA

September 2013

Hi Everyone,

I know it has been a busy summer- where has it gone! Sorry for skipping July's updates but here is some information to help keep you in the know. I Also wanted to take the time to remember Terry Kreidler's mom, Betty, who recently passed away. She was a very strong supporter of the parks and known by many for her strength, resiliency and generosity. She will be missed.



According to the National Safety Council, “slips, trips and falls” are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States; many of these accidents – some sources say nearly half – occur on stairs.

Here are some simple ways to prevent an accident on a stairway:

  • Whether going up or down stairs, always use the handrail
  • Make sure stairways are clear of any obstacles
  • When carrying objects up and down steps, be sure you are able to see where you are stepping and hold onto the handrail if possible
  • If you are wearing footwear such as high heels or sandals, use extra caution
  • Routinely check stairs for loose or worn carpeting/flooring or other hazards and report them promptly
  • Report outdoor stairways if you notice water accumulation

The chance of fall accidents in stairways increases with inattention, illness, fatigue and haste. Take care when ascending and descending stairways.


Verbal Victories
Thank you Terry for setting up the Verbal Victories workshop by Dr. John Hooper. Not only is it fun, but staff always get a lot out of the class in terms of increasing their communication skills and dealing with conflict.

VIP Photography Exhibit at the Presidio Visitor Center

If you have not seen it yet, head over to Building 105 in the Presidio gaze at the amazing photos taken by our volunteer photographers. Thank you George Su and Michael Faw for organizing.

The Alcatraz Outreach Program was just unveiled online. One percent of ticket sales are allocated to youth and community organizations through several on island programs. More information about how to apply for these 15,000 free tickets is available here: http://www.nps.gov/alca/planyourvisit/alcatraz-community-access.htm.

Visitor surveys have been distributed to hundreds of visitors this month at Lands End, Presidio, Muir Woods and Alcatraz as part of our annual University of Idaho NPS Visitor Survey program. Thanks to Theresa Griggs, Jen Greene and Ally-Gregg Zeller and all the rangers and PICs for making this happen!


Antonio Cruz, Pathways

Welcome back Antonio who has been busy studying Environmental Science and Management, with a focus on Environmental Policy at the University of California, Davis. According to Antonio "The subject has always been close to my heart—being so invested in sharing my passion for the natural world, while also fighting for others’ rights to realize the abundant beauty, culture and history that nature has to offer; and I hope to follow this passion through my future career path. Though, the fight for environmental justice and overall awareness sometimes seem like a losing battle—especially for someone who feels extraordinarily ordinary at times, but through my past experiences with the Parks Service, I realize that I have the potential to drive movements, however seemingly insignificant my efforts may be. A quote from J. R. R. Tolkien’sThe Hobbit comes to mind, where Galadriel, a royal elf, asks Gandalf why he brings Bilbo Baggins, your ordinary, run-of-the-mill hobbit, along with him on his epic journey, to which Gandalf responds: “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

Michelle Armijo, Seasonal

Hello, my name is Michelle Armijo and I’ve been very blessed to have worked for park service (California State Parks and National Park Service) for a number of years. Most of my park service career has been working with curriculum based living history or science camps. I love teaching youth about our amazing parks. Recently I’ve joined the Muir Woods team and I’m very excited about the interpretative programs that I will be sharing with the public. I’m very proud to have found an organization that makes me feel like I’m making a difference. In addition to my career, I’ve been a foster mommy for Nor Cal Boxer Rescue for four years. This volunteer opportunity has allowed me to help a number of boxers to be saved, cared for and find their forever homes. I wouldn’t trade being a foster mommy for anything!

Cortney Balcer, Seasonal

Cortney Balcer earned a BA in Outdoor Recreation at Northern Michigan. In the 15 years of working seasonally for State and National Parks, she finds herself lucky enough to say her career has taken her from the Giant Sequoia's to the turquoise waters of the Virgin Islands. She has worked at Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Glen Canyon, Virgin Islands, and Pictured Rocks.

Laura DeFelice, Seasonal

Laura DeFelice earned a Bachelors degree in Geography from San Francisco State. Upon completion, she started interning as an SCA with the GOGA trail crew. The San Francisco Maritime park has become her second home for the last three years where she worked first as an Intern and then as a Park Guide, sailor, educator, and actor! Last summer she started the seasonal life of a park ranger working at Acadia National Park in Maine and the last two months at Denali National Park & Preserve. She is very excited about being back home in the Bay. She is also looking forward to seeing the Americas Cups races from Alcatraz.


Heritage and Education Dialogue

Wednesday, July 31st 2013 at 7pm

103 Montgomery Street on the Main Post of the Presidio

Given that U.S. American students are less proficient in their nation’s history than in any other subject, how can the Presidio’s history ignite students’ interest and be used to build critical thinkers in the 21st century?

The evening will be moderated by Nancy Caplan, NPS Education Lead for Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Discussion leaders Include

  • Pete Hammer, Burton High School Librarian and former curriculum development facilitator for SFUSD history/social studies teachers
  • Anny Ho, I-YEL (Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders) representative and recent graduate of Academy High School
  • Daisy Martin, Stanford University, Director of History/Social Studies Performance Assessment, Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, & Equity (SCALE)
  • Milton Reynolds, Facing History and Ourselves, Senior Program Associate and former middle school teacher


Alcatraz Anniversary Event

Sunday, Aug. 11th 2013 at 9:30am-4pm

Alcatraz Island

San Francisco, CA

The annual anniversary of the opening of the infamous Federal Penitentiary will happen on 11 August. Former residents including correctional officers, inmates, spouses, and children who grew up on the island return to Alcatraz for a day of storytelling with park visitors. Special programs are scheduled from 9:30 am - 4:00 pm. Although typically sold out weeks in advance, this year, 1,000 tickets will be available for the event starting 8/9/13 at alcatrazcruises.com.

Civil War Day at Fort Point NHS

Saturday, Aug. 17th 2013 at 10am-5pm

999 Marine Drive

San Francisco, CA

Join Civil War re-enactors in the Sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War 2011-2015, as they bring Fort Point to life with music, marching, artillery drill, musician demonstrations, and the colorful uniforms of Civil War soldiers and civilians.

Talks and demonstrations are held throughout the day. Take a tour led by a Park Volunteer to learn about California's role in the Civil War.


Dissonant Voices: Contested Landscapes Teacher Institute is being hosted next week, July 30-Aug 2. Some of the many featured sessions include:

  • Cultural Quandaries, Coast Miwok Adapting to Cultural and Environmental Change by Nick Tipon of Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria,
  • Maritime Escape—Underground Railroad by the Sea by Ranger Guy Washington
  • Sailors' Lament—Sea Chanteys, Race and Class by Peter Kasin
  • Filipinos at the Gate—Race Politics at the Presidio by Rene Ciria-Cruz, Elaine Elinson, and Conrad Benedicto

Thanks to Lynn Fonfa for coordinating, and SF Maritime for hosting a day at their site and all of the presenters.

The Garden Conservancy will unveil a new exhibit of water color paintings of plants found on Alcatraz. The paintings were done by volunteers to showcase the natural beauty of the island. The exhibit will be in the Band Room of the Cell House starting August 29,for at least 4 months.

Also In August, the park's first accessible Topo Map will be installed at Lands End. Cast in concrete with a stainless steel base, the map will allow anyone to feel the geography of the site through sculpted wave texture, outlines of the ruins of Sutro Baths and slightly raised trails. Thanks for all your hard work Michael Faw!

On August 29, we are hosting a Facilitated Dialogue workshop with Morgan Smith, Chief of Interp at SAFR. This workshop focuses on the front-line interpreter’s role as a facilitator of dialogue and discussion, and a range of ways to incorporate these techniques into new and existing park programming.

Craig Glassner our long running Alcatraz Rangers is putting those technical skills to use for the greater good. He is currently doing a two day a week detail in IT helping to with some short staffing and moving projects forward. Thanks Craig!

In terms of projects, The Alcatraz Dock Guard Tower was just unveiled after several months under cover. The tower has been newly repainted and the rusted stairwell has been repaired. Muir Beach has been closed to the public since the beginning of July and many folks are hard at work with the realignment of the parking lot and restoration of the site. Mia, Lou and Michael have been busy developing the interpretive elements and we shall see the fruits of everyone's work at the end of November. Interviews have been completed for exhibit designer and architect for the Presidio Visitor Center. This tri-agency visitor center is scheduled to be open mid-2015.

If you liked the layout of this I&E News, it is done through smores.com. We have an account thanks to George Su and can use these templates to promote our programs through e-mail, the web and social media. Contact your supervisor for more information.

Michele Gee

Chief of Interpretation & Education
Golden Gate National Recreation Area

National Park Service

Fort Mason Building 201

San Francisco, CA 94123