I & E News @GGNRA

MAY 2014

From Washington

Relevance in Our Second Century

A Five-Year Interdisciplinary Strategy for Interpretation, Education and Volunteers

Two-years in the making, with input from hundreds of employees across the Service, this strategy interconnects and supports initiatives from A Call To Action and prepares and propels national park interpretation, education and volunteerism into its 2nd century and beyond. This strategy is designed to help NPS prioritize and expand limited resources, while meeting the needs of 21st Century audiences. It provides guidance on what to do more of, what to do less of and what to do differently, and supports innovation happening in the field.

If you missed the release, you can still review Julia Washburn's document on "Achieving Relevance in Our Second Century".

recent successes and site highlights

Lou Sian and Maria Banuelos-Connell participated in the John Muir NHS EarthDay-BirthDay. They set up our newest interactive exhibit from BioBlitz, which set people up for a "selfie" as a tree climbing scientist!

This is a great time to camp at Kirby Cove! Spring wildflowers, gets dark late, enjoy a campfire...maybe get a peek at the juvenile elephant seal molting on beach! Call Camping Queen Lucy Scott to reserve the free NPS site!

Alejandra Iraheta, Fatima Colindres, Wendy Solis, Kelly Timmerman, and Aracely Montero recently attended NAI Region 9 conference at Chico State University. Aside from having an excellent adventure,

Alejandra stated, "...the keynote speaker on Sunday morning, Jose Gonzalez founded the Bay Area group Latino Outdoors, which focuses on bringing more Latinos outdoors and into nature. I think he really touched on the need for multiculturalism in our parks, and emphasized the need as park employees to get to know about different cultures values, beliefs, etc.,.so that we have a better idea of how to make them feel more comfortable in nature."

The compiled results from the climate change and sustainability survey are in. The report completed by Will Elder and intern Amanda Short includes findings, along with some ideas proposed for possible projects and directions we might take in the future. Since the report is long, he recommend at least looking at the summary on pages 1-2 and the recommendations on pages 16-18. The park is in the process of prioritizing and deciding which next steps we wish to take next. So stay tuned as the process evolves.


The Presidio Trust, working with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service, has selected five renowned firms to develop conceptual design and programming for 10 acres of new parkland that will be created in the Presidio atop a dramatic bluff with panoramic Golden Gate views. For more information, visit


Training Reminders

GGNRA Green team is hosting a Sustainability Summit on May 19 from 10-2 on climate change and sustainability communication efforts in the park. If you wish to attend the summit and work for the park service you can register here: https://docs.google.com/a/nps.gov/forms/d/1t53J_o4o5CDEBDRvIyeRP66Bl4CNh_D3nhaMfTcAg5M/viewform or if you are outside the park service contact Laura Castellini (cc'd on this message) to register.

Interpretive Skills Development Training will be on June 10-13, 2014 at Fort Point Admin Building 989. The training sessions will provide participants with an overview of interpretive philosophy, tools and techniques and will cover entry level competencies of the Interpretive Development Program including: Foundations of Interpretation, Informal Visitor Contacts and Interpretive Talk.

For more info go to: https://www.smore.com/47et


TODD HISAICHI, Muir Wood Ranger and Volunteer Coordinator, starting May 22

Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, I became a naturalized American to pursue my dream of being a national park ranger. Since 2003, I have been helping others develop an appreciation of national parks and park values as a SCA intern (2003), Peace Corps Environmental Education volunteer (2005-2007, Senegal, West Africa) and NPS employee (2004, 2007-present). Through my ranger work and extended travels in the U.S. and around the world, I have been building bridges between people by promoting the national park idea and conservation principles. I am currently serving as an interpretive ranger at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. As a part of inspiring Muir Woods National Monument and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, I am excited about the prospects of having much greater audiences connect with national parks as our heritage in the most meaningful ways possible.

DOUG FRENCH, Emergency Hire at Muir Woods

If you're unfamiliar with Doug, he's previous occupation was intern for Marcus Combs, Volunteer Program Specialist for the park's Beach Cleanup program. Doug comes to us from Chico, the same location where NAI Region 9 was held this year.

Alcatraz welcomes five new seasonal park guides to the Rock. They will be starting between 5/18 and 6/1. This year's notorious five include:

Laura DeFelice—Laura returns for a second season after spending much of the winter working at our sister park, San Francisco Maritime NHS.

Tom Ryan—Tom returns after a 20+ year hiatus as a teacher. He started his career on the island and we are looking forward to his return.

Alfonso Orozco—Alfonso has been working with the night program as an Academic Intern for the last few months. We are delighted to have him join the day program.

Sarah Sawtelle—Sarah started as an intern with the natural resources program on Alcatraz and recently switched over to the interpretation program. She now joins the ranks of the grey and green as a seasonal

Matthew Murphy—Matthew may be new to the rock but he brings immense experience having worked at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia as an interpreter.



  • To Al Blank for 5 years of service
  • To John Cantwell for 25 years of service

Congratulations to Nancy Caplan for receiving GGNRA Employee of the Month! Nancy coordinated the logistics for serving 2,700 youth in the park at the same time on Bioblitz. She partnered with Presidio Trust and Parks Conservancy, established partnerships with new organizations and schools to ensure that underserved youth were active participants in Bioblitz. The youth programs were designed to integrate with school curricula, with both school and in-park components to the programs. The youth also participated in hands-on festival activities planned at all of the sites, with the big festival held at Crissy Field.

To the Volunteer Park Photographers who helped make this year's BioBlitz one of the best ever. Our 30+ volunteers covered the park's 80,000 acres during the rain & sunshine to capture more than 5,000 images throughout the event. One of the photos from BioBlitz even made the front cover image the "Achieving Relevance in Our Second Century", presented by Julia Washburn. Kudos to Volunteer Park Photographer Michael Silverstein for landing the cover photo.

To the Academic Interns Brenna Cruz, Ayuchi Haga, & Olympia Zampathas, who all helps in facilitating the processing of BioBlitz images as well as getting them up onto social media for the NPS, Parks Conservancy, National Geographic, the Presidio Trust, and the media.

Matthew McConnelly recently joined Alcatraz as an emergency hire to help fill some gaps. He has been a huge help on the island over the last 2 months.


Will Elder's photo was chosen as one of 11 winners in the 2013 Department of Interior, Share the Experience Employee Photo Contest found at: http://sharetheexperience.recreation.gov/home

Compelling & inspirational Videos

Volunteer for your national parks
Home Away from Homelessness

Did You Know?

The park is now using social media as a tool to engage many different targeted audiences. If you have a story idea and would like to get it out we encourage you to join us on these sites to help spread the word. For a complete listing of which sites we are using, check out our social media page. We also can provide a social media class for anyone who would like to know more.

IN THE NEWS / Upcoming Events

To find out more with what is happening in the park, check out other upcoming Park Events page on the Parks Conservancy website.


Saturday, May 10th, 10am-3pm

Crissy Field Center, San Francisco, CA, United States

This year the Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders (I-YEL) is hosting a grand obstacle course for you and your friends to come enjoy the park space, and also to gain knowledge of the issues regarding pollution affecting the San Francisco Bay Area community.

Participants can run an obstacle course addressing different forms of pollution including but not limited to: air, light, visual, and noise pollution. There will also be a Pollution Pavilion, where participants can learn more about the harmful effects of pollution, and how to take part in easy, day-to-day solutions!

Make sure you pre-register for our event, and don't forget to fill out the waiver form! (18 and under waivers here) Drop-ins are welcome but forms must be signed to participate. For those who are not running, come hang out with our friendly interns! Stick around until the end, or come back, and test your luck in our raffle!

International Migratory Bird Day

Saturday, May 10th, 10am

Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, CA, United States

Mill Valley, CA

Learn about birds at a fun filled and informative event throughout the Redwood Creek Watershed on May 10. International Migratory Bird Day features walks, chance to see birds up close and personal at the mist-netting site, talk in English or Spanish with those who work hard to study and save birds plus make a bird mask! Ride the shuttle to Muir Woods...check in with Ranger Lou or Intern Natalie to learn more!

Michele Gee

Chief of Interpretation & Education
Golden Gate National Recreation Area

National Park Service

Fort Mason Building 201

San Francisco, CA 94123