Ranger Kathryn's Arches

June 14, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:06 pm

The NPS has very strict standards for what is required when putting together an interpretive program.  You need a title, an intro/grabber, a theme related to the park, an activity, a  transition, a conclusion, and a “so what?” at the end.  (“So what are you going to do with this info?”) Today we spent six hours or so working through some previous educational stuff, and inventing new stuff to use on the trails, on our “roves,” and in the Visitor Center.  Great ideas were floating around the room, and I am the only newbie among the four Teacher-Rangers, so I was soaking them all in and hoping to appropriate a few of those for my own.  My boss looked at me soberly and said, “I hired you because you are creative.  I need to see you come up with your own stuff.”  Gr-r-r-r!  

The ‘aha’ moment eventually came.  Nobody has done a program on ravens!  They are ubiquitous, culturally significant, and unmistakably a part of the park.  They are fascinating creatures because of their high intelligence and their capacity to play.  I get to develop an interpretive program on ravens!  Yay!

They want me to have three short programs, so I am considering the next one to be on either soundscapes of the desert, or about silence itself.   All this in my ‘spare’ time…


  1. Besides scorpions and Black Widows and ravens and other small critters, is the desert around you home to bigger fauna? Cougars or their relatives?

    Comment by Mom — June 14, 2009 @ 9:41 pm | Reply

  2. The bigger fauna includes Desert Bighorn Sheep — although all 50 of them recently jumped in the Colorado and swam across to “out of the park” areas, for some unknown reason — and mountain lions (cougars), whose footprints are occasionally seen but who are elusive and in the backcountry. Foxes, raccoon, and lots of little rodents and lizards — an occasional mule deer.

    Comment by kath56ryn — June 15, 2009 @ 6:59 am | Reply

  3. I really like the idea of including the ‘silence’ as part of a presentation on ‘Park Noises’. As you know, our back deck provides some of the rarest opportunities to experience nature at its best – noiseless. To me, the very essence of ‘vastness’ is its utter silence. It has no need to make noise. It ‘speaks’ for itself with its vast silence. Very few city dwellers are going to think about this as they just accept noise as part of life, but if pointed out in a park presentation, they may really get to have the (non) experience of a lifetime – pure silence.

    Comment by Dick — June 15, 2009 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

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