What we do

The primary purpose of interpretation is to enrich people’s lives through meaningful learning experiences and enjoyable recreation; preserve and protect natural and cultural resources through broad collaboration and shared stewardship; and inspire social and environmental consciousness to build community and sustain the health of the planet.

The Foundations of Interpretation are the skills and practices that this important work rests upon.

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Foundations of Interpretation

The Foundations of Interpretation competencies provide guideposts for implementing 21st century interpretation. They describe the broad categories of knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors needed by interpreters and educators to accomplish the critical work of our craft. They sit atop the strong work the field has done in the past and draw on the evolving philosophy of interpretation. There are four competencies in the Foundations of Interpretation:

These pages link not only to descriptions of the competencies, but other resources to help you build your personal foundations of interpretation.

You can also download and read the entire “Foundations of Interpretation Competencies for the 21st Century” document [PDF].

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