Feedback in October and what else is new


I see lots of feedback from a good mix of people: Georgina, Ellen, Shane, Walter, Virginia, and Kristi all commenting on programs from Sept. and October. Thank you for filling me in!

If Louise is listening, maybe we can get an answer to that question about the hole, or what looks like a hole in the fruit bat’s wing. So, the questions are 1) is it a hole or an imperfection from the video footage? 2) if not a hole, what is that spot? and 3) if it is, is it a problem when a bat’s wing gets a hole?

My memory from Diana’s and Debbie’s talk is yes, when there are lesions in the wings it’s not good for overall health and flying ability. Not sure if bats can heal from some of these types of tears  and how long it takes.

Interesting observation from one of you: “I often find that once an engaged audience member learns about one type of technology, they will then want to become familiar with the full range of technologies employed by bat researchers here at CAVE.” Way to whet an appetite!!

A few questions and comments about the spiral.

And a group with lots of questions such as: What is the purpose of their thumbs? Why do the thumbs stick out from the wings? (Louise–any ideas on this one?) How do scientists track bats? Will they use radio transmitters? What do you call a group of bats in flight?

So Ellen changed her name, or we have a new iSWOOPer. Kristi wed, but didn’t (or hasn’t yet). A few people are coming and going soon. Sounds like you’re still giving bat flight programs nightly?? or just weekends? I’ve been hanging with people from DEWA. One named Carla worked at CAVE in the past. And and interpreter who is now at Flight 93 Memorial, Brendan, who used to be at Chamizel. The concerns and challenges make me think of you and conversations we’ve had. There’s a strong sense in the room, pretty much every day, that NPS wants to be the place where people talk to each other about important issues, e.g., trade-offs between preservation and enjoyment; immigration; the place for wilderness; incarceration, sacrifice, etc. With limited staffing, the sense I’m getting is that staff should do the kinds of things that a cell phone tour or audio guide can’t do. There’s more to interpretation than being a walking encyclopedia of facts. Throughout this week of facilitated dialogue training, I’ve often heard: “It’s okay to fail.” Today’s quote: “Try something everyday and make smarter mistakes tomorrow.” “We have your back,” (if management doesn’t seem to be on board with interpretive programs that provoke dialogue. Email John Rudy or Katie Bliss or Julia Washburn). So iSWOOP isn’t exactly facilitated dialogue, but it hits many of the same points: involve the audience; get the audience to talk to each other; follow and incorporate visitors’ interests. I’m so glad we’re doing this work together and I’m looking forward to thinking with some of you about the ways we could align iSWOOP programs with the arc of facilitated dialogue.

Getting late here on the east coast.

Thanks again, all.






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