NPSのウエブサイトに行くと、4つのトピックがあります。そのうちの一つ「Interpretation & Education」には、NPSが重視しているInterpretation(インタープリテーション)という活動の説明があり、それは訪問者が公園(place)での思い出などを作る手助けの過程であり:”In the National Park Service, Interpretation is the process of helping each park visitor to find an opportunity to personally connect with a place.”、その目的は、訪問者の楽しみや公園の理解をさらに高め、公園に関心を持つようにする:”The goal of all interpretive services is to increase each visitor’s enjoyment and understanding of the parks, and to allow visitors to care about the parks on their own terms.”といったことが書かれています。インタープリテーションの詳しい講義は専門の西村さんに譲り、ここではNPSの職員がどのようにしてその技術を身につけるのかを調べてみました。1995年から開発されたIDPと呼ばれるシステムがあり、3段階のレベルに分かれた教材が作成されています。一般のレンジャー(Law Enforcementも含む)には、初期レベルの技能習得が勧められており、それには3つの教材(101,102,103)があります。101はNPSでのインタープリテーションの基礎概念、102は略式での訪問者へのコンタクト、103は効率的な話し方となっています(全ての教材はダウンロードが可能)。またパークガイド(GS-0090)、アシスタント(GS-0303)、研修生、ボランティアにも習得が推薦されています。教材を読んでみると、単なる知識だけではなく、それをうまく訪問者に伝えるための、高度な対話技術が要求されているようです。

註:連邦政府の規定によると、Park Rangerとは職種GS-0025であり、以下のように定義されています。
GS-0025 – Park Ranger Series
This series includes positions the duties of which are to supervise, manage, and/or perform work in the conservation and use of Federal park resources. This involves functions such as park conservation; natural, historical, and cultural resource management; and the development and operation of interpretive and recreational programs for the benefit of the visiting public. Duties characteristically include assignments such as: forest and structural fire control; protection of property from natural or visitor related depredation; dissemination to visitors of general, historical, or scientific information; folk-art and craft demonstration; control of traffic and visitor use of facilities; enforcement of laws and regulations; investigation of violations, complaints, trespass/encroachment, and accidents; search and rescue missions; and management activities related to resources such as wildlife, lakeshores, seashores, forests, historic buildings, battlefields, archeological properties, and recreation areas.
GS-0090 – Guide Series
This series includes all classes of positions the duties of which are to provide or supervise nonprofessional interpretive and guide services to visitors to parks, dams and other sites of public interest. The work involves giving formal talks, interpreting natural and historic features, explaining engineering structures and related water resource developments, answering questions, guiding tours, and providing miscellaneous services to visitors. Incidental duties are performed in connection with responsibility for visitor safety and protection of historic and scientific objects and natural or engineering features.
GS-0303 – Miscellaneous Clerk and Assistant Series
This series includes positions the duties of which are to perform or supervise clerical, assistant, or technician work for which no other series is appropriate. The work requires knowledge of the procedures and techniques involved in carrying out the work of an organization and involves application of procedures and practices within the framework of established guidelines.

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