List of Self-training Opportunities

VIP Self-Initiated Continuing Education200px-US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo_svg

December 15, 2015

Quoting from some of the training material “One of the most important responsibilities of a good ranger or VIP is to answer questions. The most commonly asked questions deal with history, flora and fauna, geology, and geography of the park and surrounding area and directions around the city, and local services like where to eat, what to do.”

Besides attending formal training classes, another way to learn is the self-initiated research approach. There are so many fun opportunities to do this at CNM. Here’s a good checklist to start with. How many can you check off?

  1. Have you read all the brochures that are handed out in the Park? There are quite a few of them, each providing a good synopsis of the topic.
  2. Do you know what’s in the Reference Manual (e-binder)? How many interesting things have you learned from this source? Could you win the Tidepool Jeopardy game?
  3. Have you gone through the Junior Ranger program?
  4. Or spent a weekend at the invaluable TPERP Conference in the Fall?
  5. Have you seen the Juan Cabrillo exhibit?
  6. How about the Military History museum?
  7. When was the last time you toured the lighthouse?
  8. How many tidepool critters have you seen at low tide? Can you name them?
  9. Have you walked the Bayside Trail? How about the Coastal Trail? Do you know why their flora and fauna differ?
  10. Do you know who Crabrillo is? (Hint: this is not a typo).
  11. What about the Park’s library, have you ever browsed all the good books there?
  12. Or the books in the Visitor’s Center bookstore?
  13. The must-reads are “Understanding the Life of Point Loma” and “Life Between the Tides”. Do you have a copy, have you read them?
  14. Have you ever “shadowed” a Tidepool VIP or tagged along with one of the inventory or monitoring teams or talked to VIPs who are doing other types of jobs than you?
  15. Do you regularly read the park’s seasonal journal, which contains great stories and information?
  16. Have you been on a bird walk, or gone along on any other Ranger-led programs?
  17. How about the movies in the auditorium, how many have you watched?
  18. Did you come to the Cabrillo Festival at the end of September? Do you know why we have it?
  19. Or have you participated in the highly entertaining and educational Whale Watch Weekend and Intertidal Festival (it’s around the first of February, so mark it in your calendar)?
  20. Or been to Founder’s Day on August 25, or at least understand why it is celebrated?
  21. Have you attended the Lighthouse Anniversary on November 15?
  22. The VIP Coordinator is always sending out emails about upcoming events, do you participate?
  23. Do you attend any of the many and varied Continuing Education Lectures given throughout the year?
  24. Do you know the significance of the years 2013 and 2016? (Hint: 2013 is CNM’s Centennial and 2016 is NPS’s Centennial). Can you tell a visitor about the celebrations for each? Have you been a part of the many events surrounding these celebrations?
  25. Have you participated in the plethora of CNM Outreach programs and events like the Point Loma Nazarene Fall Festival, Big Bay Whale Days, Festival of Sail, the OB Street Fair, or walking for the park in one of the many parades around San Diego?
  26. How many education programs and educational field trips, such as Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, Life in the Coastal Sage, Life at the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Kumeyaay Supermarket, and Life in the Intertidal can you add to your list?
  27. Have you seen the CNM web-site at ?
  28. Have you looked at the National Park Services Interpretive Development Program, or IDP, at the basics of interpretation? Or downloaded the free Eppley course on the foundations of interpretation?
  29. How many of the Cabrillo webcams have you seen at
  30. Do you know about other VIP opportunities than the one you are doing at the Park and the different kinds of programs CNM offers to the public? Attend one of the Volunteer Coordinators regularly scheduled orientations.
  31. And, here’s a really fun one: how many restaurants around the area have you tried out so you know which to recommend to visitors? Can you talk about the City and give good directions to places and things to do?

Last revised 24-Aug-14

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