2016 Certified Interpretive Guide Training

Sunday, January 24, 2016 - 5:00pm to Friday, January 29, 2016 - 4:00pm


2016 Certified Interpretive Guide Training
“A Winter Warm Weather Workshop”

January 25-29, 2016
Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center
in Borrego Springs, California

This popular workshop has been a desert winter destination since 2007. Don’t miss it in 2016!

Or call Briana Puzzo (760-767-0446 ext. 1004) to register over the phone.

In partnership with the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), Anza-Borrego Foundation is offering a professional certification course for individuals who deliver interpretive programs or have public contact at any resource, facility or business such as visitor centers, nature centers, parks, museums, zoos, tour companies or heritage sites.

What makes this workshop unique: This program offers more than CIG certification. We believe the experience is also an important part of the learning process. We offer each participant the opportunity to experience Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California’s largest state park, located in the lower Colorado Desert during its fabulously mild winter season.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is one of America’s largest state parks at over 630,000 acres. The Park is home to the endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep. It is a land of extremes, from desert badlands to disappearing canyon streams revealing native palm oases. The area harbors a rich ecological, geological and cultural heritage.
One of the highlights offered in addition to the certification workshop is an optional all-day tour of this spectacular place. Thisone-of-a-kind tour and demonstration is a tour within a tour, featuring all the dos and don’ts of planning and leading tours while experiencing this fantastic Park.

The CIG Program
The Certified Interpretive Guide program is designed for anyone who delivers interpretive programs to the public. It combines the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to varied audiences.

This 32-hour workshop offers background and skills including:

  • History, definition and principles of interpretation.
  • Making your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized and thematic.
  • Programming emotional and intellectual ideas into your presentations to connect audiences to the resource.
  • Tailoring your programs for diverse audiences and various learning styles. 
  • Presentation and communication skills.
  • Interactive group activities, demonstrations and individual sessions with instructor.
  • All materials, course workbook and the supplemental text, Personal Interpretation.

Requirements for the CIG Course
Anyone age 16 or over with a desire to increase their knowledge and skills related to interpretation may participate. The cost of your course registration includes a 1-year NAI membership. You may elect to take the training to become certified or without becoming certified.
Why become a CIG?
The CIG is an internationally recognized professional certification. Many potential employers and volunteer recruiters actively seek certified interpreters.  

Workshop participants are expected to:

  • Attend entire workshop.
  • Provide your own lunch and dinner.
  • Take a 50-question open book literary review.
  • Produce a one-page presentation outline. Trainers will ensure adequate time is spent with individual participants prior to grading outline.
  • Deliver a ten-minute thematic interpretive talk on the last day of the workshop. Once again, trainers will ensure each participant has the opportunity to review content and techniques of talk with a trainer prior to presenting.

CIG Core Review Library: A set of books needed to complete the open book exam will be provided for your use during the workshop. If you wish to purchase your own set of four interpretive texts, you may do so for a member-discounted package price of $107. You may order the library set when you register for the workshop.

The texts used are:
Interpreting Our Heritage, by Freeman Tilden
The Gifts of Interpretation, by Beck & Cable
Personal Interpretation, by Brochu & Merriman                                                        Interpretation: Making a Difference on Purpose, By Ham

Workshop Location: Nestled at the foot of the San Ysidro Mountains, Borrego Springs is located about 85 miles east of San Diego. It is about a two-hour drive from San Diego, Riverside, or Palm Springs. Many visitors approach from the east or west via Highways S22 and 78. From the coast, these highways descend from the heights of the coastal range with spectacular views of the great Colorado Desert.

We are pleased to offer this year’s workshop at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center. It recently opened its doors in a picturesque and historic Borrego Springs facility. The center is administered by University of California Irvine and is operated in cooperation with Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Anza-Borrego Foundation. It offers up-to-date classroom and lab facilities with newly constructed dorms. Desert hikes begin right out the back door.

Training Schedule

Sunday, January 24
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Workshop Welcome Reception at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center
Monday-Thursday, January 25-28
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily
CIG Workshop

Friday, January 29
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Desert Tour: A spectacular tour within a tour covering all the things visitors don’t normally see that can make or break the experience. The tour includes short hikes, a stop at a historic site and visits to areas of fascinating geology and paleontology. The 4WD journey will pass through a slot canyon, a mesquite grove and a palm oasis, as well as scenic overlooks. Lunch, water, light refreshments, and transportation provided. Bring binoculars and a camera. Wear a hat and good hiking footwear.

Registration Costs
  - Training with NAI Certification: $390
  - Training with no certification: $270
  - Optional Friday Desert Tour: $45 / person (registered guests welcome)
       Includes lunch, transportation, instruction, water & snack

Or call Briana Puzzo (760-767-0446 ext. 1004) to register over the phone.


Workshop Lodging Options

Official Workshop Lodging at UCI Research Center: $175 (5 nights)
The UC Irvine Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center has four dorm rooms, each with six twin beds (three sets of bunk beds), shared bathrooms and full kitchen facilities. Guests must provide their own linens or sleeping bag and towels. The facility is equipped with Wi-Fi. (You can reserve and pay for these accommodations when registering for the workshop.)

Camping in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Borrego Palm Canyon Campground: water, flush toilets and showers.
Drive in: $25/night
RV Hookup: $35/night
Reservations: 1-800-444-PARK or www.reserveamerica.com

Hotels, Motels & Resorts: For more information on local lodging, camping, hookups, shopping or dining in the Borrego Springs area visit: www.borregospringschamber.com 

Workshop Trainers:

Roger Riolo is a Certified Interpretive Trainer, Planner, Guide, and NAI Master Trainer. He is a former Interpretive Program Manager at Newberry National Volcanic Monument. He is now an independent interpretive trainer and consultant. Roger is a very experienced trainer with an extensive background in cultural and natural heritage interpretation. He taught Interpretation at Central Oregon Community College for eight years. 

Sally Theriault is manager of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center and a Certified Interpretive Trainer. Her background includes several years as a science teacher and many seasons as an interpreter with State, County and National Parks. Sally is also the former education manager for Anza-Borrego Foundation.


For questions or further information contact:
Briana Puzzo – ABF Education Manager
760-767-0446 ext. 1004

Roger Riolo – Workshop Instructor
rlriolo@bendcable.com (link sends e-mail)