Webster City native Jody (Hartnett) Moats, naturalist with South Dakota Division of Parks and Recreation, is the recipient of the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Master Front-Line Interpreter Award for 2008.
The award was presented at NAI's National Workshop in November in Portland, Oregon. The workshop provides participants with professional skills and ideas and networking opportunities with others in the fields of environmental, cultural, historical and recreational resources interpretation. This year's workshop focuses on the theme of "Sustaining the Circle."
The Master Front-Line Interpreter Award is presented to an NAI member who has worked for more than five years in the profession and whose current duties are at least 60 percent front-line interpretation. Recipients must demonstrate a mastery of interpretive techniques, program development and design of creative projects. This year we have two recipients.
When Moats began her career at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in southeastern South Dakota, it had recently been acquired by the State of South Dakota to provide educational opportunities and interpret the area's rich history. There was no program in place and Moats built it into a successful and widely-popular destination for school children and the general public. In addition to leading programs at the preserve, Moats took her expertise on the road and presented educational programs to school children in both Iowa and South Dakota. Moats tirelessly promoted the concept of a new education addition at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve. She helped bring the idea to the forefront and assisted with fund raising efforts. She played a key role on the center's planning committee with architects and engineers.
The National Association for Interpretation is a professional organization for park historians and naturalists, heritage interpreters, zoo and museum educators, park managers, and others affiliated with interpreting the natural, historical and cultural environment to the public. The organization has over 4,000 members. For more information about the November workshop or the organization, contact NAI Executive Director, Dr. Tim Merriman in Ft. Collins CO (1-888-900-8283) or visit the website: www.inerpnet.org