On November 17, the National Association for Interpretation recognized EBRPD Naturalist Michael Moran as one of only two national 2012 Master Front-Line Interpreters. Moran was chosen for his leadership in developing community relationships in eastern Contra Costa County. As a naturalist at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, then at Big Break Regional Shoreline, Moran has developed and implemented programs with schools, non-profits and community groups throughout the area over many years.
The Master Front-Line Interpreter Award is presented to an NAI member who has worked for more than 5 years in the profession and whose current duties are at least 60% front-line interpretation. Recipients must demonstrate a mastery of interpretive techniques, program development and design of creative projects.
Over nearly two decades of work in eastern Contra Costa County, Moran has become the face of the East Bay Regional Park District by building strong partnerships with schools, non-profits, and community groups. Moran has been a leader in developing curriculum, and creating library talks, community science programs, children’s programs, and kayaking programs. Much of his creative programming has highlighted the unique ecosystem of the California Delta, through programs such as the Children’s Wetland Storytime, Big Break Wetland Walks, Citizen Science Monitoring Program, and Delta Cruise interpretive programs.
Moran also developed the Vasco Caves Regional Preserve Interpretive Plan, authored 18 interpretive panels for the outdoor Delta Discovery Experience, and is currently developing the interpretive plan for the brand new Big Break Visitor Center at the Delta, where he is the Acting Supervising Naturalist.
Moran's ability to train and mentor others is evidenced through his establishment of the Black Diamond Mines volunteer docent program, whose volunteers reach 14 parks across the region. In addition to his frontline interpretive duties he finds time to foster partnerships, conducting docent enrichment at Oakland Museum of California and teaching water quality monitoring for the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed.
The National Association for Interpretation is a professional organization for park historians & naturalists, heritage interpreters, zoo and museum educators, park managers, and others affiliated with interpreting the natural, historical and cultural environment to the public. Find out more: www.interpnet.com.
The East Bay Regional Park District, located in the San Francisco East Bay area, is the largest regional park agency in the nation, with 65 parks, 112,000 acres, and over 1,150 miles of trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The Interpretive Services Department provides environmental educational programs at ten visitor centers and on site at schools and community venues. The newest visitor center is Big Break Visitor Center at the Delta, which opened in October 2012.