Interpretation is fun!



Spoiler Alert:  These are the answers to my recently launched "Public Lands Puzzles" series: Word puzzles naming our nation's vast and beautiful public lands. To get next month's installment, just drop me an email.

Uh-oh. Are you stumped?  Find the answers to Public Lands Puzzle here:

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Folkston, Georgia 


Known to early Indian tribes as “The Land of the Trembling Earth,” the Okefenokee is a vast cypress swamp (actually a type of peat bog) on the Georgia-Florida line. Think alligators -- lots of alligators.  My favorite adventure there:  Watching a family of sandhill cranes step delicately through the wetlands. The baby was still young and clumsy on long unsteady legs, like a foal.  He kept falling down in the muck. See samples of our work on the visitor center. 



Washington Monument Repairs 

 When's the last time you looked out over Washington, D.C., from the top of the Washington Monument? Try it again this spring, when this iconic landmark reopens, with earthquake repairs and new exhibits planned by a team including yours truly.  READ MORE

Nature's Navigators 

Every time I work on interpretive panels for another National Wildlife Refuge, I am astonished – again! – by the incredible journeys made by millions of birds every year. Read more... 

Traveling El Camino Real

Thanks to funding from the FHWA National Scenic Byways program, we have a great assignment this fall: creating interpretive signs for a section of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail in Santa Fe, NM.  Read More... 



Atlanta: City in a Forest

How does a fast-growing city keep its trees? Just ask Trees Atlanta – a non-profit dedicated to protecting existing trees and planting new ones throughout metro ATL. 

GIG just finished TA's new signage!


Swimming, Anyone?

A lone lifeguard chair remains at Horseshoe Bend Beach in Montana's Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. 

I'm spending most of a Georgia January daydreaming of faraway places-- Read More




Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

What’s Down There? [Walk-in Swamp Submarine interactive]

What if you could tour the Okefenokee in your own Swamp Submarine?  What mysterious creatures would you find?

Look through the portholes to explore the Okefenokee’s  underwater world. Then check the drawers to see what else we found.

 Fascinating Fish   [Swamp Submarine Porthole]

Going fishing?  Down here below the surface, the tea-colored waters of the Okefenokee hide nearly 40 species of fish.  The water is calm, but don’t be fooled:  It’s a fish-eat-fish world.  Look through the portholes for these members of the fishy food chain….

Eeek!  An Okefenokee Salamander Quiz

If dwarf sirens have two legs, striped newts have four legs, and a Southern two-lined salamander has two lines running up its back, how many toes are on a two-toed amphiuma?

Answer:  Eight, of course!  If you were confused by this North American salamander’s common name -- the Congo eel - you probably forgot to count the two toes on each of its tiny back legs.

 Life in the Cypress Canopy [Stairs to Fire Tower] 

The Okefenokee teems with life above and below what you see on the surface.   Many plant and animal species live in the forest canopy--the tangle of tree limbs, vines, and Spanish moss at the top of the forest.  Like all the Okefenokee’s habitats, the cypress canopy exists because of the age-old interplay of earth, air, fire and water in this unique ecosystem. Climb the tower to get a “bird’s-eye view.”  If you’re really observant, you’ll spot at least ten species who prefer life above the ground.