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Certified Interpretive Guide Training with Lauren Blickley

This November, the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui, with the UHMC Office of Continuing Education & Training, is offering certification in the nationally recognized Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) program. The CIG Certification course focuses on developing and expanding interpretive tools and techniques for guides, volunteers, park rangers, and/or individuals who deliver interpretive programs. Whether you’re a new hire, a professional looking to refresh your skills, or beginning a second career, this course will aid you in improving your presentation techniques. Participants learn the techniques to make your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic; how to use tangible objects to connect your audience to intangible ideas and universal concepts; and how to improve connections with diverse audiences and perspectives by learning how to identify different audience types, motivations, and interests. The course helps students breathe life into boring facts and figures and transform them into an engaging story.

The course is taught by Lauren Blickley, who has worked within Maui’s environmental and tourism industries for close to a decade. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science and Biology and a Master of Environmental Science and Management degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, she started off in Maui as a guide for snorkel and whale watching operations. Eventually she formed her own consulting business to improve outreach, education, and communication channels for non-profits and environmental businesses. In addition to this, she continues to exercise her tour guiding muscles by leading week long immersive excursions throughout Hawaii for adults, college level, and middle/high school students. Through the non-profit Hawaii Ecotourism Association (HEA), she assists tour operators across the state to positively influence our local environment and community.

She says, “One of the most rewarding parts of the class is watching guides who have been leading tours for 30+ years walk away with new techniques and approaches to their craft. After the class they look at their job differently and are better equipped to inspire their audiences to appreciate Maui’s unique resources, history, and culture. The class seems to reignite passion for their job.” Blickly goes on to say, “I believe this class supports sustainable tourism and promotes professional-level development within the tourism industry. It improves the standards for tourism in Hawaii and sets a higher bar for guides/interpretive professionals throughout the industry.”

Previous students had much to say about their experiences in the course:

“Lauren has such a way of keeping the class engaged – giving us the tools needed to improve ourselves, presentations, and tours.”

“The Course provides a format for guides to take a look at themselves, what they bring to the moment, and solid tools to help them improve their crafts.”

“Good use of materials to teach us to teach others. Lauren was engaging & made the materials approachable. I learned techniques that will be helpful to me now & in the future.”

“I believe it is crucial to have national standards to professionalize interpretative jobs across agencies. This training is valuable & gives us tools to succeed.”

The class meets on Wednesdays, November 07 to 28, from 8:30am to 5:30pm. To register, visit and select the option “Sustainability” under “Find you Course”, or click here.

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