|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||November 19, 2004|
|Contact:||Laura Loomis, NPCA, 202-454-3918|
Arizona Resident Receives National Education Award
“In working with a variety of partners to create an interactive, engaging educational exhibit about Sunset Crater Volcano, Sue Fischer has provided park visitors with new ways to understand why this place is so special,” said Tom Kiernan, president of NPCA, who presented the award at the National Association for Interpretation Workshop in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
About 900 years after its last eruption, Sunset Crater remains the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau. Fischer’s exhibit includes a number of interactive pieces. A large yellow square on the floor with “Jump here” on its middle invites visitors to make their own earthquake; a replica ponderosa pine tree introduces visitors to species in the area, and to using tree ring analysis as a scientific tool; and although the volcano’s summit trail was closed to the public in the 1970s, visitors can see the volcano’s crater by using a computer tour. Working in partnership with the Museum of Northern Arizona, Hopi and Navajo representatives, and Northern Arizona University as well as with park staff, Ms. Fischer has developed an interactive and highly educational interpretive exhibit that presents the park’s resources and story in an engaging way to park visitors. Since the exhibit has opened, visitors have stayed longer and been more involved in the exhibit. “Sue Fischer is devoted to educating the public,” Kiernan said.
The annual National Freeman Tilden Award, co-sponsored by NPCA and the National Park Service since 1982, recognizes outstanding contributions to the public through interpretation by a Park Service employee. Revered as an author, philosopher, and master of interpretation, Freeman Tilden (1884-1980) was a champion of America’s national parks who continues to inspire millions of visitors and park interpreters.