Annual Workshop

NAI logo final rgb 72Save the dates for our 2018 regional workshop, “Interpretation on the Edge:” Feb 27-Mar 2, 2018, Coastal Studies Institute in Skyco on Roanoke Island, NC

Plan to come learn, share, relax and grow as we gather for our annual meeting on the windy, northeast edge of our region!

Keep checking this page for information and updates.

Registration is open through February 5th!

Concurrent sessions will be held Wednesday (all day) and Friday (morning) at the University of North Carolina’s Coastal Studies Institute in Skyco, a LEED certified building overlooking the marshes of Croatan Sound! The committee is looking for innovative discussions and posters.

We are planning a green RIW so bring your own coffee mug, water bottle, straw and utensils—also bring any totebags from other workshops that you would like to swap! Plan to carpool to and from your hotel or B&B—let us know if you are bringing a van that we can use for field trips or shuttles.

Rooms have been reserved in and around Manteo—from dorms to B&Bs to traditional hotels. Download the registration packet for more information.

Each state is encouraged to produce a basket of goodies for the live auction being held on Wednesday night at a local restaurant called the Avenue Grille in downtown Manteo.

Want to help, got questions, need to share in the excitement? Contact Rhana Paris at 252-475-2344 or



Preview of conference schedule:

Mon-Tue: special one-day or two-day long sessions-possible topics include a Crash Course on Climate Change (NNOCCI-lite), longer trips down the Banks
Tues: evening program at NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, Manteo, with remarks and mingling
Wed: concurrent sessions, silent auction, lunch with keynote, dinner with live auction
Thu: field trips might include: hike in Nature Conservancy’s Nags Head Woods Preserve, stroll around Whalehead Club and Currituck Beach Light in Corolla, tram tour of USF&W’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, hike around NPS’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Wright Brother National Memorial, and much more; dinner on own
Fri: morning of concurrent sessions, final door prizes and send off

Nearest airport: Norfolk International (ORF) is about 2 hours to our north. Another, often cheaper, option is Raleigh-Durham (RDU) which is 3.5 hours to our west. Did I mention we live out on the edge!?

Previous years’ workshops:

2017 Regional Conference: “Rooted In the Land,” March 7-10, 2017, Shepherdsville, KY

P2017-sunny-southeast-workshop-logoaroquet Springs Conference Centré
395 Paroquet Springs Drive, Shepherdsville KY 40165

What a stimulating time to be part of the Sunny Southeast! After a stupendously successful Regional Workshop in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, hosted by the indefatigable Wren Smith and Whitney Wurzel of the Bernheim Arboretum, we ended the week of interpretive training, storytelling, field trips, and the making and strengthening of camaraderie with a well-restored scholarship fund that will help bring even more of you to next year’s national and regional workshops. Our phenomenal Keynote Speakers Wren Smith and NPR’s Way with Words Martha Barnette had us both laughing and in (nostalgic) tears, our visitors from both national headquarters and other regions reminded us that we are a cherished part of a larger whole, and the host of volunteers and presenters that put their all into giving us the best possible workshop succeeded wonderfully. I sincerely hope everyone was able to return home feeling a sense of connection and support among the NAI community, as that is what we’re here for: to keep those connections and support system in place and growing for all of you.

The officers, state representatives, and project chairs of the Sunny Southeast are working together to keep this sense of connection growing, and we’re looking for you to join us in whatever way you feel matches your interests, time, and talents best! Not all of us can make it to the workshops, but those exist primarily as springboards to the larger work we do as a community here in the Sunny Southeast. It’s a great place to start, but we can carry it further, to every site and member across the region. If you’d like to help us get there, please check in with the various representatives on our website contact page:, and pick one (or more) of us to get in touch with to learn more about how to get involved!

-Marisol Asselta, Sunny Southeast Director

2016 Regional Interpreter’s Workshop: February 3-6, 2016, Stone Mountain Park, Stone Mountain, GA.


Theme: Interpreting Nature and History in an Urban Environment

We had a wonderful time at the 2016 Workshop and thank all who were able to attend. Many attendees felt it was a valuable and enjoyable workshop. From price to sessions to food to facility to support for presenters, wonderful!

The 2016 Region 3 Workshop was held at Stone Mountain Park, just outside Atlanta, GA. We had cold morning temperatures, but sunny days were on the schedule. The fun started immediately as everyone checked in and began networking over the social hour. A total of 81 participants attended the regional workshop in Stone Mountain. Thursday and Saturday sessions were well received. Visit the region’s Google Drive to see pdfs of some select presentations to learn on your own.

We raised $2442 during our silent and live auctions! A HUGE thanks to everyone that brought items for the auction and those that bid on those items to help us raise so much money.

Our offsite visits took us to the Martin Luther King National Historic Site, The Atlanta History Center, Zoo Atlanta and Center for Puppetry Arts. All of the trips were great and many commented that they wish they could have attended more than one!

We appreciate our sponsors: Stone Mountain Memorial Association, Georgia Peanut Commission and Sticker Giant. We send a huge thank you to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association staff, Stone Mountain Park staff, and all volunteers from Region 3 whom stepped in where needed.


2015: Sunny Puerto Rico: A Gateway to Caribbean Nature and Culture

February 2-5, 2015, Humacao, Puerto Rico

The workshop in Puerto Rico was a big success! Thank you to everyone for being a part of it. Watch for a full recap soon. In the meantime, enjoy a few photos and click here for a link to the Facebook photo album by the Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (more than 90 photos!)



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