Roving with a Digital Visual Library: Increased Learning Opportunities at Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Martha Merson, Louise Allen, Pam Cox, Nicholay Hristov
Journal of Interpretation Research, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2016


Using Tablets to Increase Science Literacy among National Park Visitors

Enhancing the science literacy of national-park visitors may strengthen their emotional and intellectual connections to nature and increase stewardship. Researchers have studied the use of handheld digital devices to improve science learning in schools and museums, but more research is needed on their use in parks. In addition, the U.S. National Park Service has been encouraging its staff to inform visitors about park-based research through interactive experiences with handheld digital devices.

This study was conducted as part of a project called Interpreters and Scientists Working on Our Parks (iSWOOP) at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. The 13 interpreters in this study ranged in age from 20 to 40 years old, all had college degrees, and there were slightly more men than women. All participants had previous experience working in parks and expressed belief in the importance of communicating science to visitors.