Denali vet takes chief of interpretation post at Mount Rainier

parks: She also is a master storyteller, she grew up in Port Angeles

jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.comNovember 11, 2012 

Ingrid Nixon has been hired as the new chief of interpretation at Mount Rainier National Park.

Nixon will be in charge of the park’s interpretive, volunteer/outreach and education programs and the park’s social media content.

She fills the position held by Lee Taylor, who left in March to become superintendent at San Juan Islands National Historic Park. Nixon is expected to start her new job in January.

Nixon, 49, is currently the chief of interpretation at Denali National Park in Alaska. Having grown up in Port Angeles, Nixon heads Denali’s visitor services and education programs, including the Murie Science and Learning Center, which facilitates science and science education in eight of Alaska’s northern national parks.

With a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Washington, Nixon has written, hosted and/or narrated numerous films about national parks. She won several national awards for a film about Glacier Bay’s underwater world.

Nixon not only possesses strong interpretive skills, she also has proven to be a valued member of Denali’s management team. Those are skill sets that will benefit Mount Rainier, said deputy superintendent Tracy Swartout.

Nixon’s involvement in the nationwide storytelling community began about a decade ago when she attended the Forest Storytelling Festival in Port Angeles.

“I also think it’s terrific to have a master storyteller as our chief of interpretation,” Swartout said. “Interpretation is telling the story of the park’s natural resources in ways people can build those personal relationships.”

Swartout expects that Nixon will start by assessing Mount Rainier’s current programs.

“Any chief of interpretation has to look at our current operations – be it education programs, social media, volunteer efforts – and see that the mix of what we do is appropriate,” she said. “The end goal is to help visitors build a personal relationship with Mount Rainier.”

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure

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