Here are resources that will be useful background for developing iSWOOP programs and partnerships. They are grouped by central ideas.

Getting Started, Pointers for Scientists

Recommended for scientists

Getting Started, Interpreters

Considering adding iSWOOP to what you do? Here are some ideas for how to begin.

iSWOOP Get Ready

Interested in on-line professional development?
Download our flyer for info.

Work with the participants’ packet. We have two versions of the participants’ packet. Both give some background on the iSWOOP approach and walk readers through constructing an iSWOOP program. The first is the participant packet designed to accompany the iSWOOP Online course. It assumes multiple sessions with synchronous presentations by scientists. The other works as a resource for a face-to-face series of professional development sessions or as a workbook for a self-directed ranger.

the Participant Packet designed to accompany the iSWOOP Online course

the Participant Packet for a face-to-face series of professional development sessions or as a workbook for a self-directed ranger.

Would you like to receive a copy of the facilitator’s manual? Email

Developing an iSWOOP program

Ranger Melinda McFarland reflects on her process developing a program to highlight park-based research on landscape succession. With some trepidation, she takes on geology and the challenge to make her evening program interactive.


Searching for the Primeval Forest (Outline)

Searching for the Primeval Forest (Slides)

Looking for inspiration, sample questions, ideas for how to launch an iSWOOP program or prompt visitors to observe and interact? Check out the collection of outlines from interpreters at five parks. For each program, you can read a short bio of the interpreter, reference a handy table with line numbers pointing to important iSWOOP features, and imagine yourself leading or participating in an inspiring ranger program. Enjoy!

iSWOOP Program Examples

Other reports and publications are available here.

Finding Cool Science

Louise Allen, iSWOOP, Winston-Salem State University faculty and wildlife biologist, shares tips for finding cool science.

Presenter’s slides

The pdf version

The handout

The zoom session recording

Find more resources on the Common Learning Portal. Email to join the iSWOOP group.

Visual literacy

Science literacy


Visitor interaction

Indigenous PERSPECTIVES  for a Sustainable Environment

Indigenous people share their view of the environment. This series explores how Indigenous Science can help to manage our resources for a sustainable future. Through five sessions, we compare Indigenous and Western Science, examine language and cultural bias, and discuss food systems, land management techniques, gardening, and more! Co-sponsored by the Dunes Learning Center, Indiana Dunes National Park and iSWOOP

Science Content


A library of frog calls

Please credit Dr. Robert (Bob) Brodman

Not only can wood frogs survive freezing temperatures, but they benefit from cold weather. Check out this video on wood frogs(

Annotated _INDU-iSWOOP-VisualLibrary_June2017-TEMPLATE1-mm_annotated_LAmm  (keynote)   &  _INDU-iSWOOP-VisualLibrary_Julu2017-TEMPLATE1-mm_annotated_LAmm (pdf) of the visual library (June 2016 version).

This lesson plan includes information on wetlands: how they form, who lives there, things affecting them (like pollution). Ranger Shelby Hoyert says, “You could easily talk about wetlands and then bring in Dr. Bob’s research. This could be used in conjunction with the iPad visuals as well!”

Jug-o-Rum, an article discussing the purpose behind frog songs and vocalizations.  Written by Susan Shea as featured in The Outside Story, a weekly ecology essay series published by Northern Woodlands magazine.


Joshua Tree

Bringing Together Art and Science to Save Joshua Trees, essay by Juniper Harrower

Juniper’s slides on moths and fungal interactions:

V2.0Visual LibraryJTNP_pt1

V2.0Visual LibraryJTNP_pt2


  • Jacquelyn’s recommendations for reading on paleoecology:
      • —After the Ice Age
      • —Forests in Time
      • —Twilight of the Mammoth
      • —How to Clone a Woolly Mammoth
      • —Ice Ages and Solving the Mystery
      • —Once and Future Giants
      • —Changing Nature of the Maine Woods


The Mystery of Why This Dangerous Sand dune Swallowed a Boy

Prothonotary Warblers

Researcher Katie Percy’s Annual Report for 2017 

Researcher Katie Percy’s Annual Report 2016

Why Care About Birds?

Fall Birding in Louisiana

Read more on the Birds of Louisiana’s Coast: A Landscape of Virtual Habitats

To learn more about nano-tags and bird identification, Katie recommends the following links:


The Salamanders that refuse to grow up

Sea Level Rise

  • Interactive Maps

Sea level rise analysis

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

Climate Odyssey Interactive Map

SoundscapeCrash, BANG, Chirp

iSWOOP sponsored a series on soundscape, a truly under-appreciated resource in national parks. Every so often a sound artist or sound conservationist like Bernard Krause or Gordon Hempton makes news, but it’s a tiny blip compared to the attention paid to iconic vistas and recreational opportunities in parks. When visitors to a park ask for advice about what to do, they often want to know what to see. What if they asked, “What should I hear?” Do you have favorite sounds and listening spots? 

Get informed with

Acoustically Fascinating and Often Free: The World of Acoustic Ecology, Field Recording, Soundscape, & Soundwalking The Basics, Logistics, and an Invitation to Explore via Online Resources 
Compiled by Eric Leonardson, Associate Professor, Adj. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Speakers and Links to Recordings of the Sessions

Jacob Job, Developer of immersive sound experiences at Sequoia Kings Canyon, and coordinator of Voices of a Flyway, Member of the Sound and Light Ecology Team, Colorado State University & NPS 




Victor Minces, Developer of listeningtowaves, tools to measure and play with sound, UC San Diego




Aaron Corcoran, Prof of Biology, Univ. of Colorado, and author of studies on sonar jamming and other unexpected behaviors in moths and bats 



Eve Payor and Ranger Ashley Lord on the Young Sound Seekers program with blind and partially sighted youth at Canaveral

Young Sound Seekers contact:
Eve Payor at



NPS Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division


Young Sound Seekers program

Audio postcard by Jack Hines, 2019 artist-in-residence at the ACA Soundscape Field Station at Canaveral National Seashore

The Nature Fix by Florence Williams

The Great Animal Orchestra by Bernie Krause

World Forum for Acoustic Ecology

Digital High Fives: juniorrangersound.htm

Purchase the Junior Ranger book: Junior-Ranger

Female Birdsong: They do too sing with Lauryn Benedict, University of Colorado

Slides and video and chat

Kathleen Soler, Outdoor educator and coordinator of the Singing Insects Monitoring Program, a citizen science effort to support the work of Carl Strang

Slides and video and chat

Singing Insects, a new film!

Singing Insects Lesson Plan

Sound of Crickets, more on crickets as an indicator of temperature,

Singing Insects of the Chicago Region,
updated annually by Dr. Carl A. Strang. Contact Carl at to be added to his mailing list. Also visit his blog

Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States, John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, and Thomas J. Walker. Cornell University 2004.

Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Herschberger. Houghton Mifflin 2008. Also

Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology,

Singing Insects of North America,

Cesar Alemeida, Teaching artist specializing in recording and preserving cultural soundscapes. Cesar Almeida graduated from Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy in 2018 with a concentration in learning sciences. While studying at Northwestern, Almeida also pursued his interests in music as evidenced through his time as a creator at Solidarity Studios as well as his time as a DJ on WNUR and now private events. By the time he graduated, he had secured over $20,000 in research grants to pursue his work integrating ethnography and music production by creating culturally relevant sample packs or, in other words, sample packs that seek to historically and socially contextualize the music that they record. 

Slides and video (sound only, sorry) and chat