The Catalyst Newsletter

The Catalyst is "The Newsletter for Interpretation in California State Parks."  In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that starts or speeds up a reaction. Likewise, in The Catalyst you will find thought-provoking, useful and entertaining information that will help your work or fuel a discussion. The Catalyst includes everything from news stories to reflections from interpreters; from ideas for programs and recommendation of tools, to guidance and advice on issues related to interpretation.  The Catalyst is published periodically, usually two to four times per year. Since 2006 each issue has focused on a single topic, and has been compiled by a different guest editor. Past issues starting with Spring 2000 are included below.

Read this before downloading documents:

Personal use of the documents made available for download on this site is encouraged. However, no document or any portion thereof may be used for commercial purposes, nor may they be published in any medium or format without prior written permission from the State of California. All commercial rights to use materials made available on this site are reserved by the State of California unless expressly granted otherwise in writing. For commercial use, contact the Interpretation and Education Division at (916) 654-2249 or

Winter 2017 - Interpretation and Technology

Spring/Summer 2015 - Outdoor Recreation Interpretation

Summer 2014 - 150 Years of California State Parks

Spring 2014 - Unlocking the Mysteries of Intellectual Property

Fall/Winter 2012 - Partnerships with Native California Indians

Summer 2011 - Interpreting Climate Change
Fall 2010 - Interpreters Road Map to DOM Chapter 900

Summer 2010 - Power of Partnerships

Fall 2009 - The Money Issue

Spring/Summer 2009 - Interpretive Training

Summer 2008 - Children in Nature

Fall 2007 - Interpreting Cultural Landscapes

Spring 2007 - Volunteer Training

Winter/Fall2006 - Accessibility and Interpretation

Spring/Summer 2006 - Environmental Living and Studies Programs

Prior to 2006, The Catalyst newsletters were not focused on specific topics as they are today, they were general newsletters with articles on a variety of topics.

Spring 2005 

Winter 2004

Fall 2003

Summer 2003

Spring 2003

Winter 2002-03

Fall 2002

Summer 2002

Spring 2000

Summer 1999

Winter 1999

Summer 1998

Spring 1998

Fall 1997

Summer 1997

Winter-Spring 1997

Summer 1996

Spring 1996

Fall 1995

Spring 1995

Winter 1995

Fall 1994

Summer 1994

Spring 1994

Fall 1993


Contributor's Guidelines

The Catalyst welcomes your original articles up to two pages in length. We prefer unpublished material, but will occasionally reprint items published elsewhere. Be sure to include information about the publication so we can get permission to use the material. If you have an article relating to one of the topics listed below, please submit it to the publisher or guest editor. Please include a photograph whenever possible. We really appreciate items submitted on CD or by email in a PDF format. Please send photographs as separate files, not inserted into your document. You may also submit original photographs or other illustrations to The Catalyst. All photos and artwork submitted will be returned promptly. We reserve the right to edit all material. Items are selected for publication solely at the discretion of the publisher and guest editor. We appreciate your suggestions.

Among the topics we’re planning for future issues are:

Social Media and Interpretation
Interpretive Planning
Marketing Interpretive Programs
Focusing on Education

To submit an article or inquire about submissions, contact the Interpretation and Education Division, PO Box 942896, Sacramento CA 94296-0001; phone: 916 654-2249; fax: 916 654-9048; email:

For More Information

For more information on The Catalyst or to change your address or request a free subscription, contact:
California State Parks
Interpretation and Education Division
PO Box 942896
Sacramento CA 94296-0001
phone: 916 654-2249