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.   

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

Summer/Fall 2021 - Marine Protected Areas

Fall 2019 - Interpreting with Youth

Winter 2017 - Interpretation and Technology

Past issues of The Catalyst are available upon request; please email requests to Please be advised, these back issues have not yet been remediated to meet the current accesibility standards for Californians with disabililities.

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 - Partnering with Native California Indians

Summer 2011 - Interpreting Climate Change

Fall 2010 - Interpreters Roadmap for Department Operations Manual (DOM)

Summer 2010 - Power of Partnerships

Fall 2009 - $$ Money Issue $$

Spring/Summer 2009 - Interpretive Training

Summer 2008 - Children in Nature

Fall 2007 - Interpreting Cultural Landscapes

Spring 2007 - Volunteer Training

Fall/Winter 2006 - Environmental Living and Environmental Studies Programs

Spring/Summer 2006 - Accessibility

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 We prefer unpublished material, but will occasionally reprint items published elsewhere.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. Please include a photograph or illustration whenever possible. We really appreciate items submitted by email in PDF format. Please send photographs and illustrations as separate files, not inserted into your document. You may also submit original photographs or other illustrations to The Catalyst.  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.

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, contact:

California State Parks
Interpretation and Education Division
PO Box 942896
Sacramento CA 94296-0001
phone: 916 654-2249