Media specialist to help visitors digitize their park experience

Stace Carter is looking to help visitors of Shenandoah National Park tell the stories of their trips using just their iPhones.

On Saturday at 1 p.m., Carter will be hosting a free workshop at Byrd Visitor Center called “Digital Storytelling.”

The workshop is part of the Carter’s stint as the park’s spring artist-in-residence program, the second in a series that began last spring.

Carter, who is director of the educational media company University Visual, has been involved in digital storytelling and video production for over 20 years.

Carter noted that he has noticed more students using multimedia approaches to classroom reports. He explained that he works with professors at the University of Virginia to provide a framework for these kinds of projects.

With his two-week residency at Shenandoah, Carter is looking to provide this same guidance to visitors, hikers and staff of the park.

“When it comes to the national parks, one of the things that’s really cool is we all love it and we all come here and take a million pictures,” Carter said.

He added, “The workshop is very much about kind of ‘how do you take that material that you gather while you’re here and do something fun or useful … with it?”

Karen Beck-Herzog, the park’s public affairs office, noted that the park was looking at the video medium for the spring artist-in-residence.

On Carter’s selection, Beck-Herzog said, “He obviously brings a huge set of experiences and interests in helping to document things.”

With Saturday’s workshop, Carter added that he will be focusing primarily on how visitors can create multimedia projects of park trips using free smartphone apps.

The goal for the workshop, Carter noted, is to look at “what you can do with what you have” as opposed to how to build a production studio. “Because everybody’s got one in their pocket now,” he added.

Carter’s residence at the park started this week and will last through June 19. He said that the entire residence – outside of Saturday’s workshop – is very open-ended.

Although he said this creates its own set of challenges, Carter also expressed that he is looking forward to exploring the stories of park rangers and thru-hikers he has encountered so far.

“The real goal is to find some compelling stories that, I think, in part reflect the [National Park Service’s] ‘Find Your Park’ theme,” Carter said.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com