LOCATION: Heiligenthal, Gerbstedt, Germany
Lars Wohlers is a co-founding member of EID and began work in the field of interpretation and design in the 1980s as a volunteer guide in one of the first German National Parks. While he loved working with visitors, he felt that something was missing. At that time there was no training, no literature, or no organisations that provided consultation regarding a professional approach to guided tours, self-guided experiences, exhibits, presentations, etc. Nevertheless this initial work inspired him to look for professional alternatives to the formerly mere intuitive approach to interpretive design and experiences. During his university studies in cultural applied sciences he came across the field of visitor studies and started working as an Associate volunteer for The Institute for Earth Education.
Besides various trips to Britain, the US and Canada to learn about and work in the field of education, earth education and interpretation of leisure sites he started his PhD on "Environmental Interpretation in the German National Parks" which he finished in 2001. During his 12 years as a research assistant at the Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Communication of Lueneburg, Germany he started consulting with various interpretive sites. In 2003 Lars established KON-TIKI - Interpretive Planning, Evaluation and Training. His work with KON-TIKI has taken him to countries all over Europe to consult, train and evaluate right through to installation of whole projects with natural protected areas, museums, science centers, botanical gardens, zoos, wildlife parks, NGOs and municipalities. He has also written and published various books and articles in German on interpretation and informal education.