Derek R. Whaley

Enhancing visitor experiences since 2001
Mobile: 021 210 7591 · Email:

I am a globetrotting Californian living in New Zealand with a love for taonga and tikanga. I am an historian, researcher, and writer with nearly two decades of visitor service experience in the entertainment and museum sectors. I am an educator, public speaker, genealogist, and local historian with a passion for cultural heritage. And I am a creative dreamer capable of envisioning a project and seeing it through to the end.


Writer, Editor & Publisher

Writer and editor of two local history books which have been popular and well-received throughout Santa Cruz County, California, and neighbouring counties. Developed a robust social media marketing strategy which includes regular updates via my blog and an active Facebook group.

  • Writing & Editing (Writing Content for Books and Blogs and Formatting Content for Publication)
  • Oral Communication (Corresponding with Local Community Members, Marketing Online & Giving Public Presentations)
  • Project Management & Research (Developing, Updating & Acquiring New Content for Future Projects)

March 2012 – Present

Library Assistant

Christchurch City Libraries, Christchurch, New Zealand

Assist visitors with inquiries while overseeing the operation of an automated sorting machine, all while stopping people from running off with books and keeping things neat and tidy.

  • Visitor Assistance (Assist Guests & Oversee Photo Touch Wall Operations)
  • Training & Technical Oversight (Help Staff Learn How and Use Sorting System)
  • Collection Management (Organise Shelves & Sort Items)

June 2018 - Present

Notetaker & Exam Assistant

Disability Resource Centre, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Attend lectures and write organised, comprehensible notes. Also assist students with disabilities while they take their exams.

  • Writing & Editing (Taking Notes & Keeping them Organised)
  • Listening (Sitting in Lectures & Writing Student Responses during Exams)
  • Supervision (Overseeing Student Conduct during Exams)

February 2015 – Present

History Department Tutor

University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Helped university students understand the intricacies of medieval and early modern history, all while marking their assessments and providing constructive feedback.

  • Oral Communication (Lectured & Moderated Group Discussions)
  • Curricula Development (Implemented Lesson Plans)
  • Delivering Feedback (Marked Assessments & Essays)

February 2016 - October 2018

Special Exhibition Host

Tech Museum of Innovation, San José, California

Welcomed visitors to the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination special exhibition and provided assistance as they toured the gallery and interacted with hands-on exhibits.

  • Visitor Assistance (Attended Gallery & Oversaw Exhibit Operations)
  • Group Management (Monitored Long Queues & Checked for Venue Capacity)
  • Cultural Heritage (Understood Technologies & Film References)

October 2013 – March 2014

Historical Interpreter

Santa Cruz Seaside Company, Santa Cruz, California

Led primary-level students on an historical tour of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, while also delivering factoids about Santa Cruz history and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

  • Oral Communication (Conducted Walking Tours)
  • Curricula Development (Created and Implemented Lesson Plan)
  • Cultural Heritage (Researched Local History)

March 2012 – June 2014

Games & Arcades Supervisor

Santa Cruz Seaside Company, Santa Cruz, California

Supervised and worked with a team of 150 employees to smoothly operate 25 locations across a 0.75 km-long seaside amusement park.

  • Supervision & Training (Monitored and Assessed Employee Output and Conduct)
  • Cash Handling (Conducted Transactions & Oversaw Cash/Credit Management)
  • Visitor Assistance (Operated Work Sites & Answered Visitor Queries)

May 2010 – October 2013

Student Teacher

Garfield High School & La Presa Middle School, San Diego, California

Attempted to convey the intricacies of Social Sciences and English to a diverse group of secondary-level students.

  • Curricula Development (Assisted Master Teacher in Implementing Lessons)
  • Oral Communication (Lectured & Moderated Group Discussions)
  • Supervision (Managed Behavioural Issues)

October 2006 – May 2007

Media Services Technician

Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California

Reserved, delivered, installed, and troubleshooted all audio-visual equipment at the university in the face of tight deadlines and variable faculty expertise.

  • Visitor Assistance (Answered Calls & Helped Customers)
  • Time Management (Delivered A/V Equipment on Tight Deadlines)
  • Technical Knowledge (Understood A/V and IT Technologies)

August 2003 – May 2007


Associate Editor and Publications Committee Member

Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, California

Helped make executive decisions about literary projects sponsored by the museum, while also editing, indexing, reviewing, and contributing.

  • Project Management (Oversaw Publications Index)
  • Writing & Editing (Assisted with Committee's Literary Output)
  • Cultural Heritage (Researched and Learned Local History)

February 2013 – July 2014

Photographic Cataloguer

San Lorenzo Valley Museum, Boulder Creek, California

Organised the entire photo collection of the museum, from sorting photos, to identifying places and people, to inputting metadata into a PastPerfect archival database (similar to Vernon), to indexing the collection.

  • Project Management (Oversaw Updating of Photo Collection)
  • Cultural Heritage (Researched and Learned Local History)
  • Data Entry (Input Metadata Relating to Historical Photographs)

October 2010 – July 2014


Santa Cruz History Forum, Santa Cruz, California

Assisted the forum president in campaign to support local history projects.

  • Project Management (Assisted in Forum Projects)
  • Cultural Heritage (Interviewed Members for Research)
  • Photography (Took Photos of Members for Records)

November 2013 – April 2014


Driftwood Literary Magazine, San Diego, California

Designed the layout and oversaw the publication of a literary magazine for the students and faculty of Point Loma Nazarene University.

  • Project Management (Managed Staff Editors & Maintained Tight Production Schedule)
  • Editing & Graphic Design (Designed Layout for Magazine in Adobe InDesign)
  • Marketing (Oversaw the Sale and Distribution of Magazine to Market)

August 2005 – May 2006


September 2014 – February 2018

Swansea University

MA Early Modern History with Honours
August 2008 – January 2010

Point Loma Nazarene University

Secondary-level Teaching Credential, Social Studies
August 2006 - May 2007

Point Loma Nazarene University

BA History with Honours, cum laude
August 2002 - May 2006


I am always pursuing creative projects in history, genealogy, and board gaming. I am also an avid editor and formatting guru. The following is a sampling of the writing and editing projects I have spearheaded (click images for internal samples; right-click and Open Image in New Tab for full-sized). All layout and design are my own.

Technical Skills

  • Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, and Google Docs Productive Suites
  • Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat
  • Google Drive, DropBox, and General FTP
  • Blogger, Simple Machine Forums, and WikiMedia
  • Facebook Pages and Groups, Twitter, and Instagram
  • PastPerfect Content Management Suite
  • Able to Install and Troubleshoot Standard Audio-Video Equipment


Postgraduate Advanced Training Seminars (hands-on intensive workshops led by field experts on specific topics in history):

  • Marginalia and Markings: Medieval and Early Modern Readers (2017)
  • The Manuscript Book (2016)
  • Medieval and Early Modern Digital Humanities (2015)
  • University of Queensland Seminar (2015)

Other Training:

  • Māori Cultural Course (2018)
  • National Digital Forum Regional Meetups (2016, 2018)
  • UC Arts Digital Humanities Meetups (2016-2017)
  • UC College of Arts Tutor Training Programme (2015)


  • Royal Historical Society (2014 – Present)
  • Royal Studies Network (2014 – Present)
  • Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (2014 – Present)
  • Australasian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies [ANZAMEMS] (2015 – 2017)
  • Australasian Association of Digital Humanities (2016)