After a little more than six years, I’m sad to say I’ll be leaving the OWCN at the end of January. At times it’s been a wild ride, but also a very educational one. During my tenure I was part of 30 different spill responses that included two of the largest oiled wildlife events in California’s history (Ventura Oiled Bird Incident and Cosco Busan). Although each response taught me something new, the common thread connecting each one was the importance of the Network and the incredible work done by staff and volunteers from our member organizations, and public volunteers as well.
I am continually impressed by all of you who show up to volunteer your time, work long hours in very difficult conditions, and give so much of yourselves to the animals tragically injured by oil spills. I cannot thank you enough and certainly wouldn’t have survived these events without you. The memories of the friends and acquaintances made “in the trenches” will last long after I leave California to begin my next adventure.
As a parting thought, I would remind you of the uniqueness of the organization we have in California. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network is a model for wildlife responses throughout the world, and it is because of the passion and foresight of Californians that it exists. You are all part of something very special. It continues to evolve, and the UC Davis staff are continually striving to improve our ability to respond to and care for California’s oiled wildlife. It’s a big job – believe me, I know. But we’re moving in the right direction, and it has been my privilege to play a part. I look forward to watching the Network as it continues to push the science and art of managing responses and caring for oiled wildlife to new levels in the future.
Thank you and goodbye.