Hello! Emily Whitmer here, the OWCN’s new wildlife care specialist. I am honored and delighted to become a member of this extraordinary group. In the short time that I have been here, I have been welcomed with open arms by the OWCN and Wildlife Heath Center staff. As I read back through the blog postings, I am amazed by variety and scope of the Network’s activities over the past year. As Kyra noted in her July 7 post, we newbies we have big shoes to fill! As “the new January”, I am spending my first weeks getting up to speed on the resources and information that I’ll use as a member of the care and processing team during a spill response.
By way of introduction, let me tell you a bit about my background. Most recently, I come from Monterey where I’ve been working as a technician in a small animal (dog and cat) hospital. I am very excited to be making this transition back to wildlife medicine, which holds my strongest interests and passions. Much of my past work with wildlife has focused on marine mammal care and research, ranging from walrus in Alaska to fur seals in Australia. In Monterey I volunteered my spare time with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation program, providing care to otters in the rehabilitation facilities and contributing to ongoing research.
In these first few weeks, I am creating my own miniature immersion course in the “spill world”. As I read through innumerable documents and articles, my mind is buzzing with the knowledge of spill response and oiled wildlife care gleaned from the experiences and efforts of so many people. I feel privileged and excited to learn about and contribute to this world!