Oilapalooza went off beautifully this past weekend! A total of 164 network members attended the conference, representing a record 21 of our 29 network member organizations. This enormous showing created a wonderful sense of community among our group, which is usually scattered so wide across California and beyond!
The conference opened bright and early Saturday with Member Updates, a new opportunity for a representative of each member organization to share their group’s activities and innovations of the past year. Over Saturday and Sunday there were a grand total of 21 lectures presented in 5 sessions: Oil Spill Basics, Stabilization & Supportive Care, Disease Updates, Post-Release Studies, and Research on the Cutting Edge.
After lectures on Saturday, we enjoyed good food and good company while Drs. Mike and Greg raffled off prizes contributed by the member organizations. On Sunday, we closed the conference with a roundtable discussion of lessons learned in the Deepwater Horizon Spill response. The panel included six of the many responders from our network.
The 2011 conference is tentatively scheduled to take place in October in Southern California. And for those of you who missed the chance to get your hands (well, really, your PPE) wet in training labs, don’t worry; in 2011 we will return to the familiar format of lectures on Saturday and labs on Sunday.
An enormous thank you to the presenters for sharing their knowledge and research. Another thank you to Chris and Lavonne in particular; the success of the conference this year is due to their amazing work over this past summer. And, most importantly, thanks to all of you who came to learn with us. As a brand new OWCN-er, it was a real pleasure to meet the people who make up this network and who make wildlife spill response a reality in California. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again next year!