Wrapping up 2011 and looking forward to 2012

After months of travel to far corners of the world, the entire OWCN team is finally back together in one place.  For the first time recent memory, Mike has been spotted for more than 2 consecutive days here in at our offices in Davis!  We have missed him over the past two months as he jetted across the country and the world; after 3 weeks in New Zealand responding to the MV Rena Spill, he has given lectures and trainings in Martinique, Florida, Texas, and Southern California.  Becky returned from her deployment to New Zealand the day before Thanksgiving and Nancy returned yesterday from a vacation in Nepal with fabulous stories of adventure and humorous travel mishaps.  As the year comes to a close, we are taking advantage of this opportunity to complete ongoing projects and lining up new projects for the New Year.  Here’s a sample of what we’ve been working on…

We are pushing ahead with the custom designed UPS Trackpad database, which will take the place of all animal records during spill response.  This system will enable responders to enter all animal care data directly into handheld units from the moment the animal is collected on the beach to the moment it is released back into the wild.

Along the same lines, Becky and I have been looking at software solutions to track all the California oil spill response personnel data.  We’re looking into solutions that will enable each OWCN spill responder from our Network Member Organizations to create an online profile, maintain their current contact information, sign up for and view records of their trainings such as webinars and outreach events, list availability for shifts during spill response, and record volunteer hours.

Our first ever offering of an online 8hr HAZWOPER Refresher course took place in November.  This morning, Kyra reported that she is sending out certificates this week to 73 newly refreshed HAZWOPER-ers (HAZWOPER-ites?).  All 24hrHAZWOPER personnel are required to attend an annual refresher course, so mark your calendars: the course will be offered again in June and November of 2012.

Finally, look for our Annual Update in early 2012 for a report on all of this year’s activities.  Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!


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