And so, just like that, Oilapalooza 2015 has come and gone. This year’s Oilapalooza drew a record crowd of more than 170 participants from 35 member organizations and affiliated agencies! Wow! It was wonderful to see all of you again, to meet new people, and to welcome new member organizations into the network. Thanks to everyone for making it such a fun and successful Oilapalooza, and thank you for deciding to spend your weekend with us.
Fun was not in short supply: Saturday was a day full of interesting talks, including several Refugio talks, one about the OSPR and OWCN inland expansion, a couple talks about the new and upcoming electronic data collection for recovery and care, among others. We also had most of the member organizations and agencies give a brief overview of any news they wanted to share. It is always enlightening to hear what groups have been up to (this year the answer to that question is MURRES…and lots of them!).
We ended the day with a reception and raffle at the hotel in Emeryville. Sunday was another exciting day, with 13 different workshops to choose from! They all took place at the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Fairfield. We had people blowing up wavy men (as one potential hazing technique), learning how to capture inland species, practicing how to place a wing wrap on a bird, and getting to open up marine mammals and birds during the necropsy workshops.
Oilapalooza is not only fun for learning new skills and hearing about new research, but it is tremendously valuable for coming together as a network. Just like each branch of a tree gives the tree its collective strength, so does each individual from each member organization and affiliated agency, in making the OWCN the best oil spill response network in the world.
I know I speak for all core OWCN staff in saying that we are so grateful for each and every one of you, and your contribution in making the OWCN amazing. See you next time.