Join the OWCN Team Today!

Do you love working with people who love working with animals? Do you enjoy sharing terrific conservation and wildlife stories with the public? Do you thrive on bring order out of chaos? If so, you have exactly the skills we need to on our team and uphold the OWCN’s mission of providing the best achievable capture and care of oil-affected wildlife during oil spill events in California.

Under the direction of the Readiness Coordinator, the Wildlife Responder Specialist provides the vision and oversight for the OWCN’s volunteer program, serves in a leadership role in areas of public outreach (internet/printed publications, K-12 education program, and public service activities), and works with the OWCN Management Team to coordinate the training and tracking of all OWCN spill responders (staff and volunteers). During oil spills in California, this position will serve as the Volunteer Coordinator and/or Staffing Coordinator.

For more details please visit the UC Davis employment website and search the job requisition number 03021713 or click here. For a more user-friendly version of the job description, please click here.

Final filing dates for this position is 27 June 2018, so check it out today!

It’s Not Just a Job, It’s an Adventure!

Last week, Mike briefly blogged about the current job openings at OWCN. If you are a regular reader on this site, you know that there have been a number of blogs over the last half year devoted to goodbyes and thank you’s. Friends and colleagues who were formerly key members of the OWCN Management Team have moved on to new and exciting chapters in their lives. Those of us who remain are excited for everything we already have planned for 2018, but we are even more excited to find out who will join our team and what new experience, knowledge, perspective, ideas and enthusiasm they will bring with them.SilhoutesI can honestly say that working at OWCN is never boring or unfulfilling. Each day dawns with tremendous potential. Many days end with my accomplishing little that I planned at the start of the day, but always succeeding in doing something that will make a difference to animals at risk from oil spills in California or around the world.  And that is true for everyone on our team, though, perhaps, we don’t always recognize it. The OWCN Management team is made up of individuals with a wide range of skills, values, and viewpoints and working with them is a unique experience. Every person on our team is expected to be a leader, providing vision and innovation when called upon but easily adapting to take on whatever task is needed to successfully produce Oilapalooza, wash an oiled snake, or do an interview on the radio.

IMGP0107The beauty of working here is you never know what your day will be, but you can bet it won’t be boring. There are few jobs where one night you might be out on the ocean catching murres with the moon just rising, the following week teaching 6 graders about oiled wildlife, and the month after, training oiled wildlife responders in Mexico or Azerbaijan.

2014-12-04 11.35.37 I don’t mean to say that working at OWCN is all fun and games, every single day – it is not.  It can be very hard work, especially during an oil spill activation, with animal lives in the balance. But I think most of us here thrive on wanting to do everything within our power to help prepare for the next spill, which will ultimately help save more animals – our ultimate goal.  So if this sounds like you, who you would like to be, or a team you would like to be part of, I hope you will apply for one of the 3 openings!


Responder Specialist:
Final filing dates for the Readiness Coordinator and Vet positions will be 19 January 2018, and the Responder Specialist due 22 January 2018.

Goodbye and thank you!

As Mike announced in his last post, I am starting vet school here at UC Davis in just a few short weeks, and Friday was my official last day.  It has been a real pleasure to work with such an exciting group over the last three years, and I am lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with so many amazing people, from the OWCN staff here in Davis to the staff and volunteers at OWCN Member Organizations who are the heart and soul of this program.  But for those of you who are standing up to cheer to see the last of me…don’t get too excited!  I’ll still be working part-time for OWCN while I’m in school.  I’ll hope to continue to see you all at OWCN events and conferences!

I can’t write this blog without a plug for the newly vacant position with the OWCN.  If you are interested in joining the team, apply now since the position closes on Friday.  For details, see Mike’s most recent blog.  

– Emily

New OWCN Staff Opening

As most of you know, Emily Whitmer, our technician extraordinaire, has been accepted into vet school here at UCD beginning this Fall. While we are happy for her, we are saddened to lose her as a permanent member of the OWCN team, and need to move forward filling this key role within the OWCN as soon as possible (but definitely before the end of the summer).

As such, please find this position description here. Please note that the role has changed somewhat in that this position will now take a greater role in supporting both field as well as facility aspects of the OWCN. The official University posting (as well as application procedures) can be found here.

If anyone has any questions about the position, I would be happy to speak with folks. Please email me at mhziccardi (at)  Thanks!

– Mike

Jobs Available!

A quick note to let folks know that IBRRC is advertising for Center Managers at both the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center (better known as the Cordelia Center) as well as the Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care & Education Center (AKA San Pedro). For more info on these key positions for the OWCN, please visit the IBRRC Job Link.

– Mike

Year of the Tiger-Part II

Don't let that cute face fool you. He may be after you next...

In February I wrote about the Year of the Tiger and how that Chinese zodiac sign is associated with change on both large (global) and small (personal) scales. When I drafted that blog post I never imagined how accurate the Year of Tiger’s characteristics would be!

To date there have been some pretty big events, including the largest oil spill in U.S. history, which has kept many of our eyes focused on the Gulf Coast. However, on a personal note, after much thought and consideration, I have decided to resign from my position as the OWCN’s Volunteer Coordinator to attend Lewis and Clark’s environmental law program.

As for the OWCN, I know we have some great people in place and will have more terrific individuals coming aboard. As for my position, we’ll likely begin the process of looking for someone to replace me in the near future, so if you’re interested in joining a team that supports a wonderful mission, keep an eye out on our blog.

Now, before you pop that bottle of champagne, I hate to break it to you, but I’ll still be around for a few more weeks. I’ll soon be heading out to the Gulf Coast for a couple of weeks to assist with the response, which means you’ll likely hear from me in the near future. So put the glasses back in the cupboards and that bottle in fridge for a later date.


Job-Wildlife Care Specialist

Are you ready to join the OWCN’s team as the Wildlife Care Specialist? As blogged earlier, January Bill recently left the OWCN’s team to move to Humboldt county. Since that time the OWCN has hired a Response Veterinarian and is happy to announce that the Wildlife Care Specialist position has been posted. If you think you have the skills to join our team and uphold the OWCN’s mission of providing the best achievable capture and care of oil-affected wildlife during oil spill events in California, please check out the job description below.

Oiled bird about to be washed during the 2009 M/V Dubai oil spill. Photo Credit: Cheryl Reynolds

Under the direction of the Wildlife Care Coordinator, the Wildlife Care Specialist provides specialized support in the area of oiled wildlife rehabilitation activities for the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN). As part of the OWCN response team, this position will serve as a key animal health technician for oiled wildlife during emergency oil spill response. During non-spill periods, this person will help ensure oil spill readiness by maintaining equipment and supplies necessary for animal care operations, help to organize and lead wildlife rehabilitation training/informational workshops for staff and volunteers throughout California, participate in public outreach activities, and assist in research activities to ensure “best achievable collection and care” of oiled wildlife.

For more details please visit the UC Davis employment website and search the job requisition number 03002706. Direct link: