IWRC held our 2020 Annual Members Meeting Oct 17. A full recording of the meeting is available to members (log in).
President Adam Grogan provided a brief presentation on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our other activities this year.
Active committees, including Membership; Course Development; Executive; International; Finance; and Development, provided brief updates on their recent work.
We thanked our 49 volunteers!
Adam then introduced the member slate for our upcoming board election, which will begin November 2: Ashley Ihrke and Lindsey Jones. We gave thanks to outgoing board members Laurin Huse and Lloyd Brown.
Executive Director Kai Williams took a moment to reflect on our values
- Work with passion
- Pursue collaboration
- Individuals matter
- We value our members
- Welfare and conservation work in synergy
- Wildlife doesn’t recognize boundaries
- Access to education
- We practice professionalism
- Science is our foundation
Katie provided an update on IWRC classes. IWRC started out the year of 2020 with a solid in-person class schedule. A few classes were held early in 2020, before COVID-19 became a fully realized pandemic. However, as we monitored the progression of the pandemic we quickly realized that we needed to move our classes to an online format to better serve our members and students, and ensure their safety.
The spring and summer were devoted to creating an online version of our classic Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation class. The hybrid course includes live and recorded lectures from IWRC instructors, an interactive virtual lab or a socially distanced hosted lab, and online forums for student/instructor discussion. Our first class was hosted by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in September, and the class received excellent reviews from students. Currently we have scheduled online regional courses in Michigan, Alberta, Kentucky, and Indiana. As classes are still in high demand, we hope to schedule at least three others in the US/Canada in the coming months, and work to have an online international class early in 2021.
While the pandemic has posed great challenges for us, IWRC is committed to continuing to bring our classes to students. Our Program Coordinator, Aya Cockram, and all of our amazing IWRC instructors and hosts have done a phenomenal job in developing and advancing our online Basic Class. We are grateful to them and you, our members, for being committed to improving wildlife care worldwide.
Julissa reported that we currently have 1240 members spanning 23 countries.
There are currently 172 Certified Wildlife Rehabilitators (CWRs) active in nine countries on five continents. The CWR volunteer team is working to support and connect CWRs – Kai highlighted their continual promotion of CE opportunities – especially in the face of COVID-19.
We closed out the meeting with a short but lively ‘Coffee & Tea with the IWRC’ style session that focused on member needs and issues. The session provided staff with some great ideas to further support our members.