OWCN believes that combining well-trained
staff and volunteers provides both best achievable care to wildlife and important benefits to the state and the community affected by a spill. Staff provide knowledge, experience and consistency, while empowering and mentoring volunteer responders to take ownership and pride in the wildlife response.
During spill management, the majority of our senior roles are staffed by experienced responders from the OWCN Management Team (based at UC Davis, Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center), as well as experienced responders from our Member Organizations. Our experienced team members allow for rapid deployment of highly trained personnel, but nearly all of them gained their first spill experience as volunteers.
Volunteers are crucial to oiled wildlife response efforts in California. The OWCN works with three kinds of volunteers:
- "Pre-trained" volunteers who are actively linked to one of our network Member Organizations
- “Affiliated” volunteers whose organization has an established role in the oil spill response structure (requires pre-existing arrangement with a government agency)
- "Spontaneous" volunteers, who are concerned members of the public who want to help out during a spill event
Maintaining an engaged response community is achieved through an active network of Member Organizations comprising of wildlife care providers, academic institutions, zoological parks/aquaria and scientific organizations. If interested in volunteering, please visit our Member Organizations page to learn more.