OWRT is a comprehensive oiled wildlife response training program designed with online and in-person components to maximize the efficiency of delivering information to participants. OWRT online offerings use modern teaching methods and interactive online techniques to convey materials. This ensures a high level of workplace efficiency by minimizing time spent away from normal duties. The scenario-based in-person practical courses are delivered by experienced trainers in oil spill response, and can be modified to meet specific organizational needs.
OWRT is a key component to a complete oiled wildlife response preparedness program for clients, which also requires detailed contingency plans and appropriate equipment and facilities. OWRT trains to international best practice standards for oiled wildlife response and management.
The University of California at Davis (UC Davis) and Massey University are the only two Universities in the world with comprehensive oiled wildlife readiness and response programs. These world leaders in higher education are at the forefront of oiled wildlife research – advancing knowledge of best practice in the management and care of oiled wildlife. UC Davis and Massey University have led more than 70 oiled wildlife responses throughout the world. This OWRT has been developed and delivered by these highly experienced oil response researchers, trainers, and practitioners.
The Massey University team – Wildbase Oil Response – is attached to the Institute of Animal and Veterinary Biomedical Science and has a purpose to minimize the damaging effects of oil pollution on wildlife globally. Through research, education and hands-on leadership, Wildbase’s team of highly capable professionals has built a capability in effective and efficient oiled wildlife response based in New Zealand. Wildbase has led New Zealand’s oiled wildlife capability in partnership with Maritime New Zealand since 1998.
The University of California team are within the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, a Center of excellence within the UC Davis school of veterinary medicine. The mission of the center is advancing the health of wildlife in balance with people and the environment. Key elements of the Center are the oil spill programs which provide regional, national, and international readiness and response activities to support its mission. This program is best exemplified by its leadership of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) – a program began in 1994 in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a consequence of the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Since 1995 the OWCN has responded to over 75 spills throughout California, caring for over 8,000 oiled birds and marine mammals. Additionally, the Karen, C Drayer Wildlife Health Center has led or participated in spill responses both nationally and internationally, including the Macondo Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.