Happy New Year! OFWIM (and the rest of the world) faced unprecedented challenges in 2020. Our creative and tech-savvy members helped us to meet those challenges, one of which was to stage our first-ever virtual conference!
We’re now looking forward into 2021, and it’s time to renew your OFWIM membership. Visit our membership page to renew online or to print fillable forms. If you are part of an organizational membership, the person managing this membership should handle the process for you.
Many of us have had our travels constrained in this year of pandemic. Our mascot Captain Jack is no exception. Learn about Jack’s recent misfortunes, meet our new officers, and hear from one of OFWIM’s original members in the November newsletter!
A Note on our 2020 Virtual Conference
OFWIM had its first ever virtual conference this past week. With 78 registered attendees, there was amazing participation, engagement and of course we couldn’t skip a virtual raffle!
We kicked off the conference with a talk from Esri, followed by a panel discussion on COVID-19. This seemed like an appropriate addition this year as everyone has been impacted by the global pandemic. It was also a great way to hear how members have been affected and adapting to the new normal.
We were able to fill the two days with engaging presentations and conduct the business meeting accordingly. I think everyone definitely missed the in-person aspect of the conference and networking; however, it was still a great way to connect and catch up with some of the members. If anything, it’ll make next year in Fort Collins, CO that much better! Finally, I want to say thank you to the Conference Planning Committee for all their assistance this past year and helping to make this virtual conference a success.
Alongside incoming President Chelsea Krause, OFWIM members chose two new officers at the October 6 business meeting. Please welcome:
- Dyan Pursell – President-Elect
- Amy Martin Ewing – Member-at-Large
Our 2019-2020 leader Karen Horodysky is now serving as Past President, and Michael Barbour accepted another term as Treasurer.
Each year in conjunction with our Annual Conference, OFWIM hosts a fundraising raffle and a silent auction to support our Student Scholarship Program. Like the 2020 conference, this year’s raffle and auction will be conducted online!
Raffle tickets are on sale now at $1.00 apiece or 6 for $5.00. In addition, each registered conference attendee will receive one free ticket. Attendees can buy chances in the general raffle (random drawings throughout the two-day conference) or apply tickets to one or more special items in a targeted raffle.
Raffle and silent auction proceeds go 100% toward research scholarships for 1 or 2 students each year, providing funds for their research and travel assistance to attend and participate in the OFWIM conference.
Our 2019 Conference is a wrap! Thanks to all participants for coming out, collaborating, and sharing how YOU contribute to fish and wildlife information management. See you in Fort Collins, CO in 2020!
Arlyn Burgess, Associate Director for Operations and Strategic Initiatives at the Data Science Institute (DSI) at the University of Virginia, will give the keynote address at this year’s OFWIM Conference on Monday morning, October 6.
The University will formally transform the DSI into a new School of Data Science (pending final approval) and Ms. Burgess serves on the leadership team for this transition. The school’s establishment comes at a time when the amount of available data in the world is more than doubling every two years and there is a shortage of qualified data scientists. Ms. Burgess brings a unique perspective and believes that data science can be integrated into any field of study.