The Organization

More Information
About AWE
Jim Fowler
How you can help
In 1994, Global Communications for Conservation, a New York-based conservation organization, joined Jim Fowler and his Center for Wildlife Education as co-founders of "AWE".

A national mailing was sent to professional lecturers- asking them for their thoughts on the need for an organization to represent and promote -their interests. The response was very positive. Educators from zoos, parks, museums, nature science centers, and private individuals all wrote in support of this need. Government regulatory agencies and human groups responded favorably as well, with the expressed hope that such an organization could work with their agencies to help guarantee public safety and humane care and treatment for animals while participating in this very effective educational endeavor.

"One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human."

-- Loren Eisley

An ad-hoc steering committee has drafted the mission statement, purpose and by-laws, identified goals and objectives, developed a mailing list and provided guidance for the eventual formation of a self-sustaining membership organization. The Articles of Incorporation have been approved and the 501C-3 filing for not-for-profit status has been completed.

The next step will be to organize regional workshops in order to create a network of members, call for a national conference where all aspects of the profession can be discussed -- a first for the spokespeople of the natural world. Criteria will be established and officers elected. Representatives of all interested parties are invited to present papers or join seminars. Sample lectures will be given by selected professionals. There will be opportunities for open, free discussions, communication of opinions, new ideas, areas of expertise and concern -- all for the good of wildlife, wilderness and the future of humankind.

Because of its special ability to reach the public, "AWE"' can be one of the most effective educational forces we have for saving the natural world.

Animals who act as ambassadors for their wild kin by being seen up close and personal are one of the most powerful subjects for forming those connections. Every wildlife lecturer has experienced the wide-eyed amazement of school children when an animal appears before them. A communication occurs with the live animal that just does not happen with the help of slides or film. The experience often has a lasting effect. Time and again, today's professional biologists, wildlife managers, zoo staff and conservationists have said that their interest began when a lecturer brought an animal to their school and they experienced its personality firsthand.

A powerful educational technique such as this should be fostered, not prohibited at a time such as this when we are in danger of losing so much of the natural world. Standards should be set, messages identified and missions defined so that this invaluable profession can be advanced and perpetuated. Only a strong group of dedicated spokespeople can accomplish this.

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