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
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
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
Search | Contact
Copyright 1998-2000, GCCI