Teaching the teachers of tomorrow
One important task of the IZW is the transfer of newly acquired knowledge and novel assisted reproduction technologies (ART) to the international community of wildlife researchers, zoo and wildlife veterinarians and biologists. Owing to the leading role of the IZW in the fields of evolution, and wildlife genetics, diseases, and reproduction as well as its leadership in non-surgical and minimally-invasive monitoring techniques in free-ranging and captive wildlife species, there is high interest in continuing education programmes organised by the IZW. For example, since 2000, we performed over 25 international ultrasound workshops in European countries (The Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal), North America (Canada, USA) and Asia (India, Thailand) attended by more than 380 international wildlife experts. Members of the IZW are also involved in organising workshops in Europe and elsewhere on other subjects including wildlife diseases, cryopreservation (freezing and vitrification) of gametes and embryos, non-invasive hormonal monitoring, movement ecology data collection and management, statistical analysis, DNA isolation techniques and MHC-related subjects. Within the context of international congresses organised by the IZW in Berlin, four additional workshops were arranged. The main focus of these hands-on workshops (wetlabs) was to teach the techniques to the international community and to train the participants so that they may teach others. In addition, experts from the IZW are teaching at the Free and Humboldt universities in Berlin and are regularly invited to give courses in other universities across Europe. The underlying concept of all these activities is: “Teaching the teachers of tomorrow.” As we perceive it, there is a growing and global demand for such basic and practical education programmes to teach biologists and wildlife professionals both the practical aspects of wildlife conservation and management and the background knowledge to enhance their abilities to both act on their own and teach others. Please keep tune to the IZW home page for upcoming workshops and courses.