SWFS Newsletter – July 2020

Dear SWFS Members,

Welcome to the Ninth edition of the SWFS Newsletter.

I hope this Newsletter finds everyone healthy and well. With everything that is happening this year, I can only imagine that everyone is becoming well versed in the use of online meetings platforms and virtual hangouts. It will also be no surprise to anyone to find a shorter than usual newsletter this time as recent events have forced a slower pace for many of us. That being said, there are a few notable items that the SWFS board has been working on during this time.

The SWFS board has been working on a new SWFS travel grant. This grant is to provide financial support to SWFS members seeking to visit collaborators in order to exchange knowledge and skills relating to wildlife forensic science.  The purpose of this funding will be to enable travel that is not supported by other research grants or institutional funding.  We are particularly keen to support travel costs of the early career scientists, or scientists looking to establish new wildlife forensic facilities. The availability of this grant will come as international travel begins to open.  For now, the Society would like to take advantage of the travel shutdowns and use our “virtual” time wisely to test out a SWFS Webinar Series.

The series is in its infancy planning phase.  We are looking for feedback and ideas from our members to gauge how to proceed.  Currently, the thought is to have a three-month series consisting of one episode a month that rotates across time zones.  We will use a virtual platform that will allow the series to be recorded for those who cannot attend.  Please read on page XX to provide input on the SWFS webinar series.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the SWFS 2021 workshop survey.  Your insights and thoughts will allow us to prioritize the meeting initiatives and move forward in the planning process with an increased focus on what is important to our members.

SWFS will be hosting the next conference at the Skukuza Rest Camp in Kruger National Park, Skukuza South Africa July of 2021.  At this time, the meeting date has moved to July 19-23.  This will allow us to better monitor the international travel situation before opening the meeting registration.  Once this is done we will circulate an email with a new save the date. Professor Antoinette Kotze of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and her laboratory staff are working through the details of the date change.

As always, I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to all of you that have contributed to the SWFS Newsletters, as well as to the production team that puts this wonderful work together.

Best wishes

Tasha Bauman

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