|NWRA Symposium FAQ|
Q: Do you have a how to guide for the Symposium?
There is a "Tips for Successfully Navigating the Symposium" PDF. This can be view/downloaded by clicking here or by visiting the 2017 Symposium Page on the website.
Q: Currently I am not rehabilitating and do not intend to go to the Symposium, but I would like to support NWRA and the Symposium. How can I do this?
If you would like to assist with an NWRA Symposium you can:
Contact the NWRA Office and they will refer you to the appropriate person in charge.
Q: It seems expensive to attend a symposium—will it be worth coming?
Yes, symposium attendance is an investment, but you already invest an enormous amount of time and energy in your wildlife work. And many rehabilitators invest their own funds too. Coming to the symposium is an investment along the same vein—one for the benefit of the animals and for yourself. Knowing what is best and most effective for the animals not only provides optimum care for them, it also eliminates wasted time, energy, and in some cases heartbreak, and money, on your part. You help wildlife because you care; be among those who care enough to stay abreast of everything new, just as other health care providers do.
Q: Why does the symposium cost what it does? Can’t you make it cheaper?
NWRA works very hard to keep the registration and workshop fees affordable. Many training courses and conferences cost $75 to $125 PER DAY, including other nonprofit organization events. You would be amazed at the costs to produce an NWRA symposium! So the registration fee for four days of presentations and small workshops fees are actually much more reasonable than you may realize. To keep the fees this low, NWRA must:
Not everything can be negotiated, donated, or borrowed so there are always expenses that may not be apparent when one is simply attending the symposium.
Q: I haven’t been able to afford to attend. Where can I find money?
Q: I have been doing rehabilitation for many years. Will I learn enough to make it worth my attending?
Yes! There is always more to learn—more techniques being developed, more knowledge to share, more research about nutrition, new disease emergence, etc. Be sure you are not among those caught in the grip of complacency and using outdated and less effective methods, products, and approaches. To get the most benefit from the many opportunities available at this amazing event, come with:
Q: Why are there so many choices happening at once? I want to attend everything but I can’t!
The program is designed with concurrent sessions, usually four at one time, some lectures and some hands-on labs. This allows people to choose what is most needed. Because not everyone rehabilitates all species, or offers educational programs, or provides medical treatments, presentations are scheduled so at any one time there are choices for everyone.
Q: Can I move between rooms during sessions?
Yes, you can change rooms. Choose to attend those things that benefit you most! Each session consists of several individual presentations. You need not stay for all the presentations in a particular session.
Q: Why do your programs look pretty much the same from year to year? That’s why I don’t come every year.
At a glance, you may think the program is very similar to other years
because NWRA may group speakers and sessions under similar headings,
such as Mammals or Administration. BUT, the individual speaker topics
and presenters within each session vary from year to year, OR a
returning speaker is presenting new information or a new approach
Q: I feel I don’t know enough to attend. Will I be lost and confused?
Everyone at every level is welcome to attend and will derive great benefit! There is much going on and you MAY feel confused or overwhelmed—but you don’t have to feel this way. We suggest you try the following to meet others and become part of the community:
Q: I’ve never attended an NWRA Symposium. What can I expect?
You can expect:
Q: How can I get ALL the handouts, not just those from presentations I attend?
NWRA has a system for handouts—we ask all speakers to submit handouts prior to the symposium, that then are posted on our website. When you register for the symposium, you receive a password to access the handouts and may download and/or print them. However, not all speakers submit handouts and some wait until after the symposium to provide them. But the benefits of this system are that more speakers are preparing handouts, very few printed handouts are used for presentations, and registrants have access to ALL handouts available via the Internet. For Symposium 2011, more than 70 handouts were available!
Q: I’m just an in-home rehabilitator and feel that most stuff is over my head or that people may look down on me.
First of all, NEVER say you are JUST an in-home rehabilitator! Most rehabilitators in the US describe themselves as “in-home,” “independent,” or “individual” rehabilitators, so you are in the majority! Each of you is very important to the animals you help, to NWRA, and to the nationwide rehabilitation community! DO COME to the Symposium. You will be able to find something in every presentation that will help with your wildlife work. Everyone is different and has different needs for their situation. If you are open to learning, other people are happy to talk with you or steer you to someone you should meet! NWRA members and symposium attendees include a VERY wide range of individuals, but all share the same primary interest in wildlife:
This means MORE opportunities to find information, techniques, advice, and assistance you are seeking. There ARE others with similar interests, experience levels, needs, and concerns; you can seek them out and make the connections.
Q: What is the Meet & Greet or the New Member Meeting?
A one-hour Meet and Greet meeting is scheduled on Tuesday evening of the Symposium for new NWRA members and first time symposium attendees, but EVERYONE IS WELCOME. After an introduction to NWRA and a brief explanation of how the symposium runs, people gather in small groups to meet others and get acquainted, to meet NWRA board members, and to ask any questions. Attendees have told us that it really helps them get oriented, more comfortable, and make friends.
Q: How do you find speakers for all the symposium talks?
Some individuals fill out the Presentation Application Form, some are recruited by the Program Coordinator, and some are recommended by members. You also are among those who can contribute to the knowledge foundation in our field. Your experience and expertise should be shared, so your current colleagues, as well as those that follow you, will have the benefit of what you have learned and don't experience the same trial and error. Consider giving a presentation in your area of expertise at the symposium.
Q: I wish NWRA would have a symposium near me. How do you choose a location?
Each year the NWRA Symposium Coordinator searches for a suitable place. It must have:
It is becoming more difficult each year to hold down expenses (and thus fees) due to the increasing costs of everything in our economy.