Outside of my work as a clinical social worker, I belong to several organizations that support wildlife conservation, including the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union and the National Audubon Society. Founded over 80 years ago, the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union (IOU) promotes the study and protection of the state’s birds. The Union also offers a variety of activities and programs geared toward hobbyist birdwatchers as well as professionals in the field of conservation. The Iowa Ornithologists’ Union publishes two quarterly journals, Iowa Bird Life and IOU News. Additionally, the Union organizes birding trips both in state and across the country. Semi-annual meetings also allow bird lovers to network and learn more about the field, and the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union website hosts a photo gallery of rare or unusual bird sightings. For conservation professionals, the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union offers a project grant program. Reviewed by a board of ornithologists, proposals are evaluated on the basis of their ability to protect or improve important bird habitats or contribute to the scientific understanding of Iowa birds. Grants are usually disbursed in conjunction with the annual IOU spring meeting. More information on the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union is available at www.iowabirds.org. The National Audubon Society strives to conserve and restore ecosystems for birds and other animals through its series of scientific and educational programs, as well as through advocacy activities conducted by the organization’s nature centers and chapters. Founded over 100 years ago, the National Audubon Society grew out of a movement protesting the illegal killing of birds. Through the organization’s efforts, anti-poaching laws and hunting regulations were instituted, and President Theodore Roosevelt created the first National Wildlife Refuge. In more recent years, the National Audubon Society has led scientific research efforts that have proven instrumental in bird conservation efforts. The National Audubon Society has played a major role in assessing the risk to birds posed by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and it has maintained an annual Christmas bird count every year since 1900. The National Audubon Society offers a range of educational activities for children and adults, and over 1 million people visit Audubon Centers across the United States on an annual basis. For young students, the Audubon Adventures program offers in-class and after-school programs that can be integrated with local curriculums. For more information on the National Audubon Society and its activities, or to become a member, visit www.audubon.org.
Tag Archives: Ava S. Dorrance
Ava Dorrance has touched innumerable lives in more than twenty years as a social worker specializing in mental health. Her first job was with Covenant Medical Center, where Ava Dorrance designed a treatment program for those with eating disorders and led therapy sessions for individuals, families, and groups. Ava Dorrance later worked as a Mental Health Consultant for the Iowa Department of Human Services, a Psychiatric Social Worker for the Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health, a Psychiatric Social Worker and Therapist for Genesis Psychology Associates, and a Psychiatric Social Worker for the Cass County Memorial Hospital, her current position. In her community, Ava Dorrance has donated to her local library and has also been involved with the American Cancer Society and The Humane Society. She also participates in charitable events organized by her church. Volunteering with the YMCA Service Club, Ava Dorrance recently helped raise funds to cover the costs of a daycare center and summer camp programs. In her free time, Ava Dorrance enjoys socializing with friends and family and is an avid reader. Especially fond of books related to psychology and spirituality, Ava Dorrance counts Kenneth S. Pope, Eckhart Tolle, Patricia Cornwell, and Willa Cather among her favorite authors. Ava Dorrance also strives to stay in shape through hiking and weight training. Currently residing in Iowa, Ava Dorrance is a member of the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union and the National Audubon Society. In addition to working full-time, Ava Dorrance has devoted herself to the care of her elderly parents.