The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine has appointed Dr. William Bowerman, current Vice Chair of the Ornithological Council, as one of 13 members of a new standing committee on animal welfare. Last fall, the OC nominated Bowerman for the role, after the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research issued a call for nominate experts to serve on a new Standing Committee for the Care and Use of Animals in Research. The new committee will help foster the exchange of ideas and knowledge on how best to make any future updates to the Guide for the Care and Use of Animals in Research, the primary guidance document for animal researchers.
Dr. Bowerman is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Toxicology and the Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Toxicology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a world-renowned expert on studying environmental change through its impact on eagle populations, and a highly-regarded researcher, teacher, and leader in the scientific community.
The OC has urged the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research to use this new standing committee as an opportunity to involve a subset of researchers that have been heretofore underrepresented by those involved with developing and publishing ILAR’s Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals – wildlife professionals. The Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals is widely applied to research conducted or funded by the federal government and is a suitable standard for biomedical research. However, it has little information relevant to wildlife research beyond general principles. It is crucial that scientists and researchers with experience working in the field are represented on the new committee and are able to offer their expertise and feedback on the committee tasks and deliberations. Four of the 13 standing committee’s members are involved in wildlife research; Dr. Bowerman is the sole ornithologist.