Facilities with a Purpose: Member Highlight Taylor Spiliotis
As many of you know OWCN has an extensive network of member organizations as well as a network of purpose-built facilities. Each of these facilities were strategically placed throughout California to facilitate a rapid response in the event of an oil spill. Many of these facilities built at the turn of the millennium with our partners at OSPR, require constant upkeep to maintain functionality of the facilities systems. To name a few facilities: the Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care and Education Center (LAOBCEC) in San Pedro, San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center (SFBOWCEC) in Fairfield, and the Marine Wildlife Care Center (MWCC) in Arcata. Maintaining these facilities not only falls to the OWCN management team, but heavily relies on our member organizations who operate out of them.
Two of these facilities LAOBCEC and SFBOWCEC are home to our member organization International Bird Recue (IBR). Their mission when not activated in an oil response capacity is to “Inspire people to act toward a balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis.”
Just last month I traveled to San Pedro to familiarize myself with LAOBCEC and address any ongoing maintenance issues. Luckily, I wasn’t flying blind so to speak, I had Taylor Spiliotis to show me the ropes of all thing’s facilities at LAOBCEC. Taylor a staff employee with our member organization IBR serves as a Facilities & Safety Associate for the Los Angeles Center. This introduction leads me to the true purpose of this week’s blog, which is to highlight Taylor. Who not only serves as an employee for IBR, but as a member organization responder with OWCN.
Now let’s hear from Taylor!
Tell us a bit about yourself (Background, favorite bird species/ mammal etc.):
Well, I grew up in Moreno Valley, about 60 miles east of LA. I played the trumpet on cruise ships for about 7 years starting in 2012, had a couple jobs in manufacturing after that and then found my way to IBR in March 2021. As far as my favorite bird goes, it’s maybe a bit of a cheater pick because they are so charismatic, but I think Brown Pelicans are probably one of my favorites right now. Who doesn’t love a Pelican? Although Western Gulls are somewhere up there too. They’re so full of personality and you have to admire a species that adapts to the built environment as well as they do.
How long have you been with IBR?
Going on about 2 ½ years now.
What is your current role with IBR and what does it involve? What’s your favorite part of your role?
My title is Facilities & Safety Associate for the Los Angeles center, but I do a bit of everything. A lot of my day-to-day involves performing preventative maintenance on equipment, smaller plumbing and electrical repairs and alterations, constructing, and altering enclosures, maintaining safety logs, conducting emergency drills and many other things. I’ll also lend a hand in the clinic assisting with simple bird care on occasion. My favorite part of my role has probably just been learning to understand all the different systems that make a wildlife rehabilitation/spill response facility function. It’s a very unique facility.
What is the best event/response you have participated in?
I’d say being in the field during the 2021 Elegant Tern nesting response in Long Beach harbor. I was a part of the recovery team, as well as the team responsible for designing, constructing and deploying the haul-outs. The willingness of not only IBR staff and volunteers, but a number of different organizations and agencies including OWCN, to do whatever it took to give these incredible birds a chance to survive was truly inspiring to see and was an absolutely incredible response to be a part of.
Anything else you would like the network to know?
Just to say that I’m extremely appreciative of the partnership between IBR & OWCN, and to give a special thank you to Wendy and Danny for always being available to lend their knowledge and advice on all thing’s facilities related.
I want to give a big thanks to Taylor for all that he does to maintain the Los Angeles center. The work he does not only helps maintain readiness for OWCN, but continues to facilitate IBR’s ongoing mission.
Thanks for reading.
Wildlife Logistics Specialist