GDW2018 Participant Diversity, Expertise and Group Exercise

The GDW2018 workshop selected 20 participants from Norway, United Kingdom, Nepal, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, and Australia and researchers from across the United States.

GDW2018 participants (12 women and 8 men) included four university faculty; four wildlife professionals from nonprofits and federal agencies; two post-doctorates; and ten graduate students completing their PhD or DVM/PhD programs.  An additional four auditors (senior graduate students and post-docs) from CSU and University of Wyoming were accepted to the workshop with free tuition. The participants each gave a short overview of their research interests in using genomic tools for wildlife disease during Day 1 & 2 which are presented here: GDW2018 Participant Presentations.

Our group exercise focused on creating analytical workflow from project design to interpreting results to formulate ‘best practices’ for NGS data in wildlife disease.  For this exercise, teams of participants each tackled a unique scenario provided by the organizers and applied their knowledge acquired each day of GDW2018 to refine their workflow scheme.  On final day of the workshop, these workflows were presented to the group for comments and discussion of the overall exercise.

GDW2018 Participants, Speakers & Organizing Staff

Survey Outcomes

The organizing team of GDW2018 is pleased to report participant survey outcomes for the 2nd workshop event. A post-event anonymous survey was conducted using the online SurveyMonkey tool whereby the 20 participants and 4 auditors were asked to provide scores for different aspects of the workshop using the scale:

5 (Outstanding)                  4 (Excellent)                 3 (Good)                       2 (Fair)                          1 (Poor)

All twenty-four respondents (100%) were extremely positive, provided excellent feedback, and encouraged organizers to plan a third workshop for June 2-8, 2019.

Survey Highlights:

1) Overall Impact: GDW2018 received very high overall scores for workshop quality (4.75 of 5) and venue (4.85 of 5).  Specific features consistently scored high for scientific quality (4.7), value for networking (4.6), educational content (4.6) and venue (4.3).

2) Logistics & Planning: Fourteen aspects regarding pre-workshop communication with participants, travel and registration, website, meals, accommodations, computer support & workstations, and other basic logistics implemented by the workshop organizing team (Jill Pecon-Slattery, Sue VandeWoude, Joe Strecker, and Edit Szalai) received a weighted average of 4.4 of 5.

Special recognition and high scores (4.9 of 5) goes to Joe Strecker and his IT team for their meticulous preparation, software implementation and testing, network and internet access, and onsite presence to ensure the flawless performances of the MacBook Pro computers that were an essential and unique feature of the workshop format.

3) Core Instruction: Our returning team of Core Instructors (Mark Stenglein, CSU; Bob Fitak, Duke University; Jill Pecon-Slattery, CSU/Smithsonian; and Chris Funk, CSU) and workshop TA’s Justin Lee (CSU) and Daryl Trumbo (CSU) scored a weighted average 4.4 of 5.

4) Special Invited CSU faculty: Our special segment featuring exciting ‘Flash Talks’ in morning seminars by invited CSU faculty who are using genomics in their own real-world projects of wildlife diseases, were overwhelmingly well-received with favorable remarks from all 21 respondents who provided comments.

5) Evening Plenary talks from Invited Experts: Our invited evening plenary experts from other institutions using genomics to advance our understanding of current pandemics in wildlife (Tracey Goldstein of UC-Davis and the global surveillance PREDICT2 program; Jeff Foster of Northern Arizona University on brucellosis and a 2nd talk on White Nose in bats) received enthusiastic responses from our participants described by some as  ‘worthwhile’, ‘very beneficial’, ‘enjoyable’, ‘inspiring’, ‘impressive’, ‘amazing’,  and ‘very interesting’.

Questions? Email us at