Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors

Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors logo with two deer and a conversation bubble.Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors is a collaborative education program between the Iowa DNR and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach that seeks to help Iowans address the challenge of Chronic Wasting Disease. The goal of the program is to develop a small, connected, and well-educated network of local leaders to effectively communicate about the management and mitigation of CWD.

Graduates of the three-week training program become “ambassadors” for the science-based management of CWD. Ambassadors are knowledgeable in the management, prevention, and testing for the disease and equipped with communication skills and resources to help educate others within their community. Participants can include hunters and non-hunters, community members, and anyone interested in white-tailed deer conservation and management.

Learning is achieved through in-person instructions, demonstration, and networking and short online lessons between class sessions that allow ambassadors to learn at their own pace. The program covers everything from the basics of CWD ecology to the science of science communication. The program comprises about eight hours of learning and networking with ISU and DNR educators and other concerned community members.

 first in person session covering course orientation and introduction for 1.5-2 hours; online materials covering introduction to CWD 1 hour; Second in-person session covering CWD sampling and diagnosis 1.5-2 hours; online session covering CWD mitigation and communication 1 hour; and last in-person session covering communication and graduation for 1.5-2 hours
The instructional approach of the Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors class includes three in-person sessions and two online lessons. 

Enrolling in a course

Our next public offering of the course will be in Appanoose County at the Rathbun Fish Hatchery on June 11th, 18th, and 25th from 6-9 pm. If you are interested in enrolling, please use this link.

If you are interested in enrolling in a course in a different location, please contact Adam Janke at We are actively looking for small groups (12-25 people) to offer the training with, so if you have such a group or could assemble it, we are interested in working with you.