AOS Joins other Scientific Societies and Associations to Urge Immediate Reversal of Executive Order Banning Immigrants

Dear AOS members:

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) stands with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Research!America, and other professional and scientific societies in opposing the recent White House executive order on visas and immigration, reaffirming the Society’s support for free exchange of information, diversity, and global collaboration. As the world’s largest professional society dedicated to advancing the scientific knowledge and the conservation of birds, the AOS recognizes that this order poses a threat to long-held American values, and the values of this Society. It is already having a chilling effect on scientists whose work is made stronger through engagement with colleagues from around the world.  The AOS pursues a global perspective in all of its programs, and invests its human and financial capital on promoting scientific exchange throughout the world.  Advancement of science has served the American people well for two centuries, driving better health and a stronger economy. It has challenged and united us as a nation to confront devastating diseases, to explore the universe, and to discover and conserve new plant and animal species.

American science, across all disciplines, has always relied heavily on the work of researchers from around the globe.  The taxon to which we dedicate our science — birds —  knows no borders.  AOS recognizes that innovation and scientific advancement is only possible through a comprehensive knitting together of the global science community, because new knowledge comes from diverse voices and experiences. The U.S. culture, economy, and our scientific enterprise has always benefited from the contributions of immigrants and refugees.  Policies are needed now to ignite that spark of creativity and ingenuity, and to bring different voices together, which has always been at the heart of what defines America and how we succeed.

Together with other member organizations of the scientific community, the AOS is urging the administration to work with the scientific community in crafting an appropriate solution – one that recognizes that science cannot be contained within borders.

What can you do?  AOS members can make their voices heard by sending a letter to the president and their members of Congress to reject the recent executive order on visas and immigration.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and for demonstrating our ethic for working together as a scholarly community as we confront these emerging challenges.

Sincerely,

steve-signature

Steven R. Beissinger

President

AOS is a signatory on the following AAAS letter to the President: multisociety-letter-on-immigration-1-31-2017

 

 

 

Apply for Research Awards Now!

Attention students and postdocs: it’s time to apply for AOS Research Awards! Awards are open to members (if you’re not a member yet, join AOS). See all eligibility information and application guidelines.

Deadline: January 27, 2017, at 12:00 P.M. EST.

Rufous Hornero by Dario Sanches CC BY-SA 2.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 via Wikimedia Commons http://ow.ly/VfYX307GdYxRufous Hornero by Dario Sanches CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Join AOS or Renew Your Membership

It’s here! Visit the new OSNA Member Portal to join or renew membership in the American Ornithological Society. (Check out the benefits of membership.) This portal serves all of the Ornithological Societies of North America, including the Association of Field Ornithologists, Raptor Research Foundation, and Wilson Ornithological Society.

Former members of the recently-merged American Ornithologists’ Union and Cooper Ornithological Society can now renew as members of AOS. Life Members of AOU or COS now have AOS life memberships and need not renew (but can use the portal to update personal information, join other societies, or donate!).

If you need assistance, please check the help page or contact Scott Gillihan at OSNAmembers@gmail.com or 312-883-4670.

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Role of Science in the Trump Administration

AOS is among 59 organizations to sign a letter from the American Institute of Biological Sciences to President-elect Trump, exhorting him to prioritize scientific research and education. The text of the letter is below.


December 22, 2016

Dear President-elect Trump:

As leading scientific organizations in the biological sciences, we write to encourage you to make scientific research and education a priority during your administration. Part of what makes America great is our capacity to generate new knowledge and ideas that spur innovation and drive the development of new economic opportunities for all Americans.

We respectfully request that you take swift action to:

  1.  Make scientific research a budget priority
  2.  Appoint a Presidential Science Advisor with strong scientific credentials
  3.  Direct your administration to use peer-reviewed scientific information to inform decisions

Biology is the science of life. Every day, discoveries arising from biological research contribute to improved human health and economic security. Biology is a foundational science from which we build new antibiotic and antiviral medications, translate findings from genetics laboratories into the development of more drought tolerant food crops, and develop new materials inspired by biological compounds and structures. Biological diversity surveys, for example, provide us with the information we need to identify and model diseases, such as Ebola and Zika, which can jump from wild animal populations to humans. Insights derived from our investigations into the human microbial biome are improving our understanding of various health conditions and diseases, such as food allergies, Crohn’s and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, among many others. Biological research enables us to make more informed decisions about natural resource management and stewardship. When we understand how ecological systems function, we can prevent and better mitigate disruptions to important environmental processes that provide us with clean air and water.

Research is an important engine that powers our economy. Over the past 50 years, roughly half of our nation’s private sector economic growth has resulted from research and development. One analysis of the return on the federal government’s $12 billion investment in the Human Genome Project found that it generated an estimated $800 billion in economic return. Other economic analyses of investments in agricultural research have estimated a $10 return on every $1 the federal government invests. These are just some examples and others may be found in a recent report from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (see https://www.aibs.org/public-policy/resources/AIBS_Biological_Innovation_Report.pdf). In short, taxpayer support of scientific research pays dividends.

The federal government provides more than half of the funding for basic research in the United States. Indeed, industry counts on the federal government to support fundamental discovery so that the private sector may target its resources to new product development. For example, 80,000 patents awarded over a 10-year period were based on research initially funded by the federal government’s National Science Foundation.

Although the United States has long been a global leader in science, our leadership is waning. Foreign countries are allocating growing shares of their Gross Domestic Product to research and development. New investments in federal research agencies must be a priority if we are to be a global power.

Science is a rapidly advancing field that builds on itself. One scientific discipline borrows from another. Thus, it is important that federal agencies coordinate and strategically leverage their research portfolios. One of the ways in which the federal government coordinates its scientific priorities is through the President’s Science Advisor and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. A strong and respected science advisor can provide the honest and timely analysis you will require to make informed decisions on threats to public health, national security, and environmental incidents that can threaten the well-being of people for years into the future. The Office of Science and Technology Policy can also help to ensure that federal research programs are responding to the needs of the scientific community and the nation. We encourage you to work with the National Academies of Science and professional scientific associations such as the undersigned to identify a highly qualified individual who can provide you with the highest caliber scientific advice and counsel.

Science has not been, nor do we think it should be, a partisan issue. Rather, it is a public benefit. We request that upon taking office you provide clear and immediate guidance through the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy to all federal department and agency heads directing them to seek and use peer-reviewed scientific information as the basis for decision-making. Many federal programs have established scientific advisory boards and committees. These panels should be filled and staffed by qualified scientists. To do otherwise will call into question the credibility of any government actions taken on matters of health, security, or environmental stewardship.

We stand ready to work with you, your transition team, and your administration to move forward programs and policy that advance science for the benefit of the nation. Please contact Dr. Robert Gropp at rgropp@aibs.org or 202-628-1500 x 250 if we can provide any assistance to you and your administration.

Sincerely,

American Arachnological Society
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
American Society of Mammalogists American Society of Naturalists American Society of Parasitologists American Society of Primatologists
American Malacological Society
American Ornithological Society
Animal Behavior Society
Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University
Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Association of Southeastern Biologists
Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Science, University of South Carolina Berkeley Natural History Museums
BioQUEST
Botanical Society of America
Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
Crop Science Society of America
Delaware Museum of Natural History
Entomological Society of America
Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology Hatfield Marine Science Center
iDigBio
International Association for Bear Research and Management Kewalo Marine Laboratory, University of Hawaii at Manoa Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
National Association of Biology Teachers
National Association of Marine Laboratories
National Tropical Botanical Garden
NC State University/Center for Marine Sciences & Technology Oregon State University Herbarium
Organization of Biological Field Stations
Paleontological Society
Phycological Society of America
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
Society for Conservation Biology North America
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
Society for Mathematical Biology
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Society for the Study of Evolution
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Society of Systematic Biologists
Soil Science Society of America
Southwestern Association of Naturalists
State University of New York
University of California Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences University of Wisconsin – Madison, Department of Botany
Great Lakes Research Center of Michigan Technological University
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution at Florida Atlantic University
Helminthological Society of Washington
Herpetologists’ League
Human Anatomy and Physiology Society
College of Environmental Science and Forestry
The Field Museum of Natural History
US Regional Association of the International Association of Landscape Ecology
Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida
Wisconsin State Herbarium

Job Announcement: Web Communications Specialist

The American Ornithological Society (AOS), a membership-based scientific society, seeks a highly motivated individual with the talent and creativity to deliver the Society’s online communications and social media. The successful candidate will have solid experience with online communication programs and services, including website development, social media, publicity, and content management. Strong writing and marking skills, proven interpersonal skills, and the desire to work in a mission-driven organization would be strong advantages. This is an outstanding opportunity for someone seeking to be part of a modern, nimble communications program in a growing professional society. The Communications Specialist will also be involved in society efforts to revise and implement a comprehensive communications strategy for the AOS.

Position Detail

  • The Communications Specialist is a part-time contractual position, 1 Jan through 31 Dec, 2017. Compensation is $29,000 for 25 hours per week, on average.
  • The successful candidate may be positioned in Chicago, or elsewhere.
  • Start date: as soon as the position is filled

Required Qualifications

  • BA/BS degree with 1-2 years communications experience, preferably with an academic department, scientific or technical society, or nonprofit. 1-2 years writing, editing, and/or reporting scientific-related content.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing social media, HTML, and Photoshop
  • Working knowledge of a content management system (e.g. WordPress, Drupal), and ability to learn other systems are essential.
  • Effective time-management: proactive, efficient, ability to handle multiple assignments simultaneously and to plan for both short- and long-term projects.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills, with demonstrated standards for grammatical and visual consistency, function, and accuracy.
  • Ability to work effectively with a broad range of people, including AOS employees, current/potential members, stakeholders and vendors.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of and interest in birds
  • Programming skills (e.g., PHP)
  • Experience with Drupal

To apply:

To view a detailed description of the position, click here.

Please submit a cover letter and CV (no more than two pages) in electronic format to: Crystal Ruiz, AOS Administrator. Closing Date: 30 December

The AOS is in an equal opportunity employer.

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About the American Ornithological Society

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is an international society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of birds, enriching ornithology as a profession, and promoting a rigorous scientific basis for the conservation of birds. The AOS publishes two international journals and a book series. The society’s checklists serve as the accepted authority for scientific nomenclature and English names of birds in North and Middle America, and in South America. The AOS also sponsors The Birds of North America Online in partnership with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. The society is based in Chicago, with offices hosted at The Field Museum. For more information, see www.americanornithology.org.

News Release: American Ornithological Society (AOS) Takes Flight

Contact: Melinda Pruett-Jones
American Ornithological Society, Executive Director
Email: mpruettjones@americanornithology.org
Mobile: 312-420-2292

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New Organization Dedicated to the Study and Conservation of Birds in the Americas

CHICAGO, IL (December 19, 2016) – Two of the oldest and most influential professional ornithological societies in the world have legally merged, forming the American Ornithological Society (AOS), an organization devoted to advancing research focused on birds in the Western Hemisphere, promoting their conservation, and training the next generation of scientists.

Nearly 3,000 members of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society approved the merger earlier this year in association with the North American Ornithological Conference held in Washington D.C. Under the leadership of executive director Melinda Pruett-Jones, AOS is based in Chicago at the Field Museum of Natural History. For more information on the new AOS and the merger process, visit www.americanornithology.org.

“Over the past six years we have actively collaborated as separate organizations: meeting together, publishing our journals jointly and working together to benefit the conservation of birds. After fact-finding and due diligence, and in response to the tremendous positive feedback from our membership, I am proud to announce a single merged society that will advance ornithology by combining our assets – human, financial and intellectual,” said AOS president Steven Beissinger.

The largest ornithological society in the Western Hemisphere, AOS produces scientific publications of the highest quality, hosts intellectually engaging and professionally vital meetings, serves ornithologists at every career stage, pursues a global perspective, and informs public policy on all issues important to ornithology and ornithological collections. AOS assets now exceed $10 million in support of ornithology, and it will invest nearly $1 million to advance its mission in its first year as a merged society.

The new organization is undertaking new initiatives to help students, early professionals and international members and to address the needs of scientists, academics and conservation professionals in advancing knowledge, not only in the Western Hemisphere but across the globe. AOS also recently launched a program to encourage members to reach out to their local communities and showcase ornithology as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field students might not have considered.

“The society is redoubling past efforts to prepare future generations of scientists and conservation leaders. Success requires a multi-dimensional approach that integrates science, new technologies, public policy and citizen outreach; works with other ornithological and scientific communities; and collaborates with local, state, federal and international government entities,” said former American Ornithologists’ Union president Susan Haig, who began the merging effort in 2010.

“AOS is distinguished by its tremendous collective expertise, eminent scientists, conservation practitioners, early career innovators, and students. The society will especially focus on attracting diversity in the profession,” said former Cooper Ornithological Society president Martin Raphael.

The first meeting of the new AOS will be held July 31 to August 5, 2017 on the campus of Michigan State University.

About the American Ornithological Society

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is an international society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of birds, enriching ornithology as a profession, and promoting a rigorous scientific basis for bird conservation. AOS publishes two international journals—The Auk: Ornithological Advances, which has one of the highest scientific impact rankings among ornithological journals worldwide, and The Condor: Ornithological Applications—as well as the book series Studies in Avian Biology. AOS also sponsors Birds of North America in partnership with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. The society’s checklists serve as the accepted authority for scientific nomenclature and English names of birds in the Americas.

For more information, visit www.americanornithology.org.