4 April 2017
Dear members of the American Ornithological Society:
The AOS is embarking on a new effort to increase diversity and inclusion in our Society. Please take 5-10 minutes to fill out this anonymous survey to help us understand our current diversity and develop strategies for becoming a more diverse and inclusive Society. Feel free to send the link to other colleagues who may not be current members of AOS. Please complete the survey by April 30.
Thank you in advance for your time.
Steve Beissinger, President, American Ornithological Society
Kevin Omland, Chair, AOS Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
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.
Steven R. Beissinger
AOS is a signatory on the following AAAS letter to the President: multisociety-letter-on-immigration-1-31-2017
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.
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!).
Contact: Melinda Pruett-Jones
American Ornithological Society, Executive Director
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.
In 2016 AOU and COS presented annual awards to honor members for outstanding service and contributions to science. Today we’re featuring a winner of COS’s Young Professional Award: Dr. Peter Hosner of the University of Florida.
First awarded in 2009, the Young Professional award recognizes early-career researchers for outstanding scientific research and contributions to the ornithological profession (see a list of past winners).
Dr. Hosner investigates how geographical, environmental, and ecological factors limit avian distributions and how these factors influence patterns of diversification. Continue reading…