John W. Fitzpatrick

JWF Paddle-Belize2011
John W. Fitzpatrick birding in Belize via canoe

• Email:
jwf7@cornell.edu

• Website/Blog/Etc:
http://ecologyandevolution.
cornell.edu/john-weaver-fitzpatrick

• My position with AOS:
Past President (2000-2002), Council Member

• My current full-time title and institution:
Louis Agassiz Fuertes Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University

• My current career stage:
Senior Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Ernst Mayr and Raymond A. Paynter, Jr. (undergrad, Harvard)
John W. Terborgh (PhD, Princeton)
Melvin A. Traylor and Emmet R. Blake (early career, Field Museum)

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I oversee the world’s premier center for the study of birds and the engagement of citizens around the globe in monitoring their populations and movements.

• My favorite bird and why:
Red-breasted Nuthatch – most personality-packed little bird, and you’re always in a cool place when you see one

• I am involved with AOS because:
AOS is my home scientific society since 1972, and it is more stimulating today than ever; cross-disciplinary studies within a taxonomic focus

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Extremely fun meetings filled with young, talented, and eager bird-heads who teach me amazing things every year.

• Birds are important to me because:
They are by far the best windows into the natural world, from the intellectual to the spiritual, engaging both sides of my brain every single day.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Do not be afraid to follow your passion, to push yourself in new directions within it, to think big and aim high.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
How can we get tens of millions of bird lovers to exercise their political power and affect societal priorities for sound environmental stewardship?

• Fun random fact about myself:
I really like golf, and enjoy playing it with Molly, my wife since 1983

• Something else birdy I’d like to share:
My biggest wish for AOS is that all the other ornithological societies would follow the courageous lead of AOU and Cooper Ornithological Society in merging.

Kathi Borgmann

Kathi Borgmann_recording bird sounds
Kathi in the field recording bird songs.

• Email:
klb274@cornell.edu

• Twitter Handle:
@KathiBorgmann

• My position with AOS:
Chair of the Communications Advisory Committee

• My current full-time title and institution:
Science Writer, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

• My current career stage:
mid-career professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Undergrad – University of Wisconsin, Madison – Advisor: Don Waller
Masters – Ohio State University – Advisor: Amanda Rodewald
Ph.D. – University of Arizona – Advisor: Courtney Conway
PostDoc – University of Arizona – Advisor: Courtney Conway

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I write about all things birds and tell their stories for the masses.

• My favorite bird and why:
Antpittas: cool, cute, intriguing little eggs on stilts

• I am involved with AOS because:
To engage with fellow ornithologists

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Annual meetings

• Birds are important to me because:
Birds are a currency for conversation. People connect with birds and what we know about them let’s us converse with the public to encourage environmental protection.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Learn how to give positive feedback even to yourself
Find a question that you are passionate about
Finding a good mentor is like gold, make sure your advisor can give you what you need

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Population declines

• Fun random fact about myself:
When I was about 10 years old I started an anti-littering campaign in my neighborhood. I went door to door to explain why littering was bad for the environment and asked them to sign a letter promising that they would never litter as long as they lived. I sent my signed letters to the president.