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

AOS logo

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.

Award Winner: Peter Hosner

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.

Image of Peter HosnerFirst 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…

Award Winner: Daniel Baldassarre

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. Daniel Baldassarre of Princeton University.

Image of Daniel BaldassarreFirst 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. Baldassarre studies the intersection between behavioral ecology and speciation and recently began a project to investigate phenotypic plasticity in desert and woodland breeding populations of the phainopepla. Continue reading…

Award Winner: Mary Caswell Stoddard

In 2016 AOU and COS presented annual awards to honor members for outstanding service and contributions to science. Today we’re featuring the winner of AOU’s Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award.

Image of Mary Caswell StoddardDr. Mary Caswell Stoddard of Princeton University won the Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award, recognizing work by an ornithologist early in his or her career who shows distinct promise for future leadership in the profession (see a list of past winners).

Dr. Stoddard’s highly innovative and interdisciplinary research focuses on the ecological and behavioral implications of avian color vision complexity. Continue reading…

 

 

Award Winner: James Herkert

In 2016 AOU and COS presented annual awards to honor members for outstanding service and contributions to science. Today we’re featuring the winner of the prestigious Jenkinson Award.

Image of James HerkertDr. James Herkert (Director of Resource Conservation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources) won the Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award, given to an individual who has performed continued extensive service to the AOU. Dr. Herkert, recognized for his influential research on grassland birds, served as an outstanding and forward-thinking steward of AOU’s assets while treasurer of the society for nearly a decade. Continue reading…