Over the course of this spring and summer, we’re highlighting all of the previously announced recipients of this year’s AOS awards on the blog. This week, the 2020 Marion Jenkinson Service Award.
The Marion Jenkinson Service Award is given to an individual who has performed continued extensive service to the American Ornithological Society (AOS), including holding elected offices but emphasizing volunteered contributions and committee participation. The award honors Marion Jenkinson Mengel, who served the American Ornithologists’ Union as treasurer and in other capacities for many years, and consists of a framed certificate and an honorarium. The 2020 award is presented to Dr. Michael Butler.
Dr. Butler received his Ph.D. in biology from Arizona State University in 2012, his M.S. in Raptor Biology from Boise State University in 2006, and his B.A. from Bowdoin College in 2002. He is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at Lafayette College. He has been an active member of the ornithological community since he was in graduate school and has provided extensive service to the AOU and, later, to AOS. In 2013, Dr. Butler organized a symposium at the AOU annual meeting entitled “Physiological and functional advances in avian coloration.” He served as a judge in the Student Presentation competition for AOS in 2017 and as a session chair at annual meetings in 2012, 2016 and 2017. Dr. Butler became the chair of AOU Early Professionals Committee in 2012 and served in that role for four years, contributing innovative and creative ideas for improving professional development programs for early career scientists. In 2014, Dr. Butler initiated and organized the Early Professionals Mini-talk Symposium and Social, both of which have become established components of the annual meeting scientific program. Through these events, early professionals are able to showcase their research and network with peers and senior scientists in a mentoring environment. Dr. Butler joined the AOS Membership Committee in 2015 and became chair in 2016, a position he continues to hold. In this role, he co-authored a paper in The Auk: Ornithological Advances in 2016 summarizing society member survey data to help guide the society’s strategic plan, and he is exploring ways to increase undergraduate membership in AOS. Dr. Butler’s passion for mentoring and his commitment to supporting the professional development of early career scientists represent an investment that promotes a diverse and inclusive ornithological community.
In recognition of his outstanding and diverse service to AOS and its predecessor societies, the society is proud to name Michael Butler as the recipient of the 2020 Marion Jenkinson Service Award.