Over the course of this spring and summer, we’re highlighting all of the previously announced recipients of this year’s AOS awards on Wing Beat, the AOS blog. This week, we present the 2020 Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award.
In 2018, the American Ornithological Society (AOS) established the Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award, intended to carry on the tradition of the Cooper Ornithological Society Honorary Member Award, one of the oldest awards in ornithology. This award is made in honor of a senior ornithologist who has provided extraordinary service to our predecessor societies and the ornithological community. In 2020, the award is being presented to Dr. Susan Haig.
Dr. Haig received her Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in 1987 and is currently a Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Oregon State University and a Senior Scientist Emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Center. During her distinguished and productive career, Dr. Haig made time to serve the AOU in numerous and diverse ways. Among her earliest service contributions were memberships on the Fellows/Elective Member Nominations Committee (1993–1994), Long-Range Planning Committee (1997–2002), and Conservation Committee (1997–2017). In 1996, she began her first four-year term as an Elective Councilor. Dr. Haig chaired the Membership Committee from 1999 to 2002 and continued to serve until 2006. She then went on to chair the International Affairs Committee from 2002 to 2004 and continued to serve until 2010. In 2007, Dr. Haig began a two-year term on the Special Affairs Committee, and she took on the role of Chair of the Local Committee for the 2008 annual meeting of AOU, COS, and SCO in Portland, Oregon.
Perhaps one of Dr. Haig’s most influential gifts of service was the role she played as AOU representative to the joint strategic committee to evaluate a federation of ornithological societies. This effort planted the early seeds that germinated six years later in the merger of the AOU and COS to create AOS. During this time, Dr. Haig provided leadership once again as an AOU Elective Councilor (2009–2010), President-Elect (2010–2012), and President (2012–2014). While she served as President, AOU and COS established the joint Central Ornithology Publications Office, a collaborative publication program for the Auk and Condor, and the joint website Americanornithology.org; these efforts served as important foundations to build upon for the merger of the two societies. Following her presidency, Dr. Haig devoted time to maintaining the AOU Facebook page and founded and co-chaired the AOU Golden Auks, a program to connect and engage senior society members at annual meetings. She currently serves as chair of the AOS Senior Awards committee. Dr. Haig’s relentless energy and contributions to the ornithological community guided it through periods of critical change to emerge stronger than ever.
In recognition of her outstanding service to Society and the ornithological community over the past three decades, the society is proud to recognize Susan Haig as this year’s recipient of the Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award.