AOS has many standing committees that conduct much of the business of the organization. These committees are composed of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to the benefit of the Society, its individual members, and ornithology as a whole. In addition to the standing committees listed below, there are also ad hoc committees, which may become standing committees as needed through a vote of the AOS Council.

AOS Membership Welcome Packet

The AOS offers varied resources and supports for AOS members. As a member of the AOS, you play a critical role in helping the Society promote connections and collaborations among ornithologists across the Americas and the world, fostering a more diverse population of ornithologists. Read through our AOS Membership Welcome Packet to learn more about the AOS, our governing structure, and the various opportunities to engage in our collective efforts to support the professional goals of our members and encourage, promote, and support the study of birds by building a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable ornithological community.

Questions? Interested in joining an AOS committee?

Contact Us

Current AOS committees:

AOS-Sponsored Student Memberships

Co-Chairs: João Marcos G. Capurucho, Erin Grabarczyk

Provides one-year AOS-sponsored Student Memberships in AOS to undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a career in ornithology.


Chair: Doug Phillips

Members: Jen Owens, Matt Carling, John Fitzpatrick, Judith Scarl (ex officio)

Directs, reviews, and presents the annual audit and tax returns to the Council. Works with the Executive Director to review the financial statements of the Society after the annual audit to approve the audit report, ensure that financial peculiarities of the Society have been appropriately treated, and alert Council to any issues raised by the auditors. NOTE: this committee is comprised of Council members and special advisors and is not open to the general Society membership.

Bird Collections

Co-Chairs: John Bates and Carla Cicero

Members: Michael Andersen, Elizabeth Beckman, Angelo Capparella, Therese Catanach, Erick Garcia-Trejo, Peter Hosner, Jocelyn Hudon, Oscar Johnson, Jeremy Kirchman, James Maley, Nicholas Mason, Allison Shultz, Paul Sweet, Ildiko Szabo, Kevin Winker, Serina Brady, Benjamin Winger, Elizabeth Wommack

Monitors the status and promotes improvements of avian scientific collections and specimen-based data. Facilitates collections-based research, including providing access to collections data and information on permits, protocols, preparation techniques, and supplies. Sponsors workshops on these topics.

Resources from the Bird Collections Committee

Birds of the World Advisory

Chair: Currently open

Members: Michael Gochfeld, Bob Montgomerie, Shannon Skalos, Charles Van Riper, Karen Wiebe, Kristen Rosamund

Reviews the Birds of the World website and provides oversight on functioning of the BOW-AOS partnership. Recommends improvements that maintain scientific value and add value and usability to the website.


Chair: Sara Morris

Members: Jim Herkert, Abby Powell, Luis Sandoval, Andy Jones

Oversees the process of changing the AOS Bylaws, which govern the operations of the society.

Classification and Nomenclature (NACC)

Co-Chairs: R. Terry Chesser and Carla Cicero

Members: Shawn M. Billerman, Kevin J. Burns, Jon L. Dunn, Blanca E. Hernández-Baños, Rosa Jiménez, Andrew W. Kratter, Nicholas A. Mason, Pamela C. Rasmussen

Early Career Systematics Group: Oscar Johnson, Max Kirsch, David Vander Pluym, Nicholas Vinciguerra

Technical Advisors: Normand David, Daniel Gibson, Michel Gosselin, Dan Haig, Marshall J. Iliff, Michael Patten, Thomas S. Schulenberg

Evaluates and codifies the latest scientific developments in the systematics, nomenclature, and distribution of North and Middle American birds. Publishes the Check-list of North American Birds and its annual supplements.

More from the NACC committee

Classification and Nomenclature (SACC)

Acting Chair: Currently open

Members: Juan Ignacio Areta (Argentina), Elisa Bonaccorso (Ecuador), Santiago Claramunt (Uruguay and Canada), Alvaro Jaramillo (USA and Chile), Daniel F. Lane (USA), Jose Fernando Pacheco (Brazil), Mark B. Robbins (USA), F. Gary Stiles (Colombia), Kevin J. Zimmer (USA)

Technical Advisors: C. Daniel Cadena, David Donsker, Jorge Pérez-Emán, Gary R. Graves , Steven L. Hilty, Mark Pearman, Vitor de Q. Piacentini, Thomas. S. Schulenberg, Bret M. Whitney, Juan Freile, Jhonathan Miranda

Keeps abreast of and contributes to the systematics, nomenclature and distribution of South American birds. Produces products that provide ready access to such information, including the Checklist of South American Birds.


Co-Chairs: Anna Chalfoun and Jeff Walters

Members: Jeff Brawn, Andrew Cox, Camila Gomez, Cara Joos, Sarah Kendrick, Christopher Lepczyk, Scott Loss, Alejandra Martínez-Salinas, Patty McGill, Nicole Michel, Arvind Panjabi, Ken Rosenberg, Kristen Ruegg, Angelina Ruiz Sanchez, Stan Senner

Identifies and implements appropriate means for AOS to promote sound ornithological science for making conservation and management decisions for birds. Among its activities are organizing symposia of conservation interest at annual meetings, and engaging in science arbitration, which involves evaluating the science relevant to an issue and providing the results to decision-makers.

More from the Conservation Committee

Diversity and Inclusion

Co-Chairs: Nancy Chen, Dai Shizuka

Members: Sharon Gill, Christopher Balakrishnan, Irene Liu, Joanna Wu, Kristen Covino, Scott Anthony Taylor, Scott Edwards, Susannah Lerman, Amelia-Juliette Claire Demery, Bonnie Bowen, Emily Williams, Eric Gulson, Eric Tobin, Karl Berg, Kimberly Sullivan, Marcella D. Baiz, Nandadevi Cortes-Rodriguez, Sahas Barve, Shailee Shah, Ashwin Sivakumar, Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez, Pamela Yeh, Sushma Reddy

Works on fostering diversity and inclusion within our society and ornithology. This committee sponsors a range of activities including travel awards focused on increasing broadening participation. (See also: AOS Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Justice (DEIBJ) Values Statement.)

Early Professionals

Co-Chairs:  Nandadevi Cortes-Rodriguez and Nick Mason

Members: Sean Mahoney, Leonardo Chapa, Emma Greig, Sahas Barve, Julio C. Gallardo, Phred Benham, Mike Hallworth, Daniel Hanley, Brian Trevelline, Emily Williams, Clark Rushing, Evan Adams, Benjamin Van Doren, Irene Liu, Alan Harrington, Elsie Shogren, Kevin Bennett, Peri Bolton, Ancilleno Davis, Jared Elmore, Frank Fogarty, Anna Forsman, Erin Grabarczyk, Jennifer Houtz, Jack Hruska, Cody Kent, Heather Levy, Lan-Nhi Phung, Rafael Sobral Marcondes, Nadya Sotnychuk, Rose Swift, Casey Youngflesh

Discusses the needs of early professional ornithologists (postdoctoral researchers, pre-tenure faculty members, and non-academic scientists who have received degrees within the past five years) and promotes the availability of professional development resources and opportunities for these individuals.

Early Professional Awards

Chair: Christopher Witt

Members: Pete Hosner, Daniel Baldassarre, Mary Caswell Stoddard, Glaucia Del Rio, Sara Lipshutz 

Solicits and reviews applications for AOS’s Early Professional Awards, the James G. Cooper Early Professional Award and the Ned K. Johnson Early Investigator Award.

Executive Committee of Council

Members: Executive Director, President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer

The Executive Committee of Council, composed of the four elected officers of the Society and the executive director, provides proactive and responsive business oversight of the activities and operations of the AOS as may arise between meetings of the Council; considers strategic alignment of AOS goals, activities, and outcomes; and, annually evaluates the performance of the Executive Director. Meet the current AOS Council. Contact the Executive Committee of Council at


Chair: Matt Carling

Members: John Fitzpatrick, Jim Herkert, Rebecca Kimball, Jennifer Owen, Doug Phillips, Judith Scarl

Works with the Executive Director to establish and implement a strategic financial plan for the Society. From time to time, the Finance Committee may be called upon by the Executive Director to review the financial statements and budget or to address financial management issues or emerging needs and opportunities that affect the Society’s fiscal health and security. NOTE: this committee is comprised of Council members and special advisors and is not open to the general Society membership.


Chair: Daniel Lewis

Members: Sushma Reddy (ex officio), Lauren Williams, Leesia Marshall, Tammie Peters, Frederick Davis, Leslie Overstreet (as Technical Advisor), Gregory Nobles

Collects materials of historical importance and submits them to the Smithsonian Institution archivist assigned to looking after AOS records. Provides materials to the Memorials Committee on request and decides how to handle requests for access to the AOU archives.

More from the history committee

Investing Trustees

Chair: Jennifer Owen

Members: Edwin H. Morgens, Russell Faucett, Doug Phillips, Judith Scarl, John Fitzpatrick

Reviews market conditions and determines and regularly reviews the Society’s endowment asset allocations. Works with the Treasurer and Executive Director to review policies for investment instruments and evaluates performance of the investments and the professional investment managers. Annually presents to Council an overview of performance and activities over the past five years and the recommended amount of transfer from investments to the operating account for the next fiscal year. NOTE: this committee is comprised of Council members and special advisors and is not open to the general Society membership.

Meeting Coordination

Chair: Pat Heglund (AOS)

Scientific Program Chairs: Emily Cohen, Steve Dinsmore, and Erica Nol

Members: Jenn Houtz, Nandadevi Cortes-Rodriguez, Erin Morrison, Allison Schultz, Emily Williams, Evan Adams, Sahas Barve, Matt Carling, Jennifer Walsh, Morgan Tingley

Provides strategic oversight and coordination of annual meetings and development of the scientific program, working in collaboration with the Local Arrangements committee each year.


Co-Chairs: Erin Morrison and Sara Kaiser (2024)

Members: Nick Mason, Jordan Giese, Shuqi Ren, Mike Stewart, Sophia Wolfe

Develops strategies for retaining, increasing, and diversifying membership of the society. Works with AOS committees to evaluate effective ways to best serve and engage our members and provide meaningful opportunities for members to contribute to their profession.


Chair: Ted Anderson

Members: Joanna Burger, Andy Jones, Robert Day

Obtains information and keeps records on the deaths of AOS members as well as nonmembers who are prominent in the field of ornithology. Oversees the preparation of memorials for Ornithology and Ornithological Applications.

​Nomination of Fellows and Elective Members

Chair: Lauryn Benedict

Members: Sarah Knutie, Steven Latta, Nicole Michel, Jorge Perez-Eman, Rebecca Safran, Nils Warnock

Surveys the AOS membership and prepares nominations of qualified members for the special membership class of Elective Member, and nominations of qualified Elective Members for the class of Fellow, according to the criteria established in AOS Bylaws.

Nomination of Honorary Fellows

Chair: Andre Dhondt

Members: Kate Buchanan, Colleen Downs, Cristina Miyaki

Nominates candidates for Honorary Fellows recognized for their exceptional eminence in ornithological science and, because of geography, primary disciplinary focus, and/or other professional reasons, typically have not been members of the American Ornithological Society.

Nomination of Officers and Elective Councilors

Chair: President-Elect

Members: Second-Year Elective Councilors; Ex Officio: Judith Scarl

Ensures that a sufficient number of persons are nominated to stand for election for the AOS Council positions of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Elective Councilor, in accordance with the AOS Bylaws.

Professional Ethics

Chair: Jeanne Fair

Members: Corey Tarwater, Katie Dugger, Jennifer Walsh-Emond, Kristen Covino, Jennifer Houtz, Sean Mahoney, Bette Loiselle, Timothy Wright, Joseph Niederhauser

Works to promote a high level of ethical conduct by ornithologists through the development of educational activities for AOS members and other ornithologists.

​​Publication Awards

Chair: Sara Oyler-McCance

Members: Brooke Bateman, Nathan Cooper, Kevin Fraser, Elizabeth MacDougall-Shackleton, Chris Guglielmo, Jose Maria Cardoso da Silva, Adrianne Tossas, Casey Youngflesh

Selects candidates for the Publication Awards, recognizing outstanding ornithological publications.

Rainbow Lorikeets

Chair: Sarah Winnicki

Members: Kristen Covino, Maggie Macpherson, Scott Anthony Taylor

An affiliate caucus of Out to InnovateTM (formerly NoGLSTP) and AOS committee that strives to represent and serve the Queer ornithological community. Goals are to increase visibility of LGBTIQA+ ornithologists, identify and address issues that face Queer scientists and researchers, and be allies to other underrepresented groups.

Research Grants

Co-Chairs: Scott Rush, Sahas Barve

Members: Keith Barker, Than Boves, Keith Bowers, Victor Cueto, Devin DeZwaan, Clint Francis, Daniel Hanley, Andrew Iwaniuk, Sarah Knutie, Iris Levin, Jay Mager, Doug Robinson, Luis Sandoval, Beth Slikas, Scott Stoleson, David Swanson, Nathan Thomas, Charles Thompson, Eric Walters, Yong Wang, Bethany Woodworth

Solicits and reviews applications for Student and Postdoctoral Research Grants made from AOS research grant funds. These awards support student and postdoctoral research in various areas of avian biology.

Kessel Fellowships Selection Subcommittee
Chair: Sabrina Taylor, incoming 2024: Carrie Branch
Members: Kyle Elliott, Laura Farwell, Allison Johnson, Michelle Roper, Carolina Isabel Miño

Solicits and reviews applications for Kessel Fellowships made from AOS research grant funds. These awards support early-career scientists in various areas of avian biology.

​Senior Professional Awards

Chair: Marty Leonard

Members: Helen James, Tony D. Williams

Selects candidates for the Senior Professional Awards, recognizing the outstanding contributions to ornithology of senior scientists.

Service Awards

Chair: Mike Webster

Members: Sara Kaiser, Erica Nol, Sharon Gill, Alice Boyle, Melinda Pruett-Jones, Judith Scarl (ex officio)

Selects candidates for AOS’s two annual Service Awards. These awards recognize members at different career stages for their outstanding service to the Society.

Student Affairs

Co-Chairs: Jacob Drucker, Prashant Ghimire, Nikki Mason, Faiza Hafeez, Kristen Rosamond

Members: Andrea Aguilera, Jenny Bouchenot, Dustin Brewer, Kristin Brunk, Thomas Cansse, Cara Christensen, Adrian Ciprés, Amelia Juliette Demery, Amelia DuVall, Alexis Earl, Rachel Gingras, Brendan Graham, Maina Handmaker, Kelly Hong, Jennifer Houtz, Rebecca Howe, Johnathan (Jack) Peter Hruska, Varalika Jain, Amanda Kemp, Allyson Kristan, Noelle Mason, Jenny Howard McKee, Colleen Miller, Nicole Moody, Natasha Murphy, Amanda Navine, Tram Nguyan, Alex Nicol-Harper, Abigail Ocaña, Karen Ong, Teresa Pegan, Lan-Nhi Phung, Vijay Ramesh, José Ramírez-Garofalo, Alison Salas, Oona Takano, Liam Taylor, Jennifer Uehling, Olivia Wang, Tatjana Washington, Sophia Wolfe, Dorothy Zahor

Evaluates and recommends efforts that address the needs of student members and increase student participation in AOS committees, annual meetings, and Society communications. Fosters Society-sponsored activities to promote interaction between students and professional ornithologists.

Travel Grants and Presentation Awards

Co-chairs: Evan Adams, Sarah Saunders
Members: Jennifer Walsh

Diversity & Inclusion Travel Grants Subcommittee Co-Chairs: Nancy Chen, Sahas Barve
Members: Scott Taylor, Sheylda Diaz Mendez, Sandra Cuadros, Jessica Rozek Cañizares

Selects candidates for Travel Grants to help defray costs of travel to annual meetings and for Presentation Awards that recognize the best scientific papers and posters given by student members at the meeting.