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.

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Current AOS committees:


Chair: Doug Phillips

Members: Rebecca Kimball, John Fitzpatrick, Melinda Pruett-Jones

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: Angelo Capparella, Erick Garcia-Trejo, Jocelyn Hudon, Jeremy Kirchman, Nick Mason, Paul Sweet, Ildiko Szabo, James Maley, Kevin Winker

Monitors the status and promotes improvements of scientific collections of avian materials. Works with the Ornithological Council to facilitate collections-based research, including providing information on permits, protocols, preparation techniques, and supplies. Occasionally sponsors workshops on these topics.

Birds of North America Liaison

Chair: Scott Johnson

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


Chair: Francie Cuthbert

Members: Dan Cristol, Sara Morris, Abbey Powell, Jim Herkert, 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 Billerman, Kevin J. Burns, Jon L. Dunn, Andrew W. Kratter, Irby J. Lovette, Nicholas Mason, Pamela C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen Jr., Douglas F. Stotz, Kevin Winker

Early Career Systematics Group: Natalia García, Rosa Jiménez, Max Kirsch

Technical Advisors: Normand David, Daniel Gibson, Michel Gosselin, Dan Haig, Michael Patten

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

Classification and Nomenclature (SACC)

Chair: J. V. Remsen, Jr.

Members: Nacho Areta, Carlos Daniel Cadena, Alvaro Jaramillo, Manuel Nores, Jose Fernando Pacheco, Mark Robbins, Thomas S. Schulenberg, F. Gary Stiles, Douglas Stotz, Kevin Zimmer

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: Pete Marra and Anna Chalfoun

Members: Jeff Walters, Patty McGill, Ken Rosenberg, Cara Joos, Nicole Michel, Scott Loss, Christopher Lepczyk, Arvind Panjabi, Jim Herkert, Angelina Ruiz Sanchez, Stan Senner, Nick Mason, Paul Sweet, Ildiko Szabo, James Maley, Kevin Winker

Identifies and implements appropriate means for AOS to promote sound ornithological science for making conservation and management decisions for birds.

Diversity and Inclusion

Co-Chairs: Sharon Gill and Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez

Members: Caren Cooper, Joanna Wu, Ann McKellar, Amelia-Juliette Demery, Christopher Balakrishnan, Karl Berg, Susanna Campbell, Nancy Chen, Nanda Cortes-Rodriguez, Scott Edwards, Mark Hauber, Susannah Lerman, Irene Liu, Kim Sullivan, Scott Taylor

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 Statement.)

Early Professionals

Chair: Nick Mason

Members: Nancy Chen, Nanda Cortes-Rodriguez, Scott Taylor, Emma Greig, Jay McEntee, Chris Tonra, Ben Winger, Melanie Colon, Daniel Gibson, Evan Adams, Auriel Fournier, Geoff Gould, Mike Hallworth, Daniel Hanley, Jennifer Walsh, Emily Williams, Clark Rushing, Heather Mathewson, Irene Liu, Nathan Cooper, Ray Danner

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: Katie Dugger

Members: Karen Wiebe, Luke George, Elizabeth Gow, Pete Hosner, Daniel Baldassare, Kristen Covino

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.


Chair: Jeffrey Brawn

Members: Corey Tarwater, Katie Dugger, Jeanne Fair, Rob Fleischer

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


Members: Rebecca Kimball, Jim Herkert, John Fitzpatrick, Doug Phillips, Ed Lyons, Kathy Martin, Melinda Pruett-Jones

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: Bob Montgomerie

Members: Tammy Peters, Carla Dove, R. Terry Chesser, Judith W. McIntyre, Fred E. Lohrer, Ted Anderson, Andy Jones

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: John Fitzpatrick

Members: Edwin H. Morgens, Russell Faucett, Jennifer Owen, Doug Phillips, Melinda Pruett-Jones

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

Co-Chairs: Mike Webster and Colleen Handel

Scientific Program Chair: Patricia Heglund

Members: Sallie Hejl, Renee Duckworth, Jeff Kelly, Jen Owen, Pete Marra, Susan Skagen, Sushma Reddy

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: Mike Butler and Sara Kaiser

Members: Ted Anderson, Daniel Mennill, Nick Mason, Amelia-Juliette Demery

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

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 The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

​Nomination of Fellows and Elective Members

Chair: Jack Dumbacher

Members: Scott Sillett, Bette Loiselle, Colleen Handel, Carlos Daniel Cadena, Sarah Bush

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: John Wingfield

Members: Dominique G. Homberger, M. Ross Lein, Ellen Ketterson

Nominates candidates for Honorary Fellows, non-members of AOS who are chosen for exceptional ornithological eminence according to the criteria established in AOS Bylaws .

Nomination of Officers and Elective Councilors

Chair: Thomas Sherry

Members: Peter O. Dunn, Sharon A. Gill, Sara R. Morris, Christopher C. Witt

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.

​​Publication Awards

Chair: Michael Murphy

Members: Sharon Gill, Kevin Fraser, Jeremy Kirchman, Beth MacDougall-Shackleton, Sara Oyler-McCance, Henry Streby

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

Research Awards

Chair: Brian Peer

Members: Beth Slikas, Charlie Thompson, Scott Robinson, Steve Pruett-Jones, Sharon Gill, Scott Stoleson, Douglas Robinson, Nathan Thomas, Than Boves, Keith Bowers, Sushma Reddy, Eric Walters

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

​Senior Professional Awards

Chair: Keith Hobson

Members: Carol Vleck, Susan Haig, Brett Sandercock, Reed Bowman

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

Service Awards

Chair: Barbara Kus

Members: Rebecca Kimball, Bob Montgomerie, Nat Wheelwright, Terry Rich

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

Chair: Amelia-Juliette Demery

Members: Nicholas Sly, Shawn Billerman, Libby Megna, Johnathan Peter Hruska, Kim Fake, Anna Hiller, Richard Andrew Dreelin, Kristina Fialko, Kathy Hixson, Virginia Abernathy, Jessica Hightower, Sarah Khalil, Claire Nemes, Amy Janik, Anand Chaudhary, Autumn Iverson, Colleen Miller, Emily Webb, Emmylou Kidder, Glenda Hevia, Jacob Cooper, Jenna McCullough, Jennifer Houtz, Lee Bryant, Marisela Martinez Ruiz, Michael McCloy, Oona Takano, Pablo Munoz, Renata Biancalana, Sarah Winnicki, Valentina Gomez, Young Ha Suh

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.

Student Membership Awards

Chair: Daniel Mennill

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

Student & Postdoc Travel and Presentation Awards

Co-Chairs: Matt Carling and Morgan Tingley

Members: Jennifer Walsh

Selects candidates for Travel Awards 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.

    From the field

    Finally, I’m so pleased to share with the AOS community the newest @audubonsociety report, Survival by Degrees: 389 Species on the Brink. Five years in the making, this report finds that 389 of 604 species evaluated are highly vulnerable to climate change. We compared the effects of a business-as-usual emissions trajectory (3.0 C average warming) to a scenario of drastic emissions reductions (1.5 C warming). The good news is risk to 76% of these birds can be reduced by emissions mitigation, and Audubon will be mobilizing its broad base to #ActOnClimate now.
In a changing climate, birds are coping with disruptions in food, shelter, competition, extreme weather events. Looking at a combination of climate and vegetation predictor variables, we project spatial patterns of net loss and gain across continental Canada, U.S., and Mexico under 3.0 C of warming (figure 2). The boreal forest may see concerning rates of species loss in summer, and the Midwest and mountainous west may also see losses.
As we know, climate change encompasses more than just long-term changes in average precipitation, temperature, and vegetation. In a novel analysis, we mapped nine acute climate-related threats (like fire risk, extreme heat, sea level rise) across the contiguous 48 states for which data were available. Risk (figure 3) is the product of the number of threats, the number of bird species under future conditions, and the number of vulnerable species under future climate—showing areas of high conservation priority.
This can seem like a dreary message, but Audubon has a long history of achieving policy solutions that protect birds and better the environment; this effort is no exception. Reduce your energy use at home, ask your elected officials to expand clean energy development, advocate for natural coastlines and rivers to help with climate adaptation, or simply tell your elected officials that climate and conservation are election issues for you. Thank you for following me this week and let’s create a better future starting with! #BirdsTellUs #birds #wildlife #conservation #science #ornithology #climatechange
[Thanks for a great week, Joanna!]@audubonsociety is also a powerful voice for environmental advocacy. Our work has led to the banning of lead ammunition in California, the proposed listing of Tricolored Blackbirds under the Endangered Species Act, and the defense of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, to name a few. In photo 1, a group of us are lobbying for the protection of California's public lands. Learning about issues surrounding women in the workplace is another personal passion of mine, and at the #AudubonConvention earlier this year, I was lucky to be among like-minded colleagues on a panel for women about making our voices heard (photo 2, by Hannah Waters). #birdstellus #womeninstem #womeninscience #conservation #birdconservation #environmentaladvocacy #science #ornithology
[Thank you to #AOSMember Joanna Wu, who’s taking over our Instagram account this week!]As Project Manager & Avian Biologist at @audubonsociety, I work now mostly in R. My projects here include climate-related research, point count data analysis, research on North American grasslands and grassland birds, and managing Important Bird Areas. Last year I led a study done in partnership with the @nationalparkservice looking at how bird communities in these protected areas may be affected by climate change (photo 1). It was really gratifying to see this work visualized by @stamendesign on a 50-foot mural in downtown San Francisco (photo 2)! In doing all this work, I get to collaborate with great teammates. Some of us were at #AOS18AZ (photo 3), and this June many of us met again in Alaska at #AOS19AK (photo 4). Photos by Zach Slavin, Andrea Jones, and me. #birdstellus #womeninstem #womeninscience #conservation #birdconservation #environmentaladvocacy #birds #science #ornithology
[Thank you to #AOSMember Joanna Wu, who’s taking over our Instagram account this week!]After finishing my master's degree, I moved back to California and conducted point count surveys in sometimes remote areas of the Sierra Nevadas (first photo; not a bad way to spend your summers!), compiled the state’s first conservation strategy on the Great Gray Owl, and worked in burned areas (second photo) to study impacts of fire on riparian birds and bumblebees. I was elated the day we caught swallows, which almost never end up in mist nets! It seems a flock of young Violet-green Swallows were flying low, perhaps chasing insects, and a number of them landed right in our nets. Their tiny feet and incredibly long wings were definitely different from the riparian birds we were targeting! Photos by me and Spencer Hardy.  #womeninscience #conservation #birdconservation #fieldwork #birds #wildlife #ornithology #science
[Thank you to #AOSMember Joanna Wu, who’s taking over our Instagram account this week!]For my master's research, I worked in the lava fields of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Hawaiian birds are the most imperiled group of birds in the United States, and some ecosystems have collapsed following habitat alteration, predation by invasive species, and diseases like avian malaria. I worked in the relatively undisturbed kīpuka forests, naturally fragmented by lava flows. There, I studied how the native thrush, ʻŌmaʻo, differed in seed dispersal capabilities from the introduced Japanese White-eye. I found that the white-eye flew farther, but because it was much smaller than the ʻŌmaʻo, it dispersed smaller seeds and couldn’t fully replace the native frugivore where ʻŌmaʻo are extirpated. Ecosystem services like this are already lost for the bigger ʻAlalā, and conservation of Hawaiian birds is direly needed. Photos by Mark Kimura and Nick Turner. #hawaii #ornithology #science #womeninstem #womeninscience #conservation #birdconservation #fieldwork #birds #wildlife
[Thank you to #AOSMember Joanna Wu, who’s taking over our Instagram account this week!]I learned how to use binoculars from my first field job! Just kidding, but I did learn the invaluable skill of closely observing nature following the ways of naturalist Joseph Grinnell. Growing up as a first-generation immigrant, I did not know that conservation biology was a career option. It was only when I came across a summer field assistantship at @ucberkeleyofficial that I got a taste of ornithology—and I’ve been hooked ever since. Scientists there were welcoming mentors and invested their time in undergraduates. I mist-netted birds and fell in love with them up close. A whole functioning creature less than the size of my hand—how amazing birds are! The key thing about that field assistant position was that it was paid. I didn’t have the privilege of working for free, and had the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology not had funding to pay assistants that summer, I would have taken a different job and not have found my passion so early on. It may seem trivial, but working funded internships and assistantships into grants will actively benefit a diverse pool of candidates. Photo: Madeline Tiee. #science #WomenInSTEM #WomenInScience #conservation #BirdConservation #fieldwork #ornithology #ConservationBiology #birds #wildlife
[Thank you to #AOSMember Joanna Wu, who’s taking over our Instagram account this week!]Hi! My name is Joanna Wu. I'm an #AOSMember and a Project Manager and Avian Biologist on the Science team at @audubonsociety. I have mostly worked on climate projects here ⁠— I led Audubon's 2018 Birds and Climate Change in Our National Parks scientific publication and ensuing products, and I conducted a similar project with @parks.canada this year. Before joining Audubon, I worked at @instbirdpop in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, and I worked on Hawaiʻi Island for my masters research, studying seed dispersal in a landscape naturally fragmented by lava flows. I will be sharing about all of these projects this week here on the AOS Instagram account! Photo: Luke Franke/Audubon. #climatescience #birdstellus #climatechange #science #womeninstem #womeninscience #conservation #birdconservation #ornithology #birds
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