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: Michael Andersen, 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

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: L. Scott Johnson

Members: Michael Gochfeld, Elizabeth Gow, Bob Montgomerie, Shannon Skalos, Charles Van Riper, Karen Wiebe

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: 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 M. Billerman, Kevin J. Burns, Jon L. Dunn, Blanca E. Hernández-Baños, Andrew W. Kratter, Irby J. Lovette, Nicholas A. 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, 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

Access the complete checklist

Current & Prior NACC Proposals

Classification and Nomenclature (SACC)

Acting Chair: J. V. Remsen, Jr.

Members: Juan Ignacio Areta, Elisa Bonaccorso, Alvaro Jaramillo, Santiago Claramunt, José Fernando Pacheco, Mark B. Robbins, F. Gary Stiles, Douglas F. Stotz, Kevin J. Zimmer

Technical Advisors: Mark Pearman, Vitor de Q. Piacentini, Gary R. Graves, Carlos Daniel Cadena, Steven L. Hilty, Jorge Pérez-Emán, Thomas S. Schulenberg, Bret M. Whitney

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

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: Christopher Balakrishnan, Sahas Barve, Karl Berg, Susanna Campbell, Nancy Chen, Caren Cooper, Kristen Covino, Nanda Cortes-Rodriguez, Amelia-Juliette Demery, Scott Edwards, Jennifer Houtz, Susannah Lerman, Irene Liu, Ann McKellar, Kevin Omland, Shailee Shah, Kim Sullivan, Scott Taylor, Emily Williams, Joanna Wu, Marcella Baiz

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: Christopher Witt

Members: 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, Virginia Yowell, 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: Sushma Reddy, Amelia Juliette-Demery, Sara Kaiser, Nick Mason, Allison Shultz, Emily Williams

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: Lauryn Benedict, 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: Andre Dhondt

Members: Kate Buchanan, Colleen Downs, Cristina Miyaki

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: President-Elect

Members: Second-Year Elective Councilors

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.

Rainbow Lorikeets

Chair: Eric Tobin

Members: Scott Taylor, Kristen Covino, Abby Walter, Braelei Hardt, Carly Aulicky, Chad Wilhite, Morgan Tingley

An NOGLSTP affiliate caucus 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 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, Mélanie Guigueno, Sarah Knutie, Lauryn Benedict

Kessel Fellowships Selection Subcommittee: Sabrina Taylor, Kyle Elliott, Scott Lanyon, Sharon Gill

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: Sue Haig

Members: Keith Hobson, Brett Sandercock, Reed Bowman, Linda Whittingham

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, Kyle Davis, Liam Taylor, Dustin Brewer, Aaron Skinner, Jordan Herman, Fabio Tarazona-Tubens, Shailee Shah

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, Morgan Tingley, Jennifer Walsh

Diversity & Inclusion Travel Awards Chair: Nancy Chen

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.