Council Approved 1 August 2017

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) Code of Professional Conduct is intended to advance the mission of the Society through the open and honest communication of research and exchange of ideas; to promote equality of opportunity and treatment for all members; to assure appropriate accessibility of accurate and reliable information to colleagues, policy makers, and the public; and to encourage the effective professional development of researchers in the continuum of disciplines of ornithological sciences.

AOS is dedicated to providing a safe, hospitable, and productive environment for everyone participating in AOS activities regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or any other protected status. AOS acknowledges that effective communication requires that we treat each other with respect and courtesy in face-to-face, written and electronic interactions and that we respect the intellectual property of our colleagues.

Participants in AOS activities should be able to engage in open discussions free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Harassment will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes offensive gestures or verbal comments related to ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, or sexual orientation in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Reporting an Incident

Any individual covered by this policy who is aware of breaches of this Code should contact the AOS Executive Director at ExecDir@americanornithology.org, and/or authorities specified at an AOS activity or event. The person reporting, who may be a complainant or witness, is not required or expected to discuss the concern with the alleged offender. All complaints will be treated seriously and reviewed promptly by the AOS Ethics Committee or their designee, and may be investigated. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.

Disciplinary Action

Individuals found to have engaged in behavior prohibited by this policy as well as those making allegations of a breach of Code in bad faith will be subject to disciplinary action. The Executive Committee may take any action they deem appropriate, ranging from a verbal warning or ejection/prohibition from the specific activity in question (e.g. annual meeting, workshop, publication, etc.), to the reporting of their behavior to their employer. Repeat offenders may be subject to further disciplinary action, such as being banned from participating in future AOS activities, meetings, publications, or other programs. AOS Bylaws permit Council to terminate the membership of any Member.

Retaliation Is Prohibited

AOS will not tolerate any form of retaliation against individuals who file a complaint or assist in an investigation. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and, like any breach of the Code itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.

Questions & Appeal

Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director at ExecDir@americanornithology.org. In the event that an individual involved in any reported incident is dissatisfied with the disciplinary action, he or she may appeal to the Executive Committee.

    From the field

    I hope you enjoyed this week’s posts! It has been fun working with the many great people who’ve helped make this project happen, and it’s exciting to consider all the research and conservation possibilities that lie ahead. I’ve been focusing on Spotted and Barred Owl ecology, but next year I’m joining @cornellbirds to tackle the challenge of identifying the vocalizations of potentially hundreds of other species that are in the raw audio! Can anyone identify any species in that spectrogram? Photos by Kevin Wood, @whatbirdisthis, & me. #birds #wildlife #science #outdoors #ornithology #birdsong #birdcalls
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[Thanks, @cmmwood! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]Barred Owls are more territorial than Spotted Owls, and having tagged both I can confirm that this aggression carries over to their behavior when handled. I was fortunate to occasionally work with Dennis Rock, who has a wealth of owl capturing experience. When a Barred Owl chomped down on his finger, he told me to just leave it because it would then be easier for me to finish tagging the bird! However, the next season when I took a full fist of talons to my palm, I definitely fixed the problem right away. Later that night we created gloves that provided some protection without impairing dexterity. Photos by @nkryshak. #ornithology #birds #owls #wildlife #science #conservation
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Two years of acoustic surveys showed that the Barred Owl population had increased by a factor of 2.6, which was very concerning. We deployed GPS tags on ten individuals to test the possibility that the population estimates were inflated by a few highly mobile (and very vocal) individuals. All the birds we tagged displayed very stable territories, suggesting that the population had indeed grown between years. This represents a major challenge for Spotted Owl conservation in the Sierra Nevada. For more about this research, check out the press release, linked in AOS's profile! Photo courtesy of @u.s.forestservice. #ornithology #birds #owls #wildlife #science #conservation
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]We deployed passive recording units designed and built by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (@cornellbirds). Once the raw audio data was back at base, we compressed the files and copied them onto two sets of hard drives — better safe than sorry! This is a boring part of the job, but when you’re collecting 30 TB of data each year, careful management is really important. We then scanned the data for the vocalizations of Spotted and Barred Owls, and those results allowed us to develop multi-season occupancy models for both species. Picture three is a spectrogram, or visual representation of sound, of a Spotted Owl “four-note” call. Photos by me. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #owls
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]To assess the status of the Sierra Nevada Barred Owl population, we conducted passive acoustic surveys across over 6,000 square kilometers of mountainous terrain in the Lassen and Plumas National Forests. This meant some great campsite views and, for better or worse, accessing some sites with fatbikes! Photos by me. #ornithology #wildlife #science #ecology #owls #california
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[Our thanks to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Over the last century, Barred Owls (first picture) have expanded from their historic range in eastern North America and are now found throughout the Pacific Northwest and northern California. Long-term studies have shown that they outcompete their smaller cousin, the Spotted Owl (second picture). Barred Owls have been documented sporadically in the northern Sierra Nevada since the late 1980s, but until my teams conducted our acoustic surveys, there was no concrete data on their density and distribution in the region. Photos by @dannyhofstadter and myself. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #owls #science #conservation #ecology
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[Our thanks to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Hi everyone, I’m Connor Wood (@cmmwood), a PhD student at @uwmadison and AOS member, and I’ll be taking over AOS’s account this week! I use bioacoustics to study Spotted Owls and Barred Owls in California’s Sierra Nevada. Recent advances in bioacoustic hardware and software have opened up exciting new research possibilities in the last few years. I’ll be sharing some photos from my dissertation research, which was the first landscape-scale multi-species owl surveys in the U.S. One paper emerging from that project will be published by AOS’s The Condor this week. Photo by @the.jade.heron. #ornithology #wildlife #birds #owls #science #scientist #stem
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