The American Ornithological Society is dedicated to providing a safe, hospitable, and productive environment for everyone who attends our annual meeting regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or any other protected status. Our conferences are intended to foster open and honest communication of original research and 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. We acknowledge that effective communication requires courtesy in face-to-face, written, and electronic interactions and that we respect the intellectual property of our colleagues. We represent the field of ornithology, and it is imperative that we behave as professionals toward each other, society employees, conference volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors, and meeting venue staff.

Participants in AOS activities should be able to engage in open discussions free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Harassment at the meeting will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes any communication or behavior towards another related to ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, or sexual orientation that involves offensive gestures, verbal comments, posts on the internet and social media, 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.

AOS is committed to enforcing our policies and protecting our members, staff, and other individuals from harassment, assault, and other misconduct while they are taking part in AOS-sponsored events and activities. Individuals who are currently sanctioned for sexual assault or harassment by an adjudicating institution (e.g. a university) will be barred from taking part in this meeting or any AOS event. Appeals may be requested in the case of advance registration; onsite registration will not be permitted.

Reporting an Incident

Any individual covered by this policy who believes that they have been subjected to harassment, notices that someone else is being harassed, or has any other concerns about an individual’s behavior that interferes with the intent of the conference should report the incident immediately, while at the meeting; reporting instructions will be provided for individual meetings. For emergencies, dial 911.

Breaches of this Code should also be reported to the AOS Executive Director at ExecDir@americanornithology.org. Protecting the safety and security of those filing complaints is paramount. The person reporting, who may be a complainant or a 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 Professional Ethics Committee or their designee. Investigations will be initiated when warranted. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted by law 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. AOS may take any action they deem appropriate, ranging from a verbal warning or ejection/prohibition from the annual meeting to the reporting of their behavior to their employer or affiliated institution. If an individual in attendance at an AOS event is found to have violated this policy while at the conference, AOS will revoke the individual’s permission to be on the premises. Should such an incident arise, AOS will work directly with local security and law enforcement to manage the removal process.

Repeat offenders may be subject to further disciplinary action, such as being banned from participating in future AOS activities, meetings, 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 AOS Executive Committee.

From the field

Plenty of studies, especially in “birdy” places like shade-grown coffee farms, have shown that birds can provide an economically valuable service to farmers by eating pest insects. But what about in the huge swathes of farmland that cover much of the U.S.? To find out, the researchers behind a recent study in The Condor set up mesh “exclosures” over corn and soybean plants to see how keeping out birds but not insects would affect crops' success. They found that birds had a positive effect on corn crop yield, but a negative effect on soybean crop yield in the adjacent field. For the many farmers that use a corn-corn-soybean rotation schedule, this may suggest economic gain in the long run. Learn more at the blog post linked in our profile! Photos by Daryl Coldren and Megan Garfinkel. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #ecology #conservation #science #agriculture #midwestThe sunbirds are a group of nectar-eating songbirds from Africa and Asia that are a sort of Old World counterpart of hummingbirds. A recent paper in The Condor offered a new reason to prioritize sunbird conservation beyond just At Michigan State I teach two courses, Ecology and Tropical Biology. Each fall during the Tropical Biology course we have a “Tropical Thanksgiving.” Each group of students is assigned a plant family with a distribution primarily in the tropics, and students need to uncover a species in the plant family that humans eat. Then they bring in a dish prepared with that species, like pineapple upside down cake, brownies, or banana cream pie. Our Tropical Thanksgivings tend to be heavy on desserts! #ecology #tropicalecology #tropicalbiology #ethnobotany #botany #plantbiology #thanksgiving
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[Thanks, Catherine! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]We have worked in Panama and Costa Rica in areas undergoing forest restoration. Birds play vital roles in restoration systems by consuming insects that can damage young trees. They also disperse seeds of plants and provide pollination services. Tropical birds are also just cool! Photo credits include Sean Williams. #ornithology #wildlife #science #birds #ecology #conservation #restoration #neotropicalbirds
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]We have investigated a number of tactics to deter pest birds in orchards. Inflatable tube-men appear effective in some contexts, if farmers move them around and use enough of them. We have had mixed results with drones; some models and some flight trajectories are likely to be more effective than others in deterring crop-eating birds. Photo credits include Shayna Wiefrich and Ben Hawes. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #agriculture #orchards #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]We recently investigated the roles American Kestrels can play in pest management in fruit-production systems. Working with famers in Michigan, we built and installed kestrel nest boxes in sweet cherry orchards. While kestrels nest in the boxes, they provision their young with arthropods, mammals, and birds that consume the cherries. Kestrels also reduce fruit-eating bird activity in the orchards with their presence. Photo credits include Amanda LaFay and Craig Sklarczyk. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #raptors #kestrels #orchards #ecology #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]Hi, I’m Catherine Lindell, #AOSMember and Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications! I'll be taking over the AOS Instagram account this week. I’m an associate professor at Michigan State University in the Integrative Biology Department and the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations. My students and I investigate the roles birds play in managed ecosystems like agroecosystems and areas undergoing restoration. Photos by Sean Williams and Steve Roels. #ornithology #science #ecology #birds #restoration #biology #womeninstem
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