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

    Do you want to help shape the future of AOS? Consider running for a spot on the AOS Council! Here's what current Elective Councilor Lauryn Benedict has to say about her experience so far. Nominations are due November 29, and you can find more details at the link in our profile!Climate change means spring is arriving earlier in the Arctic, but not all Arctic-breeding geese are affected the same way — some (such as the Barnacle Goose pictured here) successfully produce more offspring in years with earlier springs, but some produce fewer. New research published in The Auk suggests that this is because timing of spring has different effects on two different stages of the breeding cycle: the pre-laying, laying, and nesting phase, and the hatchling, fledgling, and juvenile phase. When snow melts earlier, more geese initiate a nest, their clutch size is larger, and the chance that the eggs will hatch increases. However, the second stage (hatchling, fledgling, and juvenile) is negatively affected by earlier springs, because food quality is already declining by the time the eggs hatch, creating a trophic mismatch. Photo by Michiel Boom. #ornithology #science #nature #wildlife #birds #geese #conservation #ecology #climatechange #arcticDo you want to help shape the future of AOS? Consider running for a spot on the AOS Council! Here's what current President-Elect Tom Sherry has to say about his experience so far. Nominations are due November 29!Thanks for letting me take over the AOS Instagram for a week! I hope I’ve given a good glimpse into my research and experiences. For all of the undergraduate ornithologists out there, I encourage you to strive for new horizons in your research! I plan on beginning a Master’s or PhD program in the fall of 2020 to continue my studies in ornithology. My future research interests include studying the genomic, behavioral, spatial, and morphological effects of hybridization and the formation of hybrid zones. #ornithology #science #wildlife #biology #birds #dogsofinstagram #womeninstem
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[Thanks, Angelica! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]As a lover of the outdoors, I find myself looking for new experiences wherever I can. In the summer of 2018, I took part in a study-abroad intensive led by Dr. McRae and Dr. Kyle Summers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. I engaged in daily and nightly hikes through Pipeline Road and Barro Colorado Island and conversed with the resident scientists about their current studies and long-term research goals on Barro Colorado Island. My experiences in the rainforest encouraged me to pursue work in wildlife biology and conservation. #science #conservation #biology #wildlife #ecology #panama #womeninstem #ornithology
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]I began conducting field research in 2017. Since then, I’ve developed valuable skills and knowledge needed for working safely and effectively in the field, both with others and on my own. I’ve found that I’m never quite finished learning from the people and birds that I work with! Both photos belong to Dr. Susan B. McRae. #ornithology #birds #science #wildlife #bluebirds #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]As an undergraduate research assistant, I conduct routine nest checks of bluebird boxes. I enjoy watching the parents build nests through my binoculars! My thesis work investigates factors that affect nest size variation in a specific population of Eastern Bluebirds. I’ve found that the weights of the nests they build are positively correlated to mean daily maximum temperatures within boxes during the incubation period. I gave a poster presentation of my senior thesis work at the 2019 conference in Anchorage last summer! #AOSMember #ornithology #science #birds #wildlife #bluebirds #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]
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