AOS Vision 

A broad and engaged ornithological community that advances the understanding and conservation of birds 

AOS Mission 

To connect ornithologists, science, and bird conservation by 

  • Supporting science that advances the understanding and conservation of birds 
  • Promoting broad access to ornithological science 
  • Supporting ornithologists throughout their career paths, and 
  • Fostering a welcoming, diverse, supportive, and dynamic ornithological community. 

Strategic Goals

Supporting impactful ornithological science 

Ornithologists, with an emphasis on early-career members and those from under-resourced regions of the Americas, have access to resources to conduct ornithological research that advances the understanding and conservation of birds. 


  1. Establish priorities for research funding
  2. Establish program to support ornithological capacity-building projects, with an initial focus in Latin America
  3. Develop a strategy to document the impact of AOS grants, such as through member retention rates, publications, and conservation actions associated with funded studies
  4. Build a capital campaign for increased grant support 

Measures of Success 

  • AOS funding for research that addresses gaps in knowledge, including long-term studies, studies of understudied species and/or regions, and projects that address conservation challenges
  • Expanded financial and logistical support for impactful ornithological research, with an initial increased focus in Latin America 
  • Increased number of conference presentations and publications based on AOS-supported research 

Communicating and providing access to ornithological science 

High-quality ornithological research is broadly accessible through publications, society events (virtual and in-person), and other effective communications. 


  1. Support and enhance AOS publications and conferences to attract and communicate the best work in ornithology
  2. Thoughtfully reduce barriers to membership, readership, participation, and engagement
  3. Increase virtual opportunities to communicate science throughout the year, such as thematic meetings or symposia
  4. Partner with organizations, institutions, and groups that would benefit from our products and community 

Measures of Success 

  • Expanded membership, authorship, readership, and participation across the hemisphere, especially among those from historically excluded and underrepresented backgrounds 
  • Broadened portfolio of high-impact experiences and products, including in-person and online offerings 
  • Increased use of our products and community as resources for ornithological science, avian conservation, policy-making, and public engagement 

Broadening and strengthening professional development and career support 

AOS values and welcomes ornithologists of all career types and supports continued development across all professional stages. 


  1. Increase professional development opportunities for a broader range of career types and stages
  2. Expand professional networking opportunities
  3. Develop intentional series of mentoring , training, and career recognition opportunities 

Measures of Success 

  • Ornithologists of all career sectors and stages feel supported and valued 
  • Broader participation and improved retention of members in non-academic career paths (government, NGO, etc.) 
  • Increased awareness of varied career paths for ornithologists 

Fostering an inclusive ornithological community 

AOS promotes an inclusive culture and diverse membership where everyone feels a sense of belonging. We create an ornithological community that connects, values, and empowers all ornithologists from different disciplines, career paths, and geographic regions, as well as from different backgrounds, experiences, and identities.


  1. Provide space and resources to empower subcommunities that provide peer support, cultivate a sense of belonging, and amplify voices
  2. Develop transparent and inclusive paths to leadership within the AOS, including on committees and in governance
  3. Educate members, including leadership, on inclusive practices and behaviors
  4. Address issues of past inequity and establish processes to prevent their reoccurrence

Measures of Success 

  • Increase in sense of belonging, voice, equity in access to resources, and safety (based on benchmarks established by previous survey) 
  • Recruitment and retention of a more diverse AOS membership and leadership
  • Active and engaged subcommunities within the society 

Excellence in governance and operations 

AOS’s governance, operational structures, policies, and procedures reflect the values of the society, enable effective implementation of the strategic plan, facilitate efficient operations, maintain a strong fiscal position, ensure an effective and engaged staff, and provide a meaningful volunteer experience. 


  1. Align resource allocations with organizational values, priorities, and business responsibilities to ensure strategic fiscal responsibility
  2. Improve and document operational procedures to ensure efficiency and continuity of performance
  3. Review AOS’s governance and operational structures and documents to ensure our structures are optimized to perform AOS’s priority work 

Measures of Success 

  • Financial, volunteer, and staff resources that are focused on and aligned with AOS’s strategic goals 
  • Well-documented operational procedures that allow smooth transitions between volunteer leaders, enable more seamless staff transitions, and facilitate continued high-quality implementation of AOS programs
  • Governance model that enables inclusive representation, sound decision-making, and a strong focus on strategic priorities

Approved by the AOS Council 3 October 2023