james cooper, aos award namesake

The AOS James G. Cooper Early Professional Award recognizes early-career researchers for their outstanding contributions in any field of ornithology. It consists of a certificate, $1,500 honorarium, gratis registration to attend the annual meeting. Awardees are also invited to give a plenary at the annual meeting. The award is named in honor of James G. Cooper, a pioneering naturalist and ornithologist in the western regions of North America.

Candidates may nominate themselves for the award, be nominated by another member(s) of AOS, or be added to the slate of candidates by the Early Professional Awards Committee, which selects the annual awardees. Selection will be based on the committee’s evaluation of the candidate’s short-format CV and a mini-paper written by the candidate about their own research (see below). The successful nominee will excel in research and show distinct promise for leadership in ornithology within and beyond North America. All award nominees are expected to have a high standard of ethical and social behavior that is strongly aligned with the AOS Code of Conduct & Ethics.

In addition, they must:

  • Be a current member of AOS.
  • The nominee’s terminal degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) must have been received (or be anticipated) anytime between 2021–2024. Individuals who received their terminal degree in 2020 are also eligible in cases of parental leave.
  • Have not received the award previously.

Submit a Nomination

Nominations for the AOS Early Professional Awards are currently closed.

Nominations must be submitted through our online Member Portal.

The page linked above will direct you to a login screen. If you have previously created an account in our Member Portal, enter your user name and password. After logging in, you will be redirected to the James G. Cooper nomination page.

  • If you have not previously created an account, click Register Now on the lower right to set up your profile.

To nominate yourself for the Cooper Award, you will need to upload 1) a mini-paper describing your research, and 2) a current CV.

Guidelines for Mini-Paper of Candidate’s Research

The mini-paper should be written by the candidate and should focus on the candidate’s own research. It should address selected aspects of the candidate’s past, present, or future research, similar to a research statement for a typical faculty-job application. It should contain a title, abstract, and main body of text, not to exceed 1,500 words. The main body of text can be divided into subsections as the candidate sees fit. Literature-cited, tables, figures, and captions are not included in the word count, but figures and tables are limited to 4 total. The file should be in Word or PDF format.

Previous Winners of the Cooper Award

2023   Glaucia Del-Rio
2022   Stepfanie M. Aguillon
2021   Ana Gonzalez & Benjamin Van Doren
2020   Nick Mason
2019   Karan Odom and Kyle Horton
2018   Kristen Covino
2017   Nancy Chen and Riccardo Ton
2016   Daniel Baldassarre and Peter Hosner
2015   Jared Wolfe and Elizabeth Gow
2014   Conor Taff and Mary Caswell Stoddard
2013   Christina Riehl and Henry Streby
2012   Luciano Naka and Morgan Tingley
2011   Matthew Carling and Karl Berg
2010   Zachary Cheviron, with finalists Andrea Townsend and Daniel Barton
2009 Jamie Cornelius, with finalists Karie Decker and Eben Paxton