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.
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 open. Nominations are due by 15 December 2023.
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.
*Full nominations for Early Professional Awards are due by 15 December. However, 2nd-party nominations (nominations of someone other than yourself) that are submitted through the Early Professional Awards nomination “Quick Form,” which is available through the AOS Member Portal, are due by November 15 to allow the Nomination Committee enough time to reach out to the nominee and for that person to submit their completed information ahead of the 15 December deadline for all full nominations.
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