james cooper, aos award namesake

AOS’s James G. Cooper Early Professional Award recognizes early-career researchers for their outstanding contributions in any field of ornithology. It consists of a certificate, $500 honorarium, and a travel stipend of up to $1000 and 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. 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.
  • Be within/up to the end of their third year post terminal degree (Master’s or PhD) or in the final nine months of their graduate studies at the time of the annual meeting. (An extra year of eligibility is granted for parental leave.)
  • Have not received the award previously.

Submit a Nomination

The next nomination cycle for the Cooper Award will open 12 October 2020.

Nominations must be submitted through our online Member Portal.

  • Clicking “Apply Now” on the page linked above will direct you to a login screen. If you have previously created an account, your Login ID is your email address. After logging in, you will be redirected to the Senior Professional Award nomination page.
  • If you have not previously created an account, click Create Account at the lower left to set up your profile.
  • You can also navigate to the submission page from the Member Portal homepage under “Open Competitions” in the lower right.

To submit a nomination for the Cooper Award, you will need to upload 1) a mini-paper describing the candidate’s research, and 2) a current CV of the candidate (up to two pages).

Previous Winners of the Cooper Award

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

From the field

Millions of songbirds that breed across North America converge on a tiny region of Colombia called the Darién during their migration each year, as shown by research recently published in The Condor. This is what the researchers call a migratory 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. 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!]
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