Have you ever wondered who’s in charge of AOS? The governing body of the Society is the AOS Council. The full Council meets a minimum of three times each year — once in person at the annual AOS meeting, and at other times via conference call — and the Executive Committee, made up of the Council’s officers and the AOS Executive Director, meets monthly to handle issues that arise between full meetings. With the exception of the Executive Director, the members of the AOS Council are all volunteer members of the AOS, ornithologists like you who represent the wide diversity of our community and are giving their time to help lead our Society.
Do you want to help shape AOS’s future? Nominations (including self-nominations) are being accepted for the following AOS Council positions until November 29:
- President-Elect: An individual serves as President-Elect for two years, with responsibilities related to Executive Committee, future meetings, nomination of Councilors and officers, and other activities. The President-Elect becomes President at the annual meeting two years after their election and serves as President for two years, then remains on Council as a voting member for another six years, providing important continuity for the Society. Read the job description for President-Elect here.
- Treasurer: The AOS Treasurer serves for a one-year term and is responsible for AOS’s financial oversight including annual budgets, audits, and related activities. Individuals typically serve as Treasurer for multiple terms, staying in the role for seven or eight years. Read the job description for Treasurer here.
- Secretary: The Secretary of AOS serves for a one-year term, with responsibilities including overseeing Society elections and archiving. As with the Treasurer position, individuals typically serve as Secretary for seven or eight years. Read the job description for Secretary here.
- Elective Councilor: There are twelve Elective Councilors serving on the Council at any one time; a new cohort of four is elected each year for a three-year term. Along with the officers listed above, Elective Councilors participate in organizational decision-making, strategic planning, establishing measurable outcomes for AOS, and more.
To nominate someone, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s what some current members of the AOS Council had to say about why they ran for their positions and what the experience has been like!
“Ornithology is a social enterprise. We learn about birds from mentors and colleagues, we exchange our scientific results and outreach efforts at annual meetings, and we promote our discipline and advocate for birds through our ornithological societies. I find it very rewarding and interesting to contribute to advancing ornithology by serving on the AOS Council and in other leadership roles for AOS.”
–Kathy Martin, AOS President
“I was asked initially to run for AOS Council based on my experience running an AOS annual meeting in New Orleans. I was honored to contribute to what had gradually become my home society, with the most friends, colleagues, and networking opportunities at annual meetings. I was also interested to work with fantastic colleagues on behalf of birds and their conservation and gain leadership skills. My experience on Council met every expectation, and more.”
–Tom Sherry, AOS President-Elect
“I decided to run for AOS Council so that I could give back to the society that supported me as a student and early-career scientist. As a female scientist who followed a nonlinear career trajectory, I also saw serving on the Council as an opportunity to change the dialogue on what’s possible for women who have stepped out of science for several years due to family constraints. So far, so great! It’s only been a few months and I’ve loved the opportunity engage with my fellow ornithologists regarding the direction of the society.”
–Kristen Ruegg, Elective Councilor
“I ran for AOS Council so that I could help advance the mission of the society and the ornithological community more generally. With our collective voice we can do a lot for birds, their habitats, and the people who care about them. It’s exciting to think about how best to accomplish that. Also, AOS supported my development as a scientist, and I want to make sure it continues to do that for all of its members in the best way possible!”
–Lauryn Benedict, Elective Councilor
Still mystified about these roles in AOS leadership? Please contact email@example.com with any questions about the nominations process, Council, the Society, etc. Thank you as always for being part of our community — you are AOS!