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AOS Committees

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) has many standing committees that conduct much of the business of the organization. These committees are composed of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to the benefit of the society, its individual members, and ornithology as a whole.


Chair: Doug Phillips

Directs, reviews, and presents findings of the independent annual financial review or audit to Council. Provides oversight of financial reporting and disclosures, recommends changes in practices or reporting, and alerts Council to any problems raised by the auditors.

Bird Collections

Chair: Kevin Winker

Monitors the status and promotes improvements of scientific collections of avian materials. Works with the Ornithological Council to facilitate collections-based research, including providing information on permits, protocols, preparation techniques, and supplies. Occasionally sponsors workshops on these topics.

Birds of North America Liaison

Chair: Erica H. Dunn

Reviews the Birds of North America website and provides oversight on functioning of the BNA-AOS partnership. Recommends improvements that maintain scientific value and add value and usability to the website.


Chair: Francie Cuthbert

Oversees the process of changing the AOS Bylaws that govern the operations of the society.

Classification and Nomenclature - NACC

Co-Chairs: Terry ChesserCarla Cicero

Keeps abreast of and adds to the systematics, nomenclature, and distribution of North and Middle American birds. Publishes the Checklist of North and Middle American Birds, including supplements (online and print).

Classification and Nomenclature - SACC

Chair: J. V. Remsen, Jr.

Keeps abreast of and contributes to the systematics, nomenclature and distribution of South American birds. Produces products that provide ready access to such information, including the Checklist of South American Birds.

Communications Advisory

Chair: Carla Cicero

Develops, oversees, and evaluates strategies for communication via the American Ornithology website and associated social media to advance AOS' mission and deliver timely and relevant content to audiences who use information generated by ornithologists.


Chair: Patty McGill

Identifies and implements appropriate means for AOS to promote sound ornithological science for making conservation and management decisions for birds.

Early Professionals

Chair: Sara Kaiser

Discusses the needs of early professional ornithologists (postdoctoral researchers, pre-tenure faculty members, and non-academic scientists who have received degrees within the past five years) and promotes the availability of professional development resources and opportunities for these individuals.

Historical Records

Chair: Robert Montgomerie

Collects materials of historical importance and submits them to the Smithsonian Institution archivist assigned to looking after AOS records. Provides materials to the Memorials Committee on request, and decides how to handle requests for access to the AOU archives.

International Affairs

Chair: Doug Robinson

Investigates and implements appropriate means for AOS to engage with ornithologists outside the US and Canada, including regional and indigenous ornithological societies (particularly in Latin America), and administers the International Grants program.

Investing Trustees

Chair: John Fitzpatrick

Oversees AOS investments. Reviews policies for investment instruments and evaluates performance of the investments and professional investment managers. Presents AOS Council with projected transfers from investments to the operating account for the next fiscal year.

Local Arrangements

Chair: Jennifer Owen

(2017: East Lansing, MI) Works with professional meeting organizers and the Scientific Program Committee to make local arrangements for the smooth conduct of a given Stated Meeting, helping to impart a local flavor.

Meeting Coordination

Chair: Susan Skagen (Oversight)
Chair: Courtney Conway (Scientific Program)

Oversees coordination of annual meetings and development of the scientific program, in collaboration with the Local Arrangements committee.


Chair: Mike Butler

Develops strategies for retaining, increasing, and diversifying membership of the society. Works with AOS committees to evaluate effective ways to best serve and engage our members, and provide meaningful opportunities for members to contribute to their profession.


Chair: Ted Anderson

Obtains information and keeps records on the deaths of AOS members as well as nonmembers who are prominent in the field of ornithology. Oversees the preparation of memorials for The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

Nomination of Fellows and Elective Members

Chair: Jack Dumbacher

Surveys the AOS membership and prepares nominations of qualified members for the Special Membership class of Elective Member, and nominations of qualified Elective Members for the class of Fellow, according to the criteria established in AOS Bylaws.

Nomination of Honorary Fellows

Chair: John Wingfield

Nominates candidates for the Special Membership class of Honorary Fellows, who are chosen for exceptional ornithological eminence. Honorary Fellows are limited to 100 and must be residents of a country other than the United States or Canada at the time of their election.

Nomination of Officers and Elective Councilors

Chair: Kathy Martin

Ensures that a sufficient number of persons are nominated for the governance positions of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Elective Councilor, in accordance with AOS Bylaws.

Publications Advisory

Co-Chairs: Alice Boyle

Guides the American Ornithology Publications office on how AOS can advance our journals, manage our historical content, and advise on new directions to best position our publications.

Publications Awards

Chair: TBA

Selects candidates for the Publications Awards that recognize outstanding ornithological publications: Harry R. Painton Award, Katma Award.

Research Awards

Chair: Brian Peer

Solicits and reviews applications for student and postdoctoral research awards made from AOS research grant funds. These awards support student and postdoctoral research in various areas of avian biology.

Science Arbitration

Chair: Jeff Walters

Evaluates and synthesizes relevant science to provide objective information to policy decision-makers. Specialists conduct and publish scientific reviews pertinent to current and emerging issues in avian conservation. Reviews may be sponsored by agencies and organizations or produced by Conservation Working Groups initiated by AOS.

Senior Professional Awards

Chair: Keith Hobson

Selects candidates for the Senior Professional Awards that recognize outstanding research contributions to ornithology: William Brewster Memorial Award, Elliott Coues Award, Lloye and Alden Miller Research Award, and Ralph W. Schreiber Conservation Award.

Student Affairs

Chair: Nicholas Mason

Evaluates and recommends efforts that address the needs of student members and increase student participation in AOS committees, annual meetings, and society communications. Fosters society-sponsored activities to promote interactions between students and professional ornithologists. Works with representatives from other societies when the annual meeting involves more than just AOS.

Student Membership Awards

Chair: Daniel Mennill

Provides one-year Student Membership Awards in AOS to undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a career in ornithology.

Student & Postdoc Travel and Presentation Awards

Chair: Matt Carling

Selects candidates for Travel Awards to help defray costs of travel to annual meetings, and for Presentation Awards that recognize the best scientific papers and posters given by student members at the meeting.

Early Professional Awards

Chair: Matt Johnson

Solicits and reviews applications for the Early Professional Awards: James G. Cooper Young Professional Award, Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award.

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Advancing Scientific Knowledge and Conservation of Birds

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