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. In addition to the standing committees listed below, there are also ad hoc committees, which may become standing committees as needed through a vote of the AOS Council.

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Current AOS committees:


Chair: Doug Phillips

Members: Rebecca Kimball, John Fitzpatrick, Melinda Pruett-Jones

Directs, reviews, and presents the annual audit and tax returns to the Council. Works with the Executive Director to review the financial statements of the Society after the annual audit to approve the audit report, ensure that financial peculiarities of the Society have been appropriately treated, and alert Council to any issues raised by the auditors. NOTE: this committee is comprised of Council members and special advisors and is not open to the general Society membership.

Bird Collections

Co-chairs: John Bates and Carla Cicero

Members: Angelo Capparella, Erick Garcia-Trejo, Jocelyn Hudon, Jeremy Kirchman, Nick Mason, Paul Sweet, Ildiko Szabo, James Maley, 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: Scott Johnson

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

Members: Dan Cristol, Sara Morris, Abbey Powell, Jim Herkert, Andy Jones

Oversees the process of changing the AOS Bylaws, which govern the operations of the society.

Classification and Nomenclature (NACC)

Co-Chairs: Terry Chesser and Carla Cicero

Members: Jon L. Dunn, Andrew W. Kratter, Irby J. Lovette, Pamela C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen, Jr., Douglas F. Stotz, Kevin Winker, Kevin Burns, Ben Winger

Technical Advisors: Normand David, Daniel D. Gibson, Michel Gosselin, Michael A. Patten

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.

Members: Nacho Areta, Carlos Daniel Cadena, Alvaro Jaramillo, Manuel Nores, Jose Fernando Pacheco, Mark Robbins, Thomas S. Schulenberg, F. Gary Stiles, Douglas Stotz, Kevin Zimmer

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.


Co-Chairs: Pete Marra and Anna Chalfoun

Members: Jeff Walters, Patty McGill, Ken Rosenberg, Cara Joos, Nicole Michel, Scott Loss, Christopher Lepczyk, Arvind Panjabi, Jim Herkert, Angelina Ruiz Sanchez, Stan Senner, Nick Mason, Paul Sweet, Ildiko Szabo, James Maley, Kevin Winker

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

Diversity and Inclusion

Co-Chairs: Sharon Gill and Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez

Members: Caren Cooper, Joanna Wu, Ann McKellar, Amelia-Juliette Demery, Christopher Balakrishnan, Karl Berg, Susanna Campbell, Nancy Chen, Nanda Cortes-Rodriguez, Scott Edwards, Mark Hauber, Susannah Lerman, Irene Liu, Kim Sullivan, Scott Taylor

Works on fostering diversity and inclusion within our society and ornithology. This committee sponsors a range of activities including travel awards focused on increasing broadening participation. (See also: AOS Diversity Statement.)

Early Professionals

Chair: Nick Mason

Members: Nancy Chen, Nanda Cortes-Rodriguez, Scott Taylor, Emma Greig, Jay McEntee, Chris Tonra, Ben Winger, Melanie Colon, Daniel Gibson, Evan Adams, Auriel Fournier, Geoff Gould, Mike Hallworth, Daniel Hanley, Jennifer Walsh, Emily Williams, Clark Rushing, Heather Mathewson, Irene Liu, Nathan Cooper, Ray Danner

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.

Early Professional Awards

Chair: Katie Dugger

Members: Karen Wiebe, Luke George, Elizabeth Gow, Pete Hosner, Daniel Baldassare, Kristen Covino

Solicits and reviews applications for AOS’s Early Professional Awards, the James G. Cooper Early Professional Award and the Ned K. Johnson Early Investigator Award.


Chair: Jeffrey Brawn

Members: Corey Tarwater, Katie Dugger, Jeanne Fair, Rob Fleischer

Works to promote a high level of ethical conduct by ornithologists through the development of educational activities for AOS members and other ornithologists.


Members: Rebecca Kimball, Jim Herkert, John Fitzpatrick, Doug Phillips, Ed Lyons, Kathy Martin, Melinda Pruett-Jones

Works with the Executive Director to establish and implement a strategic financial plan for the Society. From time to time, the Finance Committee may be called upon by the Executive Director to review the financial statements and budget or to address financial management issues or emerging needs and opportunities that affect the Society’s fiscal health and security. NOTE: this committee is comprised of Council members and special advisors and is not open to the general Society membership.


Chair: Bob Montgomerie

Members: Tammy Peters, Carla Dove, R. Terry Chesser, Judith W. McIntyre, Fred E. Lohrer, Ted Anderson, Andy Jones

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.

More from the history committee

Investing Trustees

Chair: John Fitzpatrick

Members: Edwin H. Morgens, Russell Faucett, Jennifer Owen, Doug Phillips, Melinda Pruett-Jones

Reviews market conditions and determines and regularly reviews the Society’s endowment asset allocations. Works with the Treasurer and Executive Director to review policies for investment instruments and evaluates performance of the investments and the professional investment managers. Annually presents to Council an overview of performance and activities over the past five years and the recommended amount of transfer from investments to the operating account for the next fiscal year. NOTE: this committee is comprised of Council members and special advisors and is not open to the general Society membership.

Meeting Coordination

Co-Chairs: Mike Webster and Colleen Handel

Scientific Program Chair: Patricia Heglund

Members: Sallie Hejl, Renee Duckworth, Jeff Kelly, Jen Owen, Pete Marra, Susan Skagen, Sushma Reddy

Provides strategic oversight and coordination of annual meetings and development of the scientific program, working in collaboration with the Local Arrangements committee each year.


Co-Chairs: Mike Butler and Sara Kaiser

Members: Ted Anderson, Daniel Mennill, Nick Mason, Amelia-Juliette Demery

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

Members: Joanna Burger, Andy Jones

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

Members: Scott Sillett, Bette Loiselle, Colleen Handel, Carlos Daniel Cadena, Sarah Bush

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

Members: Dominique G. Homberger, M. Ross Lein, Ellen Ketterson

Nominates candidates for Honorary Fellows, non-members of AOS who are chosen for exceptional ornithological eminence according to the criteria established in AOS Bylaws .

Nomination of Officers and Elective Councilors

Chair: Thomas Sherry

Members: Anna Chalfoun, Abby Powell, Andrea Townsend, Michael Webster

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

​​Publication Awards

Chair: Michael Murphy

Members: Sharon Gill, Kevin Fraser, Jeremy Kirchman, Beth MacDougall-Shackleton, Sara Oyler-McCance, Henry Streby

Selects candidates for the Publication Awards, recognizing outstanding ornithological publications.

Research Awards

Chair: Brian Peer

Members: Beth Slikas, Charlie Thompson, Scott Stoleson, Keith Bowers, Steve Pruett-Jones, Doug Robinson, Scott Robinson, Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez

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.

​Senior Professional Awards

Chair: Keith Hobson

Members: Carol Vleck, Patty Parker, David Mindell, Susan Haig, Brett Sandercock, Reed Bowman

Selects candidates for the Senior Professional Awards, recognizing the outstanding contributions to ornithology of senior scientists.

Service Awards

Chair: Barbara Kus

Members: Rebecca Kimball, Bob Montgomerie, Nat Wheelwright, Terry Rich

Selects candidates for AOS’s two annual Service Awards. These awards recognize members at different career stages for their outstanding service to the Society.

Student Affairs

Chair: Amelia-Juliette Demery

Members: Nicholas Sly, Shawn Billerman, Libby Megna, Johnathan Peter Hruska, Kim Fake, Anna Hiller, Richard Andrew Dreelin, Kristina Fialko, Kathy Hixson, Virginia Abernathy, Jessica Hightower, Sarah Khalil, Claire Nemes, Amy Janik, Anand Chaudhary, Autumn Iverson, Colleen Miller, Emily Webb, Emmylou Kidder, Glenda Hevia, Jacob Cooper, Jenna McCullough, Jennifer Houtz, Lee Bryant, Marisela Martinez Ruiz, Michael McCloy, Oona Takano, Pablo Munoz, Renata Biancalana, Sarah Winnicki, Valentina Gomez, Young Ha Suh

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 interaction between students and professional ornithologists.

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

Co-Chairs: Matt Carling and Morgan Tingley

Members: Chris Balakrishnan

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.

    From the field

    Do you want to help shape the future of AOS? Consider running for a spot on the AOS Council! Here's what current Elective Councilor Lauryn Benedict has to say about her experience so far. Nominations are due November 29, and you can find more details at the link in our profile!Climate change means spring is arriving earlier in the Arctic, but not all Arctic-breeding geese are affected the same way — some (such as the Barnacle Goose pictured here) successfully produce more offspring in years with earlier springs, but some produce fewer. New research published in The Auk suggests that this is because timing of spring has different effects on two different stages of the breeding cycle: the pre-laying, laying, and nesting phase, and the hatchling, fledgling, and juvenile phase. When snow melts earlier, more geese initiate a nest, their clutch size is larger, and the chance that the eggs will hatch increases. However, the second stage (hatchling, fledgling, and juvenile) is negatively affected by earlier springs, because food quality is already declining by the time the eggs hatch, creating a trophic mismatch. Photo by Michiel Boom. #ornithology #science #nature #wildlife #birds #geese #conservation #ecology #climatechange #arcticDo you want to help shape the future of AOS? Consider running for a spot on the AOS Council! Here's what current President-Elect Tom Sherry has to say about his experience so far. Nominations are due November 29!Thanks for letting me take over the AOS Instagram for a week! I hope I’ve given a good glimpse into my research and experiences. For all of the undergraduate ornithologists out there, I encourage you to strive for new horizons in your research! I plan on beginning a Master’s or PhD program in the fall of 2020 to continue my studies in ornithology. My future research interests include studying the genomic, behavioral, spatial, and morphological effects of hybridization and the formation of hybrid zones. #ornithology #science #wildlife #biology #birds #dogsofinstagram #womeninstem
[Thanks, Angelica! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]As a lover of the outdoors, I find myself looking for new experiences wherever I can. In the summer of 2018, I took part in a study-abroad intensive led by Dr. McRae and Dr. Kyle Summers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. I engaged in daily and nightly hikes through Pipeline Road and Barro Colorado Island and conversed with the resident scientists about their current studies and long-term research goals on Barro Colorado Island. My experiences in the rainforest encouraged me to pursue work in wildlife biology and conservation. #science #conservation #biology #wildlife #ecology #panama #womeninstem #ornithology
[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]I began conducting field research in 2017. Since then, I’ve developed valuable skills and knowledge needed for working safely and effectively in the field, both with others and on my own. I’ve found that I’m never quite finished learning from the people and birds that I work with! Both photos belong to Dr. Susan B. McRae. #ornithology #birds #science #wildlife #bluebirds #womeninstem
[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]As an undergraduate research assistant, I conduct routine nest checks of bluebird boxes. I enjoy watching the parents build nests through my binoculars! My thesis work investigates factors that affect nest size variation in a specific population of Eastern Bluebirds. I’ve found that the weights of the nests they build are positively correlated to mean daily maximum temperatures within boxes during the incubation period. I gave a poster presentation of my senior thesis work at the 2019 conference in Anchorage last summer! #AOSMember #ornithology #science #birds #wildlife #bluebirds #womeninstem
[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]
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