• My position with AOS:
Former President, Council Member
• My current full-time title and institution:
Senior Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey. Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Oregon State University
• My current career stage:
• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Undergrad: Richard Verch, Northland College
Ph.D.: Lewis Oring, U. of North Dakota
Smithsonian postdoc: Jonathan Ballou/Scott Derrickson
I try to save endangered birds via molecular and field assessments, students and twisting arms of people who can help save them. It works!
• My favorite bird and why:
I don’t have a favorite bird –get serious! How could you choose?!
• I am involved with AOS because:
AOS is a great organization for learning, teaching, conservation and colleagues.
• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
watching students/postdocs progress through their careers, following progress in research and conservation, keeping in touch with friends.
• Birds are important to me because:
They are my soul and they are the strongest indicators of environmental status on earth.
• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Don’t let anyone tell you not to pursue your interests because there are no jobs. If you work hard, there will be a job.
• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
I would like to see the taxonomic definition of a species resolved once and for all… as long as people agree with my definition!
• Fun random fact about myself:
I started my career playing Woodsy Owl for the U.S. Forest Service as I was the only person short enough to fit in the costume.
• Something else birdy I’d like to share:
It is very important for graduate students and postdocs to become an active member of a professional society that they see as their ‘academic home” early on as the rewards will only grow as they get further into their careers. The benefits might not be immediately apparent to a young person but they will never regret it as they get older.