Faces of AOS: Susan K. Skagen Bio

Susan Skagen with sandpiper• Email:
work – skagens@usgs.gov;

• My position with AOS:
Chair, Meetings Coordination Committee

• My current full-time title and institution:
Research Wildlife Biologist,
U.S. Geological Survey, Emeritus

• My current career stage:
Senior Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Fritz L. Knopf, USGS
Gordon H. Orians, University of Washington, postdoc
Timothy C. Moermond, University of Wisconsin, PhD
Stanley A. Temple, University of Wisconsin, PhD
Nina Leopold Bradley, University of Wisconsin, PhD (she was Aldo Leopold’s oldest daughter – via the Sand County Foundation she funded my dissertation research, and she was the main reason I went for a doctorate)
Herbert Brown, Western Washington University, MS
University of Wisconsin, Undergrad

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I write proposals and papers. And I encourage grad students and assistants to find bird nests, analyze data, model distributions

• My favorite bird and why:
Oh so many: Hermit Thrush symbolic of mountains; McCown’s Longspur such a cute song flight; Semipalmated Sandpiper an amazing migrant

• I am involved with AOS because:
I joined more than 30 years ago to be connected with ornithologists nation- and worldwide

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Lifelong friendships that carry through many years of meetings, committees, and society activities

• Birds are important to me because:
They symbolize the connections of humans to earth’s biodiversity

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Recognize the diverse opportunities that can take you where you want to go

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Is climate change as dire for specialists as projected or are they flexible enough to persist?

• Fun random fact about myself:
I’ve had female brittanies (spaniels) for more than 25 years – love them!