Faces of AOS: Emily Williams Bio

• Email:
ffyngau@gmail.com

• Twitter Handle:
@wayfaringwilly

• Website/Blog/Etc:
Emily’s masters research: http://www.aliceboyle.net/research/ 
Denali Birds: https://www.nps.gov/dena/learn/nature/birds.htm

• My position with AOS:
Member, AOS Communications Committee
Member, AOS Early Career Professionals Committee
Past member, Student Affairs Committee

• My current full-time title and institution:
Avian Ecologist, National Park Service, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

• My current career stage:
Early Professional

Emily Williams with a blue-gray gnatcatcher

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Undergrad: Doug Levey and Robert Fletcher, University of Florida
Masters: Alice Boyle, Kansas State University

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I study birds that do weird movements & try to figure out where they go & why. Then I try to get others to nerd out with me about how cool they are.

• My favorite bird and why:
Common Loon. Their haunting call connects me to the experience that got me started on this career path in the first place.

• I am involved with AOS because:
What better way to surround yourself with and learn from [bird] rockstars than being involved with AOS?

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
AOS meetings: being able to catch up with friends and colleagues I’ve met over the years, and meet new ones!

• Birds are important to me because:
They never cease to amaze, inspire, and bring joy. Their ability to thrive on every known ecosystem on the planet is why birds are better than  all other animals.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Discover something about birds that fills you with wonder that makes you ask questions. Some of those questions can last an entire career.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
How do we get normal (non-bird nerd) people engaged in little birds you can’t easily see when up against charismatic megafauna?

• Fun random fact about myself:
I have a BA in Medieval literature. Some day I’d like to write a bird rap version of the Canterbury Tales, middle English-style.

• Something else birdy I’d like to share:
My email means fungi in Welsh. My dad is a Welshman and I lichen mushrooms, shelf fungus, and the occasional toadstool.

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