Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

AOS_logo-k375k_stackedAOS members should have received an email last week reminding them of important upcoming dates and deadlines! In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of AOS dates you may want to add to your calendar.

2019 Meeting: Our 2019 annual meeting will be June 24-28 in Anchorage, Alaska. Registration is open now, and we hope you’ll be joining us to celebrate the summer solstice at 61° North latitude!

  • Symposium and Round Table proposal deadline: 15 December 2018
  • Abstracts submission & travel grant deadline: 15 February 2019
  • Early Bird Registration deadline: 15 March 2019

Council & Officer Nominations: We invite all members to submit nominations for four AOS Elective Councilor positions, AOS Secretary, and AOS Treasurer. Nominations require the consent of the nominee and should be emailed to AOS Secretary Andy Jones at secretary@americanornithology.org. Deadline: 30 November 2018.

Fellow & Elective Member Nominations: These special membership classes recognize members for their contributions to ornithology and/or service to AOS. Deadline: 30 November 2018.

Senior Professional, Early Professional, Service, & Katma Award Nominations: Nominate yourself or your colleagues for AOS’s prestigious ornithology awards. Full information available at the pages linked. Deadline: 14 December 2018.

Student Membership Awards: Please encourage eligible ornithology students to apply for AOS Student Membership Awards, which provide one year of free AOS membership to interested students who have not previously been members of the society. Deadline: 31 December 2018.

AOS 2019 Call for Symposia, Workshops, and Round Tables


The 137th meeting of the American Ornithological Society (AOS) will be held in Anchorage, Alaska, from 24–28 June 2019. We are now requesting proposals for symposia (half-day or full-day), lightning symposia, workshops, and round-table discussions at the conference.  

Proposals are due on 1 October 2018 for workshops and on 15 December 2018 for symposia and round-table discussions (see below).  

We seek a suite of thematic sessions at AOS on a wide range of timely topics that highlight exciting advances in ornithological research, management, education, and conservation. Proposals for symposia, lightning sessions, and round-table discussions that emphasize the theme of the 2019 AOS conference (Birds on the Edge: Dynamic Boundaries) are especially encouraged.


  • Symposia provide an opportunity to bring together invited experts to share their results and experience related to a new or timely topic in ornithology. The talks within a symposium should be focused around a central theme and allow for thorough coverage of that theme.  Organizers may request half- or full- day sessions; morning sessions include six 15-min timeslots, afternoon sessions include twelve 15-min timeslots, and all-day symposia include eighteen 15-min timeslots. Talks should be multiples of 15-min and each symposium may include a summary or panel discussion in its final 1-2 timeslots.
  • Lightning Symposia consist of pre-timed 5-min invited talks that address a common theme/question in ornithology. The organizer(s) of a lightning symposium will ensure that all talks are preset to 5-min with slides advancing automatically.
  • Workshops are hands-on learning exercises where participants sign up in advance, engage for the entire workshop, and leave with some new skill or knowledge set.  Workshop proposals should include the estimated and maximum number of participants; any required additional costs or charges to participants; and time, space and resource requirements (e.g., computing, room size/type, projection equipment, large table, field access, on-site printing). Workshops may be scheduled before (all day, 24–25 June) or during (evenings, lunch hour, 26–28 June) the main conference.
  • Round Tables are meetings that provide opportunities for individuals interested in a specific topic to meet in a programmed time to converse on current issues, discuss future directions, or generate planning documents. Round tables are not intended to include formal presentations.  

Organizers and invited speakers for all symposia, workshops, and round tables are expected to pay for full conference registration and are responsible for their own travel expenses. Organizer(s) of accepted symposia will be responsible for compiling and submitting abstracts for the presenters in their symposium. Instructions and deadlines will be provided to the organizers when they are notified of acceptance of the symposium. Organizer(s) will also be responsible for inviting and confirming attendance by prospective speakers at their symposium.

All proposals for workshops must be received by 1 October 2018.

All proposals for symposia and round-table discussions must be received by 15 December 2018.  

Send questions to the AOS Scientific Program Committee Chair, Courtney Conway (via email to AOS19AK@gmail.com) with the subject AOS Symposium/Workshop.

See the Symposia and Workshops & Round Tables pages on the AOS 2019 meeting website for additional details and submission instructions.

Congratulations 2018 AOS Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award Winner – Dr. Anna Chalfoun

In 2018, AOS established a new service award meant to carry on the tradition of the Cooper Honorary Member Award, one of the oldest awards in ornithology.  The new award is made in honor a senior ornithologist who has given extraordinary service to the AOS or its predecessor societies, the AOU and COS. The Executive Committee tasked the Service Awards Committee with recommending a name. After an extensive search, they choose to honor Dr. Peter Stettenheim. Peter’s service to ornithological societies was extensive.  He was a Life Membership, Elective Member, and Fellow, Council Member, and Vice President of the AOU (2001-02). He was Editor of The Condor and Life Histories of the Birds of North America (a.k.a. BNA), Honorary Life Member of the Cooper Society; and Patron and Investing Trustee of the Wilson Ornithological Society.  Peter was a well-respected expert on avian anatomy and functional morphology, but had a broad appreciation and interest in ornithology.  Peter passed away in 2013, and was known by many of us as a kind and gentle giant.

The 2018 Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award is presented to Anna Chalfoun. Anna has had a distinguished record of service to our former ornithological societies over the past decade and now AOS. She served on the Miller Award Committee, the COS Nominations Committee in 2015, the Scientific Program Committee for the last NAOC, chaired the COS Student Awards Committee, COS President-Elect, the societies Merger Advisory Committee, and now is on AOS Council and our Conservation Committee.

In recognition of her outstanding and diverse service to the AOS and earlier ornithological societies, the society is proud to name Dr. Anna D. Chalfoun as the first recipient of the 2018 Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award.

AOS President Steve Beissinger presenting Anna Chalfoun with her award at the 2018 AOS annual meeting in Tucson, Arizona.


Congratulations 2018 Brina C. Kessell Publication Award Winners – Barker et al. 2015

The Brina C. Kssell Publication Award is a new award and is for the best paper in The Auk published within the past 4 years (2014-2017). It is to given in even numbered years, which complements the Painton Award given in odd numbered years for the best paper in the Condor.

The first Brina Kessell Publication Award given in 2018 goes to:
F. Keith Barker, Kevin J. Burns, John Klicka, Scott M. Lanyon, and Irby J. Lovette for their article published in 2015, entitled, “New insights into New World biogeography: An integrated view from the phylogeny of blackbirds, cardinals, sparrows, tanagers, warblers, and allies.”

The authors bring to bear modern molecular and analytical techniques to address a long-standing question in ornithology (and biogeography generally) that Ernst Mayr attempted to address in 1946: what are the origins of the New World avifauna? Over 800 species of the nine-primaried oscines of the large clade Emberizoidea were sampled to develop a phylogeny that was combined with a temporal and biogeographic analysis. It established that the emberizoid ancestors entered the New World through Beringia, and rapidly diverged in North America to also produce a clade that entered and diversified in South America. Subsequent dispersal between North and South America, especially after formation of the Isthmus of Panama, was mostly north to south (as also seen in mammals). These results largely confirmed Mayr’s speculations. This work stood out for its strong grounding in a deep historical question that has vexed ornithologists, for the thoroughness of its sampling, and for a strong quantitative treatment of the large data set.

Full Citation:
Barker, F. K., K. J. Burns, J. Klicka, S. M. Lanyon, and I. J. Lovette. 2015. New insights into New World biogeography: An integrated view from the phylogeny of blackbirds, cardinals, sparrows, tanagers, warblers, and allies. Auk 132:333-348.
(Direct link to article: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1642/AUK-14-110.1)

Congratulations 2018 AOS Loye and Alden Miller Research Award Winner – Dr. Janis Dickinson

The Loye and Alden Miller Research Award is given  for lifetime achievement in ornithological research. Loye Holmes Miller and his son, Alden, left a remarkable legacy to the field of ornithology and to the American Ornithological Society. Together they sponsored 30 PhD students, 28 in avian biology, and their students in turn trained a total of 166. Alden also made contributions to the society and ornithology as a long standing editor of The Condor. Previous recipients at this meeting include Ellen Ketterson and Sue Haig. This year AOS is pleased to honor Dr. Janis Dickinson as the recipient of the Loye and Alden Miller Research Award.

Janis began her career at Hastings Natural History Reservation as an affiliated faculty member with the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the UC Berkeley, with postdoctoral fellowships from NIH and NSF, and then in an appointment as a research zoologist. In 2005, she joined the faculty at Cornell University as the Arthur A. Allen Director of Citizen Science, with a joint appointment between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Department of Natural Resources, where she remained until her retirement in 2017.

Janis has had a distinguished career in behavioral ecology and conservation biology. She has made important contributions to ornithology in three main areas: i) the behavioral ecology of animal mating systems, ii) the evolutionary ecology of cooperative breeding in vertebrates, and iii) the role of citizen science in advancing ornithology. Her scientific output includes over 80 peer-reviewed papers and three edited books.  Janis was also a successful mentor for graduate students and postdocs who have continued in careers in ornithology.

For her lifetime contributions to the understanding of avian behavioral ecology and citizen science, AOS is proud to present the Loye and Alden Miller Research Award to Dr. Janis Dickinson.

AOS President Steve Beissinger presenting Janis Dickinson with her award at the 2018 AOS annual meeting in Tucson, Arizona.