The Cooper Ornithological Society (COS) held its 86th Annual Meeting in conjunction with NAOC VI in Washington, D.C., from August 15 to 20, 2016. Peter Marra and Bruce Beehler of the Smithsonian Institution were co-chairs of the Local Organizing Committee, and Courtney Conway of the University of Idaho was the chair of the Scientific Program Committee. Kim Sullivan was the Cooper Society representative on the NAOC VI planning committee along with representatives from the other societies. There were more than 2,100 registrants at NAOC VI. The program included 4 plenary lectures, 398 papers in 39 symposia, and 1,074 contributed papers (675 oral papers and 399 posters). Next year's annual meeting of the newly formed American Ornithological Society will be held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Michigan State University.
The members of the Society, through online balloting, elected Eli Bridge, Helen James, and Kim Sullivan to three-year terms as members of the Board of Directors. Many thanks go to retiring board members Alice Boyle, Kevin McGraw, and John Rotenberry. In the Board of Directors' meetings, the following members were elected to or continue in office: Martin G. Raphael, President; Anna Chalfoun, President-Elect; Abby Powell, Secretary; T. J. Fontaine, Assistant Secretary; Barbara Kus, Treasurer; Mary Whitfield, Assistant Treasurer; and Phil Stouffer as editor-in-chief of The Condor and Kate Huyvaert as editor-in-chief of Studies in Avian Biology. New Honorary Members are Carla Cicero and Jeff Kelly. See the separate article on new Honorary Members in this issue.
The Cooper Ornithological Society and American Ornithologists' Union announced their decision to bring their membership together as the American Ornithological Society (AOS) in the very near future. In recent years the two societies have actively collaborated as separate organizations: meeting together, publishing our journals jointly, and working together to benefit the conservation of birds. After a year of fact-finding and due diligence, and in response to the tremendous positive feedback from membership, the two societies voted overwhelmingly to merge. Following a vote of COS members on August 2, the Fellows of the AOU approved the Plan of Merger with COS on August 16. The societies announced the news on August 17 at NAOC VI's opening plenary session to more than 2,000 participants, including ornithologists and bird specialists from academia, government, nonprofits, industry, students, and citizen scientists. The message was clear: a single, merged society will better serve ornithologists and advance ornithology by combining our assets–human, financial, and intellectual.
COS Honorary Member Recognition
Honorary Membership in the COS is bestowed on those who have made significant contributions to the Society and to ornithology. On the occasion of the COS–AOU Joint Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in 2016, the Society bestowed Honorary Membership on Carla Cicero and Jeff Kelly. See the separate article in this issue on new Honorary Members.
COS Honorary Membership may be conferred, by a majority vote of the directors present at any Board of Directors meeting, on members of the Society who have rendered outstanding service to the Society. Honorary Members shall receive a certificate of a form determined by the board and signed by the president, shall be exempt from all dues, and shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of dues-paying members.
The secretary reported the names of recently deceased members: George T. Austin, Floyd Blackmore, Richard G. Beidleman, Edward “Jed” Burtt, Jean Cohn, Ronald L. Garrett, Luc Hoffman, Brina Kessel, Fritz Knopf, James R. Northern, James Shires, and James R. Stewart, Jr.
First presented in 2009, the Society's Young Professional Award recognizes early-career researchers for their outstanding scientific research and contributions to the ornithological profession. In 2016, the Society awarded Young Professional Awards to Daniel Baldassarre, Princeton University, whose winning talk was on “Connecting pattern and process in the study of avian speciation”; and to Peter Hosner, University of Florida, who presented on “Evolution of vagility and convergent island gigantism in quail (Aves: Coturnix).” See the separate article in this issue on the Young Professional Awardees.
The Society's Katma Award for an an outstanding paper related to ornithology that offers unconventional ideas or innovative approaches, backed by a well-reasoned argument, went to Muhammad Asghar, Dennis Hasselquist, Bengt Hansson, Pavel Zehtindjiev, Helena Westerdahl, and Staffan Bensch for their paper “Hidden costs of infection: Chronic malaria accelerates telomere degradation and senescence in wild birds,” which appeared in 2015 in Science (347:436–438). See the separate article in this issue on the Katma Awardees.
The Society's Loye and Alden Miller Research Award for lifetime achievement in ornithological research was presented to Walter D. Koenig for his influential work in the behavioral ecology and sociobiology of Acorn Woodpeckers. See the separate article in this issue on the Miller Awardee.
The Society's Joseph Grinnell Student Research Award to support beginning research efforts of Ph.D. graduate students in their first or second year of enrollment, with a cash prize, went to Sheela Turbek of the University of Colorado, for her paper “The relative significance of migration and sexual signaling in gene flow across replicate hybrid zones.” Her work aims to combine experimental approaches with biochemical markers (stable isotopes) and tracking sensors (geolocator tags to identify migratory routes) to explore the role of migratory behavior and its influence on assortative mating, and thus speciation, in two Asian races of the Barn Swallow. She is a second-year doctoral student in Rebecca Safran's lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado.
The Society's Mewaldt-King Awards to support research in any area of ornithology related to the conservation of birds, which includes a cash prize, went to Ian Ausprey, who works exclusively in local campesino communities in high-elevation cloud forests in Peru to communicate his science via environmental education and outreach programs supporting forest retention ( www.avesmontanos.org); and to Bradley Woodworth, who is combining multiyear tracking data with a 26-year demographic study of a migratory songbird to evaluate the relative effects of density dependence and weather at breeding and population-specific wintering grounds on population growth rate (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Society's Student Presentation Awards for an outstanding oral presentation or poster at the annual meeting, which include a cash prize and books, were awarded as follows: Brazier Howell Award to Katie LaBarbera, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley, for “Fieldwork and computer simulation reveal cryptic life history variation along an elevation gradient in the Dark-eyed Junco in California”; Frances F. Roberts Award to Richard Hedley, UCLA, for “Is there more to song matching than meets the ear? Evidence from a complex singer”; and Board of Directors Awards to Michelle Peach, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, for “Single-visit dynamic occupancy models: An approach to account for imperfect detection with Atlas data,” and Andy Boyce, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, for “Live fast and die young?—Does resting metabolic rate explain variation in adult survival probability within and across latitudes?”
The Joint Committee (COS and the AOU) on Student Travel Awards for the 2016 Annual Meeting gave out 250 student travel awards to help defray transportation costs to the meeting. The COS members who received awards were Jenna McCullough, Christopher Moser-Purdy, Jenny Munoz, Kathrin Munro, Lukas Musher, Brian Myers, Gretchen Nareff, Libby Natola, Shelby Nemec, Claire Nemes, Nicholas Newberry, Gretchen Newberry, Janet Ng, K. Samantha Nichols, Veronica Norbury, Ryan O'Connor, Sean O'Daniels, Brennan Obermayer, Emily Ostrow, Krista Osward, Juan Oteyza, Joel Owen, Ohad Paris, Nicholas Pattinson, Nadine Paul, Michelle Peach, Lyke Pedersen, Teresa Pegan, Marie Perkins, Lori Petrauski, Alice Pintaric, Henry Pollock, Michael Pontius, Ahva Potticary, Sean Power, Kaiya Provost, Tonya Rahinsky, Vijay Ramesh, Danielle Ramsden, Jeannine Randall, Douglas Raybuck, Jessie Reese, and Carrick Rice.
For details about all awards' requirements and eligibility, go to americanornithology.org.