The 2015 recipient of the Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award is Dr. Thomas Martin, Senior Scientist and Assistant Unit Leader, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, and Professor at the University of Montana.
Tom became editor-in-chief of The Auk in 1995. When he took on the editorship, The Auk was already a very well-regarded journal. However, Tom was not content to maintain the status quo and instead made a series of changes that dramatically improved the quality of the journal. His first significant innovation was to put in place a 10-member Editorial Board from a range of disciplines. He challenged these experts to provide lists of potential reviewers who would each be empowered to make initial recommendations on acceptance or rejection to the editor-in-chief. This approach allowed Tom to expand, in a strategic way, The Auk's Editorial Board to 20 members by the time he stepped down as editor-in-chief in 2000. Additional significant changes during Tom's leadership included issues appearing on time, growth of the journal in terms of the number of published pages, and use of original artwork on the cover. The Auk was strengthened by all of Tom's efforts.
Tom's service to the publications of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) did not end following his term as editor-in-chief. Years later, the AOU decided to reevaluate its approach to publishing The Auk and the Ornithological Monographs book series. Knowing Tom's commitment to the journal and his ability to think creatively about publishing, President Sue Haig asked Tom to chair a task force to advise the AOU on how to manage publications in an era of rapid change in the publishing industry. The Central Ornithology Publication Office (COPO) that we have today is the culmination of the work by Tom and his task force. Tom presented the society with a recommendation for the future of The Auk, Bonnie Bowen implemented this proposal with many of her own innovations, and the new publishing office has done an outstanding job of managing our publications, including weekly publication of Auk articles and enhanced publicity and access.
Finally, Tom is a member on whom the AOU can always count to think, first and foremost, about what is best for our science and to make strategic recommendations that help guide our organization. In recognition of his outstanding and diverse service to the AOU over the past two decades, we are proud to name Dr. Thomas Martin as the recipient of the 2015 Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award.
The Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award is given to an individual who has performed continued extensive service to the AOU, including holding elected offices but emphasizing volunteered contributions and committee participation. The officers of the AOU select the awardee on behalf of the society. The award, consisting of an honorarium and framed certificate, honors Marion Jenkinson Mengel, who served the AOU as treasurer and in other capacities for many years.