The Marion Jenkinson Service Award is given to an individual who has performed continued extensive service to the American Ornithological Society (AOS), including holding elected offices but emphasizing volunteered contributions and committee participation. The award honors Marion Jenkinson Mengel, who served the American Ornithologists' Union as treasurer and in other capacities for many years. The AOS Service Award Committee selects the awardee on behalf of the society. The award consists of a framed certificate and an honorarium. The 2018 award is presented to Dr. Nicholas A. Mason.
Nick completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University in fall 2017, so all of his service to the societies occurred while he was a student member. Nick's contributions at such an early stage of his career are extraordinary and have benefited student and nonstudent members alike. As a member of the AOS Student Affairs Committee in 2012–2013, he assisted with the organization and implementation of the Student-Professional Social and the Student Quiz Bowl at the annual meeting in Chicago as well as at the NAOC-V meeting in Vancouver. He went on to chair that committee for the next four years, with expanded duties including management of a budget and oversight of professional development workshops, student-professional mixers, a silent auction to raise funds for the AOS, and the wildly popular Quiz Bowl, made even more enjoyable by Nick's able and delightful role as host. In 2014, Nick joined the Collections Committee, where he supported the museum-based ornithology community by organizing workshops at annual meetings, advancing education in biodiversity informatics, and assisting ornithologists with issues regarding IACUC, import/export, and other federal agency policies. Nick has cochaired the Student Systematics Group since 2015, where he prepares several proposals annually for submission to the AOS Checklist Committee, recruits new student members, and coordinates efforts to revise avian taxonomy in North America. Nick has been a member of the Membership Committee since 2015 and was lead author of a publication analyzing membership trends that laid the groundwork for revision of the AOS strategy and policy for building and maintaining society membership and for promoting ornithology in North America. Additional current committee service includes membership on the Meeting Continuity Committee, which seeks to promote the continuity of organizational efforts among annual conferences, and the Early Career Professionals Committee, which organizes events to promote professional development of early-career ornithologists. Nick's contributions exemplify a spirit of service that strengthens the profession and highlights the opportunities for members at even the earliest career stages to contribute to the society's mission in meaningful ways.
In recognition of his outstanding and diverse service to the AOS and earlier ornithological societies, the society is proud to name Nick Mason as the recipient of the 2018 Marion Jenkinson Service Award.