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The Cooper Ornithological Society is pleased to bestow the 2005 Loye and Alden Miller award on John A. Wiens in recognition of his contributions to science in the areas of community ecology, competition theory, and landscape ecology. Dr. Wiens's two-volume work on the The Ecology of Bird Communities1 challenged the use of competition to explain community patterns and processes, to the exclusion of alternative theses. He was also instrumental in increasing the rigor, in terms of sampling design, scale, statistical analysis, and data interpretation, with which ecological studies are conducted. In addition, his early work on patch boundaries was prescient in anticipating the field of landscape ecology, and his later work has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the discipline. His studies of the influence of spatial pattern on ecological processes, in particular, have significant implications for land management and habitat conservation.

The importance of Dr. Wiens's research has been recognized with numerous other awards including the Elliott Coues Award, American Ornithologists' Union (1991), Distinguished Landscape Ecologist Award, International Association for Landscape Ecology (U.S. Regional Chapter 1996), and the Twentieth Century Distinguished Service Award, Frontiers of Environmental and Ecological Statistics for The 21st Century, Bowling Green State University (1999).

Although Dr. Wiens is generally identified professionally as an ecologist, rather than as an ornithologist, most of his ecological work has been carried out on avian subjects and their habitats. That is not surprising given that he has always been interested in birds, starting as an avid birdwatcher in his early days in Oklahoma, where he grew up. He received his Bachelor's degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma in 1961. He then moved to the University of Wisconsin in Madison to earn his MA and Ph.D. degrees in 1963 and 1966, respectively, completing a dissertation on community relations among grassland birds. John has held teaching positions at several U.S. universities, culminating with his position as a University Distinguished Professor, at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins. In 2002 he left academia, accepting a position at The Nature Conservancy where as Chief Scientist, he is working to implement science-based conservation.


The Harry R. Painton Award is conferred every two years for the most significant and original ornithological research published in The Condor during the preceding four calendar years. The Painton Award for 2005 was presented to Sher L. Hendrickson, Robert Bleiweiss, Juan Carlos Matheus, Lilly Silva de Matheus, Norberto Luis Jácome, and Eduardo Pavez for their paper entitled “Low genetic variability in the geographically widespread Andean Condor,” published in Condor 105:1–12 (2003). The authors used several different molecular methods to determine the genetic variation in a large and widely distributed species in South America. Their goal was to test a commonly held assumption that species with wide ranges are likely to have large amounts of genetic variation, and conversely, that low levels of variation may reflect past population declines and bottlenecks. Their results were surprising in that the Condors, despite their wide range and large population sizes, exhibit low genetic variability across their range. This finding means that we must examine more closely the mechanisms that produce and maintain genetic variation, and in particular, we need to reconsider the meaning and potential importance of low levels of genetic variation in rare or endangered species.



The Cooper Ornithological society is pleased to bestow Honorary Membership on Dr. Barbara (Barb) E. Kus for her past outstanding service to the Society. Dr. Kus received all of her degrees from the University of California at Davis, beginning with a B.A. in Zoology and a B.S. in Anthropology in 1977, followed by an M.Sc. in Ecology (1980) and culminating with a Ph.D. in Ecology in 1985. Her graduate work explored questions surrounding flocking and predator avoidance in wintering shorebirds along the California coast. Following graduation, Dr. Kus moved to southern California to work for the USGS Western Ecological Research Center, and she has also been associated with the Department of Biology at San Diego State University. In southern California Dr. Kus's research interests have focused on Neotropical migratory birds in restored woodlands, with a special emphasis on the endangered Least Bell's Vireo. She has published well over 25 scientific papers on these research topics.

Dr. Kus's association with the Cooper Ornithological Society began with her 1984 Frances R. Roberts Award for best student paper at the Cooper Ornithological Society Annual Meeting. Since that time Dr. Kus has unselfishly devoted large portions of her professional efforts toward helping the COS. She and her students are regular attendees at annual COS meetings and have presented numerous professional papers. Dr. Kus has been Chair and a student paper judge for a number of years. She also hosted an annual COS meeting in San Diego. Dr. Kus has been elected by her peers to serve not just one term (1996–1998), but is now serving her second term on the COS Board (2005–2007). From 2000 through 2004 she also served as Book Review Editor to our journal, The Condor. Thus, the Cooper Ornithological Society is proud to award Honorary Membership to Dr. Barbara E. Kus for her outstanding contributions to our society.


The Cooper Ornithological society is pleased to bestow Honorary Membership on Dr. Martin (Marty) G. Raphael for his past outstanding service to the Society. Dr. Raphael received his first degree (B.A.) from California State University, Sacramento in 1968, then a second (B.S.) in 1972 from the University of California, Berkeley. He continued his graduate training at the latter school, completing his M.Sc. in 1976 and Ph.D. in 1980. His dissertation examined the utilization of standing dead trees by breeding birds at Sagehen Creek in California.

Following graduation, Dr. Raphael assumed a position from 1980–1984 as Associate Specialist and Project Leader, Old Growth Wildlife Habitat Project in the Department of Forestry and Resource Management, University of California, Berkeley. In 1984 he became Project Leader, Wildlife Habitat Relationships in the Central Rocky Mountains with the USDA Forest Service, Forest, Range and Watershed Laboratory in Laramie, Wyoming. He was also an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming in Laramie. In 1989 Dr. Raphael moved to Olympia, Washington as USFS Project Leader for Wildlife Habitat Relationships in Western Washington and Oregon, then in 1990 became Team Leader for Wildlife Ecology, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Dr. Raphael has authored over 135 published papers, many of which appeared in The Condor. His areas of research interest are quite broad, focusing on the application of community ecology theory to wildlife management problems. He has worked extensively on the development and validation of wildlife-habitat models, and with the effects of forest management on wildlife communities. Many of his papers have dealt with analyses of landscape pattern and landscape effects on wildlife populations.

The Cooper Ornithological Society has certainly benefited from the outstanding service that Dr. Raphael has provided the Society. Starting in 1984, Dr. Raphael served on the Program Committee and assisted with local arrangements for the annual Cooper meeting. In 1985 he began as Chairman of the COS Membership Committee, and continued in that capacity until 1990. From 1986–1993 Dr. Raphael served as Assistant Secretary for the Society. In 1987 he again helped with an annual COS meeting, serving as Chairman of the Scientific Program Committee. In 1989 Dr. Raphael was elected to the Board of Directors of the Cooper Ornithological Society. Following his tenure on the COS Board, he served as Chair of the COS Conservation Resolutions Committee from 1994 through 2000. His outstanding service to the COS continued in 1997 when he was a member of the Painton Award Committee. Dr. Raphael served once again as the Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the 1999 annual meeting in Portland, and in 2000 he was elected to a second 4-year term on the Cooper Ornithological Society Board of Directors. As if his second term on the Board was not enough, in 2002 Dr. Raphael served as Chair for the Cooper Ornithological Society Board of Directors Nominating Committee. For his extensive and outstanding contributions and service to our society, the Cooper Ornithological Society is proud to award Honorary Membership to Dr. Martin G. Raphael.

John A. Wiens, recipient of the Loye and Alden Miller Research Award for 2005


Sher L. Hendrickson, recipient of the Harry R. Painton Award for 2005


Eduardo Pavez (left) and Norberto Luis Jácome, recipients of the Harry R. Painton Award for 2005


Barbara E. Kus, recipient of Honorary Membership in the Cooper Ornithological Society, 2005


Martin G. Raphael, recipient of Honorary Membership in the Cooper Ornithological Society, 2005


[1] Wiens, J. A. 1989. The Ecology of Bird Communities. Vol. 1: Foundations and patterns. Vol. 2: Processes and variations. Cambridge Studies in Ecology, Cambridge University Press, N.Y.

"AWARD ANNOUNCEMENTS," The Condor 107(4), 948-951, (1 November 2005).[0948:AA]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 November 2005

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