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27 January 2016 Report of the Eighty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Cooper Ornithological Society

The Cooper Ornithological Society held its 85th Annual Meeting jointly with the American Ornithologists' Union at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, from July 27, 2015, to August 1, 2015. Jeff Kelly and Eli Bridge of the University of Oklahoma were Co-Chairs of the Committee on Local Arrangements. Jeff Kelly chaired the Committee on the Scientific Program. The 86th Annual Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., at the North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC VI), at the Washington Hilton, August 16, 2016, to August 20, 2016.


The Members of the Society, through online balloting, elected Jen Owen, Morgan Tingley, and Blair Wolf for three year terms (2015–2018) to the Board of Directors. Many thanks go to retiring Board Members Carla Cicero, Tom Martin, and Renée Duckworth.

The following officers of the Board of Directors continued in office: Martin Raphael as President, Anna Chalfoun as President-Elect, Abby Powell as Secretary, Joseph (TJ) Fontaine as Assistant Secretary, Barbara Kus as Treasurer, Mary Whitfield as Assistant Treasurer, and Phil Stouffer as Editor-in-Chief of The Condor: Ornithological Applications. Kate Huyvaert was elected as the new Editor of the Studies in Avian Biology. Brett Sandercock and Susan Skagen were elected to Honorary Membership.

Joint COS/AOU Student Award winners at the 2015 Annual Meeting: Shawn Billerman, Nadje Najar, Virginia Abernathy, Sinead Borchert, Kristen Covino, Antonio Celis-Murillo, Emily Williams, Nicole Krauss (not pictured).


COS Honorary Member Recognition

Honorary Membership in the Cooper Ornithological Society is bestowed on those who have made significant contributions to the Society and to ornithology. On the occasion of the joint COS/AOU Joint Annual Meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, in 2015, the Society bestowed Honorary Membership on Brett Sandercock and Susan Skagen. Brett Sandercock was the Editor of the Studies in Avian Biology for five years and edited and published 12 books in the series. Susan Skagen was Co-Chair of the Local Committee for the 2014 Joint Annual Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado. See the separate article in this issue on the 2015 Honorees. COS Honorary Membership may be conferred, by a majority vote of the Directors present at any Board 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.

Deceased Members

The Secretary reported the names of recently deceased members: Allan Baker, Richard Beidleman, William E. Glantz, Richard F. Johnston, Joe T. Marshall, Maria Elena Pereyra, William Rapp, Jr., R. J. Robel, Robert R. Sargent, James Shires, Otis Wade, and Edwin O. Willis.


First presented in 2009, the Cooper Society's Young Professional Award recognizes early-career researchers for their outstanding scientific research and contributions to the ornithological profession. In 2015, the Society awarded Young Professional Awards to Elizabeth Gow, University of British Columbia, who presented “Parental care in northern flickers: Sex-related patterns of foraging, provisioning, and habitat use,” and to Jared Wolfe, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, who presented on “Effects of a regenerating matrix on the survival and biogeography of birds in tropical forest fragments.” See the separate article in this issue on the Young Professional Awardees.

The 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 Dr. Bailey McKay, Chapman Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Robert Zink, Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota, for their iconoclastic paper “Sisyphean evolution of Darwin's finches” which appeared in 2014 in Biological Reviews (90:689–698). See separate article in this issue on the Katma Awardees.

The Harry R. Painton Award, given every two years for a paper published during the past four years in The Condor that makes an extraordinary contribution to ornithology, was given to Jeffrey Buler and Deanna Dawson for their paper “Radar analysis of fall bird migration stopover sites in the northeastern U.S.” published in The Condor 116:357–370. See the separate article in this issue on the Painton Awardees.

The Loye and Alden Miller Research Award for lifetime achievement in ornithological research was presented to Jerram L. Brown, for his pioneering work in behavioral ecology. 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 Emily Hudson of the University of Nebraska, for her paper “Embryonic species recognition in wild songbirds.” See the separate article in this issue on the Grinnell Awardee.

The Society's Mewaldt-King Awards (to support research in any area of ornithology that relates to the conservation of birds, and which includes a cash prize) went to Lauren Solomon, Southern Illinois University, “Evaluating quality of fall stopover sites for Neotropical migrants in the northern Yucatan Peninsula: Full-service hotels, convenience stores, or fire escapes?”; Miranda Bertram, Texas A&M University, “Detection and characterization of hemoparasites in the endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana), with implications for conservation;” Kristen Malone, University of Florida, “Community and population dynamics of birds and their nest predators in upland pine ecosystems;” Kathryn McCollum, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, “An occupancy analysis and density estimation of Kori Bustards (Ardeotis kori kori) and Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) for use in landscape conservation planning in eastern Botswana;” and Vijay Ramesh, Columbia University, “Detecting species responses to climate change: A case study of Parus major cinereus (Cinereous Tit) and Parus monticolus (Greenbacked Tit) in the Western Himalayas.”

The Cooper Society's Student Presentation Awards for an outstanding oral presentation or poster at the annual meeting (and which includes a cash prize and books) were awarded as follows: Brazier Howell Award to Shawn Billerman, University of Wyoming, for “Behavioral influences on a sapsucker hybrid zone;” Frances F. Roberts Award to Stepfanie Aguillon, University of Arizona, for “Resource-mediated behavioral dynamics among kin drive dispersal in first-year Western Bluebirds (Sialia Mexicana);” and Board of Directors Awards to Shannon Walsh, San Diego State University, “Genetic and phenotypic divergence of the Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) on the California Channel Islands,” and Libby Megna, University of Wyoming, “Environmental niche divergence for hybridizing and non-hybridizing passerines.”

The Joint Committee (Cooper Society and the AOU) on Student Travel Awards for the 2015 Annual Meeting gave out 78 student travel awards to help defray transportation costs to the meeting: 10 to undergraduates, 32 to MS students, and 36 to Ph.D. students. The Cooper Society members who received awards were: Megan Ahrns, Alyssa Borowske, Jessica Burnett, Shannon Butler, Amber Carver, Antonio Celis-Murillo, Kristen Covino, Sylvia de la Parra Martínez, Mike Ellis, Oscar Gonzalez, Angela Hsiung, Eunbi Kwon, Gavin Leighton, William Lewis, I-Hsing Liu, Nicholas Mason, Alix Matthews, Elizabeth Messick, Nadje Najar, Claire Nemes, Karan Odom, Angelina Ruiz Sanchez, Nicholas Sly, Lauren Solomon, Kalli Trahan, Mitchel Trychta, Bram Verheijen, Emily Williams, and Theodore Zenzal.

For details about all awards requirements and eligibility, go to

"Report of the Eighty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Cooper Ornithological Society," The Condor 118(1), 203-204, (27 January 2016).
Published: 27 January 2016
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