Sara Morris, First vice president of the Wilson Ornithological Society, presented the award to Doug James at the WOS 2014 annual meeting (Newport, Rhode Island; 29 May - June 1):
It is my honor to chair the William and Nancy Klamm Service Award Committee. This award honors the memory of extensive service and commitment to the society shown by Bill and Nancy Klamm, who generously supported the society with both their time and a substantial financial bequest.
More than 60 years ago, Doug James presented his first paper on roosting behavior in passerines at the Wilson Meeting at the University of Michigan Biological Station on Douglas Lake. Since then, Doug has chaired the Resolutions Committee, the Student Membership Committee, the Alexander Wilson Prize Committee, and the Scientific Program Committee. In 1973, he was elected as Second Vice-President and he succeeded to First Vice-President in 1975 and to President in 1977. Past-Presidents often continue to be active on the Wilson Council, and Doug is one who regularly attends and contributes at Council meetings. However, Doug has also taken on other duties after he served six years on the executive committee. More than two decades after completing his presidency, Doug hosted the 2001 Wilson meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Just last year, six decades after his first Wilson meeting, Doug served on the Student Presentation Awards Committee. One of the things that characterizes the Wilson Society is the importance of mentors bringing their graduate and undergraduate students to our meetings. Doug has a long history of bringing graduate students to Wilson meetings, many of whom have become active members and later officers of the Society. He has been an inspiring role model to both his own students and others who are mentors at Wilson meetings.
To honor the recipient of the Klamm Service Award, the society commissions an original painting of a bird that is particularly special to the recipient. Doug’s award is an original painting by Julie Zickefoose of a European Starling, the species on which he completed his dissertation. When asked he said, “I always say the European Starling is my favorite bird because it is numerous enough that one can easily study its population dynamics, behavior, life history, etc., and people don't complain if you mess with starlings.” We are grateful for the legacy his long and varied service, his mentoring, and his excellent role modeling; and we are pleased to honor him with the William and Nancy Klamm Service Award for 2014.
Doug James, left, circa 1985