In a unanimous vote at the July 2011 annual meeting, the AOU Council approved a motion to move forward with planning to form a new society, with ultimate hopes of uniting and strengthening Western Hemisphere ornithology. The plan could involve a merger of AOU and one or more other ornithological societies into a western hemisphere ornithological society tentatively named the Society for Ornithology.
This new Society for Ornithology would result in a clean slate for designing new governance and new journals, as well as provide broad opportunities to promote the field of ornithology, ornithologists, and avian conservation. Most significantly, plans include development of four new journals housed under a single editorial office. Online journals would appear online monthly, and in paper form quarterly. Focus will vary from cutting edge basic research to descriptive ornithology and will include a new journal on avian conservation and management. This new editorial effort would result in cessation of the Auk, and perhaps certain journals of partner societies that join in this sweeping reform.
The new society might include regional sections and topical working groups that will meet bi-annually. Meetings of the unified society could be hosted bi-annually in years opposite of section and working group meetings.
Plans for further development of the Society for Ornithology involve immediate invitation to all OSNA societies and other ornithological groups interested in helping pioneer this historic change in western hemisphere ornithology. The Cooper Ornithological Society already has indicated a strong interest in the new effort, and talks are underway with the other societies.
A business plan is now being developed for presentation to the AOU Council and other partner groups by early February 2012. The AOU Council and partners will meet in Dallas in February to discuss and further develop the business plan. A comment period will be provided to members of all partnering societies following development of the draft business plan. The AOU Council will vote on this final business plan (from an AOU perspective) at the NAOC in Vancouver (August 2012). Until then, comments can be posted below or sent to AOU President-Elect Susan Haig email@example.com.
Additional details can be found in the presentation made at the AOU Business Meeting in August 2011, available under the Downloads tab or by clicking here: AOU 20XX Annual Meeting Presentation.pdf
Check the Ornithology Exchange regularly for further progress on development of the Society for Ornithology.
This announcement was originally posted in Comments about the Society for Ornithology forum topic.