Early Professional Avian Conservation and Community Impact Award

Nominations are now closed. Please check back soon for details on the next nomination cycle, and read about the first award recipient here.

New in 2022, the Wilson Ornithological Society Early Professional Avian Conservation and Community Impact Award honors the contributions of WOS members working in non-research careers that contribute to bird and bird habitat conservation, including applied science, education and outreach, communications, advocacy, and habitat conservation and protection.

This award recognizes the importance of this work in fostering an inclusive community of people brought together by a shared love of birds and their conservation. It also showcases the diversity of career paths and ways of contributing to ornithology and avian conservation. The awardee will receive an original piece of artwork from an early career artist as well as funding to support attendance at the WOS annual meeting (meeting registration, travel, hotel, per diem) and an honorarium.

Who Is Eligible?

Any member of WOS is eligible to be nominated, or self-nominated, for this award, given:

  • They are not currently a student.
  • They have not received the award previously.
  • They have 5 years or less of work experience in an avian conservation-related job at the time of the nomination deadline.
  • They are working in a job that contributes to the conservation of birds or their habitats, with a focus on management, policy, education, and/or outreach.

We encourage applications from those whose job responsibilities include activities like developing habitat management plans, tools for advancing conservation, or educational materials and curricula; undertaking events and activities with the public; sharing engaging stories about birds and conservation; working on conservation policy issues; and other similar applied activities that contribute to bird and bird habitat conservation. This may happen through journalism, public relations, education of all ages and communities, fundraising, conflict resolution, community building, or any number of non-research oriented actions. Although activities might inform research, the primary deliverables are not scientific publications.

This award prioritizes applicants coming from non-research career paths, including employees of federal, state, provincial and tribal government agencies, non-government organizations, non-profits, and individuals. We especially encourage applications from people who are members of and/or who are working with underrepresented communities to address justice, equity, and inclusion issues in bird conservation, however this is not a requirement of this award.

Both self-nominations and nominations on behalf of another individual are accepted.


March 1, 2022.


Submit nominations using this form.

Every application must include the four items listed below. See the nomination form linked above for more details about each item.

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Evidence of Contribution
  4. Contact for two references who can attest to the applicant’s impact


We will use the following broad criteria to evaluate nominations: (1) Is the impact inside or outside the organization where the person works? (2) Does it impact birds, people, or both? (3) How short or long term is the impact? (4) How did the work affect/improve surrounding communities and/or issues of equity, inclusion, justice, and diversity? (5) Was the project innovative? (6) Did this project fundamentally change the trajectory of avian conservation in the area/community of interest or for ornithology more generally? (7) What role did mentorship take in the project and what was the impact?

The Award

We will present the award at the WOS annual meeting, where the awardee will share their work with meeting attendees. In addition to an original piece of artwork from an early-career artist, the awardee will receive funding to support meeting registration, travel, hotel, per diem, and an honorarium.

Contact: Jennie Duberstein, Early Professional Impact Award Chair, canicas88@gmail.com