Last week I showed a banner the role of some prominent women in the history of ornithology. We prepared that large banner to display at the recent AOS conference in Anchorage, but I thought it worth posting here for those of you who were not at that conference or were just too busy to stop and read the details. Almost immediately after I posted it, a couple of friends and colleagues wrote to say something like “Wait, what? You made a banner on the role of women in ornithology where you mentioned pioneers like Brina Kessel but then you did not include her in your timeline!”
The reason for that apparent oversight is that we made a separate banner about Dr Kessel—shown below—in part to highlight her pioneering work studying Alaskan birds. We also wanted to celebrate her incredible bequest to the AOS, one that will provide travel funds, research grants and more to AOS members, in perpetuity. I have written previously about Brina Kessel here and here.
In addition to the Kessel and Women banners, we also made a banner celebrating diversity in ornithology. We have come a long way since ornithological societies were run by and comprised of small groups of white men, and this diversity banner was designed to celebrate how far we have come to embracing the diversity of genders, cultures, races, ages, and experiences in the AOS. That banner, shown immediately below with the other two, is a mosaic of photographs of ornithologists composed into the image of a willow ptarmigan, the state bird of Alaska.