Promoting Bird Study in Virgina
Since its organization, the Virginia Society of Ornithology has raised money, funded scholarships, and made grants to promote bird study in the state. There are currently four awards. For more information about specific awards, application procedures, criteria, or to nominate a person for an award, please contact the President of the Virginia Society of Ornithology.
The Mitchell A. Byrd Award, established in 2011, recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in the field of ornithology. Recipients shall demonstrate an exceptional record of contribution to the scientific knowledge of Virginia’s birds through evidence including, but not limited to, publications such as papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and books or book chapters derived from the candidates’ original scientific research, conference presentations, recommendation letters from scientific peers, and other forms of peer recognition (e.g. an award from a national scholarly society). Any member of the Virginia Society of Ornithology may nominate a candidate for the Byrd Award. The Byrd Award Committee selects a recipient for the award from among the candidates, and the award is presented during the Annual Meeting.
Jackson M. Abbott Conservation Award
In 1973 the Virginia Society of Ornithology established a conservation award to be given to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated outstanding conservation work in the state of Virginia. The award, a framed certificate acknowledging the accomplishments of the recipient, is presented at the annual meeting. In 1989, the award was renamed in honor of Jackson M. Abbott for his lifelong devotion to conservation and his effective work on its behalf.
In 1980, the Murray Award was established to honor Joseph J. Murray, a charter member of the VSO and editor of The Raven from its inception until 1969. This annual cash award is designed to promote graduate and undergraduate research on Virginia birds. Proposals are submitted for consideration, and the winners are encouraged to present the results of their studies at the VSO annual meeting.
In 1983, the Virginia Society of Ornithology Board of Directors approved the James Eike Service Award, named in honor of James Eike, a member of the Virginia Society of Ornithology from 1933 until his death in 1983. Eike’s long and faithful service, his dedication, and his enthusiasm in promoting the work of the VSO gave him a unique status in the organization. The recipient is recognized by the presentation of a silver Raven pin. The first pin was given to Claire Eike, in honor of her late husband for whom the award was named. The James Eike Service Award is given to recognize a VSO member for outstanding service to the Virginia Society of Ornithology. Eligibility for consideration would include service as an officer, board member, foray director, field trip leader, or other contributions to the organization.
Myriam P. Moore Service Award
The highest service award is the Myriam P. Moore Award. Instituted in 1983, this award is given to a member in recognition of a very high level of achievement in service areas for 25 or more years and a demonstrated devotion to the principles and objectives of the VSO. This award has been given three times, the first time to Myriam P. Moore at the 1983 Annual Meeting.