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President's Message: 2021

Greetings and happy holidays!

First and foremost, I would like to thank OOS members for their patience. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected many OOS Board Members, directly and indirectly.

Scissortail Newsletter

The most apparent impact of COVID to OOS members is that we lacked the staff to publish the traditional hard copy newsletter.

This flurry of blog posts is a test run for shifting OOS communication to a digital format that is easier to create and access. The hard copy newsletter is very time-consuming to edit, organize, and mail. For comparison, it took me less than two hours to format, organize, and publish our newsletter articles as blog posts; it typically takes 20-40 hours to format this material in Microsoft Publisher (plus the time/money to mail).

An added bonus to the ease of access is it's also easy to contribute: if you would like to contribute articles to the new blog/newsletter, please contact us.

Spring and Fall Meetings

Due to the rise of the delta variant, OOS cancelled the 2021 Fall Technical Meeting. We also have cancelled the Spring 2022 meeting due to future uncertainty. We are tentatively planning a Fall 2022 meeting as a combined field/technical meeting to be held at Lake Arcadia in Edmond.

Digital Updates

Typically, the winter and summer board meetings are held on a Saturday at a location relatively central to board members in OKC and Tulsa. The meeting location makes attendance difficult for board members located further from that region. Past President Bill Diffin coordinated online Zoom board meetings during his term, and we will continue with that practice going forward to make it easier for relatively distant board members. Spring and fall board meetings will still be held at the in-person meetings, with the added digital option of including those unable to physically attend.

Also, OOS has increasingly utilized the existing Facebook page for outreach to the 5,000 members. We also have an OOS Twitter and Instagram: @OKOrnithology. If you’re interested in being a curator, please contact us. Going forward, we are working to make the calendar function on the OOS webpage a comprehensive repository of birding events in OK.

We now have a logo! Thank you to President-elect Angelina Stancampiano for contracting out the artwork.

Other Changes

My assessment is that many OOS Board Member duties outlined in the Constitution need to be reconsidered and simplified. The Constitution was compiled in 1988, and the last amendment was in 2002. As such, much of the language is based on in-person meetings and postal mailing. Many of these Board Member duties can be simpler and less time-consuming, and addressing this will likely comprise the remaining year of my term in 2022. This new format is a step in that direction.

OOS Mission

The OOS is an independent, non-profit educational organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to the observation, study, and conservation of birds.

Lastly, I wanted to highlight the OOS Mission Statement. My intent is that we adapt to an increasingly changing world to fulfill this statement, while retaining the traditions that make OOS great.

Thank you for the honor of serving as your OOS President.

Jeff Tibbits, President ’21-‘22

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