MOS members contribute their time, talents and expertise to keep the organization vibrant and growing. There’s a committee for everyone to help MOS be much more than a collection of birders. Our Manual of Operation briefly describes the purpose of each committee, but it isn’t too restrictive, giving them room to experiment and achieve results. Please consider joining one of these vital components of MOS. Contact the MOS President for further information.

There are 17 standing committees at this time, each with a chair appointed by the President, under the provisions of Article IX of the Bylaws. Committees are grouped, with each coordinated by one of the Executive Council members. Groups and committees are:

Administrative Group (Secretary)

  • Bylaws
  • Conference
  • Nominations
  • Awards
  • Historian
  • Merchandise/Sales
  • Mailing List

Birds & Habitat Group (Past President)

  • Atlas
  • Conservation
  • Nest Records
  • Research
  • Sanctuary
  • Seasonal Counts

Education Group (Vice President)

  • Library
  • Scholarship
  • Statewide Educational Activities
  • Youth Program

Finance Group (Treasurer)

  • Budget
  • Investment
  • Development

Outreach Group (President)

  • Communications (Publications, Website)
  • Long-range Planning
  • Youth Programs
  • World Series of Birding

Budget Committee

This committee shall consist of five members including its chair. The Vice-President and the Treasurer of the Society are designated members. It shall be responsible for the preparation of the annual budget for the ensuing fiscal year, beginning May 1st, to be submitted to the Board of Directors at the final Board meeting preceding May 1. In considering the budgets for the endowed committees (Research, Sanctuary, Scholarship, Statewide Educational Activities, and Youth Programs) for the coming fiscal year, the Budget Committee will limit the budgeted amount as follows: the sum of the current fiscal year’s earnings from the endowment, earmarked contributions received during the current fiscal year, anticipated external grants to be received during the coming fiscal year (e. g. scholarships supported by other organizations through MOS), and a carryover amount equal to the unspent budgeted funds during the current fiscal year, but the carryover amount shall be limited to the amount of the endowment earnings during the current fiscal year. Since exact numbers for all these amounts are not known at the time of the budget proposal, estimates will be used. At the end of the current fiscal year, the actual numbers will be inserted in the budget to replace the estimates. Half the earnings of the Education fund will be allocated the limit for the Statewide Educational Activities Committee and half for the Youth Programs Committee. The Budget Committee has the option of proposing less than this limiting amount for the budget of any of these committees. Expenditures in excess of those in the budget (as it was approved by the Board of Directors) need to be approved specifically by the Board of Directors or by the Executive Council.

Bylaws Committee

This committee shall have at least three members, with one designated as chair. It shall have the responsibility of suggesting changes to the Bylaws, which it regards as necessary, to the Board of Directors, for discussion and approval, and then submitted to the membership for final vote, according to ARTICLE XlII of the Bylaws. The changes may arise from the committee itself, from written suggestions submitted by members, or from the Board of Directors. The Bylaws
Committee shall also suggest changes to the Manual in like manner as the Bylaws changes, according to ARTICLE Xll of the Bylaws, submitting them for approval by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors before incorporating them into the Manual.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee shall consist of at least 5 members, including the editor of Maryland Birdlife, the editor of the Maryland Yellowthroat, and the webmaster for the MOS Internet site. It shall be responsible for preparing and distributing both the printed and electronic publications of the Society, including Maryland Birdlife, the Maryland Yellowthroat, the Field List of the Birds of Maryland, state checklists, the state website, and other brochures and reference materials as needed. The Committee will establish consistent editorial guidelines for written and graphical elements. It will help other committees that need to produce publications (e.g., the sanctuary guide), and will advise chapters that seek assistance.

Conference Committee

This committee has an unspecified number of members. It shall study sites for the Annual Meeting of the Society and then submit site recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval. The Committee shall include an individual designated as Conference Coordinator for the upcoming conference. The Conference Coordinator and individuals s/he designates shall make all local arrangements, plan all activities, and prepare notices to send to the membership,
including suggested Bylaws changes, if any, and a list of nominees for office. It shall also coordinate meeting plans with the President.

Conservation Committee

This committee shall have not less than five members, including the chair. It shall advise the President on conservation issues that are of concern to the Society. It shall report to the Board of Directors, and also the membership when so directed by the President or the Board. There shall be a contact person in each MOS chapter, with the default contact person being the chapter president.

Development Committee

This committee shall consist of four members including chair, Treasurer, membership custodian and EarthShare Coordinator. The primary purpose of the Development Committee is to encourage membership and means to complete the mission of the Society through outreach. This may involve the acquisition of funds through participation and encouragement of annual giving through workplace annual giving campaigns (e.g. Environmental Fund of the Maryland/EarthShare) and through remembrance of MOS in bequeaths. It also includes participation in local events facilitating the appreciation of birdlife. The EFC Coordinator assists the Development Committee through monitoring of EFC activities, annual submission, and outreach to encourage annual giving. The membership custodian serves the Development Committee through the maintenance of the State membership list and to provide for the dissemination of Society information to all new members.

Investment Committee

This committee shall consist of four members, including the chair and the Society Treasurer as a non-voting member. All disbursements, transfers of funds, and other similar actions required pursuant to the committee’s decisions shall be performed by the Treasurer.

The committee shall develop target asset allocation percentages (e.g. percentages of equities and fixed income investments) for MOS investments; MOS investments should be periodically rebalanced to maintain those targets. The committee will make no change in these target asset allocation percentages without approval of the Board of Directors. The committee may, with approval of the Board of Directors, retain an investment manager for a fee to select the MOS investments to meet the targets. Otherwise, the committee shall have the duty of investing available funds. The committee shall invest only in low-cost passively managed index mutual funds investing in equities or fixed income instruments, money market mutual funds, certificates of deposit, or interest earning savings accounts. The committee may invest in other instruments only with approval of the Board of Directors.

The committee shall maintain an Investment Policy Statement reflecting the Committee’s current views of MOS’ investment strategy and goals. The Treasurer shall retain a copy of the Investment Policy Statement.

The committee may specify additions to or reductions of accounts other than the operating fund on deposit in banks and building and loan associations. Unneeded cash in the operating fund may be similarly handled by the Investment Committee upon its release by the Board of Directors.

MOS shall indemnify and hold harmless its officers, directors, and the members and chair of the investment committee from any claims made, including any defense costs, with respect to management or administration of its investments, except claims for fraud or criminal activity.

The chair shall keep the President promptly and thoroughly informed of the committee’s progress and decisions.

Library Committee

This committee shall have at least three members with one member serving as chair. It shall have the authority to oversee the Society’s collection of books, periodicals and other library materials. It shall retain copies of all publications that may be generated by the Society, and acquire other publications that are deemed pertinent; and shall catalog and store properly all materials. It shall place collections in the sanctuaries that have proper facilities for their care, and shall provide for the availability of the library materials to the membership and non-member scholars interested in conducting research. It shall also be responsible for any audio-visual materials that the committee deems proper for acquisition.

Long-range Planning Committee

This committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. It shall study the operation of the Society and shall recommend goals to be achieved for the improvement of the Society. It shall also study methods and practices which have been proposed for use in reaching these goals. Additionally, the Long-Range Planning Committee shall work with each committee in developing its own goals and long-range plans.

MD/DC Records Committee

The primary duty of the Records Committee is to review reports of rare bird sightings in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The Committee shall establish procedures for the submission of reports; publish a list of reviewable species; publish a summary of its work periodically in Maryland Yellowthroat and Maryland Birdlife; and maintain an official list of the birds of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

This committee shall consist of nine voting members, a Chair, and a non-voting Secretary. Terms of office for the voting members shall be three years, staggered such that each year, three of the members complete their terms. New term voting members shall be elected by the current term voting committee members. The term of office for the Chair shall be one year. The MOS President shall appoint the Chair after consultation with the current term voting members of the
Committee. The Chair may be filled by either one of the voting members or an additional nonvoting member. The Secretary shall be appointed by the Chair to a one-year term. The Secretary shall accept sighting reports, distribute reports to the voting members for review, tally votes, and maintain the committee’s files.

Research Committee

This committee shall consist of no fewer than five members, including the chair. It shall award grants for research conducted primarily in the State of Maryland. Grant applicants need not be Maryland residents. The committee shall provide written guidelines for proposals. It shall review proposals for their value in ornithology or ecology and ascertain whether all conditions of grants are met. It shall also report to the Board of Directors the particulars of each grant and an annual summary of monies received and disbursed.

Sanctuary Committee

The MOS Sanctuary committee shall consist of at least five members in addition to a chair. Preferably members shall be apportioned with at least one from the Eastern Shore counties, one from the Western Maryland counties, and the rest at large. There shall be a contact person in each MOS chapter, with the default contact person being the chapter president. Functions: The Committee shall set the course for MOS sanctuaries, plan and implement the budget, report to MOS on its activities and accomplishments, establish good relations with other conservation groups, and update the MOS Sanctuary Guide, web sites and other materials as needed. In addition the Committee shall select a Sanctuary Manager for each sanctuary. The Sanctuary Manager shall make an annual report to the Sanctuary Committee and complete annual tasks as determined by the Committee.

Scholarship Committee

This committee shall consist of no less than six members, including the chair. It shall administer the awarding of scholarships by the Society, and shall develop standards and guidelines, both for the candidates and the committee. Candidates for scholarships must be residents of Maryland, at least 18 years of age, and involved with training young people. This committee shall work with chapters in order to locate candidates. There shall be a contact person in each MOS chapter, with the default contact person being the chapter president.

Seasonal Counts Committee

This committee is headed by a coordinator, who shall provide guidance, advice, and assistance to the various count compilers. The coordinator serves as Chair of the Committee, which also has as members the compilers for the various seasonal counts carried out under the auspices of the MOS. Any other members as required by the coordinator shall also be recruited for the committee. The purposes of the Seasonal Counts Committee are to set dates, to provide
reporting forms for publication in MD Yellowthroat, to inform the membership of county-level compilers for the various counts carried out on a seasonal basis, and to ensure timely delivery of the compiled results to the Editor of MD Birdlife. At present the Committee is responsible for May Count, Fall Migration Count, and Mid-Winter Count. Other seasonally-occurring counts may be added as necessary.

Statewide Educational Activities

This committee shall have four members, including the chair. It shall be responsible for the development and operation of special state-sponsored activities such as programs, workshops, and field trips. These activities will give members special opportunities to learn about birds and birding in Maryland, while encouraging them to interact and cooperate with other members across the state.

Youth Programs

The committee shall consist of at least four members to include the chair and President. The Youth Programs Committee’s primary function is to encourage the appreciation of birds and bird habitat conservation to minors through mentorship and education. Examples include youth-oriented educational programs, youth birding trips and competitions.