Mission and Objectives of the Arkansas Audubon Society
The Arkansas Audubon Society was founded in 1955 at Petit Jean State Park. Objectives of the Society are (1) to foster a greater knowledge of the natural history of Arkansas through observation, investigation, education and publication, and (2) to be a potent force in the conservation of all of the natural resources of Arkansas.
The Society is a nonprofit, state-based, all-volunteer organization for birdwatchers. It is not affiliated with the National Audubon Society; individuals or families must specifically join the Arkansas Audubon Society to be members. Membership classes range from student to individual or family on up to life or patron memberships.
Activities of the Arkansas Audubon Society
- Statewide Meetings: The Society holds statewide meetings twice a year in conjunction with spring and fall bird migrations. The locations of the meetings vary but are always near areas of natural interest. Daytime field trips to scenic areas and birding hotspots are complemented by evening programs delivered by naturalists.
- Newsletter: The Society publishes a quarterly newsletter, Arkansas Birds, which includes news of the statewide meetings, bird distribution, timely conservation issues, and members' activities.
- Halberg Ecology Camp: The Society sponsors an annual summer ecology camp—two junior camps for 11 and 12 year-olds, two concurrent senior camps for students selected from the previous year's junior camps, and an advanced camp for students selected from previous senior camps. The week-long camps feature studies in various areas of natural history under the guidance of the superb staff.
- The AAS Trust: The Society has a separately functioning Trust, which supports research, conservation, and education projeccts through small grants, most often to graduate students at the state's colleges and universities.
- The Ruth Thomas Scholarship Award: The Society offers an award annually, which pays full tuition to a National Audubon Society Camp or Workshop. The applicant must have the potential to help young people learn a good conservation attitude.
- Iola Rea Scholarship Award: These grants pay expenses for outstanding AAS Halberg Ecology Campers plus a parent or guardian to attend AAS conventions.
- Bird Records Database: The Society's Curator maintains the Bird Records Database of rare and notable sightings. Ornithology is an area in which amateur birders make important contributions to science through observation and record keeping. Records are also used to periodically update the official checklist of Arkansas birds.
- The Shug & Luvois Shugart Red Cockaded Woodpecker Conservation Award: This award is presented to persons who have continued to work to save the species.
- The Max and Helen Parker Award: This award is given for exceptional service to Arkansas Audubon Society.