The Frontiers in Ornithology Symposium:

an event for youth ages 13-22 and their mentors.

The primary mission of this event is to focus on ornithology, conservation science and related academic pursuits. The symposium does not focus on birding, bird identification techniques, or listing birds, but instead on cutting-edge technologies being used in avian research and study, careers in ornithology, and how to pursue that focus in higher education, vocationally, or avocationally. Our goal is to educate and inspire youth to take their passion for birds to a higher level. Join us on November 4, 2023 for keynotes, speakers, networking opportunities, workshops, and new friends!

“This symposium is an incredible opportunity to learn from the experts and leaders in ornithology and avian science.”

—Claire Wayner


Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez
© Dave Burbank

Announcing our 2023 Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez

Co-Director, Center for Avian Population Studies; Leader, Conservation Science Program; Executive Director, Coastal Solutions Fellows Program; Senior Researcher, Cornell University

Dr. Ruiz-Gutierrez earned her Bachelor’s degree at the National University of Costa Rica in Tropical Biology, and her Doctorate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, with a strong focus on population biology and quantitative ecology. The focus of her research program is to work at the interface between science and application to deepen our understanding of the social and environmental factors that shape where and when species occur on a given landscape to improve decision-making and conservation. Read more »

Brooke Goodman

Youth Keynote

Jonathan Irons

Youth Keynote

Dr. Jeff Buler

Professor of Wildlife Ecology

University of Delaware

Christina “Kashi” Davis

Principal Zoologist
NJ Fish and Wildlife Endangered and Nongame Species Program

Katie Fallon

Author, Essayist
Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia
Alison Fetterman-1

Alison Fetterman

Bird Conservation Associate & Northeast Motus Project Manager
Willistown Conservation Trust

Lamar Gore

USFWS Refuge Manager,

John Heinz NWR

Tykee James

President, DC Audubon Society

Michael Lanzone

Chief Executive Officer

Cellular Tracking Technologies


Trish Miller, Ph. D.

Conservation Science Global, Inc
Executive Director,

Sr. Research Wildlife Biologist

thumbnail_JF with snowy

Dr. Jean-Francois Therrien

Sr. Scientist & Graduate Study Director

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Jason Weckstein

Associate Professor
Drexel University

Dr. Andy Wilson

Associate Professor
Gettysburg College

Matthew Young

Finch Research Network
Co-author, Stokes Guide to Finches of North America

Inaugural Symposium Recap

Sponsor the Symposium

Sponsorship opportunities are available! All proceeds of the symposium support The Frontiers Fund and the Frontiers Field Institute. The Frontiers Fund supports programs based on their benefit to youth through education, research, or conservation activities. The Frontiers Field Institute provides hands-on field experiences from experts in bird education, research, or conservation.


Raven Sponsor

Peregrine Sponsor

Barred Owl Sponsor

Hog Island Aubudon Camp

Red Knot Sponsors

Meadowlark Sponsors

Purple Martin Sponsors

Young Birders Club

Scholarship sponsors

Coffee onsite supplied by:

Thank you to our songbird sponsors:

Anonymous – in memory of Lar
Sharon Forsyth
Clare Hylant
up to $249 
Barry Blust
Marguerite Long
Stephen McInnis
Amy O’Neil
York County Audubon, ME



We anticipate this event to sell out once again, so register early to secure your spot!

For this price you’ll get:

  • Full participation in all sessions
  • Choice of attending concurrent presentations and workshops
  • Keynote and Youth Keynote presentations
  • Post-event video access of all sessions
  • Welcome bag
  • Continental breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Networking opportunities

Note: We aim to keep participation costs low so that all who are interested in a career in ornithology can attend our events. We have a limited number of scholarships available based on financial need to attend the symposium. Email us for more information. 

Adult cost: $75

Parents and mentors may only attend the symposium if accompanied by one or more participating youths. Parents and mentors get:

  • Choice of attending select concurrent presentations
  • Speaker sessions exclusively for parents and mentors
  • Keynote and Youth Keynote presentations
  • Post-event video access of all sessions
  • Welcome bag
  • Continental breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Networking opportunities

A Note From the Frontiers Team

The Frontiers planning team would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped make the 2019 Frontiers in Ornithology Symposium a resounding success. The sold-out event was attended by nearly 150 youth, speakers, volunteers, and mentors, and attendees joined us from 14 states. We absolutely could not have put on such an incredible inaugural symposium without the help of our generous speakers, sponsors, and volunteers. Thank you for making this event possible, and we look forward to your continued support!

In November 2019, Bill Stewart, the driving force behind the symposium, succumbed to a long-fought battle with cancer. While his presence could never be replaced, the team is still dedicated to continuing the Frontiers in Ornithology Symposium in 2022 and beyond. This is just one of many ways that Bill’s legacy will live on.

Read a tribute to Bill here.

The Frontiers in Ornithology Association aims to educate and inspire youth to take their passion for birds to a higher level by encouraging opportunities in ornithology, conservation science, and related academic and professional pursuits.

The Frontiers in Ornithology Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.