Human Diversity



  • Adrian Castellanos
  • Camilo Calderon-Acevedo
  • Laura D’Acunto 
  • Noé de la Sancha
  • Laurie J. Dizney
  • Elizabeth A. Flaherty
  • Thomas C. Giarla
  • Rhiannon Jakopak
  • Marjorie D. Matocq
  • Kim Neil
  • Teri Orr
  • Kevin C. Rowe
  • Rebecca J. Rowe
  • Katie Smith
  • Lisa Walsh

History and Mission

The Human Diversity Committee was originally established as the ad hoc Committee on Women and Minority Issues (1992-1996), and underwent a name change to better reflect its goals (ad hoc Committee on Human Diversity in Mammalogy, 1996-1998). In 1998, as an indication of the importance of the committee’s goals to the ASM, it was elevated to a standing committee (first as the Committee on Human Diversity in Mammalogy) and finally attained its current name in 1999. Its mission is to ensure the opportunity for active participation in the ASM by all members, regardless of gender, race, ethnic background, age, physical disabilities, or sexual orientation.


This committee serves the Society by working to encourage and facilitate an increase in the diversity of active participants of the Society by working to reduce any and all barriers to participation, service, and governance (especially those associated with under-represented groups). Accordingly, the committee is examining approaches and efforts to increase diversity within the Society, especially the diversity of the participants in societal activities and functions. This committee also plans and conducts various workshops, symposia, and other activities associated with its mission.

The committee also reminds ASM members that independent ombudspersons are available to mediate or advise on issues regarding inappropriate conduct, discrimination, or other unprofessional behaviors (see Journal of Mammalogy 78:268 [1997]).

J. Mary Taylor Award

The J. Mary Taylor Award was developed collaboratively by the Human Diversity Committee and the ASM Office of the Ombudspersons, and honors our first female president, Dr. J. Mary Taylor (President 1982–1984). Mary’s leadership for the Society and the institutions she lead exemplifies our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and equity within the field of mammalogy. This award recognizes the impact of an individual or a team through contributions that promote and improve the accessibility, inclusivity, and diversity of our discipline or of our Society.

Mary Taylor (1931–2019) broke barriers throughout her career. She was a consummate mammalogist and deeply committed to both the ASM and to her students, graduate and undergraduate alike. She was noted for her sound fiscal planning and her groundbreaking research as a field and museum biologist. Among her positions, she served as Professor of Zoology and Director of the Cowan Vertebrate Museum at the University of British Columbia, Executive Director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Chairperson of the IUCN Rodent Specialist Committee, and Vice President of the Association of Science Museum Directors. We remember her fondly for her leadership, her “can do” personality, and friendship within the ASM. In recognition of her accomplishments, she was awarded Honorary Membership in 2001. For additional details on Mary’s life and accomplishments see Horner et al. (1996) and Woolley (In press).

Donate to the J. Mary Taylor Award here.

History of Human Diversity Committee Activities

Year Committee Activity Meeting Site for Activity
1992 Forum:  Women and Minorities in Science University of Utah, Salt Lake City
1993 Workshop:  So You Want to Be a Professor?  How Women & Minorities Succeed in the Tenure Mainstream Western Washington University, Bellingham
1994 Symposium:  Careers in Mammalogy:  Is There Life Outside the Ivory Tower? Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
1995 Luncheon:  Women and Minority Issues (What does ASM have to offer you?) University of Vermont, Burlington
1996 Special Feature:  Women in Mammalogy Journal of Mammalogy, 77:609-674
1996 Forum:  Where do we go from here? University of North Dakota, Grand Forks
1999 Survey of Annual Meeting Participants I University of Washington, Seattle
2003 Member Mixer and Social for Diversity Texas Tech University, Lubbock
2003 Survey of Annual Meeting Participants II Texas Tech University, Lubbock
2007 Survey of Annual Meeting Participants III University Of New Mexico, Albuquerque
2008 Symposium:  Human Diversity & Mammalogy in the 21st Century South Dakota State University, Brookings
2011 Survey of Annual Meeting Participants IV Portland State University, Portland, OR
2011 Poster:  The Changing Face of American Mammalogy:  The History and Status of Human Diversity Portland State University, Portland, OR

J. Mary Taylor Award

The application period opens 15 January with a submission deadline of 1 March at 11:59 PM (EST). 

Eligibility & Selection Criteria:

  • Nominee(s) must be active ASM members in good standing, and must adhere to the ASM Code of Conduct.
  • Nominations must come from an ASM member in good standing; self-nominations are acceptable.
  • Nominees may be individuals or teams, and may be at any career stage or level of experience.
  • Individuals may only receive the award one time.
  • Awards will be given only in years when compelling and suitable nominations are available.

Application Requirements:

  • Name and contact details of the nominator(s).
  • Name and contact details of the nominee(s).
  • A current CV for the nominee that includes a summary of the nominees education and career.
  • A supporting statement (<4,000 characters for individuals or teams, not including spaces) that addresses the award criteria:
  1. An introduction to the nominee or team that describes the area or business in which they work and their role(s) within the organization.
  2. A description of the contributions of the individual or team, and evidence of their impact within research, academic, and outreach communities served by the Society.
  3. One or two sentences of <250 characters (not including spaces) that succinctly describes the nominees laudatory contribution to diversity and inclusion within mammalogy (to be posted on the ASM website).

To Apply

See the grants page for current submission dates. Applications are due March 1.