Human Diversity




  • Jesse Alston
  • Camilo Calderon-Acevedo
  • Noé de la Sancha
  • Laurie J. Dizney
  • Elizabeth A. Flaherty
  • Thomas C. Giarla
  • Dana Green
  • Anne-Marie Hodge
  • Rhiannon Jakopak
  • Marjorie D. Matocq
  • Kim Neil
  • Teri Orr
  • Link E. Olson
  • Kevin C. Rowe
  • Rebecca J. Rowe
  • Katie Smith
  • Rachel Stein
  • Katherine Thorington
  • Jessica Taing
  • Amanda Weller
  • Lisa Walsh
  • Laura Young

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]).

Finally, the Human Diversity Committee oversees one award for the ASM, and shares oversight of another award with the Office of the Ombudspersons.

Black and Indigenous Scholars in Mammalogy Award

This award developed through the efforts of leadership in Black Mammalogists Week, which was created in 2020 to raise awareness of the global community of Black mammalogists, to illuminate the historical and present-day contributions of Black mammalogists to the field of Mammalogy, and to provide opportunities for current and aspiring Black mammalogists across the Diaspora to form conscious, fruitful, forward-viewing connections.  The ASM shares with originators of Black Mammalogists Week a vision of a future where young people of all backgrounds will realize that they are not only welcome, but indeed are needed and vital parts of a fully grounded science of mammalogy.  Reflecting our shared desire to realize this goal, ASM and Black Mammalogists Week leadership have worked closely to help promote this vision – to ensure that a future of equality and inclusivity is the only future for us all.

The Black and Indigenous Scholars award is targeted at research in Mammalogy and that related to mammals.  This award focuses on Black and Indigenous colleagues, and there are no thematic limits; research on ecology, behavior, biogeography, genomics, physiology, taxonomy, or any other arena is acceptable, as is support for short courses on mammal biology and attendance at scientific meetings.  See the Awards tab for further information.

We anticipate two or more awards of $200-$1,500 each year.

Donate to the Black & Indigenous Scholars award here.

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.

Nominations for the J. Mary Taylor Award can be made 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 an individual nominee. If a team is being nominated a one-page resume per each individual in the team and a CV for the leader of the team.
  • 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

Sumbit your nomination here. Nominations are due March 15.

Black and Indigenous Scholars in Mammalogy Award

Scope of Award.

The Black and Indigenous Scholars award is targeted at research and activities related to mammals. There are no thematic limits; research on ecology, behavior, biogeography, genomics, physiology, taxonomy, or any other arena is acceptable. The only taxonomic limit is that this is not intended to support research on humans (although research on how humans impact non-human mammals could be acceptable). The award may be used to support the cost of equipment or supplies; field assistants; travel to/from research sites, museums, or other venues for research or coursework; meeting registration cost and travel to meetings; publishing costs; course or training fees; or per diem, as justified by the applicant. The award may not be used for “pay to play” or other exploitative “volunteer” opportunities. High school-level applicants are invited to apply, but must be asking for funding for a formal course, program, or training related to Mammalogy.

Terms of the award

  • Individuals at any level of experience may apply, including high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, early professionals (within 5 years of terminal degree), and established professionals. To maximize the gains of this award, applications from students and early-career professionals will be given priority over established professionals.
  • Applicants need not be affiliated with academic institutions.
  • Applicant will be a current, potential, or aspiring Mammalogist from or residing in North or South America who is Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous.
  • Applications must be oriented around a project that relates to the study of non-human mammals.
  • Applicants need not be current members of the American Society of Mammalogists.

Selection Criteria.

The review committee will emphasize the quality of efforts and impact of the applicant over more traditional quantitative measures. The following general themes will be emphasized:

  1. The applicant will be a scholar from or residing in the Western Hemisphere who is Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous.
  2. Career status of high school level and above; there is no age limit.
  3. Ability to speak to how the award will help the applicant professionally. It is implicit that this will relate to the field of Mammalogy in some way.
  4. Ability to speak to how the applicant’s identity has contributed to their career goals, interests, and hopes.
  5. Proposals that have broad impacts and where the funds can go further than the applicant’s specific project.


In recognition of the innumerable contributions that Black/African American, African, and Indigenous mammalogists have contributed to Mammalogy in the past, present, and future, the American Society of Mammalogists and Black Mammalogists Week are collaborating to offer awards of up to $1500 to support the further development of Mammalogy by Black/African American, African, and Indigenous people.

Application Process (through web form on ASM’s website)/p>

  1. Name, email, address, and phone number of the applicant.
  2. Application materials shall include:
    1. An itemized budget of proposed activities (including matching funds, if appropriate), ranging from $200 to a maximum of $1,500.
    2. Responses to the below questions (each response should be between 100 and 500 words, and will be inserted into a form on the scholarship application page):
      • What are your goals, interests, and hopes for your future career?
      • How will this award help you to achieve your career goals, interests, and hopes?
      • How has being Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous brought you to where you are now, and how do you see your identities influencing your future career?
      • How do you see this award benefiting you, as well as your colleagues, friends, mentees, discipline, or community?
      • If you receive partial funding from this grant that is lower than your submitted budget, how will you use the partial funding?
  3. A reference letter from a professional who can speak to 1) the applicant’s current and future work in Mammalogy, 2) how much the applicant has been pursuing alternative funding sources, and 3) how the funds from this award would benefit the applicant’s lab, department, or discipline more broadly. A reference letter is required, and should be submitted by midnight PST on October 15, 2022.

Awardees will be invited to report on their use of Black and Indigenous Scholars Award funds at an annual ASM meeting. Funds may be available to support meeting attendance.

Fall applications are open  and can be accessed from here, and close at midnight PST on October 15, 2022. Award recipients will be notified by November 15, 2022.

*We follow UN guidelines in defining indigenous peoples.  See, for example, “The concept of indigenous peoples”, pp. 4-7 in United Nations 2009.  See also the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples factsheet.