Code of Conduct

2019 Meeting Code of Professional Conduct

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) Code of Professional Conduct is intended to advance the mission of the society through the open and honest communication of research and exchange of ideas; to promote equality of opportunity and treatment for all members; to assure appropriate accessibility of accurate and reliable information to colleagues, policy makers, and the public; and to encourage the effective professional development of researchers in the continuum of disciplines of ornithological sciences.

American Ornithology 2019, the annual conference of the AOS, is dedicated to providing a safe, hospitable, and productive environment for everyone attending this event regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or any other protected status. The conference is intended to advance our understanding of birds and their conservation through open and honest communication of original research and the broad exchange of ideas. We acknowledge that effective communication requires that we treat each other with respect and courtesy in face-to-face, written and electronic interactions and that we respect the intellectual property of our colleagues. We represent the field of ornithology and it is imperative that we behave as professionals toward each other, to society employees, American Ornithology 2019 volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors and meeting venue staff.

Participants in AOS activities should be able to engage in open discussions free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Harassment will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes offensive gestures or verbal comments related to ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, or sexual orientation in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Reporting an Incident:
Any individual covered by this policy who believes that they have been subjected to harassment, notices that someone else is being harassed, or has any other concerns about an individual’s behavior that interferes with the intent of the conference should report the incident immediately, while at the meeting, as follows:

  • Direct Dial the Conference Center Security Desk.
  • For emergencies, Dial 911.

Breaches of this Code should also be reported to the AOS Executive Director; The person reporting, who may be a complainant or a witness, is not required or expected to discuss the concern with the alleged offender. All complaints will be treated seriously and reviewed promptly by the AOS Ethics Committee or their designee, and may be investigated. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.

Disciplinary Action:
Individuals found to have engaged in behavior prohibited by this policy as well as those making allegations of a breach of Code in bad faith will be subject to disciplinary action. The Executive Committee may take any action they deem appropriate, ranging from a verbal warning or ejection/prohibition from the annual meeting to the reporting of their behavior to their employer. Repeat offenders may be subject to further disciplinary action, such as being banned from participating in future AOS activities, meetings, or other programs. AOS Bylaws permit Council to terminate the membership of any Member.

Retaliation Is Prohibited:
AOS will not tolerate any form of retaliation against individuals who file a complaint or assist in an investigation. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and, like any breach of the Code itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.

Questions & Appeal:
Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director at In the event that an individual involved in any reported incident is dissatisfied with the disciplinary action, he or she may appeal to the AOS Executive Committee.

Social Media Policy

AOS is passionate about ornithology and wants to promote ornithological research through our social media channels that support our mission. AOS maintains active accounts on twitter (@AmOrnith), Facebook (AmOrnith), and Instagram (@AmOrnith). We share news and information about ornithological research without bias and give credit to researchers whose research we post about.

AOS follows an opt-out social media policy, in which individuals must opt out if they do not want their research to be shared. AOS can share published research via our social media channels without consent. AOS also offers its members a chance to share research that AOS may not be aware of via our social media channels. Members who wish to utilize this service must fill out a form with the relevant content to be shared and giving AOS permission to share the content.

Research presented at conferences can also be shared via social media by AOS or conference attendees unless the presenter(s) has opted out of social media. Photos of slides and materials at conferences can be used in any social media channel unless the presenter has opted out by placing a no social media icon (an example can be found below) on their slides or materials. It is up to individuals (speakers/presenters) to alert people what they do *not* want posted, whether it is content, pictures, or something else. If a presenter uses the no social media icon, we ask that conference attendees respect the individuals’ (specifically speakers/presenters) wishes to help protect the privacy of both people and their research. However, we acknowledge that preventing conference attendees from commenting or live tweeting is extremely difficult and not a role or responsibility of AOS.  

To help audience members during conferences, we recommend that presenters include their personal or project social media handle on every slide to encourage sharing and allow for easier networking. For those without a personal or project social media handle, consider including the conference hashtag or a social media icon such as the twitter icon to let people know that you are supportive of others posting.

Opt-out Social Media (Twitter specific) Icon:

Social Media Comment Policy

Anyone may participate in the conversations on AOS’s social media channels. In order to encourage civil communication, the following policy applies to all postings on AOS’s social media channels.

AOS reserves the right to delete posts or comments containing spam, irrelevant remarks or items that do not align with the mission and integrity of the AOS. Personal attacks, promotion of violence, promotion of illegal activities, offensive material, or profanity will not be tolerated and will be deleted immediately. AOS reserves the right to ban users who violate this policy.

AOS encourages our members to participate on our social media channels and we hope these rules will facilitate a lively and respectful conversation about birds and ornithology.

Conference Privacy Policy

Accessing and Correcting Your Information
The AOS acknowledges your trust and is committed to taking reasonable steps to protect Personally Identifiable Information you provide from loss, misuse or unauthorized access. It is your responsibility to safeguard any usernames and passwords you may create when accessing the conference website or when renewing or entering a new membership on the Member Portal. We ask that you promptly notify Crystal Ruiz at should you suspect that any usernames and passwords have been compromise

Use of Cookies
American Ornithology 2019 does not use ‘cookies’ on its website, but it is possible that vendors with which American Ornithology 2019 contracts for other services do make use of cookies on their websites and other software applications. Cookies are small text files a website can use to recognize repeat users and facilitate the user’s access and use of the site or to collect information about users.

Links to Other Sites
Users will find links to other websites within the conference website. These third party sites may have their own privacy policy or no policy at all. This American Ornithology 2019 Privacy Policy does not apply to such sites and thus American Ornithology 2019 has no control over, nor is it responsible for the content displayed on those sites.

Online Registration for American Ornithology 2018 Events

The AOS is the sole owner of the information collected on this site, is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information that may be collected from customers, prospective customers, partners and others who may use the registration system. The AOS will not share, sell or rent this information to any third parties, as disclosed in their privacy statement.