Meeting Code of Conduct

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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 Egan Center Security Desk.
  • For emergencies, Dial 911.

Breaches of this Code should also be reported to the AOS Executive Director; mpruettjones@americanornithology.org. 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 Professional 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 AOS 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 mpruettjones@americanornithology.org. 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.