Meeting Code of Conduct
The American Ornithological Society is dedicated to providing a safe, hospitable, and productive environment for everyone who attends our annual meeting regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or any other protected status. Our conferences are intended to foster open and honest communication of original research and 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. We acknowledge that effective communication requires 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, society employees, conference 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 at the meeting will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes any communication or behavior towards another related to ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, or sexual orientation that involves offensive gestures, verbal comments, posts on the internet and social media, 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.
AOS is committed to enforcing our policies and protecting our members, staff, and other individuals from harassment, assault, and other misconduct while they are taking part in AOS-sponsored events and activities. Individuals who are currently sanctioned for sexual assault or harassment by an adjudicating institution (e.g. a university) will be barred from taking part in this meeting or any AOS event. Appeals may be requested in the case of advance registration; onsite registration will not be permitted.
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; reporting instructions will be provided for individual meetings. For emergencies, dial 911.
Breaches of this Code should also be reported to the AOS Executive Director at ExecDir@americanornithology.org. Protecting the safety and security of those filing complaints is paramount. 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. Investigations will be initiated when warranted. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted by law as long as the rights of others are not compromised.
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. AOS 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 or affiliated institution. If an individual in attendance at an AOS event is found to have violated this policy while at the conference, AOS will revoke the individual’s permission to be on the premises. Should such an incident arise, AOS will work directly with local security and law enforcement to manage the removal process.
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 ExecDir@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.