Meeting Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct is intended to set clear expectations of behavior of NAOC2020 conference participants to ensure that all participants at NAOC2020 feel safe and welcome, and to ensure that NAOC2020 is a positive experience for all.  

NAOC Partner Societies welcome everyone to NAOC2020 and celebrate diversity in all its forms. We are dedicated to providing an inclusive environment that is collaborative, supportive, and engaging for everyone involved, and that is free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. We expect all participants to help in our mission by being respectful and considerate of each other, providing supportive critique, and embracing the multitude of opinions that are on offer. 

Meeting Scope

NAOC2020 is intended to foster open and honest communication of ornithological science and to promote equality of opportunity and treatment for all participants. Effective communication requires courtesy 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 all conference participants including, but not limited to, conference delegates, society employees, conference volunteers, sponsors, and exhibitors.

All forms of communication among NAOC2020 participants during the meeting are considered within the scope of the NAOC2020 meeting, and thus fall under the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct. These include public and private communications in virtual conference rooms, via electronic chat functions (e.g., Q/A box, Zoom Chat), emails, texts (including via platforms such as Signal, Slack, and Whatsapp), social media, phone calls, and other forms of written, verbal, and non-verbal (including visual) communication. In addition, communication, as described above, occurring after the NAOC2020 meeting, but that pertains to content from the meeting and/or where contact information of a meeting participant was procured during the meeting may also fall under the purview of this Code of Conduct. 

Expectations of Participants

Harassment between participants of NAOC2020 will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes any communication or behavior towards another participant that involves offensive gestures, verbal and written comments, posts on the internet and social media, deliberate intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical or electronic contact, microaggressions, and unwelcome attention. It is possible to engage in harassment without the intention of doing so. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior by anyone are expected to comply immediately, regardless of their intent.

The recording of conference events is strictly prohibited. This includes recording events via videos and/or making audio recordings. Those wishing to take screen-captures and/or share information from the conference via social media must adhere to the Social Media Policy. Violations of the NAOC2020 Social Media Policy are considered violations of the Code of Conduct and will be handled via the same process. 

Bad faith reporting under the Code of Conduct will be considered itself a violation of the Code of Conduct, where bad faith reporting is defined as intentionally false and/or malicious reporting of code of conduct violations against another attendee.

Individuals who are currently sanctioned for sexual assault or harassment by an adjudicating institution (e.g., a university or professional society) should not register, and could have their meeting participation revoked. Appeals may be requested in the case of advance registration; once the conference has started, appeals may 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.  

We ask that individuals report breaches of this Code to NAOC2020 organizers: please contact the Safe Conduct at NAOC Committee via The person reporting, who may be a complainant or 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 NAOC2020 Code of Conduct Committee, and may be investigated. Confidentiality concerning the person harassed and others made uncomfortable by the harassment will be prioritized, and actions may be taken to maintain their safety and comfort for the duration of NAOC2020 (see below).

To contact the committee please use the group email which will go to the entire committee:

  • Reed Bowman, chair (English)
  • Jeff Brawn (English)
  • Vale Ferretti (Spanish, English)
  • Sara Morris (English)
  • Jen Owen (English)
  • Melinda Pruett-Jones (English)
  • Christine Schmidt (English)

If you would prefer that an individual member of the committee specifically address your question or issue, please put their name in the subject line (e.g., ATTN: Sara Morris).

Disciplinary Action

Individuals found to have engaged in behavior prohibited by this policy, as well as those making allegations of a breach of the Code in bad faith, will be subject to disciplinary action. The NAOC Steering Committee may take any action they deem appropriate ranging from a verbal warning or ejection/prohibition from the specific activity in question (e.g., workshop, symposia or even the entire conference), banning them from future NAOC conferences or partner society conferences, revoking membership in one or more societies, and /or to the reporting of their behavior to their employer and research funders. 

Retaliation Is Prohibited

NAOC2020 will not tolerate any form of retaliation – including seeking to violate the confidentiality of a reporting individual – against individuals who file a complaint or assist in an investigation, nor any individuals suspected of doing so. 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 NAOC2020 Steering Committee ( In the event that an individual involved in any reported incident is dissatisfied with the disciplinary action, they may appeal to a panel appointed by the NAOC2020 Steering Committee (