Events Code of Conduct

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Approved by GSA Council on 25 September 2016, Updated on May 4, 2019

The Geological Society of America (GSA) is a premier, international scientific society whose goals and mission are to advance geoscience research and discovery, to provide service to society and to promote stewardship of Earth, within and beyond the geosciences profession. GSA is committed to providing a professional environment at all of our events, welcoming people from diverse backgrounds and wide-ranging points of view.  Attending GSA events is a privilege, and we expect all attendees and participants to live up to our pledge to provide Respectful, Inclusive Scientific Events (RISE). 


The Events Code of Conduct (the “Events Code”) applies to all GSA events, including meetings, field trips, short courses, mentorships, and other GSA-supported programs.  The Events Code also applies to individuals who submit abstracts and make presentations at oral or poster sessions.  All registrants, speakers, session chairs, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, GSA staff, service providers, and others in attendance are expected to abide by this Events Code. 

In addition, GSA members, affiliate members, fellows, honorary fellows, and any non-member who participates in a GSA program or activity must comply with GSA’s Code of Ethics.  GSA-sponsored programs and activities include, but are not limited to, GSA meetings, publications, honors and awards, as well as appointed, elected, and volunteer positions.

Expected Behavior – Professional Conduct at Events

  • Treat others with respect and consideration.
  • Be considerate, collegial, and collaborative.
  • If a presenter or session chair indicates that photographs of slides or poster are not allowed, honor this preference.
  • Communicate openly, with civil attitudes, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other event registrants, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, GSA staff, service providers, and all others in attendance.
  • If you choose to drink when alcohol is available at GSA events, or consume other legal intoxicants, do so responsibly, safely, and without compromising your duty to act in a professional manner.
  • Obey the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, GSA-contracted facility, or any other venue where your meeting badge and GSA affiliation is likely to be displayed.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings and other participants. If you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress, call 911 or alert facility security personnel or GSA staff/ leadership.

Expected Behavior – Abstracts, Meeting Presentations, and Photography at Meetings

The submission of an abstract implies a sincere intent to attend the meeting and present research.  In addition, authors and presenters are expected to:

  • Display integrity in disseminating your research.
  • Adhere to the content and conclusions of abstracts, as submitted and reviewed.
  • Remain gracious by offering collaborators the opportunity for recognition as a co-author.
  • Make sure that listed co-authors have made a bona fide contribution to the project, are aware of their inclusion, and have accepted that recognition.
  • Be diligent in preparing a polished product that conveys high quality scholarship.
  • Take responsibility for choosing whether or not to allow photographs of your slides or posters and communicating your preference to the audience. (If you prefer not to allow photographs, GSA will provide you with tools to communicate your preference, e.g., no-photo image for your slides, talking points)

Unacceptable Behavior includes but is not limited to:

  • Do not engage in harassment, intimidation, bullying, or discrimination in any form.
  • Do not make verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin or any other identified characteristic outlined in the GSA Diversity Position Statement.
  • Do not display nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations.
  • Do not touch or make physical contact with anyone unless you know the contact is welcome.
  • Do not make real or implied threats of, physical, professional or financial harm.
  • Do not stalk registrants, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, GSA staff, service providers, or other attendees.
  • Do not physically or verbally abuse any registrant, guest, volunteer, exhibitor, GSA staff, service provider, or other attendee.
  • Do not disrupt presentations at oral or poster sessions, in the exhibit hall, on field trips, or at other events organized by GSA at the meeting venue, hotels, or other GSA-contracted facilities.
  • Do not take pictures or make audio or video recordings after a presenter or convener has communicated that such images are not allowed.
  • Do not drink or use other legal intoxicants to the extent that your ability to act professionally is compromised.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • GSA may take any action(s) deemed necessary and appropriate, including but not limited to the immediate removal from the meeting, field trip, or other event without warning or refund.
  • GSA reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future GSA meeting or other GSA-sponsored event.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

If you experience behavior that appears to violate this policy or you have witnessed such behavior, please immediately notify anyone wearing a RISE button and/or a GSA staff member or a GSA member with a designated leadership position (i.e., GSA President, GSA Councilor, GSA Section Officer, GSA field trip leader).  You also may report the behavior by emailing GSA at or by calling (720) 507-7523.

Recommended Procedures to be followed in an emergency situation:

  • Evaluate the situation and if appropriate call 911 or activate a local fire alarm.
  • If you witness a crime or behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety, make sure you keep yourself safe. Follow the directions of facility security, public safety personnel, or GSA staff.
  • Initiate first aid based on need and your training.
  • Provide as much specific information as possible (e.g., nature of incident, precise location, number of people involved) to 911 and emergency responders.

The original version of GSA’s Events Code of Conduct was adapted from the Ecological Society of America's and the American Geophysical Union's 2015 Meeting Code of Conduct.

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