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Code of Conduct

Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long-Term Ecological Research Program (GCE-LTER)

The GCE-LTER is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for research, education, and outreach. The GCE-LTER community represents several institutions. We expect all GCE members, including students, faculty, and staff, to adhere to both our Code of Conduct and the policies of their home institution. These expectations apply everywhere and whenever GCE activities are conducted, including the field, laboratories, offices, and meetings.

Expected behavior

  • Treat everyone with kindness, courtesy, and respect.
  • Be welcoming and inclusive. Seek to support each other and make others successful.
  • Abide by principles of academic integrity and ethical professional conduct.
  • Be mindful of how your actions may affect others. In particular, consider the needs of colleagues whose research requires unusual schedules or specific facilities.
  • Conduct your activities safely and professionally.

Unacceptable behavior

  • Harassment, intimidation, discrimination, and sexual misconduct are unacceptable. This includes unfair treatment, abusive words or imagery and intimidating behavior; unwelcome or offensive comments about age, appearance, employment or military status, ethnicity, gender identity, lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical or cognitive ability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race or religion; and unwanted sexual behavior or language, inappropriate use of nudity or sexual images, abuse in a relationship, and stalking.
  • Failure to comply with GCE, DNR or UGAMI directives while on Sapelo Island.

Don't ignore it! If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior, report your concerns. If you witness unacceptable behavior, intervene if you feel safe in doing so, report the event, and check on the impacted person. If you see something, say something, even if you donít know the identity of someone involved, if you are unsure whether it is something that can be addressed, or if you are not sure if itís serious.

How to report a concern. You may report suspected or alleged misconduct directly to any or all of the following: your immediate supervisor, Merryl Alber (GCE PD), Steven Pennings (GCE co-PD), or any one of the GCE PIs. You may also submit concerns online via the GCE code of conduct reporting form.

All reports will be forwarded to GCE or UGAMI leadership or university offices as appropriate depending on the nature of the offense and the institutions involved. Note that all University employees are required under federal law to report sexual misconduct to their Title IX office. You can also report directly to the Human Resources or Equal Opportunity offices at your institution or the offenderís institution.

Consequences. Sanctions will be commensurate with the nature and severity of the offense. Many cases of inappropriate behavior will be addressed by asking the person responsible to cease these behaviors. Serious cases will be forwarded to relevant university or civil authorities. Serious or repeated offenses may result in expulsion from the GCE LTER program.


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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.