Western Society of Naturalists Meeting Code of Conduct

The Western Society of Naturalists (WSN) annual meeting is intended to foster the exchange of scientific ideas, provide participants with an opportunity to present research findings, establish and renew collaborations, facilitate recruitment of students and staff to laboratories and institutions, and to learn, teach, and network with an international community of scientists. WSN is committed to creating an environment in which all attendees can participate without harassment, discrimination, or violence of any type.

All meeting participants must be treated with respect, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, ethnicity, ability, religion, language, professional status, institution or age. All meeting participants including, but not limited to, members, volunteers, attendees, vendors, exhibitors, contractors, and guests are expected to abide by this WSN Meeting Code of Conduct.

This Code of Conduct applies to all events at the WSN annual meeting, including all meeting-related activities of participants.

Expected behavior includes (but is not limited to):

  • Treating all participants and meeting facilities with respect and consideration.
  • Communicating openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoiding personal attacks directed toward others.
  • Respecting the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, WSN contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • Abiding by principles of academic integrity and ethical professional conduct.

Harassment or discrimination by or of any meeting participant or of any type will not be tolerated.

Unacceptable behavior includes (but is not limited to):

  • Behavior that implies or indicates that someone does not belong at the WSN meeting based on any personal characteristic or identity.
  • Any unwanted attention, sexual advances, and comments about appearance.
  • Verbal harassment, including comments, epithets, slurs, threats, and negative stereotyping that are offensive, hostile, disrespectful, or unwelcome.
  • Non-verbal harassment, including actions or distribution, display, or discussion of any written or graphic material toward an individual or group that ridicules, denigrates, insults, belittles, or shows hostility, aversion, or disrespect.
  • Bullying, intimidation, stalking, shaming, and assault.
  • Retaliation for reporting harassment.
  • Reporting an incident in bad faith.


The WSN Secretariat reserves the right to enforce this Code of Conduct in any manner deemed appropriate. Anyone violating the Code of Conduct will first be asked to cease these behaviors. Failure to comply with requests can result in escalating consequences which may include, but are not limited to, (a) expulsion from the meeting, (b) prohibition from future meetings, or (c) revocation of WSN membership.


If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify a member of the WSN Secretariat and/or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) either on-site or via email (secretariat@wsn-online.orgdeic@wsn-online.org). You can also communicate WSN Code of Conduct violations by completing this anonymous reporting form.

Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to individual or public safety is advised to contact security or local law enforcement.