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SFS Annual Meeting

SFS Annual Meeting Code of Conduct

The Society of Freshwater Science is an international scientific organization whose purpose is to promote further understanding of freshwater ecosystems and ecosystems at the interface between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. SFS members and authors of SFS publications are expected to adhere to the SFS Science-Based Policy and the SFS Statement of Ethics.

SFS meetings, open to SFS members and those interested in freshwater sciences, are among the most respected meetings in the freshwater science community. SFS is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and staff. All participants including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, SFS staff, service providers and others are expected to abide by this SFS Meetings Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all SFS meeting-related events including those sponsored by organizations other than SFS but held in conjunction with SFS events, in public or private facilities.

Expected Behavior

  • Communicate openly with respect and consideration for others, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, SFS staff and suppliers/vendors.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert SFS staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, SFS contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • Request permission from speakers before recording or taking photographs during their presentation. Turn off any ringers or otherwise disrupting devices during oral or poster sessions.
  • All members should feel empowered to speak up or intervene if they observe discriminatory behavior directed at others.

Unacceptable Behavior
It is important that our meeting be a place where no attendee or staff is ever belittled, harassed, or made to feel unsafe. The following behavior will not be tolerated:

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form.
  • Physical, written, or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, SFS staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, SFS staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior & Consequences

  • All attendees and staff are expected to abide by the SFS code of ethics.
  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety is advised to contact 911 and locate a house phone and ask for security.
  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify the SFS Executive Director (Andy Leidolf), any SFS officer, or our conference services representative (Seth Tarver).
  • Notification can also occur by emailing your concern to the SFS Executive Director or our conference services representative ( or, respectively).
  • After receiving a report of inappropriate behavior, our conference services representative will assess the report and work with the complainant to determine the most appropriate response. SFS is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in the incident to the greatest extent possible. When necessary, the SFS leadership will be notified that a complaint has been received so it can consider appropriate actions.
  • The SFS leadership reserves the right to take any lawful action we deem necessary in response to a violation of this code. This includes, but is not limited to, the immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund.

Ensuring Inclusion & Diversity in the Future
The SFS leadership and the SFS Education and Diversity Committee also encourage anyone to contact SFS officers or members of the SFS Education and Diversity Committee ( regarding ways in which the society can improve inclusion & diversity and encourage both a stimulating and supporting atmosphere.

Version 3. Waiting for Approval as of 27 July 2020
Version 2. Approved by SFS Board of Directors 11 April 2018
Version 1. (Including text through Unacceptable Behavior) approved by SFS Board of Directors 14 Dec 2016