CERF Event Code of Conduct

Scope and Applicability 
Expected Behavior
Prohibited Behavior

Report an Incident

The Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (“CERF”) is committed to providing safe and welcoming environments for all who participate in CERF Events. CERF prohibits and will not tolerate any form of harassment, bullying, or discrimination. Together, we can ensure that CERF Events support free expression and exchange of scientific ideas in environments that are positive and productive for all.


CERF has established this Event Code of Conduct (the “Code”) to serve as a guideline for the professional conduct of anyone attending or participating in a CERF Event, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior. We expect you to follow this Code so that you and other participants can enjoy the Event responsibly and with respect for the rights of others. Failure to abide by this Code is subject to corrective action and sanctions, including refused admission, ejection, banishment, and other penalties consistent with this Code.

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Scope and Applicability

The Code applies to all attendees, media representatives, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, staff, contractors, volunteers, organizers, and other guests (collectively referred to as “Participants”) of official CERF programs, conferences, events, meetings, social gatherings, and other activities held, sponsored, or affiliated with CERF (“Events”). This Code is intended to supplement, but not replace, the CERF Code of Ethics that is applicable to all CERF members. By attending any CERF Event, you agree to abide by this Event Code of Conduct.

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Expected Behavior

The following behaviors are expected and requested of all Event Participants:

  • Behaving in a courteous and professional manner
  • Treating all participants with respect, dignity, and consideration, in the spirit of valuing a diversity of views and opinions
  • Being considerate, respectful, and collaborative in your communication and actions
  • Discussing differences and critiquing ideas in a non-confrontational manner with due regard for the viewpoints of others
  • Refraining from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech
  • Reporting suspected inappropriate behaviors directed at yourself or others
  • Respecting the rules, policies, and property of CERF and its contracted Event facilities and vendors
  • Complying with all applicable laws and regulations

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Prohibited Behavior

Violations of this Code include but are not limited to the following:

  • Harassment, which is defined for purposes of this Code to include unwelcome or offensive verbal, visual, or physical contact directed at any Participant, including conduct, comments, or images that a person would reasonably find offensive, demeaning, or hostile
  • Sexual harassment, which is defined for purposes of this Code to include unwelcome, unsolicited, and unreciprocated sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or gesture of a sexual nature that has or that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to offend, humiliate, or intimidate another person
  • Exhibiting behavior that is unruly or disruptive, or that endangers the health or safety of yourself or others
  • Discriminatory conduct based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, transgender status, age, national origin, disability, religion, marital status, veteran status, political affinity, or any other characteristic protected by law
  • Deliberate intimidation, threatening, stalking, or following
  • Sustained disruption of portions of the Event
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Actual or threatened pushing, shoving, or use of any physical force whatsoever against any person
  • Possession of a weapon, or use of any item in a way that may cause danger to others
  • Destruction, theft, dismantlement, defacement, abuse, or intentional misuse of CERF or CERF-contracted venues, property, equipment, signage, or supplies
  • Failure to comply with directions of CERF staff or venue personnel regarding Event operations or emergency response procedures
  • Retaliation against participants for reporting activity that he or she reasonably believed to be in violation of this Code
  • Knowingly and falsely reporting violations of this Code in bad faith
  • Accessing restricted or ticketed areas without a proper ticket, pass and/or credential; misusing tickets, passes and/or credentials; presenting a false identification; or permitting another person to falsely present the Participant’s identification as his or her own.

Moreover, this Code is not intended to be all inclusive, and it is likely there will be conduct issues that it does not specifically address. In that event, as in all others, Participants are expected to follow the direction of CERF Event staff who will take appropriate action to ensure the safety, security and well-being of Participants.

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Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

If you believe you are being subjected to inappropriate conduct, believe someone else is being subjected to inappropriate conduct, or have any other concerns, please do not hesitate to contact CERF Event staff who can work with CERF leadership to resolve the situation. CERF Event staff will be happy to assist those experiencing inappropriate conduct to enable them to feel safe for the duration of the Event. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or if you see something suspicious or would like to report a security issue or emergency, please contact venue security or local law enforcement.

Violations of this Code are taken seriously and should be promptly reported to any CERF Event staff present. Share as much information as you can to help us make a thorough investigation of the onsite incident. CERF will investigate all incidents reported at an Event with discretion. Participants are required to maintain the confidentiality of materials submitted to or received by CERF under this Code. CERF shall make reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of relevant materials but may disclose case-related materials or information in response to legal process, when already publicly known, or when CERF leadership otherwise determines disclosure is in the best interests of CERF.

Report an Incident

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Consequences of Participant Engagement in Prohibited Conduct

Event Participants asked to stop engaging in prohibited conduct are expected to comply immediately.

CERF, in its sole discretion, will determine the nature of the Participant conduct that warrants corrective action as well as the corrective action to be taken. Corrective action may take any of the following forms: verbal warning; expulsion from the Event; expulsion from the Event with no refund of conference fees; bar from future CERF Events; and/or notifying appropriate authorities. To protect all parties involved, CERF will generally not make any detailed public statements about Code incidents. The decision(s) of CERF are final. CERF may establish more detailed procedural guidelines for resolving conduct matters that are consistent with the provisions of these bylaws.

Download the Code of Conduct Implementation Plan

For questions regarding the Event Code of Conduct, please contact CERF's Executive Director at [email protected]. This Code is subject to change and may be revised without further notice.

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