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Conference Code of Conduct

Conduct expected of in-person, off-site, and virtual conference/workshop participants (Institute staff and others), to ensure productive behavior, a feeling of congeniality and safety, and positive discussions for all attendees. 

Expected ConductReporting Procedure
Unacceptable BehaviorsConsequences


Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (Cary Institute) is committed to creating and maintaining an engaging and productive conference and workshop (hereafter conference) environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, one that is welcoming and free from any form of harassment or other discrimination. This Policy guides everyone who participates in or attends a Cary Institute-sponsored conference (whether in person or virtual).  Cary Institute wants to ensure that all participants understand what behavior is expected and what behavior will not be tolerated.  The facilities covered by this Conference Code of Conduct include any venue, on or off the Cary Institute property, including hotels, meeting rooms, field sites, or Cary locations where a Cary Institute conference takes place, and, additionally, at offsite locations where conference-related social gatherings take place

Expected Conduct

By participating in a conference covered by this Code of Conduct, you agree to:

  • Be considerate and respectful to each other.
  • Communicate openly and thoughtfully and encourage others to do the same.
  • Refrain from harassing, discriminatory or demeaning conduct.
  • Comply with all rules, policies, and procedures of the facilities at which the conference is being held.
  • Comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the location where the conference is being held.

Unacceptable Behaviors

Cary Institute expressly prohibits harassment and discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, familial status, protected veteran or disabled status, genetic information, or any other protected class.
The following behaviors are unacceptable and will not be tolerated:

  • Disruptive and/or disrespectful behavior during any interaction, including presentations and discussions.
  • Physical or verbal abuse to any participant, event organizer, staff member, vendor, volunteer, or guest;
  • Discrimination, verbal or nonverbal harassment, or hostility against any person or group of people in the above categories.
  • Harassment, sexual harassment or sexual assault of any kind. This includes: intimidation, violence, offensive/unwelcome behavior, unwelcome advances, threats or stalking; inappropriate contact; inappropriate requests for sexual favors; all other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature; offensive comments, jokes, drawings, pictures, cartoons, innuendos, or other sexually-oriented verbal or written statements (including text messages, emails, social media posts, etc.);

Reporting Procedure

If any Attendee believes they or another Attendee has been subject to conduct that violates this Conference Code of Conduct, or witnesses such conduct, they should report the violation to one of the conference organizers, or Cary Institute staff, while onsite at the conference or as soon after the conference as possible.  Anyone who receives such a report or who witnesses inappropriate conduct must notify one of the Conference organizers onsite at the conference, email Cary Institute at, and/or complete the online Code of Conduct Incident Reporting Form as soon as possible. All reported concerns will be treated seriously and investigated promptly. All Attendees are expected to cooperate fully and honestly with any investigation.

*** Call 911 if at any time you feel that you are in immediate danger. After calling 911, if you are onsite at Cary, you may also alert Cary Institute Security at (845) 224-7275 if the incident occurs between 4 PM and 12 AM on Monday through Friday, or between 8 AM and 4 PM on Saturday or Sunday.


Attendees asked to stop harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.  At Cary’s sole discretion, any violation of this Conference Code of Conduct may result in removal from or denial of access to the Conference without a refund of any applicable registration fees, and/or disqualification from attendance at future conferences.  An attendee’s employer may be notified in the case of any proven violation.  After a full investigation, additional consequences may apply including jeopardizing future participation in Cary events and future collaborations with staff.

No Retaliation

Cary Institute will not tolerate any actual or attempted reprisals or retaliation against individuals who raise, in good faith, a concern that this Conference Code of Conduct has been violated, or who participate in the investigation of such a concern.  Cary Institute takes all allegations of harassment and discrimination seriously and is committed to ensuring a Conference environment that is free of all harassment and discrimination.