Guidelines for Professional Behavior at a Professional Meeting

The Western Section of The Wildlife Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of wildlife professionals and wildlife students to conserve diversity, sustain productivity, and ensure responsible use of wildlife resources and their habitats.

To accomplish this, we encourage our members to present novel ideas and share their unique experiences to help us progress as a profession. We thank you in advance for being respectful and keeping an open mind to new ideas and perspectives presented. Thank you!

A TWS-WS Annual Meeting provides an important opportunity for education, exchange of ideas, mentoring young conservationists, networking with fellow wildlifers, and engagement with colleagues in a variety of ways. Our hope is that each attendee will benefit from their participation during the meeting. Even as we recognize the importance of, and strive for diversity in our natural world, we acknowledge the contribution of individual diversity to our profession. As stated in our long-standing Position Statement on Workforce Diversity in the Wildlife Profession, “The Wildlife Society recognizes the value of including the richness of human diversity in our efforts to discover, educate, inform policy, and involve the public in wildlife science and management.”

In this light, and with the goal of ensuring that the Annual Meeting is welcoming and inclusive for all, we put forward the following guidelines for professional behavior during the Annual Meeting – This code applies to all interactions, in-person and virtual:

  • All participants should be treated with respect and consideration, valuing the diversity of views and opinions that may be different than those you hold;
  • Communicate with respect for others; critique ideas rather than individuals;
  • Avoid personal attacks directed towards meeting participants;
  • Be mindful of your colleagues and your surroundings; and
  • Professionalism should be exercised at all time.

The following are examples of behavior that will not be tolerated during the Annual Meeting, including oral and poster sessions and other organized meetings:

  • Harassment, threats, intimidation, or discrimination of any kind or in any form;
  • Physical or verbal abuse;
  • Verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion, national origin which may reasonably be interpreted as offensive, insulting or obscene language, or engaging in any conduct of a stalking or threatening nature directed to any meeting participant;
  • Behavior deemed to be excessively loud and/or disruptive of a meeting or any other event taking place during the Annual Meeting: and
  • Unlawful conduct or activity of any kind.

Reporting of Inappropriate Behavior:

  • If you are the subject of or witness conduct in violation of these guidelines at the Annual Meeting, please notify a TWS-WS staff member by email at Or, through our Ombuds program.
  • TWS-WS will use reasonable efforts to respond and attempt to resolve the matter in a timely manner, respectful of the parties, and as necessary to ensure the continued integrity and quality of the meeting.

TWS-WS at all times reserves the right, in its sole and reasonable discretion, to have individuals acting in an unprofessional manner or contrary to these guidelines, removed from the event taking place at the Annual Meeting and the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting. Refunds will not be issued to anyone who is removed from the meeting for unprofessional behavior.

Virtual Meeting Etiquette

Be sure to follow our Code of Conduct for all engagements, including Breakout meetings and Meet-Ups. And don’t hesitate to report anyone who you feel is misbehaving at , or through our Ombuds program. We take this very seriously and want all participants to feel safe at all times.

Anyone who violates the Code of Conduct will be removed from the meeting and will not be reimbursed for their registration fees.

We appreciate your attention to these guidelines and wish you a productive and meaningful Annual Meeting.