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Geology Code of Conduct Policy

The University of Georgia Department of Geology Code of Conduct Policy

This Code of Conduct outlines the standards of behavior for all members of the Department of Geology at the University of Georgia. To ensure a respectful, inclusive, and productive academic environment, this policy applies to students, faculty, staff, and any individuals affiliated with the department. The codes of conduct outlined are essential for promoting excellence in teaching, research, and collaboration within the university community and beyond.


  1. Respectful and Inclusive Behavior: 1a. All members of the academic community will be treated with respect, regardless of their background, identity, or beliefs. 1b. Cultivate an inclusive environment where diversity is valued, and also promotes equitable opportunities for learning and advancement. 1c. Maintain a respectful and open-minded attitude when engaging in constructive dialogue, even in disagreement.


  2. Academic Integrity: 2a. Uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. Do not engage in any form of dishonesty such as plagiarism or cheating in research, teaching, or learning. 2b. Provide accurate citations and attribute sources properly in all academic work. 2c. Adhere to the University of Georgia Academic Honesty Policy.


  3. Professional Conduct: 3a. All interactions within the academic community, whether in the classroom or the field, must be conducted in a professional and ethical manner. 3b. Adhere to the highest ethical standards in data collection, reporting, and analysis. Do not falsify or misrepresent findings. 3c. Obtain appropriate permissions for the use, sharing, or publishing of data. 3d. Do not engage in any form of harassment, discrimination, or bullying and report such incidents promptly through the appropriate channels (see Code #7) 3e. Uphold confidentiality and respect privacy regarding sensitive information, including both personal and academic matters.


  4. Collaboration and Cooperation: 4a. Promote a culture of shared knowledge and growth by open and positive collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and colleagues. 4b. Acknowledge and respect the intellectual property and contributions of others in collaborative work. 4c. Facilitate the academic and professional development of colleagues and students by providing constructive feedback and support.


  5. Responsible Communication: 5a. Communicate professionally and respectfully in all forms of communication whether it is written, verbal, or electronic. 5b. Utilize communication platforms responsibly and avoid using language or content that is inappropriate or offensive.


  6. Teaching and Learning Environment: 6a. Foster an engaged and inclusive learning environment which encourages active participation and diverse perspectives. 6b. Respect the academic freedom of all and allow the open exchange of ideas within the bounds of respectful discourse.


  7. Reporting Violations: 7a. Violations of this Code of Conduct must be reported to the designated department contact or Department Head promptly or immediately if the violation deems it necessary. 7b. Chain of Command contact cards will be provided to all members of the Department of Geology. 7c. Individuals reporting such violations in good faith will have whistleblower protections from retaliation. 


  8. Consequences of Violations: 8a. Failure to adhere to this Code of Conduct will result in disciplinary actions, which may include but is not limited to, dismissal from a course, field experience, research group etc., or other appropriate measures as deemed by the department and university. 8b.  Further disciplinary action, including academic or legal consequences, may be taken for serious violations.

The following Codes of Conduct are specific to fieldwork activities and experiences

The University of Georgia Department of Geology is committed to the highest standards of safety and ethics when conducting field activities. Fieldwork is critical to research and education in geology, and this policy is enacted to protect the well-being of all participants, the environment, and the reputation of the department. All students, faculty, staff, and collaborators engaged in these activities must abide by this policy.

  1. Safety and Health: 1a. Safety is the top priority at all times. Follow all safety protocols, which includes use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and awareness of potential hazards. 1b. Attendance at safety briefings before field trips is mandatory and instructions given by trip leaders must be followed. 1c. Accidents, injuries, or potential hazards must be reported immediately to the appropriate trip leader and/or designated party.


  2. Environmental Stewardship: 2a. Minimize impact on the environment by preventing damage to natural habitats, ecosystems, and cultural sites. 2b. Attain required permits and permissions for field activities by following local laws and regulations. 2c. Leave no trace of your presence by collecting and disposing of waste properly. Recycle whenever possible.


  3. Communication and Collaboration: 3a. Maintain clear and open lines of communication with supervisors, colleagues, and local communities to build and sustain positive relationships amongst all.   3b. Share responsibilities and knowledge to foster a collaborative environment with fellow participants.   


  4. Preparedness: 4a. Be prepared by understanding the objectives, challenges, and safety protocols that are specific to the planned fieldwork. 4b. Bring all essential equipment and supplies needed, taking into consideration environmental conditions such as weather and terrain.


  5. Data Management: 5a. Data must be promptly recorded both accurately and comprehensively. Make certain that all field notes and observations are thorough and well-organized. 5b. Ensure collected data is not only stored securely to prevent loss, but routinely backed up as well.


  6. Cultural Sensitivity: 6a. The cultures, beliefs, and customs of local communities must always be respected.  Informed consent for interactions or research involving local people is required. 6b. Seek permission before accessing sensitive areas and do not disrupt or interfere with local activities.


By adhering to this Code of Conduct, all members of the Department of Geology contribute to an environment which fosters intellectual growth, mutual respect, and collaborative excellence. We also strengthen the positive reputation of the Department of Geology and uphold ethical and professional standards in our field activities while ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants.


Geology Code of Conduct Policy (PDF)


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