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Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct1


Download a copy of the policy here.


The mission of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) is to advance water science by strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration in the water science community, to empower the community by providing critical infrastructure, and promote education in the water sciences at all levels.

In furtherance of this mission, the overarching objective of this Policy is to advance the excellence of CUAHSI and of the broader water science community through a commitment to:

  • high-quality work that has credibility and integrity;
  • high standards of climate, culture, and associated conduct that fosters full participation for all talent in CUAHSI and the water science field;
  • authentic openness to and welcome of a diversity of people and ideas to advance the science;
  • a welcoming environment for all talent and those supporting or providing services to CUAHSI; and
  • an enterprise that builds the trust of current and future water scientists, the public, and the funders.

This Policy applies to all “CUAHSI-associated activities,” which includes all activities and events sponsored, funded, or conducted in whole or in part by, or otherwise involving, CUAHSI, wherever located (including virtually), any use of CUAHSI property, funding, or other resources, whether otherwise involving CUAHSI or not, and performance of, or holding, any CUAHSI role, responsibility, privilege, function, contract, or other affiliation.

All individuals, groups, and entities that participate or are involved in any capacity in these CUAHSI-associated activities fall under this Policy. This includes, but is not limited to Board of Director members, committee members, member representatives, other volunteers, employees in all roles, vendors, independent contractors, attendees and organizers of events, meetings, and other activities, speakers, and exhibitors, peer reviewers, and awards and fellowship candidates and recipients

Guiding Principles

To advance CUAHSI’s mission, CUAHSI adopts the following guiding principles as the rationale for this Policy:

  • Conduct as a Barrier and the Effect on Contributions to Society-At-Large. Failure of professional, ethical, and inclusive conduct in CUAHSI and the water sciences field discredits and undermines excellence and integrity2. Such failure excludes valuable talent to the detriment of many individuals and society-at-large.
  • Priority of Eliminating Barriers to Advance Contributions. CUAHSI does not tolerate unethical and unprofessional conduct, which are barriers to excellence and integrity. When CUAHSI addresses these barriers, the interest of many individuals and society-at-large takes precedence over any individual’s interests if the two must be weighed.
  • Fairness. CUAHSI does not judge any individual’s conduct as unprofessional, unethical, or exclusionary or take punitive action without a determination in a fair process. CUAHSI is clear about this point, even when taking precautions to protect its mission and the important interests of the many it seeks to advance.
  • Consequence and Community-Building. Community and individual impacts result when conduct lacks professionalism, ethics, and inclusivity. Thus, CUAHSI takes community-building action focused on advancing the Community Standards described below. CUAHSI seeks to promote positive community- and relationship-building when punitive action is warranted and when it is not.

Community Standards

CUAHSI values high-quality research, education, professional practice, and service combined with highly professional, ethical, and inclusive conduct as fundamental to excellence and integrity in CUAHSI, the water science field, and all those participating. This requires the following community standards of conduct (“Community Standards”), which CUAHSI adopts and requires all community members to: 

  • Be respectful, equitable, and inclusive in conduct and treatment of all those engaged or contemplating engagement in CUAHSI’s community, including—actively rejecting (and not practicing) sexual, intersecting, and other bases of harassment and discrimination (i.e., based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, and other identities, for example);
  • Avoid retaliation against any person(s) who raise a conduct concern or who assist in any way to investigate or resolve it;
  • Give attention to the safety of CUAHSI community members;
  • Serve the needs of all members of a broadly diverse and global society;
  • Seek to advance the ability of individuals, groups, and entities to pursue and share the full range of scientific ideas, bolster creativity and discovery via robust and open exchange of scientific ideas and encourage multiple perspectives to be voiced by a diversity of individuals;
  • Be honest in the conduct and attribution of CUAHSI's work;
  • Avoid conflicts of interest (COI) or the appearance of COI in CUAHSI’s work.

The following “dos and don’ts” are requirements for all CUAHSI community members and can be seen as Community Standards. These dos and don’ts focus on respect, equity, and inclusion for all talent and the value of a diversity of individual voices. However, their application to different activities and roles requires consideration of context.

Demonstrate honesty, respect, and consideration for all people.
Promote equitable opportunity and fair treatment for all colleagues and subordinates; consider differences in individual capability and readiness without stereotyping or bias.
Provide a supportive work environment and fairly acknowledge all those who make significant contributions to CUAHSI’s programs and services.
Listen well to others. Make room for a diversity of voices in activities, discussions, and input in decisions.
Be collaborative. Be mindful not to exert dominance that excludes others from belonging and having a voice.
Differences in roles, responsibilities, and activities exist and are relevant to the extent and possibility of collaboration. However, consider the effect of relationship, position, experience, and privilege power differentials, as well as other factors, to avoid dominance that diminishes the value of welcoming a
diversity of people and considering a diversity of voices.
Recognize the existence of power differentials and potential implicit biases.
Demonstrate that differing perspectives are valued—critique ideas (not people).
Demonstrate welcoming for a diversity of individuals and their identities—pay attention to whether individuals of many identities and levels of experience are included and their accomplishments recognized in CUAHSI’s roles and activities at all levels.
Report conduct concerns so that concerns can be addressed responsibly and timely. Respect confidentiality of the identities of any individuals involved in a conduct concern while it is being reviewed and addressed.
Answer questions about conduct concerns in a forthright and complete manner.
Do Not
Engage in biased, stereotyping, demeaning, intimidating, coercive, or harassing/hostile conduct or commentary, whether seriously or in jest; this is the opposite of respectful and inclusive conduct.
Engage in personal attacks.
Retaliate against or disadvantage anyone for reporting a conduct concern or assisting in its resolution. Do not make bad faith accusations.
Engage in violence, threats of violence, harm, or threats of harm. Do not create/contribute to a safety threat or unsafe or exclusionary situation.
Invade the personal privacy of individuals. Do not view, photograph, audio- or visual- record, or distribute photographs or recordings of, individuals (in any medium), at times or in places where people can reasonably expect privacy (e.g., bathrooms, breastfeeding rooms, etc.).
Violate CUAHSI’s Policies or applicable laws, regulations, other policies, or contracts (e.g., federal or other sponsors and authorities). When in doubt, contact CUAHSI’s Executive Director or the CUAHSI Board of Director's chair (or any board member) for guidance or referral to others for assistance.
Engage in dishonesty—including, for example, infringing on intellectual property rights of others; acting with dishonesty in the conduct or attribution of research or other work; operating under the influence of a conflict of interest; appropriating work resources or information for personal use/gain.

Note About Differences of Opinion. It is not a violation of CUAHSI’s Policy to express an opinion, raise research or describe an experience that may be at odds with the views of others, provided that it is part of an on-point discussion of the work and is offered in a manner that does not interfere with others’ reasonable ability to participate. Expressing differing positions with professionalism, respect, and consideration often prompts meaningful discussion. However, any differences of opinion are expected to be expressed respectfully, do not dominate the discussion, or be interpreted as offensive. Pursuing research or reaching conclusions that are counter to others is not a violation of this Policy, as long as it is not offensive and allows for pursuing counter-research and/or reaching counter-conclusions.

Also Covered by this Policy
This Policy also applies to certain professional activities and roles, and certain illegal acts of violence or dishonesty, of CUAHSI community members, including:

  • Other Professional Activities and Roles: a finding by another entity or authority that a CUAHSI community member violated that other entity’s or authority’s policy addressing ethics, conduct, or harassment, may be treated by CUAHSI, in its discretion, as a violation of the CUAHSI’s Policy;
  • Illegal Acts: in CUAHSI’s discretion, this Policy also applies if an individual commits, or is alleged to have committed, an illegal act of violence or dishonesty in any role that may adversely affect CUAHSI community members’ ability to participate in CUAHSI-associated activities.

Applying this Policy to those who are not CUAHSI community members may often exceed CUAHSI’s ability to enforce against or impose consequences for violations. However, the broad application of this Policy is intended to (a) encourage professional, ethical and inclusive conduct, (b) support a welcoming environment for CUAHSI community members, and (c) identify situations in which CUAHSI ultimately may share facts as appropriate so others may further investigate and make their own decisions regarding any necessary action.

Participants in CUAHSI events and services are required to acknowledge and affirm that they have read and will abide by the Policy. CUAHSI staff, Directors and officers, and others in leadership positions for CUAHSI programming must also complete a professional conduct disclosure form. CUAHSI may consider the content of these disclosures when conferring benefits, privileges, and opportunities. Failure to submit a required disclosure or failure to submit a complete and truthful disclosure is a violation of this Policy.

To Report Code of Conduct Concerns

You may take one of the following steps to report a conduct concern that you have either experienced or witnessed:

  1. Informally raise a conduct concern by contacting CUAHSI’s Executive Director or the CUAHSI Board of Director's chair (or any board member). An informal approach may be appropriate when the person raising the concern is not seeking a formal resolution process. An informal approach may also be pursued when an individual seeks to explore resolution options before deciding to identify the accused or whether to file a formal complaint.
  2. File a formal complaint by downloading and completing this form, emailing email hidden; JavaScript is required, or contacting CUAHSI’s Executive Director, or Board of Director's chair (or any board member). A formal complaint may be used for individuals seeking a formal resolution process or an informal resolution approach.
  3. Concerns may be reported anonymously by completing this form; however, anonymity may limit how CUAHSI can investigate and/or respond to the concern.

Confidential action
CUAHSI will take all reasonable steps to ensure confidentiality. CUAHSI may not maintain confidentiality if, in CUAHSI’s judgment, safety or law requires otherwise. Limited disclosure of the identity of individuals most directly involved may also be needed to resolve a conduct concern. Retaliation will not be tolerated.

All must respect the confidentiality and identity of individuals most directly involved in a conduct concern while it is being reviewed and resolved. Failure to do so is a serious violation of this Policy. If an accused is determined to have violated this Policy, CUAHSI or its authorized designee may make that disclosure, exercising discretion.

Next Steps: Investigating and Resolving Conduct Concerns

Refer to CUAHSI’s Investigation Policy for how CUAHSI responds to conduct concerns, formal and informal resolution options, and the range of consequences, whether or not a formal determination of a violation is made.


  1. This Policy is adapted from the © American Association for the Advancement of Science for the benefit of and sponsored by the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment In STEMM; original created by EducationCounsel LLC.
  2. See National Academies Consensus Study Report, Sexual Harassment of Women, Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (June 2018) (Academies Report) pp. 88-9.
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