Code of Conduct

The National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among National Monitoring Conference (NMC) participants, and the broader water quality community, and is committed to providing a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all participants of the NMC. The NMC can serve as an effective forum to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful, and fair manner. This Code of Conduct is important to promoting diversity and creating an inclusive, supportive, and collaborative environment for all peoples.

At the NMC, whether virtual or in-person, participants – including, but not limited to, NWQMC members, NMC staff, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, members of the media, vendors, and service providers (hereinafter “participants”) – are expected to abide by this NMC Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies in all venues, including ancillary events and social gatherings, and on-line forums and discussions associated with the NMC.

Expected Behavior

  • All participants, attendees, NMC staff and volunteers, and vendors are treated with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Respect the diverse backgrounds of participants and be as inclusive as possible, including respect for participant pronouns and correct pronunciation of names.
  • Both verbally and in writing, communicate with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, NMC staff, volunteers, and suppliers/vendors.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert a NMC staff member or volunteer if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress (see Reporting Unacceptable Behavior below).
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, NMC contracted facility, or any other actual or virtual venue.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form (e.g., verbal or written) will not be tolerated.
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, NMC staff or volunteers, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal or written comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces, meeting chats, online discussion forums, or in live or pre-recorded presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, NMC staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at other events organized by NMC in the online conference platform, at the conference venue, hotels, or other NMC contracted facilities.


  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • NMC staff, volunteers or security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting and revoke access to the user’s meeting account without warning or refund.
  • NWQMC reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

  • If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify a NMC staff member or volunteer with a “Safe NMC” identification in their conference profile.
  • Reporting should never be done via social media.
  • Notification should be done by contacting a NMC staff member, a Safe NMC volunteer or by emailing your concern to with “SAFE” in the subject line. Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety is advised to contact 911 and locate a house phone and ask for security when meeting in person.