Our Ethics

NALMS supports all members and event attendees in practicing and communicating high-quality lake and watershed management science.  Guidelines for professional ethics and conduct are provided below.

Code of Professional Ethics

Revised 30 September 2019

This Code of Professional Ethics (Code) provides guiding principles of conduct for all members of the North American Lake Management Society (Society) and all Lake Managers and Lake Professionals, including provisional, certified by the Society. It is the desire and purpose of the Society to support and encourage the responsible management of, research of and education about lakes and lake management. Towards these ends, this Code is intended to further these goals through the open and honest communication of knowledge; to assure appropriate accessibility of accurate and reliable information to employers, policy makers, and the public; and to encourage effective education and training in the science of lake management. Individuals aware of breaches of this Code are encouraged to communicate with the Society’s Ethics Committee or Board of Directors who will explain the Code and process.


All members of the Society and all Lake Managers and Lake Professionals certified by the Society should observe the following principles in the conduct of their professional affairs.

  • Offer professional advice and guidance only on those subjects in which they are informed and qualified through professional training or experience. They will strive to accurately represent the state of the science of understanding and knowledge and to avoid and discourage dissemination of erroneous, biased, or exaggerated statements about lake ecology.
  • Members of the Society and those certified as Lake Managers or Professionals will not represent themselves as spokespersons for the Society without express written authorization by the Society’s President or Board of Directors.
  • Members will cooperate with other researchers whenever possible and appropriate to assure rapid interchange and dissemination of lake management knowledge and practices.
  • Members will not plagiarize in verbal or written communication but will give full and proper credit to the works and ideas of others and make every effort to avoid misrepresentation.
  • Members will not fabricate, falsify, or suppress results, deliberately misrepresent research findings, or otherwise commit scientific fraud. This commitment to honesty and accuracy also applies to the communication of consulting efforts.
  • Members will conduct their research and management so as to avoid or minimize adverse environmental effects of their presence and activities, and in compliance with legal requirements for protection of researchers, human subjects, or research organisms and systems.
  • Members will, to the extent practicable, engage meaningfully with the communities in which they practice to promote teaching, learning, and an understanding of their practice; broaden the participation of underrepresented groups; enhance local infrastructure for research and education; and disseminate results broadly to benefit the local community.
  • Members will not discriminate against others in the course of their work on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, religion, race, color, national origin, age, economic status, disability, or organizational affiliation.
  • Members will not practice or condone harassment in any form in any professional context.
  • In formal and informal communications, members should clearly differentiate facts, opinions, hypotheses, and established practices.
  • Members will not seek employment, grants, or gain, nor attempt to injure the reputation or professional opportunities of another scientist or professional lake practitioner by false, biased, or undocumented claims, by offers of gifts or favors, or by any other malicious action.

Certified Lake Managers/Professionals

Lake Managers/Professionals certified by the Society are expected to adhere to all sections of the Code; with the following principles particularly applicable to such individuals.

  • Lake Managers/Professionals will present evidence of their qualifications, including professional training, publications, and experience, when requested in connection with their work as a certified Lake Manager/Professional.
  • Certified Lake Managers/Professionals will inform a prospective or current employer or client of any professional or personal interests which may impair the objectivity of their work, and, upon request, provide clients and employers with this Code.
  • Certified Lake Managers/Professionals will respect requests for confidentiality from their employers or clients, provided that such confidentiality does not require violation of this Code or of legal statutes. Should conflicts arise between maintenance of confidentiality and legal or ethical standards, clients or employers should be advised of the conflict in writing.
  • In seeking employment through bids, Certified Lake Managers/Professionals will describe salaries and fees and the extent and kinds of service to be rendered as accurately and fully as possible.
  • Certified Lake Managers/Professionals should use resources available to them through institutional employment, in performance of work contracted independently of their employing institution, only with the full knowledge and consent of the employing institution. Inappropriate use of access to institutional resources should be avoided; the appropriateness of particular uses of institutional resources should be addressed by the employing institution.
  • Certified Lake Managers/Professionals will accept compensation for a particular service or report from one source only, except with the full knowledge and consent of all concerned parties.
  • Certified Lake Managers/Professionals will utilize or recommend utilization of appropriate experts whenever such action is essential to solving a problem.
  • Certified Lake Managers/Professionals will not knowingly associate professionally with, or allow the use of their names, reports, maps, or other technical materials by any enterprise known to be illegal or fraudulent.
  • Certified Lake Managers/Professionals may advertise their services, but may not use misleading, false, or deceptive advertising. If Society certification is noted in an advertisement, the level of certification must be included along with the following statement: “Certification by the North American Lake Management Society recognizes documentation of a set of specific skills. It does not indicate endorsement by the Society of the certified individual.”


The following principles of ethical professional conduct apply to members reviewing, editing, or publishing grant proposals and papers in the professional literature in general, and particularly to all seeking publication in the Society’s publications, including but not limited to Lake and Reservoir Management and LakeLine.

Researchers will claim authorship of a paper only if they have made a substantial contribution. Authorship may legitimately be claimed if researchers

conceived the ideas or experimental design;

participated actively in execution of the study;

analyzed and interpreted the data; or

wrote the manuscript.

Researchers will not add or delete authors from a manuscript submitted for publication without consent of those authors.

Researchers will not include as coauthor(s) any individual who has not agreed to the content of the final version of the manuscript.

Researchers will not submit for publication any manuscript containing data they are not authorized to use. The Society assumes the principal investigator(s) of a research project retain the right to control use of resulting unpublished data unless otherwise specified by contract or explicit agreement.

Researchers will not represent research results as new if they have been published or submitted elsewhere, or submit a manuscript for publication while it is under review for possible publication elsewhere.

Editors or reviewers will treat manuscripts under review as confidential, recognizing them as intellectual property of the author(s).

When using ideas or results of others in manuscripts submitted for publication, researchers will give full attribution of sources. If the ideas or results have not been published, they may not be used without permission of the original researcher. Illustrations or tables from other publications or manuscripts may be used only with permission of the copyright owner.

Individuals will not serve as editors or reviewers of a manuscript if present or past connections with the author or the author’s institution may prevent objective evaluation of the work.

Individuals will not purposefully delay publication of another person’s manuscript to gain advantage over that person.

Authors submitting manuscripts for publication will promptly report to editors any errors in research results or interpretations discovered after submission or publication.


This Code of Professional Ethics is adapted with permission from the Code of Ethics for the Ecological Society of America, as amended May 2013 (https://www.esa.org/about/code-of-ethics/).

Code of Conduct

The North American Lake Management Society commits to promoting a welcoming environment while fulfilling our mission of forging partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs. We intend to do this during daily operations, which includes the annual NALMS symposium, by fostering environments that are safe, collaborative, supportive, and productive for all members and attendees, including sponsors, exhibitors, guests of members, invited speakers, and members of the media. We intend to conduct our business in a fair, honest, and ethical manner that values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among our membership and all conference and event attendees.

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to abide by the following code of conduct. Organizers will be available for those that need to report an incident or concern. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.

Expected Behavior

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Communicate openly and thoughtfully and be considerate of varying views, opinions, levels of experience, and backgrounds.
  • Be respectful in your critique of ideas and avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, NALMS staff, sponsors, and vendors.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the symposium venue, hotels, NALMS contracted facilities, or any other venue.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and fellow participants. Alert a NALMS staff member or designated contact person if you notice unacceptable behavior, a dangerous situation or someone in distress.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • Harassment and intimidation, including any verbal, written, or physical conduct designed to threaten, intimidate, or coerce another attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, NALMS staff member, service provider or other meeting guest;
  • Discrimination based on gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, or culture; or
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, NALMS staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior also include, but are not limited to: inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations; threatening or stalking any NALMS symposium participant; or sexually harassing any NALMS symposium participant.
  • Disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions, in the exhibit hall or at other events organized by NALMS at the meeting venue, hotels, or other NALMS contracted facilities is not allowed.


  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • NALMS staff (or their designee) or security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning and potentially without refund.
  • NALMS 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 NALMS staff member or a designated contact person.
  • Notification should be done by contacting a NALMS staff person or the designated contact persons on-site or by emailing your concern to the NALMS Ethics Committee co-chairs, Chris Holdren and Perry Thomas (ethics@nalms.org).
  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety at the symposium location or other NALMS event is advised to either tell a security guard or locate a house phone and ask for security.
  • Reporting should never be done via social media.


  • Any reports of unacceptable behavior will be handled on a case-by-case basis by one or more of the designated contact persons.
  • The Code of Conduct, including contact information for the designated contact persons, will be made available to all members and conference attendees as follows: inserted into the conference program, posted to the NALMS website, and included in the NALMS Operations Manual and Strategic Plan.
  • NALMS staff and designated contact persons will be introduced at the beginning of the conference and will make every effort to be visible and available to attendees at the annual symposium.
  • The list of designated contact persons will be updated annually prior to publication in the conference program.


Code of conduct adapted from International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) and Ecological Society of America (ESA).