The Wildlife Society Code and Ethics Policy

All Western Section of The Wildlife Society members are expected to adhere to The Wildlife Society Code ( ) and The Wildlife Society Code of Ethics (

Guidelines for Professional Behavior 

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. 

A TWS-WS event 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. 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 Western Section of The Wildlife Society events are welcoming and inclusive for all, we put forward the following guidelines for professional behavior – 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 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 organized events and 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: 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, 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 and the right to prohibit attendance at any future events. Refunds will not be issued to anyone who is removed from an event for unprofessional behavior.

Virtual Meeting Etiquette

  • Please don’t share your login. Individuals can register to get their own unique login code.
  • Please don’t stream a Zoom Livestream or Meeting on more than one device at a time. This could put us over our license agreement limit with Zoom and could prevent other participants from joining the meetings once we reach our licensed participant number.
  • If you join a Breakout, Meet-Up or meeting directly in Zoom, ensure you are in an appropriate setting if you turn your camera or microphone on. Be sure to stay muted if you are in a noisy setting. Virtual backgrounds may not work in some situations.
  • 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 our virtual events. Anyone violating the Code of Conduct will be removed and will not be reimbursed for their registration fees.

We appreciate your attention to these guidelines.

The Wildlife Society (TWS) maintains policies and procedures (hereafter referred to as our Code) that represent both the code of ethics and the code of business conduct for directors, officers, volunteers and employees.

TWS requires the highest standards of ethical conduct from each volunteer and staff member as they perform their duties and engage in fulfilling the mission of the Society. The organization requires that every volunteer and staff member exhibit the highest standards of professionalism, honesty, and integrity, and that the activities and services provided by TWS are accomplished in a fair and equitable manner. It is the purpose of this Code to detail the ethical standards under which we agree to operate.

The TWS Executive Committee will review any issues under the Code involving the Executive Director/CEO, appointed or elected officer, elected representative or volunteer and will report its findings to the Council. The Executive Director will review any issues under the Code involving a staff member and will report the findings to the TWS Council. The Council does not envision that any waivers of the Code will be granted, but should a waiver occur it will also be promptly disclosed to the Council.

Ethics Policy

The policy of TWS is to comply fully with all governmental laws, rules, and regulations applicable to its business. However, the Society’s Ethics Policy does not stop there. Even where the law is permissive, the Society chooses the course of highest integrity. The Society cares how results are obtained, not just that they are obtained. Directors, officers, and employees should deal fairly with each other and with the Society’s members, suppliers, customers, competitors, and other third parties.

The Society expects compliance with its standard of integrity throughout the organization and will not tolerate employees who achieve results at the cost of violation of law or who deal unscrupulously. The Society’s directors and officers support, and expect the organization’s employees to support, any employee who passes up an opportunity or advantage that would sacrifice ethical standards.

It is the Society’s policy that all transactions will be accurately reflected in its books and records. This, of course, means that falsification of books and records and the creation or maintenance of any off-the-record bank accounts are strictly prohibited. Employees are expected to record all transactions accurately in the organization’s books and records, and to be honest and forthcoming with the Society’s independent auditors.

The Society expects candor from employees at all levels and adherence to its policies and internal controls. One harm which results when employees conceal information from higher management or the auditors is that other employees think they are being given a signal that the organization’s policies and internal controls can be ignored when they are inconvenient. That can result in corruption and demoralization of an organization. The organization’s system of management will not work without honesty, including honest bookkeeping, budget proposals, and economic evaluation of projects.

It is the Society’s policy to make full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable disclosure in reports and documents that the organization files. All employees are responsible for reporting material information to the Executive Director/CEO, who is responsible for making disclosure decisions.