NAGT Ethics Policy

Approved by NAGT's Executive Committee on 9/23/19


This policy provides responsibilities and guiding principles of conduct for all members of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). It is the mission of NAGT to support a diverse, inclusive, and thriving community of educators and education researchers to improve teaching and learning about the Earth. In fulfilling this mission, members have professional obligations to their colleagues, students, employers, and the public, as well as to their profession.

In support of these obligations, this policy is a set of principles and practices for professional behavior that governs all NAGT members, staff, elected and appointed officers, volunteers, contractors, exhibitors, and sponsors. This policy also includes any non-member who participates in an NAGT program or activity. Collectively, this policy will refer to all persons identified above as "NAGT members and affiliates."

NAGT programs and activities include, but are not limited to, NAGT in-person or virtual meetings, publications, honors and recognitions, and governance programs.

Statement of Responsibilities and Principles

NAGT members and affiliates are expected to adhere to the highest standards of conduct and to maintain personal and professional integrity. NAGT members and affiliates should observe the following responsibilities and principles in the conduct of their professional affairs.

Responsibilities to:

  • The Students
    Geoscience educators' primary responsibility is to the students they teach. Geoscience educators should mentor and encourage all students in a manner that is open-minded, objective and enthusiastic, promotes curiosity, and recognizes that education is a fundamental trust conferred by society for the promotion of the student's learning and professional development. This responsibility includes adhering to laws and regulations related to sexual relations with, or sexual harassment of, any student, mentee or junior colleague. Likewise, non-sexual forms of harassment - bullying, intimidation, threats, demeaning remarks - are unacceptable. Student collaborators should be duly recognized for their contributions. Teaching and mentorship should build scientific understanding and impress upon students the importance of addressing ethical issues and challenges related to the geosciences.
  • The Geosciences and Profession
    Geoscience educators and education researchers should seek to advance education in all disciplines of the geosciences, acknowledge the limitations of their knowledge, and respect objectivity and truth in their professional endeavors. Education researchers should ensure that their research contributions and those of their collaborators are thorough, accurate, and unbiased in design, implementation, and presentation. Where appropriate, geoscience educators and education researchers should remain current with developments in their field, share ideas and information, keep accurate and complete research records, maintain integrity in all conduct and publications, and give due credit to the contributions of others. Not disclosing conflicts of interest and engaging in scientific misconduct, such as fabrication, falsification, omission/suppression of results, and plagiarism, are incompatible with this policy.
  • The Colleagues
    Geoscience educators and education researchers should treat all associates with respect, encourage them, learn with them, share ideas honestly, and give credit for their contributions.
  • The Employer and Employees
    Geoscience educators and education researchers should promote and protect the legitimate interests of their employers, perform work honestly and competently, fulfill obligations, and safeguard proprietary information. Geoscience educators and education researchers, as employers, should treat subordinates with respect for their professionalism and concern for their well-being, and provide them with a safe, congenial working environment, fair compensation, and proper acknowledgment of their professional contributions.
  • The Public and Humankind
    All geoscience educators and education researchers have a professional responsibility to serve the public interest and welfare and to further knowledge of the geosciences and education for the benefit of humankind. Geoscience educators and education researchers should actively be concerned with the health and welfare of humankind and effectively communicate knowledge about issues such as natural hazards, natural resources, environmental impacts, and education to the public. Public and professional comments on geoscience and education matters should be made with care and precision, without unsubstantiated, exaggerated, or premature statements.

Principles of Conduct for NAGT Members and Affiliates:

In meeting these responsibilities, NAGT members and affiliates will:

  1. Undertake reasonable efforts to ensure inclusiveness and will not discriminate against others in the course of their work on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, citizenship, gender identity and expression, and veteran/military status. NAGT members and affiliates will not practice or condone harassment in any form in any professional context.
  2. Cooperate with other educators and education researchers whenever possible and appropriate to assure rapid interchange and dissemination of knowledge in the geosciences and geoscience education. NAGT members and affiliates will avoid exploiting students or colleagues by avoiding plagiarism in verbal or written communication and by giving full and proper credit to the creativity, ideas, and efforts of colleagues and students.
  3. Strive to accurately represent our collective understanding and knowledge of the geosciences and geoscience education to students, the profession, and the public, avoiding and discouraging the dissemination of erroneous, biased, or exaggerated statements about the geosciences or geoscience education. NAGT members and affiliates will avoid committing scientific fraud caused by fabrication, falsification, or suppression of results, or by deliberate misrepresentation of research findings.
  4. Not attempt to injure the reputation or professional opportunities of another scientist or educator by false, biased, or undocumented claims. NAGT members and affiliates will not seek employment, grants, or gain by offers of gifts or favors, or by any other malicious action.
  5. Not represent themselves as spokespersons for NAGT without express authorization by the Executive Committee or Executive Director of NAGT.

NAGT expects its members and affiliates to maintain high standards in fulfilling these principles of conduct. Violations of these principles, including harassing students or colleagues, can be considered scientific misconduct by the NAGT Executive Committee.

Note: this policy is based on the GSA Code of Conduct. Language from this document is used with permission from the GSA Ethics and Compliance Officer.