Department of Earth and Environmental Geoscience Community Contract and resources
See below for resources.
Successful teaching, learning, and research can only occur when students, faculty, and staff feel safe, secure, and supported. We want you to feel comfortable being yourself. We are thus dedicated to an inclusive and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, socio-economic status, culture, membership in student organizations, and/or religion. Even when we are well-intentioned, we may not always be aware of how our words and actions impact others. We all must continually work to create a welcoming, just, and supportive environment for all. As a starting point, we expect all members of the community to respect our Community Contract:
• All communication, be it online or in person, should be considerate of people from all backgrounds and identities.
o When you speak or write, are you working to make others feel welcome and comfortable?
o Do you intervene (or "speak up") when you observe or hear inappropriate comments? This can be difficult to do; if you have trouble in the moment, seek out EEG faculty or staff for help.
o Contribute to discussions with a constructive, positive approach.
o Be mindful of talking over others when discussing in groups, and be willing to hear out the ideas of others.
o Be clear and direct. We can't know how to help you if we don't know what you need. Please contact us if you have questions or are struggling or just want to talk about anything.
• Be kind to others. This includes:
o Respecting each of our differences.
o Being mindful of how your actions and language may be perceived by others.
o Using language that is respectful, thoughtful, and sensitive to the feelings of others.
o Engaging in discussions and behaviors that make individuals and groups feel welcome, included, and safe in our community.
o Seek out and take seriously the ideas of others.
• Geoscientists are often visitors in the field, and we must recognize we are fortunate to be granted access to private and public places. When traveling in Rockbridge County or elsewhere, respect that others may have differing beliefs, cultures, values, resources, and experiences.
• We want departmental spaces to feel welcoming for all, like a home away from home. Treat these spaces - and those who care for them - with respect, keeping them clean. This includes classrooms, labs, the computer room, and vans.
• We are collectively responsible for the physical safety of ourselves and others in laboratory and field settings. We will be aware of our surroundings and behave responsibly, with appropriate care and attention.
• Be respectful of the environment while working in the field, minimizing disturbance and practicing "leave no trace."
Given the type of community we aspire to create, the Department of Earth and Environmental Geoscience rejects harassment and sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or exclusionary comments (even when spoken as a "joke"). Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
Please come talk to any faculty or staff member if you have any questions or comments.
From the Department of Earth and Environmental Geoscience: Chris Connors, Emily Flowers Falls, Lisa Greer, David Harbor, Margaret Anne Hinkle, Elizabeth Knapp, Jeff Rahl, Sarah Barrash Wilson
In the spirit of keeping these ideals alive, we ask you to obtain additional signatures to stimulate discussions about the importance of these values in our departmental community.
I acknowledge and agree with the contents above.
Print name _______________________________________________________________
Signature _________________________________________Date ___________________
Advisor's signature _________________________________________________________
Department Head's signature _________________________________________________
Additional faculty or staff member's signature _____________________________________
Fellow major's signature ______________________________________________________
Do you try to make others feel welcome or comfortable but aren't sure how to tell if you are doing things that make others feel unwelcome or uncomfortable?
Do you want to intervene (or "speak up") when you observe or hear inappropriate comments but aren't sure how to do this? How do I tell a teacher I wished they had spoken up or that they said something that made me feel uncomfortable?
Below are a couple of resources that can help. I want to grow this list so check back to see if more have been added -- and please let me know of any resources that would be good to add. We want to hear from you and to help, so please know you are always welcome in any faculty or staff office to discuss a situation.
Thank you! Sarah
In an effort to be more aware
Woodzicka, Mallett, Hendricks, Pruitt, "It's just a (sexist)joke: comparing reactions to sexist versus racist communications"
Racism Defined on the Dismantling Racism website
The rise of land acknowledgements -- and their limitations on Vox
American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Webinar on unconscious bias
The title of the webinar if Unconscious Bias: Perspectives from the Private Sector but it is very helpful for all sectors -- personal, classroom, and work. This provides a helpful way to understand bias and some ways to let others know if they need to reconsider something they said.
Example of bias short video
Confronting bias: Thriving Across Our Differences This is a LinkedIn Learning video. It speaks to all categories areas listed here, and has super-helpful bookmarks so you can watch very short segments as you want.
How to respond
Scenarios to consider (to come)
"How to Respond to Rude or Inappropriate Remarks"
"How to React When Someone Says Something Offensive"
Mansur, Ponciano, de Castro, "Contributions to a Brazilian Code of Conduct for Fieldwork in Geology: an approach based on Geoconservation and Geoethics"
Pico, "The Darker Side of John Wesley Powell"