Dedicated to the study and conservation of Pacific Seabirds and their environment.

Code of Conduct Committee

The Pacific Seabird Group is developing a Code of Conduct for all members.  Most non-profit organisations have a Code of Conduct today (also called Code of Ethics, Code of Professional Conduct), and it is one of the policies that was recommended to PSG by an independent audit in 2014.  In order to make this happen, an Ad Hoc Code of Conduct Committee was formed in 2015 at the San Jose, California, PSG Annual Meeting and, over a period of 18 months, the Committee created a draft Code of Conduct with input from the Executive Council, member’s suggestions, and advice from other organisations.  The Committee reviewed similar Codes from respected societies, organisations and government agencies in United States, Canada and Europe.   A range of factors was considered including applicability across 16+ countries where members reside, diversity of member affiliations (e.g., students, academia, non-profit, government, consulting, retired), feasibility and practicality to implement and uphold. The Code elements and investigation approach were informed by examining other codes including American Ornithological Society and Society of Conservation Biology.

The process for reviewing the draft Code of Conduct, then finalising and approving it is as follows: (1) legal review of draft Code of Conduct; (2) distribute for member input; (3) Committee revises document based on member input; (4) Committee submits revised draft to Executive Council for review and approval to send to members for a vote; (5) EXCO Secretary submits revised Code to members for a vote via online ballot (accept, not accept); (6) member vote is taken to EXCO for discussion and approval; (7) Code is posted online.  If there are significant comments or EXCO does not approve for member voting, then steps 2-4 will be repeated.  It is expected that this process will be completed in 2017-2018, and the document approved at the PSG Annual Meeting in La Paz, Mexico, depending on the quantity and nature of comments during legal and member reviews.   As is true for all PSG policies, the Code of Conduct will undergo review in the future and be revised, as needed.

For questions or more information, please contact Joanna Smith,  Chair of Ad Hoc Code of Conduct Committee  via email:

Ad hoc Code of Conduct Committee membersJoanna Smith – Chair 2016-2018; Jen Zamon – Chair 2015-2016; Anne Harfenist; Annette Henry; Ken Morgan; Kim Nelson; and Jennifer Provencher

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