EPS-ESE Statement of Shared Values

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) and the program in Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) constitute a vibrant academic, professional, and social environment for those interested in the study of Earth and Earth systems. Having a diverse and inclusive community, where every member is valued and treated with respect, is a central goal and we want all participants to have a rewarding experience with equal opportunity for their success. Accordingly, we expect everyone in our community to behave in a manner consistent with, and in support of, an environment where we can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of all forms of discrimination and harassment. Below, we clarify these expectations.

Harvard University Policies

Harvard University, in accordance with State and Federal law, prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability unrelated to job requirements, genetic information, military service, or other protected status. As part of Harvard University, EPS/ESE endorses and adheres to these university wide non-discrimination polices for students and employees, as well as Harvard University’s policy on sexual and gender based harassment summarized here: Harvard University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the University community is, on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity. Every member of the community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation, and that such behavior violates both law and University policy.

EPS/ESE Shared Values

The EPS/ESE community agrees upon the following principles and practices. All members – faculty, staff, and students – have a role to play in upholding the following:

  • Creating and sustaining a safe, open and professional environment wherein all members feel empowered to perform their best
  • Supporting diversity and inclusiveness within the community
  • Practicing excellence, integrity, and honesty in all aspects of professional work
  • Respecting all members of our community and the spaces we share
  • Observing courtesy, equity, and fairness in our interactions and work with others
  • Behaving professionally in all EPS/ESE spaces and at all EPS/ESE sponsored events, whether on or off campus

These principles apply to all aspects of the EPS/ESE community experience, and every member should feel empowered to address concerns regarding actions inconsistent with the values enumerated above.

Unacceptable Behaviors
As a statement of principle, the EPS/ESE community rejects discrimination and harassment by any means, based on any aspect of a person’s or group’s race, color, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, citizenship, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, service in the uniformed services, veteran status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information (including family medical history), marital status, pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions, economic status, political or other opinion, appearance or age. In addition, EPS/ESE opposes all forms of bullying including threatening, humiliating, coercive, or intimidating conduct that causes harm to, interferes with, or sabotages member’s opportunities to achieve their full potential. Initiating or encouraging discrimination, harassment (in any form), and bullying create a hostile environment that reduces the quality, integrity, and value of EPS/ESE by marginalizing individuals and communities. This applies to all EPS/ESE professional, research, and teaching environments, as well as EPS/ESE sponsored community gatherings or social events.


  • Discrimination – Discrimination refers to the unequal or unfair treatment of a person or group in professional opportunities, education, benefits, evaluation, and employment (such as hiring, termination, promotion, compensation) and can include various types of harassment, as well as retaliation. Discriminatory practices can be explicit or implicit, intentional, or arise from unconscious biases.
  • Harassment – Harassment is a type of discrimination that consists of a single intense and severe act, or of multiple persistent or pervasive acts, which are unwanted, unwelcome, demeaning, abusive, or offensive. Offensive conduct constitutes harassment when 1) it becomes a condition of an opportunity, education, benefit, evaluation, or employment or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work or educational environment that most people would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. These acts may include physical acts, as well as expressed epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping based on gender, race, sexual identity, or other categories, as protected by U.S. federal law. Also included are threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and displays; circulation of printed or online text or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or a group.
  • Sexual Harassment & Assault – Sexual harassment includes any acts involving discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. These include sexual misconduct or assault, deliberate intimidation or stalking, and any unwanted and/or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature, such as harassing photography, or recording, and the use of sexual language and images in public spaces or on social media.
  • Bullying – Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others in the professional environment that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. These actions can include abusive criticism, humiliation, the spreading of rumors, physical and verbal attacks, isolation, undermining, and professional exclusion of individuals through any means.
  • For more foundational concepts and affirming language, see the Harvard Diversity Inclusion & Belonging handbook with a comprehsive description of a wide variety of DIB-related terms and areas.

EPS/ESE recognizes that the relationship between students and those in advisory roles is a unique one in the academic environment, and that the power imbalance inherent in the student-adviser relationship carries extra demands for ethical behavior. Both advisers and students (undergraduate and graduate) are encouraged to be aware of the responsibilities of the adviser, the student, and the institution with regard to this relationship. Thank you for helping make EPS/ESE a welcoming, safe, inclusive, supportive, and productive community.

Resources for Support

Medical Emergencies: 911

Safety Concerns: Harvard University Police Department, (617) 495-1212

Medical/Mental Health
Harvard University Health Services, 24-hour Urgent Care: (617) 495-5711
Harvard University Counseling & Mental Health Services: (617)-495-2042 - use only if your PCP is with Harvard Health Services

Harvard's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers free, confidential help for all Harvard employees and their adult household members. You can reach the EAP any time for personal or work-related concerns at 877-EAP-HARV (877-327-4278). 

Title IX Violations, Sexual Assault, Misconduct, Harassment, Discrimination

Harvard University Title IX Office, (617) 496-0200, titleix@harvard.edu
Harvard University Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response: (617) 495-9100
Harvard University Office of Dispute Resolution: (617) 495-3786
Title IX: Promoting Safety and Respect in EPS/ESE
Resources and Action Items for Sexual Assault and Harassment at Harvard

Bullying (including professional and faculty faculty affairs issues)
Contact Moriah Silver of the Harvard University Title IX Office directly at moriah_silver@harvard.edu

Harvard University Anonymous Reporting: (877) 694-2276, or submit online
Behaviors that make you or those around you feel unsafe or unwelcome, or are otherwise inconsistent with the values stated above may be reported anonymously through the Harvard University reporting hotline. This service is available for a variety of ethical, integrity, safety, security, and compliance concerns and may be used by anyone including, but not limited to, students, faculty, staff, patients, vendors, contractors and visitors, anywhere in the world.

The Anonymous Reporting Hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is run by an independent, third-party provider.

Academic & Workplace Issues
Open to all members of the Harvard community, the Ombudsman Office is an independent, neutral, and confidential place for visitors to discuss their academic and workplace issues and concerns.
Harvard University Ombudsman (Cambridge/Allston): (617) 495-7748

Employee Personal or Work-related Concerns
Harvard's Employee Assistance Program offers free, confidential help for personal or work-related concerns to all Harvard employees and their adult household members.
Employee Assistance Program: (877) 327-4278

Graduate Student Resources
Members of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) staff are available to help with any issues that arise during your graduate student career. If you need help with a personal or academic issue, but don't know where to start, reach out to the Office of Student Services.
Danielle Farrell, Director of Student Services, GSAS Student Center: (617) 495-5005 or book an appointment with Danielle online.
Jackie Yun, Executive Director, GSAS Student Center: (617) 495-2255
GSAS Student Life Resources
GSAS Counseling Resources

Workplace issue form -  if you are experiencing a problem at work, you can use this confidential form to contact the Contract Enforcement and Education Committee (CEEC). (See more info on this form here.)

Building/Facilities Issues
SEAS Building Emergency Contact Information, 24-hour Facilities Issues: (617) 495-5560

Links to Harvard University Codes of Conduct


This document drew heavily from many sources, including: the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educations Code of Conduct, University of Southern California policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Assault, the Middle Tennesee State University Department of Geosciences Code of Conduct, the American Geophysical Union AGU Meetings Code of Conduct, the AGU membership Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy, and information provided by the ADVANCEGeo Partnership at Carleton College.