Dispute Resolution Guidelines

As members of the Department of Earth Sciences, we wish to foster a culture of inclusivity and establish positive intra-departmental relationships characterized by trust, transparency, courtesy, and shared expectations. To this end, complaints or concerns should be made in good faith with the intent to find equitable resolutions to any issues that may arise. Below are our suggested guidelines for any dispute resolution, but please note that all formal complaints must follow guidelines outlined in the Dartmouth College Policy.

Dispute Resolution Guidelines

   1. If you feel comfortable, talk to the other person(s) about the issue. You might use language such as, "On X date, when you engaged in Y behavior, I felt Z, and I'd like to talk with you about it." Most situations can be resolved this way, and if you resolve the issue earlier, it is often easier. If you do not feel comfortable addressing the situation in this way, skip this step.

   2. Document everything, to the extent possible, including emails, conversations, and the dates of notable events. In addition, make sure you document who, if anyone, witnessed the event, and consider asking them to record their recollections if possible. Do this as soon as possible to ensure accuracy, and focus on the facts.

   3. Documentation of disputes can be useful in multiple ways. It can be communicated to all parties as a way to facilitate reconciliation. It can be provided to outside facilitators (College contacts listed below) if the issue remains unresolved. In some cases, reaching out to a neutral College party, can result in a  formal investigation if that is the resolution you seek. An investigation may include interviewing relevant parties and the rendering of a finding. You will be expected to participate in the investigation.

   4. Specific College contacts exist for various circumstances. In addition, one can contact the undergraduate or graduate student coordinator, the graduate ombudsperson, or the Department Chair.

   5. If you, as a complainant, choose to identify yourself and the complainant(s), then potential action can occur and all pertinent information associated with the charges can be made available to the appropriate College office.

   6. If you choose to report in confidence and remain anonymous, know that appropriate formal resolution may be limited. If your report is to a College contact listed below, they will document the incident, and a record will be kept by the appropriate office for your affiliation (undergraduate or graduate student, faculty, research associate/postdoctoral scholar or staff) so that repeat offenses may be identified. 

Please note that some reports made to Responsible Employees (e.g., discrimination or harassment) cannot be kept anonymous. Dartmouth personnel that have not been specifically designated as confidential resources are required to report it to the appropriate College office. Responsible Employees, including faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and departmental staff, are required to promptly report to the Title IX Coordinator: any disclosure of sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating or domestic violence and stalking, including all known details. This information will only be communicated with other individuals on a need-to-know basis or as required by law.

EARS Resource Flow Chart

Please see the EARS Reporting Flowchart here: PDF


Contacts within the Department of Earth Sciences and Dartmouth College:

For most concerns or complaints, the first step is usually internal to the Department of Earth Sciences, but many College-wide resources are available (see EARS resource flow chart). Below are the general contacts for each category of Dartmouth community member, followed by specific contacts for certain types of complaints. In all cases, complaints can be made internally to the appropriate Department contact or to a College contact. Note: most of the resources below are private, but not confidential. For a current list of which resources are designated as confidential, see the Title IX office website.

Undergraduate Students:

  • Department of Earth Sciences level: Undergraduate Advisor (Leslie Sonder), Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (IDE) Committee Chairs (Mathieu Morlighem and Meredith Kelly), and Department Chair (Meredith Kelly).
  • College level: Undergraduate Deans Office, Dick's House Counseling and Mental Health Center, Title IX Office

Graduate Students:

Additional resources for graduate students are provided here.


Postdoctoral Scholars, Research Associates, and Staff:

Emergencies and Required College Reporting:

  • Hanover Police Department: 911 or 603-643-2222
  • The You Have Options Program at Hanover Police Department also allows anonymous online reporting of sexual violence and provides additional information about reporting options and supports.
  • Dartmouth College Safety and Security: 911 or 603-646-3333

Title IX Office: 603-646-0922 or Email: titleix@dartmouth.edu

Anonymous Reporting:

Other Confidential Resources:
WISE 24-hour crisis hotline: 866-348-9473
College Chaplain: 603-646-3780 or Email: College.Chaplain@dartmouth.edu
Dick's House Counseling Center: 603-646-9442 (603-646-4000 on weekends or after hours)


Within the Department of Earth Sciences, complaints and concerns reported to one of the contacts listed above will be evaluated and reviewed with appropriate personnel for that person's affiliation (i.e. undergraduate or graduate student, faculty, research associate/postdoctoral scholar, staff) and for the type of complaint in an effort to seek resolution. Generally, if the concerns or complaints can be handled informally, this approach will be tried first. In other cases and depending on the type of complaint, a more formal process, involving the Dean's office and/or appropriate College offices, will be followed. This process may include a meeting with both complainant and respondent as well as any other witnesses, reviewing relevant documents, etc. Complaints and concerns and the outcomes will be documented and reported to the appropriate administrative level within the Department of Earth Sciences on a systematic basis for tracking of behavioral patterns and for exploring holistic solutions to address behavior and/or Department cultural issues.

As needed, available College resources may assist with complaint and concern resolution, including mediation. Additionally, concerns or complaints presented directly to a College level office will be managed through the processes in place for that office with full participation from the Department of Earth Sciences.