Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, and Non-Fraternization Curriculum

In support of the geoscience community’s attentiveness to developing a more inclusive culture that is resistant to harassment and discrimination, a collaborative effort to develop an anti-harassment/discrimination curriculum, designed specifically for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites, is underway. The curriculum is designed to be engaging and educative for undergraduate students, who may have little formal training in the terminology and concepts surrounding such topics, are likely to be unaware of the program’s policies and procedures regarding harassment, discrimination, and fraternization, and are unlikely to know how to respond if they were to witness an incident of discrimination or harassment. 

Part 1 of the curriculum begins, after establishing group agreements for discussing sensitive topics, by exploring data from relevant research (and the participants) to illustrate that discrimination and harassment are not just  theoretical things. Next, participants s are engaged in the content matter through a game of Pictionary using key concepts and terminology. Following the game, participants work in small groups to define concepts introduced during the game and reflect on how they could relate to harassment, discrimination and fraternization. Through whole group discussions, group ideas are clarified and refined.  Participants then read relevant portions of the program’s handbook and reflect on their reading in light of mini-vignettes and guiding questions. This section is wrapped up with staff describing the complaint procedures, and outlining program’s investigation procedures and possible disciplinary outcomes. 

In part 2 of the curriculum, students are asked to reflect on their learning in Part 1 while considering why an inclusive culture that is resistant to harassment and discrimination matters. Students are also asked to identify what their personal role is in its development. Building from the mini-vignettes in part 1, participants explore why it is not uncommon for people to be hesitant to intervene in such situations, and are introduced to strategies that could be used to support someone who’s being harassed or discriminated against, emphasize that harassment is not okay, and demonstrate everyone has the power to make their community safer (the Five D’s developed by Hollaback). Part 2 wraps up by offering participants the opportunity to apply all of their learning through a facilitated discussion of a video clip from Intervene©.



  • Describe a work environment that
    • consists of mutual respect,
    • promotes respectful and congenial relationships, and
    • is free from all forms of harassment and discrimination
  • Summarize who is responsible for creating the work environment described above
  • Distinguish between behavior that is harassing or discriminating and non-harassing or discriminating
  • Describe how to report harassment or discrimination to the program, the program’s investigation procedures, and possible disciplinary outcomes
  • Plan how they would use the bystander interventions to respond to incidents of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment
  • Apply the program’s anti-harassment, anti-discrimination, and non-fraternization policy to a series of case studies

Status: This version, 1.0 (May, 2019), is built upon the previous version which was piloted at two GEO-REU sites the summer of 2018. Initial feedback from participants suggest that the curriculum is impactful. For example, “It was good to learn the process of reporting harassment.  I have never had a policy likes this explained to me in a place of work and there have been a few instances (in the past) where I wish I had known about a policy.”  Version 1.0 features a number of new mini-scenarios which include micro-agressions, a section on bystander intervention, and an updated case-study (video) at the end to put all the learning together.  Results from the 2019 evalaution will be presented at the 2019 Fall AGU meeting.  We are planning to run a larger pilot in the summer of 2020. If you would like to participate, please contact please contact, Michael Hubenthal at  

Use and Feedback Encouraged: This curriculum has been developed for use by those who facilitate undergraduate research opportunities, whether through NSF's REU site program, or not. We view the curriculum as a community resource. Thus, we encourage others to use the resource and welcome contributions and feedback! To coordinate versions, please send contributions and feedback to Michael Hubenthal at

Michael Hubenthal - IRIS Consortium
Daphne Ladue - University of Oklahoma
Martin Snow - University of Colorado, Boulder

Total Time: 2h
Level: Intermediate


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