Fire and Water Covenant

This is our agreement to work together responsibly and collegially. 

Each student must read this Covenant, Evergreen's Social Contract, the Student Conduct Code, the Sexual Harassment policy, and Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate. By staying in this program after week 1, you are affirming that you have read and understood these documents, accept their conditions, and agree to abide by them. Please ask right away about anything you are unsure of or have concerns about.

I.  Basic agreements

II. Faculty expectations of students

III. Requirements for award of credit

IV. Resolving conflicts

V. Safety on the Boats

VI. Commitments of faculty to students


The students and faculty will work individually and collaboratively, through a program of reading, problem solving, discussions, workshops, lectures, peer tutorials, field studies, observing, and individual projects to achieve the basic goals of this program:

  • to gain understanding of scientific principles, concepts, and practices of astronomy
  • to understand and practice scientific methods
  • to learn about cultural and historical contexts of astronomy
  • to think more clearly and critically, analytically and synthetically
  • to write and speak more clearly
  • to improve quantitative skills
  • to research, evaluate, and synthesize new information
  • to develop collaboration and presentation skills
  • to contribute to a strong learning community based on diverse strengths

Each of us agrees to:
  • respect my own and other's work
  • listen to and work with my colleagues as I wish to be listened to and spoken with
  • attend all program activities on time and fully prepared to participate, including collaborating, facilitating, listening, observing, speaking, writing, doing research, and other activities
  • share in small and large group planning, evaluating, organizing, presenting, and other tasks related to program content, structure, and harmony.
  • complete evaluations at the end of each quarter, in the context of formal and informal evaluation conferences and discussions (students write self, peer, faculty, and program evals;  faculty write self, colleague, and student evals)
  • abide by this covenant, the Student Conduct Code, and the Social Contract.


A. Come on time to all program meetings, with any assigned readings, problems sets, and written work completed and ready to turn in.  Accept responsibility for your work, acknowledging that faculty do not accept late, incomplete, or "make up" work except in exceptional circumstances such as illness.

B. Participate fully in group activities, including workshops, online activities, field studies/observing, and collaborative work with classmates. You are expected to do viewing and make-up viewing on your own, especially when weather does not permit group viewing.  If you are ill and cannot make a class, you are expected to leave a voice-mail message for Dr. Zita at x6853 or email ASAP.

C. Work responsibly with peers to stay abreast of class information and team research.  Turn in weekly research progress reports with your team. Check the online syllabus at least once a week for updates:

D. Refrain from disruptions. Turn off your beeper.  Don't interrupt.  Harassment or substance abuse will not be tolerated.

E. Dicuss promptly with faculty any difficulties, confusions, problems, etc. that you have with any aspect of the program.

F. Take appropriate responsibility for your own learning and for class dynamics.

G. Develop and maintain a portfolio of all your work in the program.

H. Attend midquarter and end-of-quarter evaluation conferences.

I. Write a self-evaluation that reflects your achievement by the end of the program.

J. Write an evaluation of each faculty member and deliver them to the  program secretary no later than the date of your end-of-quarter evaluation conference.


A. Each student who consistently attends and participates in lectures, workshops, observing, online activities, group projects, and all other scheduled activites; who completes all the assigned work; who completes the exams; and who turns in a self-evaluation, all with acceptable content and quality and ON TIME, can expect to receive full credit.

B. Any student whose work appears not to be meeting standards for credit will be notified by his or her faculty by the end of the fifth week of the quarter, with suggestions for improvement. Students who do not receive a written mid-quarter warning may nevertheless be denied credit based on unsatisfactory performance or incomplete work after the fifth week.

C. Any student who plagiarizes material through failure to fairly attribute and acknowledge sources or through failure to acknowledge joint authorship, or who cheats on a quiz or exam, is liable to lose all credit for the quarter and may be suspended from the college.


A. We assume everyone enters the program in a spirit of goodwill. Evergreen's Social Contract presents a "guide for civility and individual freedom."  The Student Conduct Code (WAC 174-120) advises what to do if something goes wrong. You are expected to completely read, understand, and abide by Evergreen's Social Contract and the Student Conduct Code by the first week of this program.   See the online documents linked at the top of this webpage..  Paper copies are also available.

B. Sometimes conflicts arise in a program. The first step toward resolution should always be to directly engage the parties involved face-to-face (student-student, student-faculty, or faculty - faculty).  Especially in group research, you might need to discuss issues such as team cooperation, sharing duties equitably, and so on.  If necessary, faculty will act as mediators, but only if really necessary.  Student-student or student-faculty difficulties should always be brought to a faculty member in the program before going to Deans.  If the unusual situation of a serious class conflict arises, we will try to resolve it in class first, and involve outside parties only if absolutely necessary.  If this is necessary, we will follow the grievance procedures in Evergreen's Administrative Code.

C. Attendance at your evaluation conference is required for credit, except in truly extreme circumstances.  Missing your evaluation conference can result in full loss of credit, and forfeits your input into your evaluation.  Any credit dispute or disagreement over wording in an evaluation should be discussed in your evaluation conference.  Otherwise, any requests for changes should be made to the faculty in writing before talking to Deans.  Mediation would be the next step. Changes to evaluations are rare and time-consuming; secretaries sometimes take six months to process evaluations changes, which can affect registration and financial aid.

D. You can be dismissed immediately from the classroom, the program, and perhaps the college for illegal, unsafe, or disruptive behavior (Student Conduct Code above). If your work does not meet standards (section II of this Covenant), you may be asked to leave the program.

V. SAFETY on the Boats and Field Trips


Absolutely no illegal drugs aboard any vessel or in any program vehicle at any time. It is very important that everyone understand the severity of the consequences for violating this rule. Zero tolerance laws in the United States and Canada provide for the seizure of boats found to contain even trace quantities of illegal drugs. The U.S. Coast Guard has the right to board and search the vessel at any time; there are no protections against search and seizure as on shore (and this has been confirmed in the courts all the way to the top). Violation of this rule jeopardizes the captain’s operating license and the future of maritime programs at Evergreen. Both countries impose stiff fines and prison terms for those convicted. Our policy, therefore, is that anyone found to have illegal drugs will be turned over to the authorities at the nearest port. The college will not in any way provide for you after this point.

Absolutely no alcohol will be allowed.

Absolutely no one under the influence of drugs will be allowed aboard any vessels. If you are bringing any special medication on board please notify the captain. Also, any sea-sickness pills or patches should be brought to the captain’s attention before use and before bringing them on board.

No firearms are allowed aboard any vessels.

Violation of any of the above restrictions will result in your being removed from the boat and suspended from the program. The college will not be responsible for your safe return to Olympia. No use or posession of alcohol, drugs or weapons are permitted at program activities on land or sea. Violation may result in your being suspended or dismissed from the program, and possibly from the college.

Boats have limited space. Limiting your personal belongings is very important. If we travel overnight, you will be storing the majority of your belongings in your bunk. This means that you and your stuff must fit in your bunk together. You must keep your belongings, and the boat, neat and clean at all times. Each item on board has a "home" (a place where it should be when not being used). Life will be easier and SAFER for all if you return each item you use immediately to its home. In emergency situations and adverse conditions all areas of the boat and all equipment must be accessible. You will be expected to take part in the clean-up procedures and schedule designated by the captain. Each member of the crew will be responsible for accomplishing the necessary tasks to maintain the order of the boat. If you see something that needs to be taken care of, either take care of it immediately, or if you are not sure, bring it to the captain’s attention, especially if you think it concerns the safety of the boat and crew.

The boat is the responsibility of the captain. Decisions made by the captain are made from his or her experience, knowledge and conscience. If you are asked by the captain to do something, then you must do it. If you are not sure of how to go about doing it, ask.

Privacy is at a premium aboard a boat. Please respect individuals’ efforts to maintain their privacy. Be thoughtful of others individually and of the crew as a whole. If there is a problem with another individual, address your concerns to that individual, not to a third party (there are no disinterested third parties in a small craft expedition). If no resolution is possible, bring it to the captain (in the case of boat life) or the faculty (in the case of academic issues) but do not expect them to solve your problems with others.

During fields trips you not only represent yourself in encounters with others, but you also represent your boat and your school. Everyone is expected to behave in a courteous, cooperative manner at all times. If individuals have trouble conducting themselves responsibly while ashore, we, as a group, will determine the action to be taken.

The ability to account for each and every person in the program at all times is of prime importance. You are responsible for paying close attention to the program schedule and for being sure that you understand when and where you are supposed to be at any given time. When leaving the boat or the shore we will not wait for students who have lost track of the schedule. Notify the captain before going ashore or leaving camp and indicate probable destination and estimated time of return. Do not take the dinghy or shore boat without approval of the captain; you may end up stranding the remaining members of the group.

Fishing and gathering shellfish require a license. You may purchase the required licenses, but fishing off the boat is at the captain’s discretion. Do not disturb nets, crab pots, shrimp pots, private shellfish beaches or aquaculture floats.

During the trip, students are expected to take part fully in sailing and operating the boats as directed by the captain, get up with the group and stay up as the program schedule requires, and continue performing academic work as outlined in the syllabus.


A. Prepare for and guide student learning via reading and discussions of our material,  field studies and workshops, group and individual projects, and other assignments and activities.

B. Oversee the program TA's  review of students' written work so it is read, commented upon, and returned in a timely manner.

C. Listen to students' questions and concerns about the material, pace, and/or organization of the program, and respond as the faculty deems appropriate.

D. Be available at least one hour per week for "office hours", which may occur in the office, electronically, or before or after class, to address individual questions and concerns.  Notify the program secretary in case of unscheduled absences.

E. Notify each student by the sixth week of the quarter if his or her work is not satisfactory.

F. Provide a written evaluation of each student's work at the end of each quarter, following the guidelines of section 7.620 of the Faculty Handbook.

G.  Fulfill obligations of the planning area, the larger campus community, and our professional communities.

Participate in new experiences, have fun, and learn a lot.

Maintained by: E.J. Zita