Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy Effective Date: March 1, 2020

This is the Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (“GMRI”) for the Ecosystem Investigation Network, and describes how GMRI (“GMRI”, “We”, “Us” or “Our”) handles Personal Information (as defined below) that users (“You”, “Your” or “User”) provide to Us, or that We collect from You through the use of the Website, which is located at (“Website,” “Network”). The Website is offered subject to Your acceptance without modification of all of the terms and conditions contained herein and all other operating rules, policies (including, without limitation, the Terms of Use) and procedures that may be published from time to time on this Website by GMRI (“Agreement”). A “Project” is a third-party, scientific data collection project that collects data from Users and which is a licensee and user of the Website.

GMRI respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your information through compliance with this policy. Please read this policy carefully. If you do not agree with our policies and practices, you may refrain from using this Site. If you have questions about this policy, please feel free to email us at

Registration in the Network is reserved for users over 13-years of age. We have designed two ways for users under 13-years of age to participate in the Network without registration: as students in classrooms of teachers who are registered users, or in collaboration with a parent or guardian who is a registered user. See section below titled “Children.”

  1. Non-personally identifiable information. GMRI collects non-personally identifiable information – information that is not traceable back to an individual person – of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available to understand better how GMRI’s Users use the Website and Network. Non-personal information can be broken down into two large categories: the first is data collected automatically from your browser or your device when you use our Website, such as the frequency and duration of your visits, operating system, hardware version, device settings, file and software names and types, battery and signal strength, device identifiers, and IP addresses. We also use cookies, described in greater detail below. The second category of non-personal information includes information about how the Website is being used, and may include a user’s actions, such as mouse clicks, time on task, and navigation through the Website. We also pay attention to certain demographic information such as geography. Some of this information can be associated with an individual user. From time to time, GMRI may release non-personally-identifying information in the aggregate, for example, by publishing a report on trends in the usage of its Website.

  2. Personally Identifiable Information. Personally identifiable information (“PII”) generally means information or data that can be used to identify an individual person, and with respect to our Site, is information you have provided to us. Some of our services require the creation of an Ecosystem Investigation Network account. Creating this account will require you to provide your first and last name, email address, username, and password. Educators, we may also ask You to share Your role, country, state, district, school name, class descriptions, and grade. While registration is required to contribute to Network projects and participate in Network discussions, registration is entirely voluntary. By registering as a participant in the Network, You understand and agree that You must provide Us with Your email address and that We may use Your email address as needed to provide information about Your account to You. We will not share this information with project owners, administrators of projects to which you contribute, or anyone else. All project-related communication is intended to take place via our integrated discussion forums (these forums make use of a third-party software called Discourse; use of Discourse is governed by the Discourse Privacy Policy, which may be seen at

    GMRI may collect PII when You choose to interact with GMRI in ways that require GMRI to gather such information, such as if You register as a Website user, or provide content to the Website through Your computer or smart device. The amount and type of information that GMRI gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. In each case, GMRI collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of Your interaction with the Website. GMRI does not disclose PII other than as described below. And You can always refuse to supply PII, with the caveat that doing so may prevent You from engaging in certain Website activities.

    GMRI discloses potential or actual PII only to those of its programmers, contractors, and affiliated organizations that: (i) need to know that PII in order to process it on GMRI’s behalf or to provide services available at the Website; and (ii) have agreed not to disclose it to others. Some of those employees, contractors and affiliated organizations may be located outside of Your home country and, therefore, by using GMRI’s Website, You consent to the transfer of such PII to them. GMRI will not rent or sell potential or actual PII to anyone.

  3. Information Volunteered by Registered Users. Some services or areas of our Website include options to input additional information about yourself. For example, Registered Users can – but are not required to – add biographical information to Your public profile, contribute data including Field Notes to projects, and participate in online discussions. Any information you choose to provide in these comment and forum areas, however characterized, will be at your option and is therefore completely voluntary. GMRI does not monitor, edit or control public posts by You or any User while using the Website or its public discussion forums. You are responsible for any PII You choose to put in a public post on a discussion forum or in a data contribution (e.g., as part of a Field Note). GMRI advises You to be aware of these possibilities and to be cautious of what information, including PII, that You include in a public post or provide to a Project.

    In addition, the Website provides you with the opportunity to leave comments or participate in forums, which are hosted by a third-party software called Discourse. Unless otherwise expressly provided for in this policy, GMRI shall have no liability to you or to any third party with respect to information submitted voluntarily by you via the Website.

  4. Other Circumstances in which we will share PII. Other than to Our employees, contractors, and affiliated organizations, as described herein, GMRI discloses potential and actual PII only when required to do so by law, or when GMRI believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of GMRI, third parties, or the public at large. Unless authorized by You through Your opt-in, or as provided herein, We will make Your PII available to non-affiliated third parties only in the following circumstances

    a. If We are compelled to do so by a governmental agency, court or other entity (for example, to respond to subpoenas, court orders or legal process);

    b. If We believe Your actions violate a law, regulation, this Privacy Policy, the Agreement, or any applicable Website terms of use, or if You threaten the rights, property or safety of Us, Our Website, any other users or third party; or

    c. If, in Our sole discretion, We believe disclosure is necessary to investigate or resolve possible problems or inquiries, to protect Our assets, to defend Our interests or comply with Our legal and regulatory obligations.

  5. Children. We do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from children. Visitors less than 13 years of age may not register themselves as Network participants. If a parent or guardian agrees, youth under 13-years of age may participate via that parent or guardian’s registration and username. We strongly encourage parents and guardians to stay closely involved in this participation to prevent young participants from inadvertently sharing PII in discussion posts or data contributions. If You believe that We might have inappropriate information about a child less than 13 years of age, please contact Us at with details and a link to the content of concern.

  6. Other use of Non-PII Aggregate Information. We may use non-identifying and aggregate information to design and operate better Our Website and provide services to You.

    a. Log Files. As is true of most websites, We may gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and click-stream data. We may use this information, which does not identify individual users, to analyze trends, to administer the Website, to track users’ movements around the Website and to gather demographic information about Our user base as a whole.

    b. Cookies. As is also true of most websites, We may use cookies. A cookie is a small text file or string of information that a website stores on a user’s computer for record-keeping purposes and that the user’s browser provides to the website each time the User returns. We may use cookies to help Us identify and track users, their usage of the Website, and their Website access preferences. We do not link the information We store in cookies to any PII You submit while on the Website.

    We may use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies. We may use session cookies to make it easier for You to navigate the Website. A session ID cookie expires when You close Your browser. A persistent cookie remains on Your hard drive for an extended period of time. You can remove persistent cookies by following directions provided in Your browser’s ‘Help’ file.

    Users who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using the Website. If You reject cookies, then You may still use the Website, but Your ability to use some areas of the Website may be limited and certain features of the Website may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

  7. Third-Party Service Providers. GMRI and its Ecosystem Investigation Network uses a variety of third-party service providers to operate this Website and provide the services found here. These third parties include but are not limited to Google Analytics to help us understand our Website usage; Survey Monkey, to facilitate and process user surveys; DigitalOcean, the cloud hosting provider where the platform managed, and the Discourse open source discussion platform to support discussion forums. In some cases, these third parties place and read their own cookies, web beacons, and similar technologies to collect information through the Website. Some of the third-party service providers have access to certain personal information (as described in their Privacy Policies); and in other cases, they have access to only non-personal information. If required under applicable law, GMRI engages third-party service providers under written agreements that limit the third-party service provider’s use of personal information in a manner consistent with this policy.

    Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google. We use Google Analytics to track information, such as how many people visit our websites, pages they view, links they click, and more. We do not use the advertising features of Google Analytics on our Websites. If you do not wish to have any of your usage data collected by Google Analytics, Google has developed an Opt-out Browser add-on, which is available on the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on page.

    Links to Third-Party Websites & Services. The Website may contain links to and may be linked by websites operated by other entities or individuals not owned by Concord Consortium, and not otherwise under our control. For example, Concord uses FastSpring to provide our online storefront functionality and process payments for our Fathom software. This policy does not apply to, and Concord Consortium has no control over, the activities of such other third-party websites and/or services. You should consult the respective privacy policies of those third-party websites and services before inputting any personal information.

    Integrated Social Media Sites. The Site and Apps may now or in the future include social media features, such as the Facebook Like button, and the Twitter Tweet button, among others. We may also permit registration via these social media services. Please be aware that social media features and sites may collect your IP address, monitor which pages you are visiting on our Site, and set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Social media features and widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Site. Your interactions with these social media features are governed by the privacy policy of the company providing each social media feature. If you are not comfortable accessing such social media websites and using such social media features, please refrain from doing so.

  8. Privacy Policy Changes.  GMRI may change its Privacy Policy from time to time at GMRI’s sole discretion. We will post an updated and revised version of this Privacy Policy on the Website when any material changes have been made. GMRI encourages users to check this Privacy Policy often so You are aware of the most current terms and conditions that apply to You. Your continued use of the Website after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute Your acceptance of such change.

  9. Contact Us. If any User of Our Website or Apps has any questions about this Privacy Policy, then please contact us by postal mail or email:

    Gulf of Maine Research Institute

    Attn: Ecosystem Investigation Network

    350 Commercial Street

    Portland, ME 04101