Agenda for SEJ's 30th Anniversary Conference

#SEJ2020 conference ad

 

#SEJ2020

 

Sept. 16, 17, 23, 30

 

Agenda Speakers Sponsors Exhibitors FAQs About Boise

 

 

Environmental Journalism 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SEJ's 30th annual conference, scheduled for September 2020 in Boise, Idaho, was split in to two parts. Part 1, SEJ's first-ever virtual conference, took place September 16, 17, 23 and 30, 2020. Part 2 takes place June 2-6, 2021 in Boise, Idaho.

Registered Attendees: Watch the #SEJ2020 sessions you missed on demand. Log in to the Whova app, go to the Agenda, select the session you want to watch, scroll down to the description section to copy the recording passcode, then click the Watch Recording button.

 

It’s critically important to SEJ to gather evidence on the impact of our work. So we’re tracking stories inspired by or informed by our conference in Fort Collins. The stories don’t have to be about Fort Collins; they can be based on sources or ideas you got from being at the conference. Please help us to keep SEJ strong and share links, photos, copies of reporting generated or informed by this conference. It’s never too late to add yours — send your story links to Cindy MacDonald, SEJ’s Web content manager.

 

#SEJ2020 AGENDA

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Emcees and SEJ's 30th Anniversary Conference Co-Chairs:
Rocky Barker, Retired Daily Environment Reporter
Christy George, Independent Editor/Writer/Producer

Workshop 1. Tribes Flex Legal Muscles; Can They Impact Public Lands Too?

Noon - 2:00 p.m. ET

Native American tribes have had a series of victories this year. In July the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, recognizing its borders defined by treaty and turning over much of eastern Oklahoma to the Tribe’s jurisdiction. Tribes played a major role in temporarily shutting down the nation’s most-controversial pipeline, and the Washington NFL team dropped its longtime racist mascot. With Native Americans taking the national stage, we ask — what will these victories mean for federal land management and decisions across the West, where tribes have ancestral claims and cultural rights across all designated public lands? We'll look specifically at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase in southern Utah, where tribes and environmental organizations fight the Trump Administration in court while federal management plans move forward further opening these lands to mining, oil and gas drilling, and grazing. Then we’ll transition to other legal efforts by Tribes to influence the management of federal lands.

Workshop Emcee:
Sadie Babits, Journalist, Editor and Professor of Practice, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University

Moderator:
Debra Utacia Krol, Indigenous Affairs Reporter – Climate, Culture and Commerce, The Arizona Republic

Speakers:
Matthew Campbell, Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund
Tripp Crouse, News Director, KNBA Anchorage
Paul DeMain, President, Board of Directors, Navajo Times Publishing Company; CEO and Production Editor, IndianCountryTV.com; former Managing Editor, News From Indian Country; and former Chairman, Board of Directors, Native American Journalists Association
Chuck Hudson, Director of Government Affairs, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (retired), and Citizen of the MHA Nation of North Dakota
Jodi Rave Spotted Bear, Founder and Director, Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance

Note: The virtual conference workshops are open to everyone who registers for #SEJ2020. This two-hour virtual session is part of the all-day, members-only Moving Beyond Stereotypes: Smart and Ethical Reporting on Public Lands Workshop in Boise, June 2, 2021. Sign up for the latter when registration for #SEJ2021 in Boise opens.

Coffee and Chat Break

2:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET

Grab a cup of coffee and learn more about exhibitors, enter the Passport Contest to win the six books acclaimed by SEJ Judges as winners and honorable mentions in the 2020 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award and network with fellow attendees.

Plenary 1. Red States + Blue States = Purple Mountains Majesty? Conservation in a Partisan Era and the Idaho Way

2:30 - 4:30 p.m. ET

Journalists are the first responders for democracy. Your courage in holding the powerful accountable has never been more important, for the planet and our freedom. We'll begin by honoring the first batch of heroes of the 19th Annual SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment... Outstanding Beat Reporting (Large Newsroom), Outstanding Beat Reporting (Small Newsroom), Outstanding Explanatory Reporting (Large Newsroom) and Outstanding Explanatory Reporting (Small Newsroom). Join us as SEJ marks 30 years of supporting you, the heroes of democracy. Next, in our first plenary session: We'll take a look at Idaho’s ability to pull together people with clashing values and how that may serve to guide the world out of our multiple current calamities. Republicans hold a veto-proof margin in the Idaho Legislature, all four congressional seats and every statewide office including governor. Ammon Bundy lives here. So how is it that two wilderness bills were passed during the Obama administration, the second in 2015 unanimously? What is it that ranchers, loggers and even miners join together to restore landscapes ravaged by past practices and to reduce the threat of catastrophic fires? How is it that an executive on the largest purchaser of federal timber sits on the board of the Idaho Conservation League? After 30 years of fighting over logging, grazing on public lands and roadless area protection Idahoans have embraced collaborative partnerships where they sit across the table and find solutions that benefit all sides. SEJ will examine why this happened and how it can be expanded throughout the nation and worldwide. We'll start with a brief preview of the Idaho story to prepare you for next June's visit, and then we'll segue to the senators panel for a roundtable discussion about the future of salmon, rivers, dams... and our country.

Moderators:
Rocky Barker, Retired Daily Environment Reporter
Christy George, Independent Editor/Writer/Producer

Opening Remarks:
Marlene Tromp, President, Boise State University
Mayor Lauren McLean, City of Boise
Gov. Brad Little, R-ID
Shannon Wheeler, Chairman, Nez Perce Executive Committee

Idaho Story Discussion:
Alan Harper, Timber Resource Manager, Idaho Forest Group
Justin Hayes, Executive Director, Idaho Conservation League
Brenda Richards, former President, Public Lands Council, Rancher and Coordinator, Idaho Rangeland Partnership

Senators Panel:
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR

Virtual Networking Meet-Up

4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

1. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Environmental Journalism

Gather together to explore the critical importance of increasing diversity in environmental journalism. SEJ's Board President and leaders from the nascent Environmental Journalists of Color will discuss efforts to date and hopes for the future. Together they’ll lead a frank and open discussion about ways that SEJ, and all of us, can work to increase diversity within its membership and across media. Good chance for happy-hour networking, too!

Facilitators:
Yessenia Funes, Climate Editor @ Atmos Magazine and Freelancer
Rico Moore, Freelance Journalist
Andrew Simon, Director of Leadership Programming, Grist
Meera Subramanian, Independent Journalist, Author and President, Board of Directors, Society of Environmental Journalists

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Virtual Field Trips

Emcees and SEJ's 30th Anniversary Conference Co-Chairs:
Rocky Barker, Retired Daily Environment Reporter
Christy George, Independent Editor/Writer/Producer

Before we go nuclear, or drop you all in the high divide, we'll preview our draft slate of June 3 #SEJ2021 in-person tours.

Going Nuclear: New Tech and Old Problems in Nuclear Fission Energy

Noon - 2:00 p.m. ET

This virtual and interactive session will include a short video and discussion from Idaho National Laboratory researchers about their work on new nuclear technology and cleaning up legacy waste. That'll be followed by a panel discussion to give context to the promise and challenges with nuclear in the long run, including time for journalist questions.

Virtual Tour Leaders:
Madelyn Beck, Regional Reporter, Mountain West News Bureau, Boise State Public Radio
Judy Fahys, Mountain West Reporter, InsideClimate News

Speakers:
Rebecca Casper, Mayor, Idaho Falls
Ashley Finan, Director, National Reactor Innovation Center, Idaho National Laboratory
Dan Gearino, Clean Energy Reporter, Midwest, National Environment Reporting Network, InsideClimate News
Greg Jaczko, former Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Rinda Just, President, Board of Directors, Snake River Alliance

Coffee and Chat Break

2:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET

Sponsored by Earthjustice

Grab a cup of coffee and learn more about exhibitors, enter the passport contest to win the six books acclaimed by SEJ Judges as winners and honorable mentions in the 2020 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award and network with fellow attendees.

Idaho’s High Divide: Megafauna’s Ticket to a Warming Future

2:30-4:30 p.m. ET

Idaho’s High Divide connects vast protected areas: To the east sits the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, to the west, Central Idaho wilderness areas that in turn connect to the Crown of the Continent to the north. That location makes it critically important to a whole host of fish and wildlife species – salmon, grizzly bears, wolverines, elk, mule deer, sage grouse and more – that not only migrate through, but also need space to adapt in a changing climate. Yet the High Divide itself is largely unprotected from human activity, so a broad coalition of scientists, landowners, state and federal agencies, Native tribes and NGOs are working to keep this working landscape intact. This virtual session will include video, a panel discussion with some of the folks looking to preserve the landscape for the long term and some breaking news about conservation projects.

Virtual Tour Leaders:
Sarah Mock, Program Assistant, Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources
Dave Spratt, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources

Speakers:
Gary Burnett, Executive Director, Heart of the Rockies
Hannah Rasker, U.S. Conservation Associate, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Jim Roscoe, Land Protection Coordinator, Lemhi Land Trust

Virtual Networking Meet-Ups #2

4:30 - 6:00 p.m. ET

1. Hot Numbers: NASA Wildfire Data and Imagery and Other Burning Issues

Stoked by climate change and other human factors, California and parts of the West have been burning at record levels. What is a reporter to do? Where can you find data and imagery and how do you use them correctly? Who should you talk to? What’s the climate change connection? What will happen in the future? How do you not get burned, both physically and metaphorically? A guide to big-picture coverage of wildfire. Facilitators: Seth Borenstein, Science Writer, The Associated Press Michael Kodas, Senior Editor, InsideClimate News; Photojournalist; Educator; and Author, "Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame" and "High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed" Presenter: Ana Prados, Research Associate Professor, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland and Program Manager, NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training

2. Rising Risk: Connecting the Dots Between Climate & Weather

Sponsored by Woodwell Climate Research Center*

Record tropical storm activity. Record heat. Record wildfires. What can climate science tell us about extreme weather hitting your community, and what’s the best way to connect the dots for audiences living through these events? Bring your questions and ideas to this open discussion with two scientists studying global climate changes and their local impacts.

Moderator:
David Abel, Reporter, The Boston Globe

Speakers:
Jennifer Francis, Senior Scientist, Woodwell Climate Research Center
Zach Zobel, Project Scientist, Woodwell Climate Research Center

* formerly Woods Hole Research Center

3. Breaking the Plastic Wave: The Science and Economics Behind Preventing Ocean Plastic Pollution

Sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts

Two new groundbreaking studies, project "Breaking the Plastic Wave" and a peer-reviewed paper in Science, are unveiling for the first time a pathway to stopping about 80% of the global plastic entering our oceans in a generation, by applying existing solutions and technologies. If nothing is done, these scientists are now projecting the amount of plastic entering oceans will triple by 2040. Innovative. Inspiring. Solution-oriented. And hear from the authors what stories have been missed and what stories are just around the corner. Bring your notepad — you’ll need it.

Moderator:
Jeff Burnside, Independent Author, Filmmaker, Writer

Speakers:
Richard Bailey, Professor of Environmental Systems, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
Winnie Lau, Senior Manager, Preventing Ocean Plastics, The Pew Charitable Trusts
John Virdin, Director, Ocean and Coastal Policy Program, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Emcees and SEJ's 30th Anniversary Conference Co-Chairs:
Rocky Barker, Retired Daily Environment Reporter
Christy George, Independent Editor/Writer/Producer

Workshop 2. Oceans, Coasts and the 2020 Election

Noon - 2:00 p.m. ET

On the one hand, President Trump has allowed commercial fishing in marine reserves that had been protected under the Obama administration, pushed for more offshore oil drilling and perhaps uncharacteristically turned against “catch share” programs that privatize fisheries (possibly for some good reasons.) The Democrats’ platform deals with oceans only in the context of climate. It’s been nearly 20 years since two separate blue-ribbon commissions were formed to examine why oceans are failing. We’ll chalk up what those in-depth investigations showed versus what the two major presidential candidates are saying — or not saying. Experts will offer an up-to-date and in-depth look at how oceans issues play into the 2020 presidential campaign.

Moderator:
Robert McClure, Co-Founder and Executive Director, InvestigateWest

Speakers:
Virginia Gewin, Freelance Science Journalist
Jane Lubchenco, Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology, University Distinguished Professor and Marine Studies Advisor to the President, Oregon State University Department of Integrative Biology; and former Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Lee van der Voo, Journalist and Author, "The Fish Market"

Note: The virtual conference workshops are open to everyone who registers for #SEJ2020. This two-hour virtual session is part of the all-day, members-only Covering Oceans, Coasts, Salmon, Fish and Orcas Workshop in Boise, June 2, 2021. Space is limited. Sign up for the latter when registration for #SEJ2021 in Boise opens.

Coffee and Chat Break

2:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET

Grab a cup of coffee and learn more about exhibitors, enter the passport contest to win the six books acclaimed by SEJ Judges as winners and honorable mentions in the 2020 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award and network with fellow attendees.

Plenary 2. Green Recovery or Recession? The Post-Coronavirus, Climate-Changed Economy

2:30 - 4:30 p.m. ET

First, we'll honor the next batch of winners of the 19th Annual SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment... Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting (Large Newsroom), Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting (Small Newsroom), Outstanding Feature Story (Large Newsroom) and Outstanding Feature Story (Small Newsroom). Join us as SEJ marks 30 years of supporting you, the heroes of democracy. Next, in our second plenary session: We already knew global warming was changing everything. Then came the global pandemic, a global great depression and a newly powerful environmental justice movement. Like they say, there is no Planet B. For all its wealth, Earth is a closed-loop ecosystem with finite resources. As the world attempts to emerge from these crises, we ask — are market forces the problem or the solution? This plenary session will take a deep dive into high stakes environmental economics, the cost of human encroachment into nature and how to bail out our over-leveraged planet.

Moderator:
Scott Tong, Senior Correspondent, Marketplace Radio

Speakers:
John Barry, Author, "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History" and "Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America"
Robert Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University
Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, the College, and the Harris School of Public Policy at University of Chicago
Congresswoman Donna Shalala, D-FL

SEJ Movie Club

4:30 - 6:00 p.m. ET

Tune into our selection of environmental films at your leisure during the weeks of our virtual conference, then join us for a discussion about our featured films. Links and passwords available to registered attendees only.

Moderator:
Kevin Beaty, Reporter and Photographer, Denverite and Colorado Public Radio

Speakers:
David Abel, Producer, Director and Cinematographer, "Entangled" and Reporter, The Boston Globe
Maggie Burnette Stogner, Executive Director, Center for Environmental Filmmaking
Mark Deming, Producer, "River of Return" and Director of Marketing, Northwest River Supplies
Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, Field Producer, Impact Producer and Outreach Producer, "Unbreathable"
Jared Lipworth, Executive Producer, "Nature's Fear Factor" and Head of Outreach and Impact, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Verity White, Series Producer of “The Age of Nature” and Producer of Episode 3
Amy Young, Producer/Director, Episode 2, “The Age of Nature” (which we're screening Sep 16-30)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Emcees and SEJ's 30th Anniversary Conference Co-Chairs:
Rocky Barker, Retired Daily Environment Reporter
Christy George, Independent Editor/Writer/Producer

Workshop 3. Breaking New Ground: Reporting on Regenerative Agriculture, a Multi-Faceted Climate Solution

Noon - 2:00 p.m. ET

Regenerative agriculture might be the most under-reported climate solutions story of the decade. This two-hour virtual workshop will take a deep dive into regenerative agriculture as part of the solution set that can help address climate change while providing a broad array of additional benefits to people and the environment. A diverse group of experts will lead an exploration of the various perspectives on regenerative agriculture, from science to economics to indigenous intelligence. We’ll address the controversy over how significant a contribution to reducing greenhouse gases can be made by regenerative agriculture. And we’ll introduce free, localized reporting resources.

Workshop Emcee:
Susan Hassol, Director, Climate Communication, Climate Matters in the Newsroom

Moderator:
Chris Clayton, Ag Policy Editor, DTN / The Progressive Farmer

Speakers:
Erin Callahan, Director, The Climate Collaborative
Keith Paustian, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University
Bernadette Placky, Chief Meteorologist, Climate Matters Director, Climate Central
Debbie Reed, Executive Director, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium
James Skeet, Founder, Covenant Pathways, Spirit Farm
Robert Wallace, Evolutionary Epidemiologist and Author, Agroecology and Rural Economics Research Corps (St. Paul, MN)

Note: The virtual conference workshops are open to everyone who registers for #SEJ2020. This two-hour virtual session is part of the all-day, members-only Climate Change and Agriculture: Problems and Solutions Workshop in Boise, June 2, 2021. Sign up for the latter when registration for #SEJ2021 in Boise opens.

Coffee and Chat Break

2:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET

Sponsored by First Solar

Grab a cup of coffee and learn more about exhibitors, enter the passport contest to win the six books acclaimed by SEJ Judges as winners and honorable mentions in the 2020 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award and network with fellow attendees.

Plenary 3. The 2020 U.S. Election: Could the Stakes Be Higher, for the U.S. and the World?

2:30 - 4:30 p.m. ET

First, we'll honor the final batch of winners of the 19th Annual SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment... Outstanding Student Reporting and the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award, and announce live the winner of the $10,000 best-of-show Nina Mason Pulliam Award for Outstanding Environmental Reporting. Next, for our final #SEJ2020 plenary, we’ll invite environmental leaders from both parties to debate the future of environmental protection and what’s at stake for our public lands.

Pulliam Award Presenter:
Maurice Tamman, Reporter/Editor, Enterprise Journalism Team, Reuters and Winner, 2019 Nina Mason Pulliam Award for Outstanding Environmental Reporting

Moderator:
Manuel Quinones, Daily Editor, E&E News

Speakers:
Tim Charters, Executive Director, Congressional Western Caucus
Jim Lyons, Democratic Policy Analyst; former Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Department of the Interior
Frank Maisano, Senior Principal, Bracewell LLP
Jennifer Palmieri, Democratic Political Communications Strategist; former White House Director of Communications; Guest Host, Showtime series THE CIRCUS; and Author, "Dear Madam President" and "She Proclaims"

Last Word Happy Hour

4:30 - 6:00 p.m. ET

We'll celebrate SEJ's 30th anniversary with music, poetry, inspiring words and more.

SEJ 30th Anniversary Hosts:
Meera Subramanian, Independent Journalist, Author and President, Board of Directors, Society of Environmental Journalists
Carolyn Whetzel, Freelance Journalist

Presenters:
Pat Bagley, Editorial Cartoonist/Journalist, Salt Lake Tribune
Tom Chapin, Musician, Singer-Songwriter, Entertainer
Chuck Leavell, Keyboardist and Author
Irene O'Garden, Poet, Playwright, Memoirist
Andrew Revkin, Singer-Songwriter and Founding Director, Initiative on Communication & Sustainability, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
Terry Tempest Williams, Author
Dar Williams, Singer-Songwriter