SEJ's 20th Annual Conference Agenda — Wednesday

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The University of Montana
32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812

Agenda Registration Lodging/Transportation Exhibits/Receptions Missoula Coverage


SEJ's 2010 Annual Conference officially begins Wednesday afternoon, October 13, with our opening reception, followed by dinner, special welcomes and the SEJ awards ceremony.

Before the official beginning, we offer two all-day concurrent workshops on Wednesday, as well as an afternoon ice-breaker session with European journalists.

All sessions, as well as registration, exhibits and breaks, will be on the
Third Floor of UM's University Center, 32 Campus Drive, unless otherwise indicated. Campus map.


All-Day Workshop 1: Video Training

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Join SPJ’s Denise Dowling, a broadcast journalism instructor at the University of Montana, and others for hands-on video training. Participants will learn multimedia concepts and visual journalism skills, including camera techniques, video gathering and basic video editing. This three-part workshop includes the option to shoot video on a Thursday tour, then edit your footage at a three-hour Saturday afternoon session. You’ll need your own camera – a Flip camera or digital camera with video capability will work, but not a cell phone. Pre-registration and $60 fee required. Space is limited. SEJ members only.

This workshop is sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists and hosted by the University of Montana School of Journalism.

Denise Dowling, Associate Professor, Radio-Television Department, School of Journalism, University of Montana
Amy Gahran, Writer/Editor/Trainer
Amol Pavangadkar, Senior Producer, Communication Arts and Sciences Media and the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Michigan State University
Michael Scott, Environmental Reporter, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Sara Shipley Hiles, Freelance Journalist and Part-Time Faculty, School of Journalism & Broadcasting, Western Kentucky University

Location: Room 210, Don Anderson Hall, School of Journalism


All-Day Workshop 2: Environmental Law, Western Style

Broaden your knowledge of environmental policies and laws. Legal eagles from the University of Montana School of Law and other experts offer a guided tour through public land and resources law, environmental law, Native American law and the contemporary challenges posed by enforcement of these laws. Sessions explore laws that govern land, water, rocks, trees, and air, as well as: the basic structure of the justice system, including states vs. feds, criminal vs. civil, and legal goals vs. journalism goals; emerging issues, including climate change, alternative energy, depleted and over-subscribed water basins; and free online research tools for locating case law, statutes, and regulations. A panel offering tips on future environmental law stories wraps up the day. Pre-registration and $60 fee required. Space is limited.

This workshop is sponsored by BNA, Inc. and hosted by the University of Montana School of Law.


8:15 a.m. Welcome

Location: Rooms 326-327, University Center

9:00 a.m. Environmental Law in the West: How It Came To Be and Why Anyone from the East Should Care. This plenary session offers a guided tour of public resource law and contemporary challenges of enforcing those laws. It also reviews the structure of the justice system: state v. federal laws; laws v. regulations; criminal v. civil law; and law's goals v. journalism's goals.

Speaker: Raymond Cross, Professor, School of Law, University of Montana

Location: Rooms 326-327, University Center

10:15 a.m. Coffee Break

10:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

1. The Laws That Govern Land, Water, Rocks and Trees. Speakers explore the Clean Water Act and other natural resources laws.

Moderator: Carolyn Whetzel, Staff Correspondent, BNA Inc.

Speakers: Steve Brown, Attorney, Garlington, Lohn, and Robinson, Missoula and Michelle Bryan Mudd, Assistant Professor, School of Law, University of Montana

Location: Room 330, University Center

2. Enforcement: Why Is It So Hard to Successfully Prosecute Environmental Crimes? Using United States v. W.R. Grace & Co. as a case study, speakers examine the challenges federal, state, and local officials face in bringing responsible polluters to justice, and what those challenges mean to journalists covering environmental criminal cases. Coverage.

Speakers: Daniel Horgan, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation Division, Investigations Branch, Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics & Training, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Andrew King-Ries, Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Montana; and Nadia White, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism, University of Montana

Location: Room 331, University Center

12:00 p.m. Lunch Plenary
A panel of activists of all stripes will discuss the role journalists have or have not played in their greatest legal battles.

Speakers: Tom France, Regional Executive Director and Counsel, Northern Rockies Regional Center; Carrie La Seur, President and Founder, Plains Justice; Michael Leahy, Rocky Mountain Region Director, Defenders of Wildlife; Sarah McMillan, Attorney, Western Environmental Law Center

Location: Castles Center, School of Law

1:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

1. A Non-Lawyer's Guide to Reading and Researching the Law. Attendees learn strategies for cracking case law, elements of a case, how to test the logic of a case, plus a review of free online research tools for locating case law, statutes and regulations.

Speaker: Stacey Gordon, Professor and Associate Law Librarian, School of Law, University of Montana

Location: Room 215, School of Law

2. Contemporary Challenges to Antique Laws. Speakers will examine how the nation's decades-old environmental laws are being adapted to address current issues like climate change, alternative energy, and depleted water basins. Coverage.

Moderator: Andrew King-Ries, Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Montana

Speakers: Sarah Bates, Senior Associate, Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, University of Montana; Lisa Garcia, Senior Advisor on Environmental Justice, Office of the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Jason Johns, Attorney, Stoel Rives LLP, Portland, Ore.; and others TBA

♦ Uncork that Transmission Bottleneck and The Way Forward (provided by Jason Johns)

Location: Room 219, School of Law

3:15 p.m. Break

3:30 p.m. Where Is My Next Environmental Law Story Coming From?
A panel of legal experts and journalists will share their insights and predictions on current and emerging environmental law and policy issues, both at the national and regional levels. Panelists also will discuss what topics/issues are being under-reported or ignored by journalists.

Moderator: Carolyn Whetzel, Staff Correspondent, BNA Inc.

Speakers: Karen Dorn Steele, Freelance Journalist and former Reporter, The (Spokane, WA) Spokesman-Review; Carrie La Seur, President and Founder, Plains Justice; Sarah McMillan, Attorney, Western Environmental Law Center; and John Sullivan, Assistant Managing Editor, Bureau of Environmental News, BNA Inc.

Location: Room 201, School of Law



2:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sign up for Beat Dinners and Mini-tours at the nearby SEJ table. If you didn’t sign up ahead of time for the Thursday tours, Saturday evening party, or Sunday morning breakfast, there may still be room – please check with registration.

Location: Grand Foyer, 3rd Floor, University Center


SEJ Information Table

Sign up here for Beat Dinners and Mini-tours. Find information about membership and services, pick up copies of SEJournal, TipSheet, FOI WatchDog, High Country News, and other publications.

Location: Grand Foyer, 3rd Floor, University Center


University of Montana Bookstore

3:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Visit our onsite bookstore, where you will find a variety of books for sale, published by SEJ members, invited speakers and University of Montana professors.

Location: Grand Foyer, 3rd Floor, University Center


Afternoon Ice-Breaker: Transatlantic Roundup

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Participants in the U.S.-European Environmental Journalists Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday present a summary of their conclusions. The U.S.-European Conference agenda includes discussion of the different, and similar, challenges facing environmental journalists on either side of the Atlantic and how they try to deal with them.

Location: Room 326/327, University Center


Opening Reception and Dinner

East Glacier Park is within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation boundaries and is part of an area historically and culturally important to the Blackfeet. In particular, the territory belongs to the band of Amskapi Pikuni Indians. © Todd Goodrich, UM Photographer, The University of Montana.

5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Ease into the Montana scene and the conference spirit, while connecting with SEJ friends. To welcome you, we've invited Montana luminaries, including Sen. Jon Tester, D-MT, who's also a longtime organic farmer, and former nine-term Montana Congressman Pat Williams, who teaches environmental politics at the University of Montana. Native Americans from Montana will provide a ceremonial welcome with songs and a drumming circle, and a slide show rolling in the corners will display beautiful Montana vistas. And the sustenance will be sustainable. With the university's local Farm to College program, you'll know where your food came from — Montana! Coverage.

Location: Ballroom, University Center



SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment

8:00 - 9:00 p.m.

They are the most important stories on the planet, and we’ll unveil the best of the best. Join us for the SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment, to hear from the reporters themselves, to discover the story behind the story, and to be inspired by simply great work that changes the world, bit by bit, one story at a time.

Location: Ballroom, University Center


Thursday, October 14
Friday, October 15
Saturday, October 16
Sunday, October 17

**NOTE: © Montage artwork on all conference pages courtesy Margaret Emerson.