SEJ's 24th Annual Conference Agenda — Saturday



Concurrent Sessions
Risk and Resilience Plenary
Rock 'n' Bowl Party



Agenda Coverage Lodging/ Travel Advertise/ Exhibit Environmental News About New Orleans


As a journalism organization that believes in an open society, SEJ each year welcomes a diverse group of attendees to our annual conference. Attendees include representatives of business, government and environmental groups, as well as working journalists, academics and students.

Because non-journalists are here, you may see or hear presentations or responses to presentations that you might not expect from mainstream journalists. The presentations and any responses do not necessarily reflect the views of SEJ or any of its members.

As our guest, please respect our interest in open discussions of environmental issues by not disrupting presentations of views you disagree with.

Finally, please respect our rule that SEJ members are given preference during question-and-answer sessions.

All sessions, as well as registration, exhibits and breaks, will be at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside,
Two Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 (504) 561-0500, unless otherwise indicated.

Breakfast on your own in the Big Easy. The River Blends Café, located in the Hilton, opens at 6:00 a.m. Le Croissant, also in the Hilton, opens at 6:30 a.m. Numerous other options are within walking distance of the Hilton. Check your registration packet for a list of restaurants and breakfast suggestions.


Saturday, September 6, 2014



8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: 1st Floor Registration Counters (across from escalators in the conference area)

If you didn't sign up ahead of time for the Saturday night party or Sunday breakfast at the Audubon Zoo, there may still be room — please check with registration.


SEJ Information Table

8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Chemin Royale Foyer, near registration

Sign up here for Mini-tours. Find information about SEJ Award winners, membership and services. Pick up copies of SEJournal and other SEJ information.


SEJ Exhibits

8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Grand Salon, 1st Floor

Don't miss the wealth of information offered by the 2014 exhibitors. Learn about environmental issues and innovations, educational opportunities, see some great displays and add to your source list.



9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Chemin Royale Foyer

New Orlean's own Octavia Books is on site to sell SEJ members' and speakers' books, as well as offering environmental books handpicked for the SEJ conference.


Vehicle Technology Demo

Sign up in Chemin Royale foyer to test-drive new technology in the auto industry and to talk with experts.


Concurrent Sessions 3

9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

When the Big Story Breaks on Your Watch — Prying Information from the Government
Location: Grand Salon, Room 4

We've all been there: A big environmental story breaks and you're scrambling, and you are not getting cooperation from the EPA or the FDA or some other agency. Find out what reporters who covered some of the biggest breakers did when they handled the Deepwater Horizon, the explosion in West, Texas and the recent water disaster in Ohio. If you have your own tips, feel free to share! Coverage.

Moderator: Robert McClure, Executive Director, InvestigateWest

Tom Henry, Environmental Writer/Columnist, The (Toledo) Blade
Randy Lee Loftis, Environmental Writer, The Dallas Morning News
Mark MacIntyre, Public Affairs Specialist, Region 10 Seattle, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Crowdsourcing and Sensors: Citizen Science Tools for Journalism
Location: Grand Salon, Room 10

While there has been a lot of focus on citizen journalism, advances in technology are making it ever easier and cheaper for journalists of all stripes to adopt the tools of citizen science to improve environmental coverage. The advance of sensors and other data collection tools has enabled reporters and communities, including those in the Gulf, to engage in civic monitoring, and has the potential to radically localize and decentralize the gathering of data on pollution and environmental health. Crowdsourcing now enables journalists and media organizations to get news and information from many more sources, annotate it and create new media platforms that engage the public on climate change and other issues. We’ve brought together leading innovators who are using tools and data from NASA, NOAA, USGS, EPA, Silicon Valley and the general public to try and revolutionize how we cover the environment. Coverage.

Moderator: James Fahn, Executive Director, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and Lecturer, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley

Shannon Dosemagen, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Public Lab
Adam Glenn, Educator, Graduate School of Journalism, City University of New York; Digital Media Consultant, a2g Media; Editor, SEJournal, Society of Environmental Journalists; Editor, AdaptNY
Julia Kumari Drapkin, Founder and Executive Producer, iSeeChange and Multimedia Reporter/Producer, | The Times-Picayune
Willie Shubert, Senior Program Coordinator, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network

Making Sustainability Stick: Communicating Complex Topics Without Losing Your Audience
Location: Grand Salon, Room 13

Sustainable seafood, sustainable cities and even sustainable laundry detergent? The word "sustainable" has been so greenwashed, it's hard to know what it even means. How do we define it and why is it worth covering? From food systems to climate change to biodiversity, three reporters will share secrets they've learned about covering sustainability topics on the radio, in print and online. They'll reveal why sustainability coverage is not only important, it's still one of the richest types of environmental journalism. Coverage.

Moderator: Lindsey Hoshaw, Coordinating Producer, QUEST

Cally Carswell, Contributing Editor, High Country News
Brian Howard, Editor & Producer,
Lauren Sommer, Science and Environment Reporter, KQED

BP Spill — The Restoration: How Are Billions of Dollars Being Spent?
Location: Grand Salon, Room 7

Billions of dollars in criminal and civil fines have been dedicated to restoration projects following the 2010 BP oil spill. In this panel, we will discuss the status of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment investigations and projects, and ask critical questions about how that money should be prioritized and spent. Our expert group represents a variety of viewpoints on this subject. Coverage.

Moderator: Kate Sheppard, Senior Reporter and Environment and Energy Editor, The Huffington Post

Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Michelle Erenberg, Policy Analyst, Ocean Conservancy
Kyle Graham, Executive Director, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, State of Louisiana
Tanner Johnson, Director, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Colette Pichon Battle, Director and Attorney, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy

Beyond the Water Wars
Location: Grand Salon, Room 12

Epic drought in California, increasing aridity in the southwest, depletion of the High Plains aquifer, water strife in the wet east. How can journalists move beyond the political rhetoric of "water wars," toward helping their audiences understand scarcity and solutions? We'll explore covering freshwater in ways that expose underlying climate and water-management truths, as well as equity issues on water for industry, agriculture, ecosystems — and us, the public. We'll also show off some new tools for reporting on the state of our surface waters and the aquifers beneath our feet. Coverage.

Moderator: Cynthia Barnett, Author, "Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.," "Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis" and "Rain: A Natural and Cultural History" (forthcoming, April 2015)

Jay Famiglietti, Senior Water Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Professor of Earth System Science, School of Physical Sciences, University of California, Irvine
Christiana Peppard, Assistant Professor of Theology, Science and Ethics, Fordham University and Author, "Just Water: Theology, Ethics and the Global Water Crisis"
Matt Weiser, Senior Writer, Environment and Natural Resources, The Sacramento Bee

Cleaning Up the Air and Carbon Too
Location: Grand Salon, Room 6

Disputes brought by industry, environmental advocates and the states challenging Clean Air Act rules are a rich source for news stories. Join us in a discussion about the potential legal issues of the Obama administration’s proposal to regulate GHGs from power plants and recent court decisions in Clean Air Act cases involving GHG permits for stationary sources and EPA efforts to address air pollution that crosses state lines, reduce mercury and other air toxics, implement stricter air quality standards and enforce existing rules. Learn from panelists the broad implications of these rules on state governments, the economy and the environment, plus what legal issues, unresolved or new, must be sorted out. Coverage.

Moderator: Carolyn Whetzel, Staff Correspondent, Bloomberg BNA

Richard Alonso, Environmental Strategies Group, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center, Georgetown Law
William Becker, Executive Director, National Association of Clean Air Agencies
Vickie Patton, General Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund

Turning Trees into Wood Pellets: Biomass Energy and Southern Forest Health
Location: Grand Salon, Room 9

Ambitious goals set in Europe for reducing greenhouse gas emissions have led to a huge increase in shipments of wood pellets used to fuel power plants that once burned coal. Much of that wood is coming from North America, especially the southeastern United States where forests are plentiful and regulations are lax. But can the region’s forests sustain the demand from Europe? And what will be the effects on wildlife habitat, water and forest resources? Coverage.

Moderator: Bruce Ritchie, Editor,

Scott Barrett, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Forest Operations and Biomass Utilization Coordinator for the VA SHARP Logger Program, Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech
Seth Ginther, Executive Director, U.S. Industrial Pellet Association and Attorney/Co-Managing Partner, Energy and Infrastructure Group, Hirschler Fleischer
Danna Smith, Executive Director, Dogwood Alliance

Children’s Environmental Health: Latest Trends
Location: Grand Salon, Room 3

Because children are uniquely vulnerable to environmental contaminants, research into children's environmental health provides vital insights into health effects of chemical exposure. Given that children's health is of universal concern, efforts to protect children's health have also been a driver of public policy. From a journalism perspective, it also offers an answer to the perennial editorial question of "Why would our audience care?" On this panel, leading experts in environmental health science and policy will discuss cutting-edge issues in children's environmental health, highlighting stories that need telling and new ways of engaging the public on these issues.

Moderator: Elizabeth Grossman, Freelance Journalist

Rhitu Chatterjee, Contributing Correspondent, PRI's The World
Bruce Lanphear, Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
John McLachlan, Celia Scott Weatherhead and Albert J. Weatherhead III Distinguished Chair in Environmental Studies; Professor, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine; and Adjunct Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, School of Science and Engineering, Tulane University
Nsedu Witherspoon, Executive Director, Children’s Environmental Health Network


Beverage Break with Exhibitors

10:15 - 10:45 a.m.
Location: Grand Salon


Concurrent Sessions 4

10:45 a.m. - Noon

Are Those Your Jammies? Writer/Editor Relationships in the Wifi Age
Location: Grand Salon, Room 4

Remember that great scene in "All the President's Men" when Ben Bradlee shouts "Woodstein!" to his intrepid reporters typing away in the middle of the newsroom? Nowadays he'd Gchat or Skype with them instead. As more newsrooms go virtual and freelancers work with editors they've only ever met via email or a webcam, how is the relationship between journalism professionals changing, and does it affect the way we're keeping readers informed? Learn some smart strategies that disconnected reporters and editors can use to keep in touch and develop a strong virtual working relationship. Bonus: Find out which of our intrepid panelists can spend a whole day working without ever taking off the sweatpants.

Moderator: Scott Dodd, Editorial Director, Natural Resources Defense Council

Lindsey Konkel, Staff Writer, Environmental Health News
Timothy Morris, Metro News Manager, | The Times-Picayune
Michelle Nijhuis, Independent Journalist

Seed-by-Seed: Funding the Freelance Life
Location: Grand Salon, Room 10

Join two accomplished freelance journalists as they share their experiences pursuing stories about the environment and finding the editors and organizations — both in the US and internationally — to help fund those stories. Learn about collaborative funding, subscriber driven, nonprofit sources, grants, fellowships, book publishing, speaking, and new long-form publishing models. Look also for truth talk about the Venn diagram of freelancing, where some projects are for money, some for prestige, and some for passion. It's OK to support your journalism habit with other forms of research, editing, teaching, or writing — as long as you make careful ethical decisions about each project. Joining smaller writers' groups online also helps for brainstorming, resources, and editor-contact sharing. Bird-by-bird is how the stories get written. Seed-by-seed is how we financially feed the precarious life of a freelance journalist. Coverage.

Erica Gies, Freelance Environmental Journalist
Meera Subramanian, Independent Journalist

Environment Journalism Revolution in the Classroom
Location: Grand Salon, Room 13

Innovative academics are making a revolution when it comes to teaching environmental journalism. Hear how journalism professors in small and large programs are using technology to train students for multi-platform environmental journalism. Also, learn how academics are using new media for both reporting and for providing an outlet for student work. This is a "grab bag" session that will also explore field trips for fledgling environmental reporters, experiences that include scaling power plants, zip-lining through the rain forest, kayaking rivers or just wading through the local creek. Bring your own tips and ideas for a revolutionary exchange on what's happening now in environmental journalism instruction. Coverage.

Moderator: Don Corrigan, Professor of Media Law, Global and Environmental Journalism, Department of Communications and Journalism, Webster University - St. Louis

Annie-Laurie Blair, Freelance Journalist and Clinical Professor of Journalism, Miami University of Ohio
Marc Seamon, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Youngstown State University
Sara Shipley Hiles, Freelance Journalist and Assistant Professor, School of Journalism, University of Missouri
Robert Wyss, Associate Professor of Journalism, Department of Journalism, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Connecticut

BP Spill — The People: Health Studies and Claims Programs
Location: Grand Salon, Room 7

We'll examine the NIEHS worker study, other health studies, creation of clinics by claims program, status of health claims payments and more.

Moderator: Rebecca Catalanello, Health Reporter, | The Times-Picayune

George Barisich, President, United Commercial Fishermen's Association and Board Member, Louisiana Shrimp Association
James Diaz, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, and Program Director, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Program, Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health, Louisiana State University
Emily Harville, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University
Steve Herman, Attorney and Partner, Herman, Herman & Katz, L.L.C. and Co-Chair, Plaintiffs Steering Committee, BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Everglades Restoration Update: Billions Spent, But Will It Do Any Good?
Location: Grand Salon, Room 12

Once hailed as the largest ecosystem restoration in history, the Everglades Restoration has run into bureaucratic bungling, budgetary shortfalls and political grandstanding. Yet it's beginning to show some progress in repairing the River of Grass — amid questions about whether climate change could make it all moot. Coverage.

Moderator: Craig Pittman, Reporter, Tampa Bay Times

John Adornato III, Regional Director, Sun Coast Regional Office, National Parks Conservation Association and former Co-Chair, Everglades Coalition
Nicholas Aumen, Regional Science Advisor - South Florida, U.S. Geological Survey
Howard Gonzales Jr., Ecosystem Branch Chief, Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Julie Hill-Gabriel, Attorney and Director of Everglades Policy, Audubon Florida

Waste in the 21st Century
Location: Grand Salon, Room 6

Exposure to polluted soil, water and air killed 8.4 million people in 2012, according to an analysis using World Health Organization data, more than any other cause of death in the developing world and three times more people than died from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Yet many of the sources and industrial processes that caused it remain underreported. Experts from both the environmental community and industry will lead a robust discussion of how E-waste, rare earth mining, plastics, and oil and gas waste and other sources of pollution present significant and new challenges to air, water, land and health in the years ahead. Coverage.

Moderator: Abrahm Lustgarten, Energy Reporter, ProPublica

Jack Caravanos, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Hunter College, City University of New York and Senior Science Advisor, Blacksmith Institute
Tom Carpenter, Director of Sustainability Services, Waste Management, Inc.
Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council

ObamaAir: Greenhouse Gases, Clean Coal, Pollution Trading and Carbon Caps
Location: Grand Salon, Room 9

From the public health impacts of new diseases moving northward to farmers' use of crop insurance to compensate for changes in the conditions for growing food, the impact of fossil fuels on the atmosphere is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. After decades of discounted and subsidized energy, how do we devise a price for carbon which ensures that the consequences of climate change are paid by those responsible, and actually triggers a significant shift away from fossil fuels? We’ll consider these and related regulatory and financial questions as we dive into the premier economic challenge of our time. Coverage.

Moderator: Mark Schapiro, Journalist; Author, "Carbon Shock;" Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley; and former Senior Correspondent, Center for Investigative Reporting

Gary Gero, President, Climate Action Reserve
Patrick Parenteau, Professor of Law and Senior Counsel, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Vermont Law School
Mark Trexler, Chief Executive Officer, The Climatographers

Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Geoengineering: What’s Being Done, Can Be Done, Won’t Be Done?
Location: Grand Salon, Room 3

Go past the politics of climate change and get practical: Learn what's technologically feasible in remaking our energy systems and slowing global warming. Find out what can make our cities and natural areas more resilient to the climate change impacts that are coming. And explore the potential — and risks — of climate engineering on a planetary scale. Coverage.

Moderator: Adam Glenn, Educator, Graduate School of Journalism, City University of New York; Digital Media Consultant, a2g Media; Editor, SEJournal, Society of Environmental Journalists; Editor, AdaptNY

Doug Beard, Chief, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey; Director of Science Activities, Climate Science Centers, U.S. Department of the Interior
Emmanuel Guerin, Associate Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, United Nations; Manager, Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project; Senior Staff Associate, Earth Institute, Columbia University
Jane Long, Senior Contributing Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund; Visiting Researcher, University of California, Berkeley; Co-Chair, Task Force on Geoengineering, Bipartisan Policy Center; Chairman, California's Energy Future Committee, California Council on Science and Technology


Lunch and Plenary Session

Real Risk and Resilience in a Climate-Changed World

Noon - 2:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Ballroom

From Katrina to Sandy, polar melting to equatorial desertification, we’ll explore how climate change will increase and alter environmental risks in the near future. A panel of experts will discuss governments’ and industries’ plans to prepare for more frequent and more severe natural disasters, and how to minimize the environmental effects of energy extraction, whether from shale formations or deep drilling in the Gulf, with a special focus on vulnerable coastal cities like New Orleans. Coverage.

Moderator: John Schwartz, National Correspondent, The New York Times

Edward Belk, Director of Programs, Mississippi Valley Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Mississippi River Commission
Margaret Davidson, Senior Advisor for Coastal Inundation and Resilience Science and Services, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Gerald Galloway Jr., Research Professor, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland
Kristin Jacobs, Broward County Commissioner and Co-Chair, Subgroup of President Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience on "Built Systems: Transportation, Water, Energy & Facilities Infrastructure"
David Pritchard, Successful Energy Practices International and Deepwater Horizon Study


Mini-Tour Adventures

2:15 - 5:30 p.m.

Sign up on-site at the SEJ Information Table beginning Wednesday afternoon for SEJ’s popular mini-tours. Consult your Mini-tour flyer in your conference packet for details. Additional flyers are available at the SEJ Information Table.

Departure: Buses will stage and depart from the Hilton New Orleans Riverside just outside from SEJ Registration on Side Drive. Exit through the doors between the Gift Shop and escalators. Buses will line up on Side Drive in numeric order, so note the number of your tour. SEJ staff will be on hand to help you find your bus.

  1. Greaux-ing Green and "Makin' Groceries": Sustainably-Built Housing and Community Gardens in the Ninth Ward
    NOLA's historic Ninth Ward, devastated by Katrina, is recovering more slowly than other places, but it's home to some of its boldest sustainable rebuilding and restoration projects — and cultural creativity. We'll learn about "food deserts" and "makin' groceries," tour the Musicians Village, hearing from its musician-residents, and meet community leaders engaged in projects like Global Greens' Holy Cross housing, walking through their zero-net-energy house. We'll view Brad Pitt's Make it Right houses, guided by architects, and explore gardening projects, including a solar aquaculture system and apiary. Our lagniappe? The Mardi Gras Indians' House of Dance and Feathers, exemplifying a cultural fabric that's remained intact.

    Tour Leaders:
    Francesca Lyman, Freelance Journalist

    Stephen Bingler, Architect, Make it Right Homes
    Jeanette Gustat, Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University
    Al "Carnival" Johnson, Musician and Resident of Musicians' Village, Upper Ninth Ward
    Arthur Johnson, Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development
    Ronald Lewis, Director, House of Dance & Feathers
    Marguerite Oestreicher, Chief Advancement Officer, New Orleans Habitat for Humanity/Musicians' Village
    Jim Pate, Executive Director, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity
    Thom Pepper, Common Ground Relief, Inc.
    Jeff Supak, Global Green USA's Holy Cross Project
    John Taylor, Wetland Specialist, Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development
    David Young, Director, Capstone Community Gardens

    Attendee Cap: 50

  2. The Species Survival Center: Cloning and All That Jazz
    Check out the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species that, for one, conducts some of the most advanced genetics work with cats in the world, including use of in vitro fertilization, cryopreservation, interspecies cloning and other methods. Learn about a new partnership between Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global, setting up a one-of-a-kind resource for zoos and aquariums to rebuild animal collections in danger of disappearing. This and other story possibilities await at the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center campus. The Aquatics Center and an overlook of the endangered Mississippi sandhill crane compound are also part of the tour.

    Tour Leaders:
    Anne Paine, Reporter, The Tennessean (retired)
    Sarah Webb, Freelance Journalist

    Martha Gomez, Senior Scientist, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center
    Michelle Hatwood, Animal Curator, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center

    Attendee Cap: 24

  3. Barataria Preserve Swamp Hike
    Join a naturalist with the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve for a leisurely hike on a raised boardwalk to see swamp, bayou and marsh areas, including our evocative cypress and palmettos. Wildlife abounds with birds, insects, frogs, and, yes, we'll likely see alligators! We'll discuss wetlands loss, alligator conservation, the pirate Jean Lafitte and more. Bring binoculars, sunscreen, hat, bug spray, good walking shoes.

    Tour Leaders:
    Zoë Schlanger, Reporter, Newsweek
    Eve Troeh, News Director, WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

    John Adornato III, Regional Director, Sun Coast Regional Office, National Parks Conservation Association and former Co-Chair, Everglades Coalition
    Aleutia Scott, Interpretive Supervisor, Barataria Preserve, Jean Lafitte National Historic Park & Preserve, National Park Service

    Attendee Cap: 29

  4. Getting Scrappy: An Inside Look at Scrap Recycling
    Get a behind-the-scenes look at how a scrap recycling company operates, how it fits into the recycling picture, and how it contributes to the U.S. and global economies and environments. This walking tour of All Scrap Metals in Kenner, La., will show how the company processes incoming scrap materials into valuable commodities while protecting the environment and promoting worker safety. This rare opportunity is sure to dispel misconceptions about the scrap industry and expand your understanding of the recycling business. Note: The scrapyard is an industrial environment, so hard hats will be provided at the tour site, and tour participants must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Sunscreen and water bottles recommended.

    Tour Leaders:
    Kent Kiser, Publisher, Scrap Magazine, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.
    Sarah Terry-Cobo, Energy Reporter, The Journal Record

    Speaker: Vincent Costanza, All Scrap Metals

    Attendee Cap: 50

  5. Legacy Lead and Environmental Justice
    During the mid-1970s, the U.S. began to phase lead out of automobile gasoline. In 1978, it banned the toxic heavy metal from house paint. Yet lead still lingers across the country — lacing the soil, contaminating house dust and hiding within layers of old paint. New Orleans is a tragic case in point. Hurricane Katrina and a trend in home renovations has stirred up legacy lead. This tour will visit affected sites, including a public housing project, childcare playground and community garden. We will learn about the disproportionate burden of lead on the poor, hear some success stories and examine just how much work still needs to be done to protect public health. Handout.

    Tour Leaders:
    Brian Bienkowski, Senior Editor and Staff Writer, Environmental Health News
    Lynne Peeples, Environment and Public Health Reporter, The Huffington Post

    Howard Mielke, Research Professor, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tulane University
    Emily Mickley-Doyle, Director, SPROUT NOLA
    Felicia Rabito, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University
    Lynn Rivers, Co-Owner, Kids Kingdom Academy Daycare

    Attendee Cap: 50

  6. Katrina Newsroom: Natural Disaster Coverage in the Digital Age
    When post-Katrina levee failures inundated New Orleans with floodwater, The Times-Picayune and, previously operating in separate buildings, became one entity. Displaced New Orleanians consumed The T-P’s reporting on the storm’s aftermath, and shared vital information amongst themselves, exclusively online, and in the process redefined natural disaster coverage in the digital age. Talk to newsroom leaders then and now about how that experience shaped the digitally focused newsgathering model the company implemented in 2012; explore the unique challenges faced by New Orleans reporters personally affected by the disaster they were covering; get a firsthand look at the state-of-the-art, multimedia newsroom | The Times-Picayune moved into last year; and hear the real story about the digital transformation of a 177-year-old journalism institution. Then, take an optional self-guided streetcar tour ($1.25 exact change required) along Canal Street to City Park Avenue and the historic city cemeteries at the edge of the French Quarter. Or take a trip along St. Charles Avenue and tour historic mansions framed by live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. Get maps, streetcar stops, and history here.

    Tour Leader: Karen Schaefer, Freelance Journalist and Independent Radio Producer

    Speaker: Mark Lorando, Director of Metro Content, NOLA Media Group

    Attendee Cap: 30

  7. Biking the Big Easy
    A pleasant French Quarter walk from the Hilton takes us to Crescent City Bike Tours, on Rampart Street, where we make use of their bikes and helmets and head out for about a 90-minute ride along the Mississippi, near wetlands and other environmentally-themed "Easy" locales. We'll take plenty of water breaks, as we discuss threats to well as chat up urban biking topics — lanes, safety, trails, and clean air transportation help you pedal those story ideas back in your hometown. A financial donation — a pass the helmet thing — to help offset bike/helmet rental cost, would be appreciated, but not required.

    Tour Leaders:
    Elizabeth Grossman, Freelance Journalist
    Chuck Quirmbach, 
Environment Reporter/Producer, 
Wisconsin Public Radio

    Kristine Bacharach, Crescent City Bike Tours
    Scott Eustis, New Orleans-based bicycle enthusiast and Coastal Wetlands Specialist, Gulf Restoration Network

    Attendee Cap: 21


SEJ Party at the Rock 'n' Bowl

7:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Good food and great music help to define all that is New Orleans, and Saturday night we’ll have a large portion of both on tap! Join us for a fun night at the legendary Rock 'n' Bowl, where we’ll eat some Crawfish Etouffee in what’s likely the only place in the country where you can bowl, dance and eat, all at the same time. We’ll have ten lanes open for bowling, and rhythm and blues music from the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, a local favorite with a big brass sound. Reflecting the conference theme of Risk and Resilience, the Rock 'n' Bowl not only survived Katrina, but came out of it stronger than ever. Learn their story, and just have a rockin' good time with us Saturday night. Preregistration and $35 fee required.

Logistics: Shuttle buses will stage and depart from the Hilton New Orleans Riverside just outside from SEJ Registration on Side Drive beginning about 6:30 p.m. Exit through the doors between the Gift Shop and escalators. Buses will continue to loop between the Hilton and the Rock 'n' Bowl until final bus departs Rock 'n' Bowl at 11:00 p.m.





Wednesday, September 3
Thursday, September 3
Friday, September 5
Sunday, September 7