SEJ's 24th Annual Conference Agenda — Sunday



Audubon Nature Institute
Zoo Tours
Book Author Pitch Slam



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


Sunday, September 7, 2014


© Photo by Jeff Strout,
courtesy Audubon Zoo.

Breakfast and Books at the Zoo

6500 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70118
7:30 a.m.-Noon

Logistics: Shuttle buses will stage and depart from the Hilton New Orleans Riverside just outside from SEJ Registration on Side Drive beginning at 7:30 a.m. Exit through the doors between the Gift Shop and escalators. You'll have a choice between an airport bus that will go directly to the airport following conclusion of the program at noon, or a bus that will return to the hotel, also departing at noon.

There is no better venue in New Orleans for our final session than the Audubon Tea Room. Located at the entrance to the Audubon Zoo, the Tea Room offers gleaming wood floors, soaring ceilings and silk drapes — a perfect backdrop while we explore literary pursuits that celebrate the Mighty Mississippi and how the river has tied our country and culture together. The Tea Room is near the river, which has been credited with providing inspiration for writers, poets, singers and wayward travelers for hundreds of years. Enjoy a full Creole-style breakfast before the discussion begins, then enjoy a walk through the world-renowned Audubon Zoo. Pre-registration and $25 fee required.



9:00 a.m. - Noon

Need something to read on the plane? Grab your last chance to purchase SEJ members' and speakers' books from New Orlean's own Octavia Books.

Location: Tea Room


Breakfast and Welcome

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Location: Tea Room


Mississippi River and Its Environs Authors

8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

The Mississippi River has inspired writers from the days of John James Audubon, Henry David Thoreau and Samuel Clemens to the poets, songwriters, novelists and observers of today. This panel will discuss humanity’s attempts to control the great river, with our book authors examining the decisions and consequences of altering the course of the water, and with it, history. Our authors have looked at the river from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico as it has suffered disasters both natural and human-made over the centuries. Coverage.

Moderator: Mark Neuzil, Author, "Views on The Mississippi: The Photographs of Henry Peter Bosse"

Richard Campanella, Professor of Geography, School of Architecture, Tulane University, and Author, "Geographies of New Orleans" and "Lincoln in New Orleans: The 1828 and 1831 Flatboat Voyages and Their Place in History"
Oliver Houck, Professor of Law, Tulane University and Author, "Down on the Batture"
Christine Klein, Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law, Levin College of Law, University of Florida; and Author, "Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster" and "Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases"

Location: Tea Room


Zoo Tours

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Zoo staff will explain tour options during breakfast.


So You Want to Write a Book?

11:00 a.m. - Noon

Join successful authors and an environmental book publisher for frank discussion about the ins and outs of book publishing, including navigating agents, choosing a publisher, considering an ebook and figuring out a marketing plan. You'll hear what publishers are looking for, and not looking for, and what all a book query should include. Finally, if time allows, they'll hear a few pitches. Coverage.

Moderator: Dan Fagin, Associate Professor and Director of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program, New York University, and Author, "Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation," 2014 Pulitzer Winner for General Nonfiction

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)
Sharon Guynup, Freelance Journalist and Author, "Tigers Forever: Saving the World's Most Endangered Big Cat"
Joni Praded, Senior Editor, Chelsea Green Publishing Company

Location: Tea Room

Noon: Conference adjourns. Board bus to airport or back to hotel. See you next year!


Post-Conference Tour: Bird’s Eye View of Mississippi River Delta

Join SouthWings, the environmental air force, for non-SEJorganized over-flights of the Delta region. Hear from scientists and other experts about the receding coastline and rapidly disappearing wetlands and see for yourself the scope of the damage and restoration work from the air. Check back here for announcements about details.

In the meantime, for more information about SouthWings, go to To inquire about this tour, contact Meredith Dowling. Note: This opportunity is being organized independently by SouthWings and is not sponsored by SEJ. Fly at your own risk.

Fossil fuel infrastructure in destroyed wetlands.
© Photo: Jonathan Henderson, Gulf Restoration Network. Flight provided by

Wednesday, September 3
Thursday, September 3
Friday, September 5
Saturday, September 6