SEJ Member-Led Meet-Ups

These informal gatherings led by SEJ members seek to build and sustain professional ties between environmental journalists and editors in all media, who live and/or work in the respective regions. SEJ membership is not required to participate (except for San Francisco), nor an RSVP unless specified in a particular event listing.

For upcoming meet-ups, check the SEJ Community Calendar or SEJ Facebook Group (log onto Facebook and ask to join the group), and add your own events there. See information and more photos about past meet-ups here.

See Kate Sheppard's easy tipsheet below for info on how to host a meet-up in your area.

Thanks to Emily Gertz for her great article on the history of SEJ networking, published in the Spring 2014 SEJournal.




Regions with a dedicated SEJ meet-ups leader:


SEJers meet up for drinks in Boston, Feb. 18, 2017, during the AAAS conference.
Photo: © Meera SubramanianClick to enlarge.

See how to organize a meet-up in your area.

California (central coast)

Meet-ups leader: Christine Heinrichs


California (northern)

Meet-ups leader: Justin Gerdes


California (southern)

Meet-ups leaders: Hilary Sloane and Molly Peterson



Meet-ups leader: Rachel Cernansky



Meet-ups leader: Sarah Curry


Georgia (Atlanta)

Meet-ups leaders: Molly Samuel, WABE/NPR and Peter Dykstra, Daily Climate/EHN


Hawaii (big island)

Meet-ups leader: Carolyn Lee, Freelance


"Heartland SEJ" - Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma

Meet-ups leader: Tina Casagrand (with Sarah Terry-Cobo in OK). Tina is also open to co-leading events in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.

Message from Tina:
Heartland Environmental Journalists Unite! If you live in the regions around Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas or surrounding states, the Heartland SEJ group invites you to join our new network. We'd like to meet up for drinks, hikes and other events of regional interest, swap stories, and scheme about how best to cover the environment in our region. If you're interested, please email, and we'll start planning our first meet-up.


Kentucky (Louisville)

Meet-ups leader: James Bruggers, The Courier-Journal



Meet-ups leaders: Julia Kumari Drapkin and Mark Schleifstein


New England (northern: Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine; also western Massachusetts)

See details of a fall 2014 event, coordinated around the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's annual conference in upstate New York. © Photo by Madeline Bodin; click to enlarge.

Meet-ups leader: Madeline Bodin






New York City Area

The NYC-area has a very active networking group. Here, members gathered at the Flatiron Lounge in Manhattan to toast SEJ Award winner George Black (center). Photo by Emily Gertz; click to enlarge.

Meet-ups leaders: Jennifer Bogo and Bobby Magill

The NYC group uses a Facebook group for planning physical meet-ups in New York City as well as notifying group members of local events and opportunities to enhance their environmental knowledge and reporting skills. The group is open to all journalists. SEJ membership is not required. Visit the group page and request to join.

SEJ meet-ups sometimes spring from training events such as Digital Terrain: Navigating the New World of Environmental Storytelling, organized by Adam Glenn and Meaghan Parker at the CUNY Grad School of J in New York City July 10, 2015.



North Carolina

Meet-ups leader: Lisa Sorg


Ohio, Michigan and northern Indiana

Meet-ups leader: Karen Schaefer


Portland has a long history of informal meet-ups. Pictured: Journalists gathered in Lizzie Grossman's home on a Sunday afternoon in the fall of 2014. Click to enlarge.


Active group over many years. Brett Walton is combining some Oregon and Washington meet-ups. In Oregon, Christy George (Portland area) and Valerie Brown (Salem) are resources.



Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Meet-ups leader: SEJ HQ! Contact Lisa Cosgriff.

SEJers led a meet-up event in Philadelphia for SEJ speakers and other participants during the June 2015 annual conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors. Photo by Jeff Burnside.


Pennsylvania (central; and Delaware)

Meet-ups leader: John Messeder


South Carolina

Meet-ups leader: Dan McCue



Meet-ups leader: Lana Straub


Toronto, Canada

Pub Night Series

Contact SEJ member and freelance writer/editor Sharon Oosthoek to get involved in the Toronto pub nights, either organizing, attending, lining up speakers or being a speaker.

SEJ Pub Nights take place as members are moved to get together, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sometimes we invite a guest speaker for a brief, informal conversation about an area of interest. We welcome journalists who cover environmental issues, or who wish to, as well as journalism students, academics, and other interested parties. The goal is to get some useful information and have ample opportunity to chat about environmental journalism amongst ourselves.


Virginia (northwest, and nearby West Virginia and Maryland)

Meet-ups leader: William H. (Bill) Funk


A sizable crowd of after-work socializers from SEJ and the DC Science Writers Association convened at a hip rooftop bar on U Street on June 29, 2015 to relax and network. Click to enlarge. Photo courtesy SEJ WatchDog project director Joseph A. Davis.

Washington, D.C. Area

Meet-ups leaders: Kate Sheppard and Meaghan Parker

This is a very active group.



Washington (state)

Meet-ups leaders: Ashley Ahearn and Brett Walton.



SEJ members meet up in Madison, WI. to watch the live stream of The Trump Administration and the Environment: A Reporter's Primer, Feb. 4, 2017. Click to enlarge.

Meet-ups leader: Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee



Regions requiring SEJ membership:


San Francisco Bay Area Meet-ups for SEJ Members Only

Contact Amy Westervelt.


To reach a meet-ups leader whose email is not provided on this page, or to inquire about starting a meet-ups group in your region, please email Cindy MacDonald.



Kate Sheppard’s easy tipsheet for hosting an event in your area:

Step 1: Find members in your area and their contact information — go to SEJ's members-only website and log in. Look in the "My Stuff" dropdown menu and select "Search SEJ Member Location" to search by city and/or state/province and/or country.

Step 2: Pick a location. Can be a bar, coffee shop, your house, wherever! For the events we have organized in DC, we have found a few local bars that give us their space for free if we arrange a time and date with them in advance. 

Step 3: Email members with event information. I also often email people I know who I think should be SEJ members (active, academic or associate) — so it can be a way to connect with new folks too. I generally send the first email one-to-two weeks ahead. I also post to the SEJ Facebook Group and the SEJ-TALK listserve, in case members in your area aren't on the email list for some reason. You can also have your event added to SEJ's online Calendar; email the information to SEJ's web content manager Cindy MacDonald.

Step 4: Email a reminder one or two days before — everyone is busy, so I think this helps with turnout. It would also be great to post a photo or two to the SEJ Facebook Group, if you don't mind.

Step 5: Have a blast! And take photos to send back to SEJ HQ so we can share them (with cc to Cindy for posting on this meet-up page you're currently reading)!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I've done several of these in DC, and it's been fun!

- Kate

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