SEJ's 24th Annual Conference Speaker Information




Get the scoop
on the SEJ 2014 speakers.



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


Inner Harbor/9th Ward flooding following Hurricane Katrina. Click to enlarge. Credit: Army Corps of Engineers.

Below are biographies (or links thereto) of speakers for SEJ's 24th Annual Conference, September 3-7, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as the sessions they're participating in. New Orleans conference home.

DRAFT: All Information Subject to Change

Alphabetical Speaker List

(a daily work-in-progress;
check back often)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S |
T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z








Imelda Abano

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Disasters Know No Borders, 3:00 p.m.
  • Imelda Abano, an SEJ board member, has been in the journalism profession since 1998. She is the Founder and President of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists, Inc. (PNEJ) which was created in 2010, aiming to increase the quality and quantity of environmental reporting. Abano is the first Filipino to receive the 2009 Developing Asia Journalist of the Year award for her climate change story "Scorched Earth," which was organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute based in Tokyo, Japan. She is also the first Filipino journalist to receive the prestigious United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Award for excellence in reporting on environment, humanitarian and development affairs in 2008. In 2002, Abano received the Asian Winner of the Global Awards on Environmental Reporting organized by Reuters and IUCN in Washington DC. She has been covering environmental and science issues for the UK-based Science and Development Network (scidevnet), the BusinessMirror and InterAksyon. Abano was among the first batch of journalists who launched the Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP) in 2007 to cover the United Nations-backed climate change conferences. She then became a United Nations Framework of Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) fellow covering series of climate change negotiations from 2008 to present.


John Adornato III

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE LAND, Everglades Restoration Update: Billions Spent, But Will It Do Any Good? 10:45 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Mini-Tour Adventures, Barataria Preserve Swamp Hike, 2:15 p.m.
  • John Adornato III is Suncoast regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association, and co-chair of the Everglades Coalition. He has been with the National Parks Conservation Association since 2002. Originally from Springfield, Mass., Adornato earned a B.S. in biology from Tufts University in 1996 and a master's degree in wetland plant ecology from the University of Maryland in 2001. He completed a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fellowship in 2001, managing marine and fisheries legislative issues for Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Akaka. Since 2011 he has also served as an elected commissioner in the city of Oakland Park, Fla.


Ashley Ahearn

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 2, Better Reporting Through SmartPhones, 1:45 p.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Mini-Tour Adventures, Jean Lafitte N.P. Swamp Hike, 2:15 p.m.
  • Ashley Ahearn is the environment reporter at KUOW — National Public Radio in Seattle — and part of the regional multimedia collaborative project EarthFix. Before joining KUOW, Ashley was a producer and reporter for Living on Earth, a nationally aired environment program from Public Radio International. She has a masters in science journalism from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California and has completed reporting fellowships with the Vermont Law School, the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island and the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. She also serves on the board of the Society of Environmental Journalists. In her spare time Ashley enjoys riding vintage motorcycles, snowboarding and hiking in the Olympics and the Cascade mountain ranges of the Northwest.


Benjamin Alexander-Bloch

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 5, Oyster Reefs and Fisheries in the Aftermath of BP and Katrina, 8:00 a.m.
  • Benjamin Alexander-Bloch covers Gulf of Mexico commercial fisheries and the environment for | The Times-Picayune. He focuses on the politics and recovery efforts of metro New Orleans coastal communities. He began working for the newspaper soon after graduating from Yale University in 2006 with a degree in cultural anthropology.


Jim Amoss

  • Event: Wednesday, Opening Plenary, Opening Reception, Dinner and Awards, 5:00 p.m.
  • Event: Friday, Opening Plenary, Covering Disasters: Getting the Story and Staying Alive, 9:00 a.m.
  • Jim Amoss has been editor of The Times-Picayune since 1990 and, since 2012, editor of the newspaper and its website, A native of New Orleans, he began his journalism career as a reporter for the city’s afternoon daily, The States-Item. After the merger of that paper with The Times-Picayune in 1980, he became city editor and then metro editor. During his tenure as editor, the paper has won four Pulitzer Prizes, the first in its 177-year history. Amoss has served as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board and the board of the American Society of News Editors. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.


Erik Assadourian


Nick Aumen

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE LAND, Everglades Restoration Update: Billions Spent, But Will It Do Any Good? 10:45 a.m.
  • Before taking his current position overseeing the Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystem Sciences program, Nick Aumen was research director of the South Florida Water Management District in West Palm Beach and then an aquatic ecologist and water quality branch chief for 15 years in Everglades National Park, leading an interagency team of scientists and engineers tracking the progress of the south Florida ecosystem restoration program. Prior to his National Park Service, he received his B.S. and M.S. in biology at the University of West Florida, and his Ph.D. in microbial ecology at Oregon State University. After finishing his Ph.D., he took a faculty position in biology at the University of Mississippi, and was a tenured associate professor of biology when he returned to Florida. He is currently an affiliate faculty member at Florida Atlantic University and at the University of Florida. He served two terms as the national Sierra Club's vice president and one term as its treasurer.




Melanie Bahnke


Cynthia Barnett


Scott Barrett

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY, Turning Trees into Wood Pellets: Biomass Energy and Southern Forest Health, 9:00 a.m.
  • Scott Barrett is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Forest Operations and Biomass Utilization in the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, since January 2014. He also serves as the coordinator, since 2002, for the Virginia SHARP (Sustainable Harvesting and Resource Professional) logger program which has over 1300 individuals that are active in the training program. Scott has been involved in research projects related to biomass harvesting and utilization, implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for water quality on biomass harvesting operations, and improving BMP implementation on stream crossings and forest roads and skid trails. Scott is an active member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF), the Council on Forest Engineering (COFE), and the Virginia Forestry Association. Scott received his degrees in forestry from Virginia Tech. He received a B.S. in Forestry in 1998, an M.S. in Forest Operations in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Forest Operations in 2013.


Edward Belk


Edwin Bender

  • Event: Friday, Beat Dinner 7, Election 2014 and Beyond: Follow the Money, 7:00 p.m.
  • A founding incorporator for the National Institute on Money in State Politics, Edwin Bender has been the executive director for more than a decade. He promotes the use of the Institute's comprehensive, highly credentialed state-level donor information by investigative journalists, scholars examining state elections and public-policy processes, and attorneys involved in campaign-finance litigation. In 2012, Ed was an expert witness for the Montana Attorney General's office in its defense of Montana's campaign-contribution limits. He recently wrote "Ripple Effects: Will McCutcheon Amplify the Role of Big Donors?" and was also published in the Montana Law Review, "Evidencing a Republican Form of Government: The Influence of Campaign Money on State-Level Elections." Ed emphasizes the need to break down barriers to public disclosure of campaign finance and related information in poor-reporting states, while pushing advances in cross-state issue analyses and web-based data aggregation and dissemination.


Winifred Bird

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Disasters Know No Borders, 3:00 p.m.
  • Winifred Bird is a freelance journalist and translator focusing on the environment and architecture. From 2005 to 2014 she lived in rural Japan, where she covered the 2011 tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear disaster for publications including the Japan Times, Environmental Health Perspectives, and Yale Environment 360. She was a 2011 media fellow at Vermont Law School and in 2012 received a grant from the Fund for Environmental Journalism for a collaborative reporting project on the impacts of Fukushima disaster on forest ecosystems and communities. When she's not writing she can usually be found in her vegetable garden. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Annie-Laurie Blair

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE CRAFT 3, Environment Journalism Revolution in the Classroom, 10:45 a.m.
  • Annie-Laurie Blair is a freelance journalist and a clinical professor of journalism at Miami University of Ohio. Annie was a reporter or editor at The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincy magazine, Star-Gazette in Elmira, N.Y., and The Ithaca Journal, and a correspondent for the former Kansas City Times and Middlesex News. She has been a journalism fellow at Arizona State and USC. At Miami since 2004, Annie teaches environmental journalism, environmental communication to science majors, and other multimedia J courses. Her students founded in 2009, which won a 2012 Mark of Excellence Award from SPJ Region 4. More.


Donald Boesch


Jane Braxton Little


Don Briggs




Richard Campanella


Cally Carswell


Rhitu Chatterjee


Christine Chemnitz

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE GLOBE, Feeding Eight Billion People in a Warming World, 11:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Christine Chemnitz has been heading the department of international agriculture policy at the Heinrich Böll Foundation since 2007. The Heinrich Böll Foundation is a German political foundation affiliated with the German Green Party. Her work addresses various questions around sustainable and equitable systems of agricultural production and consumption. The Meat Atlas is one of the best known publications of her department in recent years; it addresses the social and ecological impact of industrial meat production. Christine studied Agricultural Science in the cities of Göttingen and Berlin and received her PhD at the Humboldt University in Berlin. As part of her studies, Christine spent time in Ecuador, Madagascar and Morocco.


Wendy Cleland-Hamnett

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, POLLUTION, What We Don't Know About Chemicals May Hurt Us, 1:45 p.m.
  • Wendy Cleland-Hamnett is the Director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, or OPPT, in EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. She has served in this position since 2009 and as the Deputy of the Office several years before that. As the Director of OPPT, Wendy oversees EPA's new and existing chemicals programs, numerous safer chemical and pollution prevention activities, enhanced efforts to make chemical information more accessible to the public, and a range of efforts to manage lead, formaldehyde, and other legacy chemicals. Cleland-Hamnett began her career at EPA in 1979 and has worked across the agency in a number of offices and capacities, including the Office of Environmental Information, the Office of Policy and the Administrator's Office. Wendy is a member of the DC Bar with a law degree from George Washington University.


Joyce Coffee

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 2, Big Questions Need Big Data: Population and Climate, 11:00 a.m.
  • Joyce Coffee is managing director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index for global resiliency, the world's leading assessment informing public and private sector decision-makers about which countries are best prepared to deal with climate change and other global shifts. Previously, she was vice president at Edelman, providing strategic counsel to multi-national companies on corporate social responsibility and sustainability. She directed the City of Chicago's Climate Action Plan, driving climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, and managed water and air resources in the Chicago Department of Environment. Coffee started her career in Asia with the World Bank and U.S. Agency for International Development’s U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership. She was a founding board member of the Alliance for Water Efficiency and a Great Lakes delegate to Brookings International Young Leaders Climate Change Summit. She received a B.S. in biology, environmental studies and Asian studies from Tufts University and a masters in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of the Climate Adaptation Exchange Blog. More.


Marla Cone

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, POLLUTION, What We Don't Know About Chemicals May Hurt Us, 1:45 p.m.
  • Marla Cone, one of the nation's most experienced environmental journalists, reported for newspapers for 30 years, including 18 at the Los Angeles Times. At the Times, she was the senior environmental writer and pioneered a beat that focused on explaining scientific information on the risks that pollutants pose to public health, wildlife and ecosystems around the world. She joined EHN as Editor in Chief in 2008. Cone has a BA in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She has twice won the Scripps Howard Meeman Award for environmental reporting (1983 and 1994) and was a finalist for that award in both 2003 and 2004. She also has won three honorable mentions in the Oakes Awards, including one for the 2012 EHN series, "Pollution, Poverty, People of Color." She served on the board of the Society of Environmental Journalists for nine years. Her book, "Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoning of the Arctic" (Grove-Atlantic, 2005), was a finalist for the National Academies' Communication Award. In 1999, she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, usually reserved for scientists, to investigate contaminants that are spreading to the Arctic and endangering the people and animals of the far north.


Tammy Conforti

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE LAND, Levee Safety and Flood Risk: New Rules for New Floods, 1:45 p.m.
  • Tammy Conforti has worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers for 23 years in a variety of areas related to flood risk management. In her current role as the headquarters Levee Safety Program Manager for USACE, she is responsible for overseeing implementation of the agency's Levee Safety Program. This involves leading the development and issuance of program policies; serving as technical advisor on levee safety aspects and issues; prioritizing the agency's program activities; and fostering partnerships by serving on related national committees and task forces. Conforti has a B.S. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech and is a registered professional engineer.


Don Corrigan


Windell Curole


Sarah Curry




Margaret Davidson


Joseph A. Davis

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 1, FOIA Clinic: Ask the Gumshoes, 11:00 a.m.
  • Joseph A. Davis has been writing about the environment since 1976. Joe currently edits SEJ's WatchDog newsletter as part of SEJ's freedom-of-information project, which promotes access to information for environmental journalists. He also compiles SEJ's daily news headlines, EJToday. Joe is something of a geek, having built his first computer in the mid-80s, about the time he did his first database reporting project. He lends a hand to SEJ's website.


Roger-Mark De Souza


Richard Denison


James Diaz


Scott Dodd

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, The Essential Toolkit for Reporters and Freelancers, 1:30 p.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE CRAFT 1, Are Those Your Jammies? Writer/Editor Relationships in the Wifi Age, 10:45 a.m.
  • As a newspaper reporter in the Carolinas, Scott Dodd often found himself speeding toward disasters — tornadoes, plane crashes, a chemical plant explosion — while everyone else was evacuating in the other direction. He reported on Hurricane Katrina while on loan to the Gulf Coast's Sun-Herald, whose coverage won the Pulitzer Prize for public service. More recently he has assigned disaster coverage for NRDC's OnEarth magazine, sending writers to the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill or into the smoke to uncover the link between Western wildfires and climate change. He was recently promoted to editorial director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.


Peter Dykstra

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 2, Who’s Covering the Environment Today? From Al Jazeera’s Rise to Newspapers’ Demise, 11:00 a.m.
  • Peter Dykstra is publisher of Environmental Health News and its sister site, The Daily Climate. During a 17-year career at CNN, Dykstra was executive producer for science, environment, weather and technology coverage. He shared an Emmy award for CNN's coverage of the 1993 Mississippi River floods; a Dupont-Columbia Award for the network's reporting on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; and a Peabody Award for the 2005 coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to CNN, Dykstra was national media director for Greenpeace, setting up the organization's U.S. media operations. He served as a Deputy Director at the Pew Charitable Trusts and is currently a contributor to "Living On Earth," Public Radio International's weekly environmental newsmagazine.




Justin Ehrenwerth


Barbara Ekwall

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE GLOBE, Feeding Eight Billion People in a Warming World, 11:00 a.m.
  • Barbara Ekwall is Senior Liaison Officer for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Since she joined FAO in 2007, she has managed several projects that developed tools and capacity to implement the Voluntary Guidelines for the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security (Right to Food Guidelines). Having served in the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Multilateral Division, she is a convinced multilateralist and a firm believer that human rights can make a difference in the lives of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition.


Marcus Eriksen

  • Event: Friday, Lunch Breakout Session 1, In-Depth Stories of Our Troubled Seas, 12:15 p.m.
  • Marcus Eriksen is the co-founder and director of research of the 5 Gyres Institute, dedicated to a world free of plastic pollution. He received his Ph.D. in Science Education from University of Southern California in 2003, months before embarking on a 2000-mile, 5-month journey down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft. His experience on the river led to a career studying the ecological impacts of plastic marine pollution, which has included expeditions sailing 35,000 miles through all 5 subtropical gyres to discover new garbage patches of plastic pollution in the Southern Hemisphere. Still rafting, his most recent adventure sent him and a colleague across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii on JUNK, a homemade raft floating on 15,000 plastic bottles with a Cessina airplane fuselage as a cabin. His first book, titled "My River Home" (Beacon Press, 2007), chronicled his Mississippi River experience paralleled with his tour as a Marine in the 1991 Gulf War.




Dan Fagin


Jay Famiglietti


Jesse Feyen

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, OCEANS AND COASTS, Extreme Weather and Hurricane Science: Improving Forecasts, 11:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Jesse Feyen is a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is presently the manager of NOAA's Storm Surge Roadmap, which lays out a comprehensive plan for improving NOAA's storm surge products and services. This effort is focused on transitioning in a new generation of technology that is under R&D. He originally joined the National Ocean Services' Coast Survey Development Laboratory in 2004 to develop and evaluate coastal inundation models for sea level rise and storm surge studies. Feyen earned a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where he helped to develop a high resolution model of storm surge in Southern Louisiana. This model was the basis for post-Hurricane Katrina studies of flood impacts and risk in Louisiana and Mississippi. His bachelor's degree in civil engineering is from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Feyen has published a number of research articles and a book chapter on storm surge, and routinely participates in national conferences on coastal hazards.


David Fischhoff

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE GLOBE, Feeding Eight Billion People in a Warming World, 11:00 a.m.
  • David Fischhoff is Chief Scientist for The Climate Corporation where he leads the company’s R&D efforts in modeling, measurements and field research. Prior to this role, David was Vice President, Technology Strategy and Development for Monsanto Company. David spent 30 years in Monsanto’s R&D division and was a key architect in the growth and development of Monsanto’s seeds and traits platforms. He is the inventor of insect resistant crop plants and holds multiple patents on this technology. David was also the founder of Monsanto’s genomics program, and served as President of Cereon Genomics, a Monsanto subsidiary formed in collaboration with Millennium Pharmaceuticals. David holds an S.B. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from The Rockefeller University.


Eric Freedman


Sharon Friedman




Karen Gadbois

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 9, The Long Road Home: Community Resilience, Adaptations, and Legacies From America’s Biggest Rebuild, 10:00 a.m.
  • Karen Gadbois co-founded and is a staff writer at The Lens. For her work with television reporter Lee Zurik exposing widespread misuse of city recovery funds — which led to guilty pleas in federal court — Gadbois won some of the highest honors in journalism, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. In 2012 she was awarded the Ethics in Journalism award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on the NOPD's policy of publicizing the criminal records of homicide victims. She now covers New Orleans government issues and covers land use issues for the Squandered Heritage portion of The Lens.


Gerald Galloway Jr.


Christy George

  • Event: Friday, Beat Dinner 2, Gimme That Old Time Religion, 7:00 p.m.
  • Christy George, an SEJ board member, is an independent radio and television producer in Portland, Oregon. Her most recent projects have been for Oregon Public Broadcasting's TV show, "Oregon Field Guide," and the PBS program, "History Detectives." She's also working on a book about climate change and social change. Christy initially moved to Oregon to create a bureau covering the intersection of business and the environment for the American Public Media business show, "Marketplace," and later hosted the weekly radio show, "Oregon Territory." Before that, Christy edited foreign and national news for The Boston Herald and covered politics for WGBH-TV and WBUR-FM. She started out as a volunteer, covering noise and air pollution and neighborhood encroachment by Logan Airport for The East Boston Community News — a dream job that first introduced her to the environment beat. Christy has won Emmys in both the Northwest and New England, a Gracie Allen Award, an Edward R. Murrow award, a first-place prize in the New York Festivals and numerous AP and SPJ awards. Her special, "Liquid Gold," on how water is bought, sold and marketed like any other commodity, was part of "Marketplace's" 1998 winning submission for a Columbia-DuPont Silver Baton award. A high school graduate, she was a 1990-91 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.


Ioannis Georgiou


Emily Gertz

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, The Essential Toolkit for Reporters and Freelancers, 1:30 p.m.
  • SEJ board member Emily Gertz is a freelance journalist based in New York City, covering national and international stories on the environment, science, politics, and technology. Her work has appeared in diverse publications, from magazines like Rolling Stone, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Dwell, to digital news outlets like Talking Points Memo,, Grist, Ensia, and Emily was a founding blogger at Worldchanging, the award-winning web site that in the mid-2000s pioneered solutions-oriented coverage of environment, climate, human rights, politics, technology, design, cities, business, and more. She also contributed to the Abrams book based on the site’s reporting, "Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century." Emily has co-authored two innovative books on do-it-yourself electronics, "Environmental Monitoring with Arduino" and "Atmospheric Monitoring with Arduino," both for Maker Media. She is at work on a third related book, "Sensor Networks," for O’Reilly Media, and contributed to the 2013 DaCapo book "The Science Writers’ Handbook." Emily has a masters in environmental studies from the University of Oregon, and got her start in journalism as a writer and editor of "The Bear Deluxe," an independent arts-and-environment ‘zine out of Portland, Ore., overlapped with an 18-month stint as environmental and outdoors news producer for, the online arm of The Oregonian newspaper. She has received fellowships from SEJ, The National Association of Science Writers, COMPASS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Knight Science Journalism at MIT Boot Camps.


Erica Gies


Ellen Gilinsky

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, POLLUTION, Dead Zones, Hypoxia and Nutrient Loading: Is Pollution Trading the Answer? 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Lunch Breakout Session 3, Dust-Up Over Ditches and Other Water Issues, 12:15 p.m.
  • Ellen Gilinsky serves as Senior Policy Advisor to the Acting Assistant Administrator for Water in the Office of Water at the Environmental Protection Agency. Previously she spent seven years as the Director of the Water Division at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), where she supervised water quality and quantity programs. She also served for five years at DEQ as Manager of the Office of Wetlands and Water Protection, helping to craft Virginia’s nontidal wetlands program. Gilinsky has 12 years of experience as an environmental consultant at several regional and national environmental engineering firms, focusing on water issues. She received her B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Zoology, with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a Past President of the Association of Clean Water Administrators, held a gubernatorial appointment to the State Advisory Board of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center and was an Adjunct Faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Departments of Biology and Environmental Studies.


Seth Ginther


Adam Glenn


Howard "Howie" Gonzales Jr.

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE LAND, Everglades Restoration Update: Billions Spent, But Will It Do Any Good? 10:45 a.m.
  • Howard "Howie" Gonzales Jr., was born and raised in New Orleans. He graduated from the University of New Orleans in 1994 with a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering and earned a master of science degree in engineering management in 1998. He earned an MBA in 2001. Gonzales began his 18-year career with the Corps while he was still a college student. He worked as a project manager for the New Orleans district until 2004, worked at the Albuquerque District from 2004-2007, and the Sacramento District from 2007 to 2009. In Jacksonville, he is in charge of overall planning, design, and construction of South Florida Ecosystem Restoration programs and projects.


Ken Graham

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Disasters: The Science — Contaminants in the Environment, 8:30 a.m.
  • Ken Graham is the meteorologist-in-charge at the New Orleans/Baton Rouge office of the National Weather Service. As the person in charge of this regional office, he provides technical and general assistance to local emergency managers and government leaders during hurricanes and other forms of severe weather. He has overseen improvements in weather service use of social media and emergency communications with the public and journalists. He led the targeted, complex forecasting during the Deepwater Horizon spill and cleanup.


William (Monty) Graham


Nancy Grantham

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Disasters: The Craft — Getting the Story, 9:45 a.m.
  • Nancy Grantham has been the Public Affairs Director in EPA's Boston Office since 2001. As Public Affairs Director, Nancy led a national effort to develop EPA's Crisis Communications Plan, now an Agency Order, largely prompted by her work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She joined EPA in 1990 as Chief of Staff for the Regional Administrator. For four years, Nancy directed the region's Customer Service efforts, establishing a Customer Call Center for the six New England states and broadening the region's outreach to external stakeholders. During the Spring of 2013, Nancy served as Acting Associate Administrator for the Office of External Affairs & Environmental Education. Prior to coming to EPA, Nancy was the Communications Director at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard College.


David Gray

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Disasters: The Craft — Getting the Story, 9:45 a.m.
  • David Gray has been the Public Affairs Director in EPA's Dallas Office since 1995. As Public Affairs Director, David has overseen EPA's crisis communications efforts for a variety of natural and man-made disasters including the Los Alamos Wildfires, Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Gustav. He joined EPA in 1987 as an On-Scene Coordinator on EPA's emergency response team. David has overseen federal emergency cleanup and response to oil spills and chemical releases throughout the area. In 1987, he assumed lead for the federal emergency response cleanup at the Vertac Chemical Corporation plant, an agent orange production facility, in Jacksonville, Arkansas and dioxin cleanup in nearby neighborhoods. Prior to joining EPA, David served on an emergency response and technical assistance team for a private environmental consulting and engineering company in Dallas. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial safety and health and chemistry from the University of North Alabama.


Elizabeth Grossman


Sharon Guynup

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE LAND, Endangered Species: If We Can't Save Charismatic Big Cats, What Can We Save? 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Sunday, So You Want to Write a Book? 11:00 a.m.
  • Sharon Guynup's work as a journalist and photographer has taken her to Eastern Siberia's haven for grizzly bears, through various Latin American jungles, to Assam's last haven for Indian rhinos, by boat to the river towns along Myanmar's Irrawaddy River, across Cuba — and she lived in Turkey for a year on a Fulbright Fellowship. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Popular Science,, Audubon, and other outlets. She blogs for National Geographic Cat Watch and is author of "Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat." She holds an MA from New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program, where she has also served as an adjunct professor.




David Hammer

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 1, After BP: Are We Really Prepared Offshore? 6:30 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Beat Dinner 11, Behind-the-Scenes Disaster Response, 7:00 p.m.
  • David Hammer is an investigative reporter at WWL-TV, New Orleans' CBS affiliate. He worked for 16 years as a wire and newspaper reporter, including six years at The Times-Picayune, but made the jump to television in 2012 when the 175-year-old daily cut back to three days a week. Hammer led The Times-Picayune's investigation of what went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and broke several stories about key engineering decisions that contributed to the BP well blowout. The coverage won him first prize for best beat reporting of 2010 from the Society of Environmental Journalists. He was also part of a team of journalists that won the National Journalism Awards’ 2010 Edward J. Meeman Prize for environmental reporting and The Associated Press Managing Editors’ Frank Allen Award for the year’s best overall news writing in Louisiana and Mississippi. At WWL, Hammer has continued to cover the BP spill aftermath and the federal offshore safety agency that was created as a result of the disaster. His TV and online series "Safety Last" challenged the agency’s hands-off approach and exposed new pollution cover-ups on oil platforms.


Michael Hecht


Marilyn Heiman


David Helvarg

  • Event: Friday, Lunch Breakout Session 1, In-Depth Stories of Our Troubled Seas, 12:15 p.m.
  • David Helvarg is an author, founder of Blue Frontier, a marine conservation and policy group, and co-founder of the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards. Among his six books are "The War Against the Greens," "Rescue Warriors" and his latest, "The Golden Shore – California’s Love Affair with the Sea." Helvarg worked as a war correspondent in Northern Ireland and Central America, covered a range of issues from military science to the AIDS epidemic, and reported from every continent including Antarctica. An award-winning journalist, he produced more than 40 broadcast documentaries for PBS, The Discovery Channel, and others. His print work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, LA Times, National Geographic, Popular Science and Parade. He’s done radio work for Marketplace, AP radio, and Pacifica. He is a licensed private investigator, body-surfer, scuba diver and long-time SEJ member.


Charlie Henry

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Disasters: The Science — Contaminants in the Environment, 8:30 a.m.
  • Charlie Henry, director of NOAA's Disaster Response Center in Mobile, AL, is a first responder to oil and chemical spills for Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. As lead scientific support coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon incident, he was responsible for managing a team of physical scientists, marine biologists, chemists and others conducting field observations, tracking the movement of oil, understanding resources at risk and determining environmental tradeoffs of countermeasures and cleanup methods. He has a rich background in the science of contaminants and cleanups and has extensive experience in the on-the-fly communications that occur during disasters.


Julie Hill-Gabriel

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE LAND, Everglades Restoration Update: Billions Spent, But Will It Do Any Good? 10:45 a.m.
  • Julie Hill-Gabriel, who is originally from Long Island, leads Audubon's Everglades program where she coordinates a team of 50 science and policy staff. As Audubon Florida's liaison to Congress and federal agencies, she educates decision-makers about the importance of Everglades restoration. An attorney, she also oversees Audubon Florida's legal participation in cases relating to the conservation mission. She earned her J.D. cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 2006, where she was president of the Environmental Law Society, editor in chief of Psychology, Public Policy and Law, and a member of the Society of Bar and Gavel. Before joining Audubon, she practiced commercial litigation in Miami.


Oliver Houck


Brian Howard




Jeremy Jackson

  • Event: Friday, Lunch Breakout Session 1, In-Depth Stories of Our Troubled Seas, 12:15 p.m.
  • Dr. Jeremy Jackson is a globally respected marine ecologist and paleontologist who has worked as Ritter Professor of Oceanography and founder and director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps as well as senior scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Jackson's research has captured the dramatic environmental decline of the oceans over the past 200 years. His current work focuses on the future of the world’s oceans, given recent human inputs that have fundamentally changed marine ecosystems and led to "the rise of slime." Although Jackson's work has garnered him the nickname Dr. Doom, he believes that successful management and conservation strategies can renew the ocean’s health. He has spoken throughout the world, published numerous articles in Science and other publications, won numerous awards and is working on his eighth book which will focus on the Gulf of Mexico. He is also a long-time research diver in Panama, the Caribbean and elsewhere.


Sally Jewell

  • Event: Friday, Keynote Address: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, 3:15 p.m.
  • Sally Jewell is President Obama's second-term Interior Secretary. She was scheduled to speak to SEJ last year in Chattanooga, but the government shutdown prevented all but brief pre-recorded remarks. This will be the Secretary's first opportunity to participate in SEJ's conference since she was confirmed last year. Prior to her confirmation, Jewell served in the private sector, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Recreation Equipment, Inc. (REI). Jewell also has experience as a commercial banker and a petroleum engineer. An avid outdoorswoman, Jewell has scaled Mount Rainier seven times. More.


Patrick Juneau

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, OCEANS AND COASTS, BP Spill — The People: Health Studies and Claims Programs, 10:45 a.m.
  • Patrick A. Juneau is an attorney who has been practicing law in Louisiana for 48 years. He has tried in excess of 100 civil jury cases and has been selected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial lawyers. He has received numerous awards from the Louisiana Bar Association and has been selected as a Distinguished Alumni of the LSU Law School. He has mediated over 4,000 cases and served on many occasions as the Special Master in complex cases including: In Re: Combustion, Inc. U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana — MDL; In Re: Vioxx Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana — MDL; In Re: New Orleans Train Car Leakage Fire Litigation, Orleans Parish, Louisiana; and more. Juneau is presently serving as the Claims Administrator of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program — better known as BP Settlement Program, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.




Gladys Kalibbala

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 2, Storytelling in the Anthropocene: Picturing People and the Planet, 1:30 p.m.
  • Gladys Kalibbala has worked as a features writer for the New Vision newspaper in Uganda for eight years. She has received two Tumaini Media Awards recognizing the significant contribution her journalism has made to improving the lives of children in Uganda. Tumaini is a Swahili word meaning hope. Gladys also earned the Edutainment Africa Award as the best journalist in highlighting issues affecting society through real life stories. Her story was featured in the Participant Media documentary, "Misconception".


Christine Klein

  • Event: Sunday, Mississippi River and Its Environs Authors, 8:30 a.m.
  • Christine A. Klein is Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law and UF Research Foundation Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. She obtained her B.A. degree from Middlebury College (Vermont), J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law, and LL.M. from Columbia University (New York). She began her career as a water rights litigator in the Colorado Office of the Attorney General, and has developed expertise in both eastern and western water law. Her research and teaching focus on the areas of property law, natural resources law, and water law. She grew up in St. Louis where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers join, and has been fascinated by rivers ever since. She is the author of "Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster" (NYU Press 2014, with co-author Sandra Zellmer) and of "Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases" (3d ed. Aspen Publishers, 2013, with Cheever & Birdsong).


Lauren Klinger


Michael Kodas


Lindsey Konkel


Bill Kovarik

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Disasters: The Science — Contaminants in the Environment, 8:30 a.m.
  • Bill Kovarik is a Professor of Communication at Unity College in Maine. He teaches science and environment writing, environmental history and media law. He has also served on the faculty at Radford University, Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland, the University of Western Ontario in Canada and the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Professional work has included the Associated Press, the Charleston Post, the Baltimore Sun, columnist Jack Anderson and a variety of trade and environmental publications.


Steven Kraft


Dan Kroes

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 3, If the Gators Don’t Get You... the Sinkhole Will, 7:15 a.m.
  • Dan Kroes is the USGS expert on the Atchafalaya River Basin. He studies river flow and sediment and nutrient deposition in the Basin. He is also an adviser to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the state of Louisiana for restoration efforts in the Basin. He has written a book chapter on tidal freshwater swamps, as well as published several studies. Their topics include climatic controls of river floodplain wetlands, the Atchafalaya River Basin, the effect of channelization on sediment deposition and subsidence, channel abandonment, and carbon storage.


Julia Kumari Drapkin




Bruce Lanphear


Randy Lee Loftis




Laurie Macdonald

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE LAND, Endangered Species: If We Can't Save Charismatic Big Cats, What Can We Save? 11:00 a.m.
  • Wildlife zoologist Laurie Macdonald (B.A. Univ. of Oregon, M.S. Univ. of South Florida) is the Florida Program Director for Defenders of Wildlife, a national non-profit conservation organization working to protect biological diversity, with an emphasis on the recovery of endangered species. Laurie is the conservation group representative on the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Florida Panther Recovery Implementation Team and serves as a board member for the national Endangered Species Coalition and the Everglades Law Center.


Sharan Majumdar


Scott Masten


Robert McClure

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 1, FOIA Clinic: Ask the Gumshoes, 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Beat Dinner 10, Dinner with One of the Nation's Most Senior Environmental Prosecutors, 7:00 p.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 1, When the Big Story Breaks on Your Watch — Prying Information from the Government, 9:00 a.m.
  • Robert McClure, an SEJ board member, is Executive Director of InvestigateWest, an independent reporting studio in Seattle, WA. A Florida native, he spent a decade on the beat at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where he wrote numerous articles pointing out the need for Everglades restoration in the years leading up to launching of the planet's largest ecosystem restoration there. He also was awarded a prestigious Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan, where he studied environment and economics and concluded that he must move West to tackle the really big environmental stories. That's what he did, taking a job with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In a decade at the P-I, he produced five multi-part projects on mining, endangered species, and the need for environmental restoration of Puget Sound and the Duwamish River. He has covered climate change and other environmental news topics in his blog, Dateline Earth. When the P-I ceased publishing in March 2009, McClure was instrumental in helping launch InvestigateWest, a start-up non-profit news venture, to carry on investigative and narrative reporting on the West. His professional career began at United Press International's Miami and Tallahassee bureaus. McClure is the recipient of numerous state, regional and national journalism awards including the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism.


Jessica McDiarmid

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, ENERGY, Oil Truckin’ and Pipin’: What’s Happening in Your Backyard? 11:00 a.m.
  • Jessica McDiarmid is a Canadian journalist who covered the Lac-Megantic rail disaster for the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper. Since then, she has regularly reported on oil transport and rail and pipeline safety issues. Prior to joining the Star in 2012, Jessica lived and worked in West Africa for several years, covering stories such as the 2011 electoral crisis and subsequent civil war in Ivory Coast, the plight of former child soldiers in Liberia and the West African network of ex-combatants who now serve as mercenaries in neighbouring countries. Her work has been published by the Star, the Associated Press, IPS Africa and CBC, among others. She has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and the U.S. and across Canada. She recently left the Star to write a book.


John McLachlan


Judy Mills

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE LAND, Endangered Species: If We Can't Save Charismatic Big Cats, What Can We Save? 11:00 a.m.
  • Judy Mills is an internationally recognized authority on the geopolitics underlying the endangered-species trade. While living in Hong Kong, she headed the East Asia office of the wildlife-trade monitoring network TRAFFIC. She later guided the creation of World Wildlife Fund's global strategy for saving wild tigers, before joining Conservation International. At Save The Tiger Fund, she founded and led the International Tiger Coalition, an alliance of 42 organizations against farming tigers to make luxury goods. She is now a consultant to the MacArthur Foundation on Americans' response to climate change. Her book "Blood of the Tiger: A Story of Conspiracy, Greed, and the Battle to Save a Magnificent Species" will be published by Beacon Press in January 2015.


Kathleen Mogelgaard

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 2, Big Questions Need Big Data: Population and Climate, 11:00 a.m.
  • Kathleen Mogelgaard is an independent consultant specializing in research, analysis and strategic communications at the intersection of human and environmental well-being. Her recent work has focused on population dynamics, climate change, food security, and energy access. She has worked for Oxfam America, Population Action International, National Audubon Society, Population Reference Bureau, Union of Concerned Scientists, the US Agency for International Development, and others. She holds masters degrees in natural resources and public policy from the University of Michigan.


Timothy Morris




Kim Nibarger


Michelle Nijhuis


Bryan Norcross


Kristin Nowell

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE LAND, Endangered Species: If We Can't Save Charismatic Big Cats, What Can We Save? 11:00 a.m.
  • Kristin Nowell has coordinated the international expert membership of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group for 25 years to advance the conservation of the world's 37 species of wild cat. She has worked on major initiatives for big cats and has helped raise funds for projects to study the world’s lesser known smaller cats. She travels widely from her home base — a solar-powered cabin in the Maine woods — and has authored many publications on issues impacting wild cats, from illegal trade to conservation impacts of trophy hunting to conservation strategies on national, regional and global level — and she co-authored the 2014 report to CITES on the state of Asian big cats.




Lise Olsen

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 3, Continuing Education for Journalists: All You Ever Wanted To Know About Fellowships, Mentoring, MOOCs and Computer-Based Journalism Training But Were Afraid To Ask, 11:00 a.m.
  • Lise Olsen is a senior investigative reporter at the Houston Chronicle with more than 25 years' experience in four U.S. states and Latin America. Her stories have inspired laws and reforms, and spurred official investigations. Olsen is an expert in data journalism and has trained journalists at conferences and workshops throughout the Americas and worldwide via Massive Open Online Courses organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. Olsen served from 2007-2011 as a board member of Investigative Reporters & Editors and worked for IRE in Mexico City from 1996-98 as executive director of the two-year IRE-Mexico Project. She has twice been named Texas APME's Star Reporter of the Year for her investigative stories. She mined government data on deadline after the West (Texas) explosion to show how federal laws were routinely violated by rural fertilizer plants that fail to report stockpiles of explosive materials and collaborated in Robert McClure's John B. Oakes Award-winning investigation on the Mining of the West and in Dina Cappiello's Kevin Carmody Award-winning probe of air toxics in Houston and across Texas.




Lisa Palmer

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 2, Big Questions Need Big Data: Population and Climate, 11:00 a.m.
  • As a journalist with 14 years of experience, Lisa Palmer has reported almost exclusively on climate change, the environment, and business sustainability since 2008. Her work has appeared in publications such as Slate Magazine, Nature Climate Change, The Guardian, Yale E360, The Yale Forum, Scientific American, and The New York Times, among many others. She is a professional member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, the National Association of Science Writers, the D.C. Science Writers Association, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She has received grants and fellowships to support her work from the National Science Foundation-funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center, the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, and the Solutions Journalism Network, among many others. She received her B.S. from Boston University and her M.S. from Simmons College in Boston. More.


Patrick Parenteau


Meaghan Parker

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Disasters Know No Borders, 3:00 p.m.
  • Meaghan Parker, an SEJ board member, has served as the Writer/Editor for the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars since November 2003. She is the editor of the ECSP Report and the founding editor of the daily blog New Security Beat, both of which focus on the connections among environmental, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human security, and foreign policy. Her work at the Wilson Center has won five Global Media Awards for Population Reporting. Prior to joining the Center, she was Manager of Research and Internal Communications at PPL Global, a subsidiary of Fortune 500 energy company PPL Corporation, where she researched international investments and renewable energy policy.


Sean Peoples


Christiana Peppard


Michelle Perez

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, POLLUTION, Dead Zones, Hypoxia and Nutrient Loading: Is Pollution Trading the Answer? 11:00 a.m.
  • Michelle Perez is a Senior Associate on the Water Quality Team in the People & Ecosystems Program. She leads the Mississippi River basin nutrient trading project, the farm conservation targeting projects, and the watershed-scale tool development projects. Previously, Michelle was a Senior Analyst with the Environmental Working Group where she published reports evaluating federal conservation programs operating in the 10 states bordering the Mississippi River and the six states in the Chesapeake Bay. Before that, she worked for the Alliance to Save Energy on international energy efficiency issues in China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines. Michelle holds a doctorate in environmental policy from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. She has an undergraduate degree in biology from Occidental College.


Juliet Pinto

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 8, Risky Business: How New Orleans’ Rebuilt Levee System Is So Much Better, But Not Good Enough, 9:30 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 3, Collaboration: Marrying Environmental Research with Environment Journalism, 1:45 p.m.
  • Juliet Pinto, Ph.D., associate professor at Florida International University, focuses her research and teaching around environmental and scientific communication in Spanish- and English-language media. Dr. Pinto co-produced the documentary, "South Florida's Rising Seas," which aired on public television in January 2014. She has developed interdisciplinary classes in environmental journalism and communication, and has taken students to the Galápagos to report on issues pertaining to resource use and management there. Her research has been published in journals such as Science Communication, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, and Communication Law and Policy, among others, and she has won awards in service, research and achievement. A member of the Beta Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Lambda honor society, she earned her doctorate in communication from the University of Miami, her master's in marine affairs and policy from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and bachelor's degree in environmental science from Boston University.


Craig Pittman

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE LAND, Everglades Restoration Update: Billions Spent, But Will It Do Any Good? 10:45 a.m.
  • Craig Pittman has been covering environmental issues for Florida's largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, since 1998, when it was the St. Petersburg Times. A native Floridian, he has twice won the Kevin Carmody Award from SEJ for stories about wetland destruction, and placed second in the National Headliner Awards for his coverage of the 2010 oil spill. He is the author of three non-fiction books: "Paving Paradise" (with Matthew Waite); "Manatee Insanity"; and "The Scent of Scandal."


Allison Plyer




Nancy Rabalais

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, POLLUTION, Dead Zones, Hypoxia and Nutrient Loading: Is Pollution Trading the Answer? 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Lunch Breakout Session 1, In-Depth Stories of Our Troubled Seas, 12:15 p.m.
  • Dr. Nancy Rabalais is a professor and executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCO) located in the town of Cocodrie, LA. Through her work she has made the Gulf of Mexico’s oxygen-depleted algae-spawned Dead Zone an issue of global concern. Rabalais has dedicated 30 years to the annual monitoring of the Dead Zone that recently grew to the size of New Jersey. She has worked tirelessly to find ways to reduce the fertilizer runoff down the Mississippi that feeds this seasonal disaster, testifying in front of Congress and at regional, national and global science and policy forums. She has met with farmers and agricultural associations up and down the river to find solutions beneficial both to farmers in the U.S. heartland and the health of the Gulf including fishermen, residents, tourists and others who depend on it. She has written for Science, Nature and other peer-reviewed publications and has received numerous awards including a MacArthur "Genius Grant" in 2012. She is an accomplished research diver. More.


Jan Ramsey

  • Event: Friday, Beat Dinner 4, Music As a Form of Communicating Environmental Issues, 7:00 p.m.
  • Jan Ramsey started OffBeat magazine and its associated entities more than two decades ago as an effort to improve and expand local music culture and business. Known for her scathing "Mojo Mouth" essays, Jan has been a music activist since the early 1980s, loves local culture and lives down the street from the H&R Bar — which was blown away by Katrina — just to prove it. She is a native New Orleanian.


Bruce Ritchie


David Rogers


Sandy Rosenthal


Denise Roth Barber

  • Event: Friday, Beat Dinner 7, Election 2014 and Beyond: Follow the Money, 7:00 p.m.
  • Denise Roth Barber has served as managing director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP) since 2010, after four years as research director and seven years as researcher. As managing director, she supervises the data acquisition coordinator, researchers, and IT and communications staff. Denise also writes occasional reports on special and timely topics, and leads the Institute's research related to Citizens United v. FEC. Denise provides input on the scope and timelines of proposed data acquisition and research projects, grant proposals, and other management planning issues to ensure data acquisition and research objectives and reporting deadlines are met. Before joining the Institute, Denise was an organizer with the Northern Plains Resource Council for six years, where she worked with local Montana communities on conservation issues.


Tatiana Rynearson




Steve Sapienza


Zoë Schlanger

  • Event: Saturday, Mini-Tour Adventures, Barataria Preserve Swamp Hike, 2:15 p.m.
  • Zoë Schlanger is a Newsweek reporter based in New York. She is particularly interested in the intersection of health and environment. She was previously the front page editor at Talking Points Memo, and has written at The Nation, Maddowblog, Gothamist, Guernica, and BuzzFeed. In college she ran the alternative news site NYU Local, where she had a great time covering university infighting.


Aleutia Scott

  • Event: Saturday, Mini-Tour Adventures, Barataria Preserve Swamp Hike, 2:15 p.m.
  • Aleutia Scott has been the Supervisory Park Ranger at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park's Barataria Preserve for almost four years, running site operations and reveling in opportunities to romp in the swamp with alligators and other denizens of the muck. Before that, for almost a decade, she was a Natural Resources Management Specialist at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on community restoration for large habitat restoration projects. She enjoys working for the National Park Service and sharing these amazing resources with the American public and international visitors.


Marc Seamon

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE CRAFT 3, Environment Journalism Revolution in the Classroom, 10:45 a.m.
  • Dr. Marc Seamon teaches journalism at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. His research interests focus on the role of the mass media in affecting social conventions regarding sustainability and related environmental issues. His Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University) is in mass communication. He also holds master;s degrees in journalism and educational psychology from West Virginia University. He has 11 years of university-level teaching experience, and prior to entering higher education, Seamon worked in newspaper and radio for 10 years. More.


Rebecca Shaw

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE GLOBE, Feeding Eight Billion People in a Warming World, 11:00 a.m.
  • Rebecca Shaw, Ph.D., is a leading scientist and recognized thought leader on climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems services. She is a member of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was a lead author on the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group 2, released in 2014. More.


Bruce Shapiro

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 1, Aftershocks: Trauma, Climate Change and Environmental Journalism, 11:45 a.m.
  • Bruce Shapiro is executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, encouraging innovative reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy worldwide from the Center’s headquarters at Columbia University in New York City. An award-winning reporter on human rights, criminal justice and politics, Shapiro is a contributing editor at The Nation and U.S. correspondent for Late Night Live on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National.


Kate Sheppard

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 2, Who’s Covering the Environment Today? From Al Jazeera’s Rise to Newspapers’ Demise, 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, OCEANS AND COASTS, BP Spill — The Restoration: How Are Billions of Dollars Being Spent? 9:00 a.m.
  • Kate Sheppard, an SEJ board member, is a senior reporter and the environment and energy editor at the Huffington Post. She previously reported for Mother Jones, Grist, and the American Prospect. Her writing has also been featured in the New York Times’ Room for Debate blog, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, High Country News, The Center for Public Integrity, In These Times, and Bitch. Her reporting has been recognized with awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Online News Association, and Planned Parenthood. She is also currently a graduate student in the School of Communication at American University, studying media entrepreneurship.


Sara Shipley Hiles


Danna Smith

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY, Turning Trees into Wood Pellets: Biomass Energy and Southern Forest Health, 9:00 a.m.
  • Danna Smith, executive director and co-founder of Dogwood Alliance, guides and manages the organization’s programmatic work. She has successfully negotiated forest protection commitments from some of the world’s largest paper producers and corporate consumers, and serves as the Carbon Canopy co-chair. She earned her law degree from Emory University and earned her environmental stripes as a campaigner with Greenpeace.


John Snell


Lauren Sommer

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 3, Making Sustainability Stick: Communicating Complex Topics Without Losing Your Audience, 9:00 a.m.
  • Lauren Sommer covers environment, water, and energy for KQED, the NPR and PBS station in San Francisco. As part of her day job, she has scaled Sierra Nevada peaks, run from charging elephant seals, and desperately tried to get her sea legs — all in pursuit of good radio. She has been recognized by the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Edward R. Murrow Awards and is a recipient of the Harold Gilliam Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting. She is also a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Twitter: @Lesommer


Susan Spicer

  • Event: Friday, Beat Dinner 3, Is Sustainable Seafood an Oxymoron? From Shrimp Farming to Jellyfish Harvesting, 7:00 p.m.
  • Susan Spicer is chef/owner of Bayona and Mondo restaurants and Wild Flour Breads. She has been cooking in New Orleans for 33 years and has received numerous culinary awards, including James Beard’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Artisans, Farmers and Chefs, as well as Chefs Collaborative and is active in many community events and fundraisers. More.


Dave Spratt

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 3, Continuing Education for Journalists: All You Ever Wanted To Know About Fellowships, Mentoring, MOOCs and Computer-Based Journalism Training But Were Afraid To Ask, 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Beat Dinner 13, IJNR: Reunion Dinner, 7:00 p.m.
  • Dave Spratt is chief executive officer of the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources (, an organization dedicated to helping journalists understand natural resource and environment issues through immersive, multi-day field trips that take them into the field to see things firsthand. For more than 20 years, Dave was a fixture at daily newspapers in Colorado and Michigan, writing and editing sports, features and news, nurturing young writers and staring longingly out the window where the real action was. Dave left inky fingers behind in 2009, when he took a buyout from the Detroit News. Dave began helping IJNR develop programs in 2010 and replaced Frank Allen as CEO in early 2012. Dave is a lifelong lover of the outdoors and frequent end user of clean air, clear water and healthy habitat.


Greg Stone

  • Event: Friday, Lunch Breakout Session 1, In-Depth Stories of Our Troubled Seas, 12:15 p.m.
  • Dr. Greg Stone is senior vice president and chief scientist for Oceans at Conservation International and was with the New England Aquarium before that. He is a leading authority on marine conservation and policy and recently helped launch the global Ocean Health Index. He also led the effort to create the world's largest marine protected area around the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati, a Pacific nation whose survival is threatened by sea-level rise. For his accomplishment on the Phoenix Islands, he was named one of National Geographic Society's Heroes of 2007. Stone has produced an award-winning series of marine conservation films and lectures throughout the world. He also writes prolifically for science and popular publications including Nature and National Geographic. His most recent book, Underwater Eden, was released in December 2012. He has over 5,000 dives and lived for a month in an undersea habitat. More.


Lana Straub


Ben Strauss


Wilma Subra


Meera Subramanian




Thomas Thoren


Eugene Turner




David Waggonner

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 9, The Long Road Home: Community Resilience, Adaptations, and Legacies From America’s Biggest Rebuild, 10:00 a.m.
  • David Waggonner was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971 and Yale University with a Master of Architecture in 1975. Employed previously by the Architect of the Capitol, Bechtel Corporation, and DMJM/Curtis and Davis, he has been principal in the present firm and its predecessor since 1981. He has taught Architectural design at Tulane University and the University of Oregon, is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and is a member of the Association for Preservation Technology and the Society of Architectural Historians.


Ken Weiss

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Workshop 2, Risky Cities and Resilient Communities, 9:45 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, OCEANS AND COASTS, The BP Spill’s Untold Ecological Toll, 1:45 p.m.
  • Kenneth R. Weiss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, writes about science, environment and public health. He is working on a book drawing the connections between women’s rights and reproductive health with hunger, poverty, national security and environmental decline. The book continues Ken’s work in his series, Beyond 7 Billion, published in the Los Angeles Times. He was the lead reporter for the Altered Oceans series, which showed how the slow creep of environmental decay often has a more profound impact than cataclysmic natural disasters. Besides winning the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting, Weiss has won the George Polk Award, the Grantham Prize, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s National Journalism Award and many others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in folklore from UC Berkeley and lives in Carpinteria, California. More.


Tim Wheeler


Andrew Whelton

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, POLLUTION, What We Don't Know About Chemicals May Hurt Us, 1:45 p.m.
  • Dr. Andrew Whelton is an Environmental Engineering professor at Purdue University. Recently, he and his research team provided clarity during the 2014 West Virginia Water Crisis, as well as defined quality of life issues caused by green buildings, nuclear power plant infrastructure, and toxic chemicals released by emerging infrastructure repair technologies. He began his career as a US Army civilian engineer assisting DoD research, detect, and respond to drinking water contamination incidents. After recognizing the need to understand how chemicals interact with water and energy system materials, he worked as a researcher at Virginia Tech, NIST, and the University of South Alabama. In 2014, he and his team responded to the West Virginia Water Crisis and he was tapped by the Governor to help investigate the disaster. Throughout the 2014 West Virginia Water Crisis, Andrew and his team communicated their scientific findings through public meetings, various electronic media, responded to hundreds of personal emails and telephone calls from residents, and media interviews. More information.


Carolyn Whetzel

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, POLLUTION, Cleaning Up the Air and Carbon Too, 9:00 a.m.
  • Carolyn Whetzel is an environmental reporter for Bloomberg BNA, a private publisher headquartered in Washington, D.C. that covers legislative developments, federal and state laws and regulations, court decisions, and economic trends. Whetzel is based in California and covers a variety of state environmental issues including air and water quality, hazardous wastes, chemicals, and energy since 1992. Her work appears primarily in Bloomberg BNA's Daily Environment Report, Environment Reporter, Toxics Law Reporter, Chemical Regulation Reporter, Occupational Safety & Health Reporter, and Daily Report for Executives. Whetzel joined BNA in 1970 while attending George Washington University, but left four years later to travel and move to California. Before rejoining BNA, which Bloomberg acquired in 2011, she wrote for in-house publications for several companies and institutions and was a freelance writer in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Dallas.


Charlie Williams


Nsedu Witherspoon


Amy Wold

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 4, Chemical Corridor: Industry, Community and Environmental Health Impacts, 7:30 a.m.
  • Amy Wold is the environmental reporter at The Advocate newspaper based in Baton Rouge, La. She is a graduate of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. After working for two newspapers in the Northwest, she moved to Houma, La. in 1999 and then to Baton Rouge in 2000. She’s covered numerous hurricanes including Katrina, Gustav and Ike as well as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.


Beverly Wright


Robert Wyss




Peter Yaukey

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 9, The Long Road Home: Community Resilience, Adaptations, and Legacies From America’s Biggest Rebuild, 10:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Peter Yaukey received his BA in biology from the University of Virginia in 1983, his MA in geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1987, and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1991. He came to UNO that same year. In 1997 Yaukey was promoted to Associate Professor. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, his research focused on the effects of urbanization on bird communities, including the use of urban forests fragments by nesting forest species, and the use of urban habitats by passage migrants. He also studied the effects of synoptic weather patterns on stopover by migrating birds. Since Katrina, Yaukey has focused his efforts on studying the impacts of the storm on bird species in the urban flood zone and the larger Gulf coast region. He developed a research initiative studying hurricane intensification, including its response to ocean tidal processes. Yaukey also began an annual curbside survey of housing recovery in the flood zone, and more recently of business recovery. He currently teaches a variety of courses including field research methods, meteorology, climatology, biogeography, and biogeography of birds.