Past SEJ Regional Events
Here's a sampling of past regional events.
|Researchers at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station explain to scientists and reporters how agriculture affects climate change and could mitigate its impact. Photo courtesy MSU.|
The Society of Environmental Journalists, Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, the Kellogg Biological Station's LTER and the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources recently organized a workshop for scientists and journalists to better communicate climate change information to the public. This is the third in a series of Translating Science/Telling Stories events; see June 9 and July 9-10, 2012 below.
A write-up of this extremely productive two-and-a-half day event is here.
As part of this National Science Foundation-funded effort, the Knight Center has produced a series of short videos. The first group is of scientists and journalists reflecting on their roles, challenges and interaction. The second group features research on climate change journalism. The third group features lectures on Great Lakes-oriented climate change science.
You can find the videos here.
Please feel free to use them in any outreach/educational capacity. If you do, it's helpful to us to know how they are used: email@example.com with cc to David Poulson, Associate Director, Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Michigan State University.
SEJ Pub Nights take place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as members are moved to get together,. 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. See past get-togethers: 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009.
June 11, 2013: The Mugshot Tavern on Bloor West near Keele on Tuesday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m. It's kitty corner from High Park.
Pub events are free, but space is limited, so please RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to get involved in the Toronto pub nights, either organizing, attending, lining up speakers or being a speaker? Contact SEJ member and freelance writer/editor Sharon Oosthoek.
Food + Agriculture Media Project (F+AMP) Explores Issues of Food Writing and Sustainability
April 12, 2013
Food issues with broader social implications — environment, equity, economics — were the focus of a one-day writers workshop held at Ecotrust in Portland, Oregon, on April 12, 2013. The Food + Agricultural Media Project (F+AMP) aims to provide food and agriculture reporters, bloggers and writers with new ways to craft stories that engage audiences through food coverage.
F+AMP, in partnership with the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and Ecotrust, featured keynote speaker Adriene Hill, reporter for American Public Media’s Marketplace. Hill kicked off the day with a discussion of how she integrates food and sustainability into her reporting for public radio. Breakout sessions included using food as a framework to report on national and local stories, reporting and writing opportunities in a shifting media landscape, and a case study exploring the complexity, controversy and economics of meat — from production and processing to sales.
"A Fierce Green Fire" Online Forum
February 1, 2013
SEJ and the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital invited SEJ members to an online event Feb 1, 2013. Members were able to preview beforehand "A Fierce Green Fire," a sweeping history of the environmental movement by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mark Kitchell, inspired by a book of the same name written by SEJ co-founder Phil Shabecoff, author, former environmental correspondent for the New York Times and founding publisher of Greenwire. Then, on the day of the forum, those signed up were able to dial in to the conference call.
- Listen to the audio recording of the conversation with Shabecoff and Kitchell.
- Read details about the event here.
The Year Ahead in Environment and Energy: Stories to Watch in 2013
January 25, 2013
A panel of veteran journalists, hosted by SEJ and the Wilson Center's Environmental Change & Security Program, offered their thoughts on what will be the biggest environment and energy stories in the U.S. and around the world on January 25th, 3-5 p.m. in Washington, DC. The event was also webcast live. Bloomberg BNA's Director of Environmental News John Sullivan kicked off the discussion with an overview of the key legislative, regulatory, and legal developments expected in 2013. Margie Kriz Hobson of E&E Publishing's EnergyWire moderated.
Your Work in Seven Words: Inaugural Gathering of SEJ NYC
November 28, 2012
This unofficial SEJ NYC group seeks to build and sustain the professional ties between environmental journalists and editors in all media, who live and/or work in the New York City metro area.
The group first met at 7:00 p.m. on November 28, 2012.
The challenge was: Come prepared to tell everyone about your work *in just seven words*.
Sign up for the group to be notified of future gatherings:
California's Cap-and-Trade Program — What Journalists Need to Know
October 29, 2012
The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalists and SEJ presented a free webinar on California’s greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program, which starts Nov. 14. Don’t miss this informative, hour-long webinar with University of California, Los Angeles economist Matthew Kahn. The archived webinar and PowerPoint presentation are available here, as well as handouts (under Additional Resources).
Beyond Seven Billion: Reporting on Population, Environment, and Security
October 9, 2012
From his research and travels to report "Beyond Seven Billion," a landmark five-part series published in the Los Angeles Times, reporter Kenneth R. Weiss shared his stories about the impact of population growth on natural resources, food supply, and conflict in Afghanistan, India, Kenya, China, and the Philippines — and the challenges of covering this complex topic. Sponsored by the Environmental Change and Security Program, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Africa Program, and the Asia Program in Washington, DC. Couldn't attend in person? The archived webcast is available here.
Translating Science/Telling Stories: “Agriculture, Water Quality & Changing the Climate Conversation”
July 9-10, 2012
Co-sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, with funding from the National Science Foundation
A Fellowship Opportunity for Journalists AND Scientists
Translating Science/Telling Stories: "Agriculture, Water Quality & Changing the Climate Conversation" took place July 9-10, 2012, at the Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, MI.
The scientific community has spoken loud and clear – anthropogenic climate change is here, it’s affecting our world and worse impacts are on the way. Across the globe, people grapple with climate change impacts and governments, municipalities and insurance companies scramble to prepare for sea-level rise, extreme rainfall, droughts and wildfire. Despite all of this, political and public concern has nearly evaporated.
What happened? How can this disconnect be explained? And how can journalists and scientists raise the level of discussion in this "age of information" without compromising their professional objectivity?
U.S. journalists and scientists who were awarded fellowships joined us at the Kellogg Biological Station for a two-day workshop exploring this issue. Participants went out in the field to hear about climate change and Great Lakes agriculture impacts, boarded boats to talk about the threat to inland waters and hunkered down with small groups of their scientific and journalistic colleagues to talk about the promises and pitfalls inherent in creating new ways of connecting with their intended audiences and getting climate change back on the radar.
FREE WEBINAR: Understanding the Body Burden: Using Human Testing in Environmental and Health Storytelling
June 19, 2012
Co-sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists and Reporting on Health
WHEN: June 19, 2012, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST (1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern)
WHERE: Your computer
It’s not easy for journalists to undertake testing on humans, nor should it be. But testing for the body burden — the human body’s levels of chemical pollutants that can cause cancer, birth defects and other problems — can add powerful context to health and environmental storytelling. In this hour-long webinar, you’ll get ideas and tips from two veteran environmental journalists, Douglas Fischer and Janet Wilson, who have used biomonitoring in their work.
Translating Science/Telling Stories: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Climate Change”
June 9, 2012
Co-sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, with funding from the National Science Foundation
A Fellowship Opportunity for Journalists AND Scientists
While communities across America grapple with climate change impacts and prepare for rising seas, intense storms, and record-setting droughts, civic concern and media coverage about climate change are on the decline.
The Translating Science/Telling Stories project brings scientists and journalists together to discuss ways to better help the public appreciate the risks and understand the choices they, their communities, and their governments face.
For the first event, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Climate Change,” journalists and scientists awarded fellowships came Saturday, June 9, 2012 to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, OH to hear about the latest in Great Lakes climate research, develop working relationships with colleagues and counterparts, and take a seat at the forefront of envisioning a new model of climate change communication.
The Questions that Should be Asked: Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources in the Presidential Race
April 16, 2012
Co-sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Law Institute
Although environmental, energy, and natural resource policies have seldom figured prominently in a presidential election, such policies have a direct effect on issues that do feature prominently in presidential elections. For example, energy policy alone affects public health, foreign policy, and the domestic economy. As a companion to ELI's Environmental Forum article which surveyed 12 major figures on what topics should be discussed in the presidential debates, five experts with broad policy experience were invited to discuss their answers to two key questions. First: "What should the presidential candidates discuss concerning the important issues of environment, energy, and natural resources facing the people of the United States?" Second: "What questions should be asked of candidates in the presidential debates that will help us learn how they will confront these issues?" Please note: this discussion was designed solely to frame the questions—not to answer them.
The event took place April 16, 2012, 5:30-7:00 p.m., in the Murrow Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.
- Dina Cappiello, National Environment Reporter, Associated Press (moderator)
- John Cruden, President, Environmental Law Institute
- Bob Deans, Associate Director of Communications, Natural Resources Defense Council
- E. Donald Elliott, Professor (Adjunct) of Law, Yale Law School
- Kenneth P. Green, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
- Jacqui Patterson, Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP
SEJ Pub Nights take place as members are moved to get together, usually in the upstairs bar at Harbord House 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. See upcoming dates. See 2011 speakers. See 2010 speakers. See 2009 speakers.
March 6, 2012: Members of SEJ and the Canadian Science Writers' Association held a pub night to chat about science and environmental issues from a journalistic point of view.
Access Denied: Science News and Government Transparency
October 3, 2011
Has the Obama administration lived up to its promise to make science more transparent and accessible to the public? An investigation in the current issue of Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) finds that despite President Obama’s early promise to create an open government, the nation’s science reporters feel there has been little to no progress since the Bush administration.
On Oct. 3, from 3 to 5 p.m., the National Press Club (529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C) hosted a panel of journalists and invited administration officials to critique what journalists and the government are (or aren’t) doing to change that. The event was also livestreamed.
Moderator: Seth Borenstein, Reporter, The Associated Press
- Curtis Brainard, CJR science editor
- Joseph Davis, Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ)
- Felice Freyer, Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ)
- Clothilde Le Coz, Reporters Without Borders energy and environment reporter
- Darren Samuelsohn, Politico’s senior energy and environment reporter
- Nancy Shute, National Association of Science Writers
Representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy were invited. None participated.
The panel discussion was co-sponsored by the National Press Club, CJR, SEJ, and Reporters Without Borders.
- Watch NPC's video of the event on YouTube (2:03:20).
- "Obama Administration not delivering on its promise of open government, journalists say," National Press Club, October 4, 2011, by John Hughes.
- "Government obstructing access to science data, panel says," News Media Update, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, October 4, 2011, by Kirsten Berg.
- "Science News and Government Transparency," October 4, 2011, Storified by Pia Christensen of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
- "An Empty Seat: Government fails to show for science news, transparency event," The Observatory, Columbia Journalism Review, October 12, 2011, by Curtis Brainard.
SEJ Pub Nights took place the first Tuesday of the month, September through April, usually in the upstairs bar at Harbord House in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Each month we invited a guest speaker for a brief, informal conversation about an area of interest. See 2010 speakers. See 2009 speakers.
September 6, 2011: Pete Wobschall, executive director of Hamilton-Wentworth Green Venture.
April 5, 2011: Jim Stanford, economist with the CAW and author of Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism.
March 5, 2011: Ravenna Alnuaimy-Barker, executive director of Sustain Ontario.
February 1, 2011: John Eyles, geography professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Prof. Eyles' research has included environment and health phenomena, and "the geography of everyday life."
Environment 101 for Freelancers
April 14, 2011
SEJ and the Professional Writers’ Association of Canada presented a panel at the University of Toronto, moderated by freelance journalist Saul Chernos. Experienced journalists from both the reporting and the editing sides of the business discussed strategies the country’s top environmentally-minded writers are using to tell and sell their stories. Panelists included Victoria Foote, director of communications for Ontario Nature; independent journalist Stephen Leahy; and Sharon Oosthoek, a Toronto-based freelance science and environmental journalist.
Oil Spill Film & Panel Discussion
University of California, Santa Barbara
January 28, 2011
The Society of Environmental Journalists, in conjunction with the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB and the Carsey-Wolf Center at UCSB, presented a public event:
"The Spills: Mixing Oil and Water," a public film screening and panel discussion on the evening of Friday, January 28, 2011, at the Pollock Theater, UC Santa Barbara.
Marking the 42nd anniversary of the Santa Barbara oil spill, leading members of the Society of Environmental Journalists joined scientists from UC Santa Barbara and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to discuss the societal and ecological impacts of major spills that have fouled the California, Alaska and Gulf coasts. Significant oil and gas reserves lie off U.S. coastlines, but tapping them means drilling deeper in colder, rougher waters. In that context, panelists reviewed the past and provided glimpses of the possible future.
The event opened with a screening of "The Spill," a joint investigation by FRONTLINE and ProPublica into the trail of problems — deadly accidents, disastrous spills, countless safety violations — that had long troubled oil giant BP prior to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. After the film, Bren School dean Steve Gaines and NBC Miami reporter Jeff Burnside co-moderated a panel discussion that included the following participants:
- Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica journalist and one of two journalists who reported for The Spill
- Robert Gramling, professor of sociology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette; author of Blowout in the Gulf: The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America
- David L. Valentine, professor of microbial geochemistry, UC Santa Barbara, who spent six weeks on the Gulf coast in the aftermath of the spill
- Bettina Boxall, environmental reporter for the Los Angeles Times
- Jim Detjen, Director, the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Michigan State University
SEJ Pub Nights took place the first Tuesday of every month, September through April, in the upstairs bar at Harbord House in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Each month we invited a guest speaker for a brief, informal conversation about an area of interest. See 2009 speakers.
December 7, 2010: Shelagh Grant, Trent University history professor and author of Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America.
November 2, 2010: Alanna Mitchell, long-time Globe science writer and winner of the Grantham Prize for her recent book, Sea Sick: The Hidden Crisis in the Global Ocean.
September and October, 2010: No guest. Informal gatherings.
April 6, 2010: Sarah Elton, Toronto journalist, CBC radio foodie and author of Locavore: From Farmers' Fields to Rooftop Gardens — How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat (HarperCollins, 2010).
March 2, 2010: Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.
February 2, 2010: Jamie Benidickson, University of Ottawa law professor and author of The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage (UBC Press, 2007).
Climate and Sustainability: Moving by Degrees
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Presented by Marketplace and The Gary Comer Global Agenda, The Kendeda Fund and the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Climate and Sustainability: Moving by Degrees was a national, interactive, day-long symposium that brought the nation's top scientists, policymakers and business leaders together with reporters from public radio and commercial stations from around the nation.
- Dr. Michael E. Mann, Pennsylvania State University
- Dr. Benjamin Santer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Review
- Andrew Revkin, award-winning New York Times Dot Earth blogger
- Joe Romm, Center for American Progress and ClimateProgress.org blogger
- Dr. Stephen Schneider, Stanford University
- Elizabeth Kolbert, award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker
This online event was aimed at bringing together journalists and the public online and at Southern California Public Radio's (SCPR) Crawford Family Forum to decipher fact from fiction, to learn how our scientific understanding has evolved, and to understand where politics, science and business agree and diverge on how to create a sustainable future. Watch archive video from the day-long symposium.
A public event co-sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists and Texas Tech University Institute of Environmental and Human Health.
Texas Tech University scientists and environmental journalists explored some of the daunting environmental challenges farmers in West Texas face on the evening of Friday, January 22, 2010, in the Texas Tech University's Hall of Nations, International Cultural Center, 601 Indiana Avenue, Lubbock, Texas.
Climate change impacts, water supply and quality, and pesticides/chemicals were among the topics discussed at the event.
Dallas Morning News reporter Randy Lee Loftis moderated the discussion.
Texas Tech University representatives on the panel:
- John Zak, Associate Dean of Research for Arts and Science
- John Burns, Dean of Agriculture
- Ron Kendall, Director and Chair of the Institute of Environmental and Human Health
Journalists on the panel:
- Rob Davis, Voice of San Diego
- Douglas Fischer, DailyClimate.org
- Cheryl Hogue, Chemical & Engineering News
Co-sponsored by Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars' Environmental Change and Security Program, Society of Environmental Journalists, and the International Reporting Project.
Dennis Dimick, executive editor of National Geographic Magazine; Emily Douglas, web editor of The Nation; and Andrew Revkin, environmental reporter with The New York Times, offer ideas and best practices for stories on population-climate links.
- Session information and video (1hr:54:27).
SEJ Pub Nights took place monthly at Harbord House, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Each month we invited a guest speaker for a brief, informal conversation about an area of interest.
December 1, 2009: Gideon Forman, executive director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. Gideon has a long history in the Ontario environmental movement, with some very notable work on getting municipalities to ban cosmetic pesticides.
November 3, 2009: Bill Kovarik, a Radford University journalism professor and SEJ board member. Kovarik is spending a year in London, where he's teaching Environmental Journalism in the graduate journalism program at the University of Western Ontario.
October 6, 2009: Thomas Pawlick. A veteran journalist and former Harrowsmith editor, Pawlick has won a National Magazine Award and three CSWA awards for his work. He discussed his new book, The War in the Country: How the Fight To Save Rural Life Will Shape Our Future.
September 1, 2009: Stephen Boles, founder of Kuzuka.com, a new company that is doing for the retail carbon credit market roughly what Expedia did for air travel. He's spent the last couple years plunging into the carbon markets and studying the standards. He's also a GIS expert whose other company primarily serves Canadian vineyards. Before that, he worked at the Institute for Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire, studying the effects of land use on greenhouse gas emissions.
August 4, 2009: No speaker. Participants relaxed and chatted about what we'd like to see happen in the next year or two.
May 5, 2009: Ravenna Barker, an urban agriculturalist with Foodshare Toronto.
April 7, 2009: Cara Sloat, a professional engineer and designer with Cobalt Engineering. Cara is a green building specialist whose project experience ranges from single off-grid houses to shopping centres and office towers. T'was a great night for those who write about real estate, environmental design or retail.
March 3, 2009: Jane Story, Manager, Policy & Communications, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. Hot on the heels of Ontario's Green Energy Act announcement comes an opportunity to explore the background informally with one of the proponents. Jane has been involved in environmental issues for many years, first as a reporter for NOW Magazine in the early 80's and more recently as communications officer for Greenpeace Canada and WWF Indochina. She also has extensive experience working with indigenous people in Canada, where she established a communication office for the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin, and overseas, working in Papua New Guinea, Lao, Vietnam, Cambodia, Palestine and the Solomon Islands, where she was employed by the United Nations Development Program. Jane earned her Hon. B.A. in English from the University of Guelph and studied photography at the Polytechnic of Central London (England).
Selected past regional events from 2008 and earlier are archived here, on SEJ's old site.