SEJ's 21st Annual Conference Speaker Information



Here's who's speaking at which sessions.


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Below are links to biographies of speakers for SEJ's 21st Annual Conference, October 19-23, 2011, in Miami, Florida, as well as the sessions they're participating in.
DRAFT: All Information Subject to Change



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Alphabetical Speaker List
(a work-in-progress)
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







Franklin Adams


John Adornato


Ashley Ahearn

  • Event: Saturday, Sustainable Chefs: Reducing the Footprint of Your Dinner Plate, 6:00 p.m.
  • SEJ board member Ashley Ahearn, before moving to Los Angeles for a fellowship with the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California, covered topics such as environmental health, marine sciences and fisheries management policy, carbon trading and climate change for Living on Earth on Public Radio International. She has completed fellowships at the Metcalf Institute, the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources and SoundVision Productions. She now freelances for various public radio programs including The California Report and The World and hosts "The Researcher's Perspective" — the podcast of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Ashley has lived and worked in Washington, the UK and Europe but is currently adjusting to life in L.A. In her spare time she likes to be outside, especially snowboarding, road biking and backpacking. She says backpacks produce perfectly-smooshed PB and J sandwiches.


Lad Akins


Andres Alfonso

  • Event: Saturday, Breakfast Breakout Session 1, Someone to Watch Over Us: Mapping Earth from Space, 7:30 a.m.
  • Andres Alfonso is the founder of Sequoia Space, a company focused on aerospace development in Colombia. It specializes in small satellites (pico and nano cube satellites). The company's development staff has worked in actual space missions that have been launched and operated successfully. They also distribute Cubesat Kit and Pumpkin systems to all of Latin America.


Stuart Appelbaum


Nathalie Applewhite


Dirk Asendorpf

  • Event: Friday, Breakfast Plenary, Communicating Science: Reporters Go Head to Head with Top Ocean Scientists, 7:00 a.m.
  • Dirk Asendorpf is a freelance journalist for the broadsheet weekly Die Zeit and public radio, based in Bremen, Germany. He regularly covers science, technology, environment, and development issues in Germany, Europe, and overseas. From 1985 to 1996, he worked as an editor with the national daily Die Tageszeitung — taz, Germany's only cooperative-owned newspaper. From 1996 to 1999, he reported from South Africa and wrote a thesis on the transition period after the end of apartheid for his doctorate in African studies. He lectures in journalism at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences and the International Institute for Journalism in Berlin.


Shahzeen Attari


Jerry Ault





Andrew Baker


Henry Barnet

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE NATION: Busting the Bad Guys: Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws, 2:00 p.m.
  • Henry E. Barnet has more than 22 years of law enforcement and investigative experience. He has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Florida International University and served as a homicide investigator with the Florida Marine Patrol and a special agent with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Law Enforcement. Until this year he was the director of the Florida DEP's division of law enforcement, overseeing environmental investigations, park police and emergency response, and thus served as the incident commander for Florida's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In July, he was named director of EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics, and Training.


Cynthia Barnett

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 3, Big Sugar, Big Cleanup, Big Lake: The Sugar Industry, the Everglades Cleanup and Lake Okeechobee, 7:00 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE GLOBE: Water, Water Everywhere..., 9:00 a.m.
  • Event: Sunday, Breakfast Plenary with the Authors, 8:30 a.m.
  • Cynthia Barnett, a newspaper and magazine journalist for 25 years, now finds herself writing books about water. She is the author of Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., named by the St. Petersburg Times as one of the top 10 books every Floridian should read. Her new book, Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis, calls for a national water ethic — in the same spirit that Aldo Leopold called for a land ethic sixty years ago. Barnett is long-time senior writer at Florida Trend magazine. She is the recipient of a Sigma Delta Chi prize for investigative magazine reporting; a gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards; and eight Green Eyeshades. She earned a bachelor's in journalism and master's in environmental history, both from the University of Florida. In 2004, she was awarded a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying U.S. water history.


Nancy Baron


Andrew Bartlett


Nancy Bazilchuk

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE OCEAN: The Day after Tomorrow: Changing Atlantic Ocean Currents and Future Climate, 2:00 p.m.
  • Nancy Bazilchuk is a freelance environmental and science writer based in Trondheim, Norway. Her work has appeared in, Audubon, New Scientist, Conservation, Environmental Health Perspectives and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Before moving to Norway, she worked for nearly 15 years as the science and environmental writer for the Burlington, VT Free Press. She was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 1996 and is currently at work on a book about the Atlantic Ocean and climate change. Her blog is at


Chris Bergh


Bruce Blumberg


Dee Boersma


Marcelo Bonta


Christine Boyle


Peter Bradford

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, Island Sun, Trashy Electricity and a Whole Lotta Atoms in Between, 9:00 a.m.
  • A former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and former chair of the New York and Maine utility regulatory commissions, Peter Bradford has taught at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and currently is an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School teaching "Nuclear Power and Public Policy." A member of the China Sustainable Energy Policy Council, he served on a recent panel evaluating the reliability of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Panel advising how best to replace the remaining Chernobyl nuclear plants in Ukraine, a panel on the opening of the Mochovce nuclear power plant in Slovakia, and the Keystone Center collaborative on nuclear power and climate change. Bradford is the author of Fragile Structures: A Story of Oil Refineries, National Securities and the Coast of Maine and many articles. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Yale Law School and is vice chair of the board of the Union of Concerned Scientists.


Connie Bransilver

  • Event: Thursday, Photography As Environmental Journalism, 9:00 p.m.
  • Internationally known nature photographer, artist, author and speaker Connie Bransilver has photographed on all seven continents. She brings images and inspirational prose to audiences seeking clarity, passion and purpose. Wild Love Affair: Essence of Florida’s Native Orchids and Florida’s Unsung Wilderness: The Swamps offer personal and spiritual explorations of wilderness along with sound scientific analysis. She is published widely in local, national and international books and magazines; has co-produced a Wild Chronicles television segment with National Geographic; and has appeared on numerous television shows in the US and abroad. Her fine art prints hang in institutions and private collections throughout the world, but above all, she captures the emotion of nature and brings it to viewers, readers and listeners.


David Bray


Eliot Brenner

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, Island Sun, Trashy Electricity and a Whole Lotta Atoms in Between, 9:00 a.m.
  • Eliot Brenner is a veteran government spokesman and journalist. After a career with United Press International covering Congress, aviation, the Pentagon and First Gulf War, he joined government as a speechwriter first to then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and then two Clinton Administration Treasury Secretaries. His first public affairs position was spokesman for the FAA during a period of high profile plane crashes. After a stint with Boeing, he joined the NRC in 2004 as the NRC’s spokesman and directed the media response to the Fukushima accident.


Kenneth Broad


Joe Browder

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 6, A Swamp Slog with Clyde Butcher, 8:30 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Lunch Breakout Session 1, Everglades Around the Globe, 12:15 p.m.
  • Joe Browder was a news reporter and producer for Miami's NBC-TV affiliate in 1961 when he became an Audubon volunteer defending Biscayne Bay and the Everglades, then left journalism to work full time as an environmental activist, first for Audubon in Miami, then in Washington DC as the first Conservation Director of Friends of the Earth. He served in the Carter Administration for four years after coordinating environmental/energy transition planning for President Carter's 1976 campaign; since 1981 has been an environmental consultant in Washington, DC, and was national chair of the Everglades Coalition for two years in the 1990s. Joe has been recognized by the National Park Service as the citizen father of Big Cypress National Preserve and a founder of Biscayne National Park. A recent biography of Everglades icon Marjory Stoneman Douglas describes Joe Browder as equal in importance to the protection of the Everglades as the founders of Everglades National Park.


Steven Brown

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE NATION: Pollution Politics: Conservatives Attack Conservation, GOP Looks To Gouge Environmental Budgets, 11:00 a.m.
  • R. Steven Brown is the executive director of The Environmental Council of the States. He joined ECOS in September 1996, after having assisted in ECOS' creation in 1993. He has worked on environmental protection since graduating from the University of Kentucky with an MS in Zoology and an MA in English in 1976. From 1985 to 1996 he was the director of The Council of State Governments' environmental policy center, where he conducted numerous environmental and technical policy studies on state-federal issues. He worked for Kentucky's Division of Air and the Division of Permits; later he spent four years with private engineering firms. A native Kentuckian, he is the author of numerous articles, monographs, and books on environment and technology.


Emilio Bruna


Michael Brune


Christopher Buerner


Jeff Burnside

  • Event: Saturday, Sustainable Chefs: Reducing the Footprint of Your Dinner Plate, 6:00 p.m.
  • Event: Saturday, A Night to Remember: SEJ’s Annual Awards Ceremony, 8:30 p.m.
  • Jeff Burnside, SEJ board member and co-chair of SEJ's 2011 annual conference in Miami, has been in the news business for more than 20 years working as a reporter, anchor, news manager and producer in cities such as Seattle, Boston and now Miami where he is part of the highly regarded WTVJ Special Projects Unit. In addition to environmental reporting, Jeff reports investigative, long-format stories, and periodically covers daily news. He's won more than 20 journalism awards — for television and newspaper reporting and photography — including several regional Emmys. Among his environmental stories, Jeff broke the story regarding harm to marine mammals from low frequency active Navy sonar, documented concerns over rock mining threats to Miami-Dade wellheads where one million people get their drinking water, has traveled extensively to cover the decline of the world's coral reefs, and ventured to the bottom of the ocean aboard a scientific submersible during bioprospecting and chronicling the damage from bottom trawling. His general assignments have ranged from interviewing presidents, going inside to investigate violent white extremists, exposing dangerous religious cults, documenting serious lapses in Florida's drivers' licensing, videotaping bribes, to going undercover to chronicle the secret pipeline from puppy mills to pet stores. His assignments have taken him to Indonesia, Central America, throughout the Caribbean and every part of America. Jeff is also a frequent invited speaker and panelist on environmental journalism and journalism ethics. In addition, he earned a fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Environmental Reporting (University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography) and a fellowship at the Western Knight Center for Specialized Reporting in political coverage (University of Southern California Annenberg School). He is a long-time member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Society of Environmental Journalists. Jeff was born and raised in Seattle, Washington where he grew a fondness for the outdoors, including boating, water and snow skiing, scuba diving and alpine hiking — reaching the summit of Mount Rainier. He's married and lives in Miami Shores, Florida. Jeff is also active in volunteering for community non-profit organizations. He graduated from Washington State University's Edward R. Murrow School of Communications.


Clyde Butcher





Billy Causey


Lynne Cherry

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, POLLUTION AND SOLUTIONS: Kids These Days… Looking Out for Their Own Future, 9:00 a.m.
  • Lynne Cherry is a filmmaker and the author/illustrator of over 30 award-winning, environmental children’s books including The Greak Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild. Her Young Voices on Climate Change films feature youth tackling climate change. The films have been screened at many museums and science centers including the American Museum of Natural History, and at film festivals and conferences. Audubon, Project GLOBE and Earth Force use Lynne’s films in Energy Audit workshops. Lynne has an MA in History from Yale. She was a Metcalf and a Brandwein fellow, artist-in-residence at Princeton, the Smithsonian and Cornell, and received science writing fellowships from the Marine Biological Lab and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Erich Christian


Kevin Corke

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, POLLUTION AND SOLUTIONS: Untold Environmental Success Stories in Industry and Government, 11:00 a.m.
  • Kevin Corke joined NBC Miami in January 2010 as primary anchor alongside Jackie Nespral. Corke has been with NBC News since 2004, previously serving as a White House Correspondent based in Washington D.C. He anchored MSNBC's 'Super Tuesday' political coverage and was a member of NBC’s Decision 2004 and 2008 coverage teams. Additionally Corke has reported from the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and the U.S. Supreme Court. Before coming to NBC, Corke spent more than five years at the all-sport network ESPN. Previously Corke spent nearly ten years as an anchor/reporter for KUSA-TV (NBC, Denver) anchoring sports during morning and weekend broadcasts. Corke is a graduate of Harvard University with a Master's degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he received the Littauer Fellow citation for academic excellence, leadership and commitment to work in the public interest. Corke also holds Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Xavier Cortada


Céline Cousteau


Fabien Cousteau


Jean-Michel Cousteau


Maddi Cowen and Larissa Weinstein

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, POLLUTION AND SOLUTIONS: Kids These Days… Looking Out for Their Own Future, 9:00 a.m.
  • Maddi Cowen and Larissa Weinstein are seniors in the International Baccalaureate program at Coral Gables Senior High in Coral Gables, FL. They are co-presidents of their school’s environmental and humanitarian club, Gables Earth. They started out with green efforts at their middle school and continued in high school, where Gables Earth has expanded recycling to most of the school, planted an organic garden used by the culinary department, planted a butterfly garden, participated in beach cleanups, and more. Maddi and Larissa starred in Lynne Cherry’s short film “Dreaming in Green” in February of 2010, as part of Young Voices on Climate Change.


Walter Cruickshank


Steve Curwood





Geoffrey Dabelko


Reginald Dale


Margaret Davidson


Jackleen de La Harpe

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE GLOBE: Plate-centric America: The Bottom Line is Social Good, 11:00 a.m.
  • Jackleen de La Harpe, a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon is the former founding executive director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting (1998-2006), a nonprofit that provides fellowships and workshop training for journalists to better communicate science to the public. She developed the Grantham Prize for Environmental Reporting, the largest prize for environmental reporting in the U.S. While completing her MA at Reed College (2011), she worked as a nonprofit consultant specializing in sustainable agriculture and social justice projects. de La Harpe’s most recent work has appeared in Indian Country Today, The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media, The Boston Globe and She earned a BA in journalism and environmental sciences from Western Washington University.


Scott Dodd

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT: Freelance Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Scott Dodd is the editor of He started his career in the newspaper business, where he covered everything from plane crashes to political scandals and banking mergers to the Super Bowl. He was part of the Knight Ridder team that helped the Sun Herald win a 2005 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina's destruction on the Gulf Coast. In 2006 he left the newsroom for the classroom and a science journalism fellowship at Columbia University, where he is now an adjunct professor. He joined the staff of OnEarth magazine in 2009 and led to its first Online Journalism Award nomination this year, for general excellence.





Sylvia Earle

  • Event: Friday, Special Newsmakers Forum, 3:30 p.m.
  • Sylvia A. Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer, explorer-in-residence of the National Geographic Society, formerly chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), leader of the NGS Sustainable Seas Expeditions, council chair for the Harte Research Institute, founder of Mission Blue and the SEAlliance. Founder of three companies, she has decades of service on various corporate and non-profit boards. A graduate of St. Petersburg College and Florida State University, she holds an MA and PhD from Duke University and 20 honorary doctorates. Named as Time Magazine’s first Hero for the Planet, Living Legend by the Library of Congress, and 2009 TED Prize winner, she has authored 180 publications, led more than 100 expeditions with 7000 hours of diving, lectured in more than 70 countries, and has more than 100 national and international awards including the 2011 Royal Geographical Society’s Patrons Medal. More.


Paola Elorza


Kerry Emanuel


Shannon Estenoz





Dan Fagin

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE CRAFT: DocumentCloud and Google Ocean: Two for Your New EJ Toolbox, 10:45 a.m.
  • Dan Fagin is an associate professor of journalism at New York University and the director of the NYU Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program, a premier science journalism training program. Twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize during a fourteen-year stint as the environmental reporter at Newsday, Fagin won the two best-known science journalism prizes in the United States, from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Association of Science Writers, for stories about environmental epidemiology. The co-author of an award-winning investigative book, Toxic Deception, Fagin is completing a second book, Toms River. To be published by Random House, Toms River is about the history of environmental cancer research, the current science of gene-environment interaction in cancer, and the half-century saga of the Toms River, New Jersey, childhood cancer cluster. His writing appears in Scientific American, New Scientist and other publications. He is also a proud past president and former board member of SEJ.


James Fahn


Peter Fairley

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE EXTRAS: Let the Sunshine In... Gainesville’s Remarkable Energy Plan, 10:45 a.m.
  • Peter Fairley, SEJ's first vice president and programs chair, is a ground-breaking energy and technology journalist based in Victoria, British Columbia. He is a contributing writer with Technology Review magazine, contributing editor with Spectrum, and author of the webjournal Carbon-Nation, covering developments in renewable energy, nuclear power, the sustainable use of fossil fuels and clean transportation technologies. An experienced foreign correspondent, Fairley has worked on assignment on four continents, from Bolivia to China and throughout Europe. Other publications where Peter's byline can be found include The Sunday Times of London, Canadian Business, Architectural Record and Popular Mechanics. Prior to freelancing Fairley served as Washington bureau chief and senior managing editor for Chemical Week, chronicling the global chemical industry's collision with the environment and its struggle to change. Fairley holds a master's degree from NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and a B.Sc. in molecular biology from McGill University.


Patrick Farrell


Douglas Fischer

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT: Freelance Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Douglas Fischer, an SEJ board member, has spent 16 years covering subjects ranging from climate science to pesticides to energy development. Since 2008, he has served as editor of, a non-partisan website compiling mainstream news and current science on climate change. He is also a senior member of the editorial team at Environmental Health Sciences, the non-profit publisher of Daily Climate. Before switching to the Web, Fischer spent eight years covering the environment for the Oakland Tribune and a number of San Francisco Bay area papers. Prior to that he was with the Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner and Newsweek. Fischer's articles have won numerous awards, including an Award of Merit from the Grantham Prize, the world's largest journalism prize. Data from one of his investigations, of a typical family's chemical body burden, was published in a peer-reviewed article in a leading public health journal in 2006, and he has lectured frequently on environmental health and journalism in conferences, seminars and classrooms across the country. Fischer has a degree in philosophy from Columbia University.


Michael Fishbach


Kirk Fordham

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, WILDLIFE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: The World's Most Aggressive Restoration Project: The Everglades, 9:00 a.m.
  • Kirk Fordham is a veteran political operative, having worked on numerous House and Senate campaigns. He currently serves as chief executive officer of the Everglades Foundation. Previously, Fordham worked as head of Rock Creek Strategies, his own public affairs and government relations firm. For 14 years, he served as a chief of staff and senior legislative staffer on Capitol Hill for three Members of Congress. In 2004, he was the architect of the successful fundraising effort for then-HUD Secretary Mel Martinez's winning Senate campaign. A graduate of the University of Maryland-College Park, Fordham is a native of Rochester, New York, and now lives in Miami.


Joshua Freed


Sarah Frias-Torres





Steven Gaines

  • Event: Friday, Opening Plenary, Fish Fight, 9:00 a.m.
  • Steven Gaines is dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. He is a marine ecologist who seeks conservation solutions by building better pipelines between innovations in ocean science and effective marine policy and management. He has nearly 150 scientific publications, including 4 books. His scientific work has made extensive contributions to the design of marine reserve networks, our understanding of how climate change impacts ocean ecosystems, and more sustainable fisheries management using market-based reforms.


Nancy Gassman

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE OCEAN: The Day after Tomorrow: Changing Atlantic Ocean Currents and Future Climate, 2:00 p.m.
  • Dr. Nancy J. Gassman received her Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of Miami. Her post-doctoral work focused on studying human impacts on coastal ecosystems.  Gassman started her 15 years in public service as Water Resources Manager, guiding the early development of Broward County’s Integrated Water Resources Plan. She was promoted to Director of Environmental Monitoring where she played a critical role in the design and construction of the Environmental Monitoring Facility, a state-of-the-art environmental chemistry laboratory built to LEED standards. Since her appointment as the Natural Resources Administrator in January 2009, Gassman's main focus has been supporting Broward County’s Climate Change Task Force, aiding in the development and implementation of Broward’s Climate Change Action Plan and was recently put in charge of Broward’s new Energy and Sustainability Program. She has been a major contributor to developing technical tools for the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.


George Geiger


Paul Gilman


Peter Gleick


Rebecca Goldburg

  • Event: Friday, Breakfast Plenary, Communicating Science: Reporters Go Head to Head with Top Ocean Scientists, 7:00 a.m.
  • Rebecca Goldburg is the director of the Ocean Science Division at the Pew Environment Group. Before joining Pew in October 2008, she was a senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. One of her major areas of focus was scientific and public policy issues concerning fish farming, especially issues involving the massive use of wild-caught fish in feed for farmed fish. Goldburg served on the Marine Aquaculture Task Force, established by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and The Pew Charitable Trusts, which released recommendations concerning United States’ aquaculture policy in January 2007. Goldburg has a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Princeton University and a master’s degree in statistics, Ph.D. degree in ecology and behavioral biology, and an honorary Doctorate of Laws, all from the University of Minnesota.


David Goldston


Amy Gorelick

  • Event: Sunday, Book Author Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Amy Gorelick is the editor-in-chief at the University Press of Florida. Her career at the press — and in publishing — began 13 years ago, when she started work as an editorial assistant, and subsequently became an acquisitions editor, before working her way into management. She has been acquiring books for over a decade in several scholarly areas, including Middle East studies, Latin American studies, and literary criticism. Since becoming editor-in-chief, she has also worked on books in a number of trade areas, including aerospace studies, Florida culture, and biography.


Richard Gragg


Jack Grobe

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, Island Sun, Trashy Electricity and a Whole Lotta Atoms in Between, 9:00 a.m.
  • Jack Grobe is an internationally recognized expert with over 33 years in nuclear safety, 31 of them at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He has been responsible for overseeing the multi-year recovery of a number of nuclear plants in extended shutdown due to safety issues. He has worked on international issues through NRC membership in the IAEA and the Convention of Nuclear Safety, and most recently served as a member of the NRC’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Near Term Task Force that issued recommendations on enhancing safety at U.S. plants. He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.


Michael Grunwald


David Guest





Neil Hammerschlag


Michel Handgraaf


Barry Heimlich


Lisa Heinzerling


David Helvarg

  • Event: Sunday, Breakfast Plenary with the Authors, 8:30 a.m.
  • David Helvarg is an author and president of the Blue Frontier Campaign. His books are: The War Against the Greens, Blue Frontier, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean, Rescue Warriors, and Saved by the Sea. He is editor of the Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide, organizer of several "Blue Vision" Summits and the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards, and winner of the 2007 Herman Melville Literary Award. Helvarg worked as a war correspondent in Northern Ireland and Central America, covered a range of issues including military science and AIDS, and reported from every continent including Antarctica. As an award-winning reporter, 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, Smithsonian, Popular Science, Sierra, and Parade. He's done radio work for Marketplace, AP radio, and Pacifica. He has led workshops for journalists in Poland, Turkey, Tunisia, Slovakia and Washington DC.


Tom Henry

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, Island Sun, Trashy Electricity and a Whole Lotta Atoms in Between, 9:00 a.m.
  • Tom Henry, an SEJ board member, has been a journalist for 29 years. He created The (Toledo) Blade's environment beat when he was hired by that newspaper in 1993. Tom began his career in 1981 at The Bay City Times in northern Michigan. Later, he went to The Tampa Tribune, where he tracked manatees from the air with U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials (as well as some alligators by airboat).Tom has made multiple trips out on Lake Erie with Ohio Sea Grant and other researchers. He has won multiple awards, as well as a two-week Vermont Law School fellowship for a class on nuclear power policy in 2006. He began writing a column about the environment for The Blade's Sunday news analysis section in 2007, in addition to his ongoing coverage of that subject. He has spoken at national conferences and at major universities about the Great Lakes and energy issues, his two favorite environmental topics. In 2008, he spent 10 days in Greenland researching a four-day series on climate change that was recognized by The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media, the Knight Science Journalism Tracker and Columbia Journalism Review. Tom has contributed chapters to two books (one on Florida rivers and the other on nuclear power) and essays for scholarly magazines such as Harvard University's Nieman Reports and Michigan State University's EJ magazine. "Why I do what I do," Great Lakes Echo, Nov. 3, 2010.


Carl Hiaasen


Amanda Hickman

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE CRAFT: DocumentCloud and Google Ocean: Two for Your New EJ Toolbox, 10:45 a.m.
  • Program director Amanda Hickman joined DocumentCloud from Gotham Gazette where, as the Director of Technology, she managed development of a series of games about public policy issues, built a pretty cool database of candidates for local office and shared an ONA award for General Excellence with her colleagues there. Prior to joining Gotham Gazette, she worked as a Circuit Rider, providing technology assistance and training to low-income grassroots groups in the U.S. working on anti-poverty issues and as a consultant to foundations looking for ways to support their grantees’ use of technology in organizing work. She taught an undergraduate course at NYU’s Gallatin School on using the Internet as an organizing tool.


Margaret Hiza Redsteer


Anthony Hodge


Gregor Hodgson


Don Hopey

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 5, Gone Fishing: Sportfishing, Tourism and the Challenges of Protecting Fish Stocks, 8:00 a.m.
  • Don Hopey, an SEJ board member, has covered the environment for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since 1992. He has written series about an 80-mile canoe trip through the Wild & Scenic sections of the Allegheny River, the "Wise Use" movement in Pennsylvania and problems with the nation's hazardous waste incinerators. He participated in an end-to-end hike of the Appalachian Trail by five eastern newspapers in 1995, hiking more than 500 miles from Virginia through Pennsylvania. Reports on the hike were reprinted in a book, An Appalachian Adventure. He is co-author of Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Mid-Atlantic States, one of five guide books in a series that highlights the trail's social and natural history. He teaches an environmental issues and policy class at the University of Pittsburgh.





Sarah James


Jon Jarvis


David Jenkins


Peter Jenkins


Susan Jewell

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, WILDLIFE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: Invasive Species: Pets or Pests — Can We Keep Our Critters Contained? 10:45 a.m.
  • Susan D. Jewell is the author of Exploring Wild South Florida: A Guide to Finding the Natural Areas and Wildlife (the 4th edition just released in September 2011); Exploring Wild Central Florida; and Gators, Gourdheads, and Pufflings: A Biologist Slogs, Climbs, and Wings Her Way to Save Wildlife. She contributed to the anthology The Book of the Everglades and has published technical and popular articles on wildlife and the environment. Jewell is an invasive species biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Arlington, VA, headquarters. She spent 12 years as a biologist in south Florida — with the Fish and Wildlife Service at A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, with the National Park Service at Everglades National Park, and with the National Audubon Society all over the Everglades.


Robert Johnson


Hardy Jones





Larry Kahn


Igor Kamenkovich


Peter Kelley

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Energy Subsidies: Where’s the Money Going? 10:45 a.m.
  • Peter L. Kelley leads strategic communications and a public affairs staff of eight for the American Wind Energy Association, the trade association that represents 2,500 companies in all aspects of the U.S. wind energy industry. He previously ran a PR firm, RenewComm, LLC, that provided communications services to clean energy clients such as Abengoa Solar, Rocky Mountain Institute, the U.N. Foundation's Energy Future Coalition, and advanced biofuels companies. Peter has been the top communications staff member for four national environmental groups, after a career as a newspaper reporter for the Washington bureau of Newhouse Newspapers, the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, and a chain of weeklies in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Peter was a communications coach to the University of Maryland Solar Decathlon teams that won the communications category in 2007, and the overall competition in 2011. He holds a B.A. in Government with a minor in Economics from Harvard University.


Rebecca (Becky) Kessler


Eric Kiefer

  • Event: Sunday-Wednesday, Post-Conference Tour 1, Unlocking the Florida Keys: Development, Coral Reefs and Marine Research in Paradise
  • Eric Kiefer graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Arriving in Florida, Kiefer taught Biology at a high school in Newberry, Florida before joining the Florida Park Service. He began his state park career as a park ranger at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park 17 years ago. His career progressed as he became the assistant park manager of Collier-Seminole State Park, then manager of Grayton Beach, Camp Helen, Deer Lake and Eden Gardens state parks in the Florida panhandle and manager at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo. Kiefer then served as the assistant bureau chief of the Florida Park Service District One Administration, assisting to oversee 34 state parks from Pensacola to Tallahassee, before becoming manager at Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key.


Dan Kimball


Michael Kodas


Bill Kovarik

  • Event: Sunday, Book Author Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Bill Kovarik is a journalist, historian and professor of Communication at Radford University in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern Virginia. He has worked with wire services, daily newspapers, national news magazines, environmental publications and new media projects and has served on the board of the Society of Environmental Journalists. His 2011 book, Revolutions in Communication, spans six centuries of media history from Gutenberg to Wikileaks.


Robert Kunzig

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT: Freelance Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Robert Kunzig has been a science journalist for 30 years, including four years as an editor at Scientific American and 15 at Discover Magazine, where he worked as news editor, executive editor, and finally European correspondent, based in France. His writing covered the gamut of scientific subjects and won awards from the American Association for the Advance of Science and the American Geophysical Union. He now focuses on environmental issues as the senior environment editor at National Geographic Magazine. “Scraping Bottom,” a 2009 feature on the Canadian oil sands, was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Kunzig has also written two books, Fixing Climate (with Wallace Broecker) and Mapping the Deep, a book about oceanography, which won the Aventis/Royal Society prize as science book of the year in 2000.





Sharlene Leurig


Carl Lewis

  • Event: Sunday, Breakfast, Welcome and Orientation, 8:00 a.m.
  • Carl E. Lewis, Ph.D, came to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in 2000 as a postdoctoral research fellow, rising through the ranks in just eight years to become director of the garden. His rise coincided with an exciting time at Fairchild as the institution expanded its research capabilities and became a major contributor to global plant conservation. Initially interested in use of DNA techniques to study the taxonomy and evolutionary biology of palms, Lewis went on to become head scientist for Fairchild's living plant collection and acting director of horticulture before being selected as director. Major improvements in facilities have taken place under his supervision.


Jonathan Lewis


David Lochbaum


Jane Lubchenco

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 1, Dive on a Reef, Visit an Undersea Lab, 6:30 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Breakfast Plenary, Communicating Science: Reporters Go Head to Head with Top Ocean Scientists, 7:00 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Opening Plenary, Fish Fight, 9:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Jane Lubchenco has been the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of NOAA since 2009. Nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his ‘Science Team,’ she is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist by training, with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being. She received her B.A. in Biology from Colorado College, her M.S. in Zoology from the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in Ecology from Harvard University. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard University (1975-1977) and continued at Oregon State University (1977-2009) until her appointment as NOAA Administrator.


Abrahm Lustgarten





Douglas Mader

  • Event: Sunday-Wednesday, Post-Conference Tour 1, Unlocking the Florida Keys: Development, Coral Reefs and Marine Research in Paradise
  • Douglas Mader, widely considered an expert on exotic animal species, co-owns the Marathon Veterinary Hospital and lives on Big Pine Key. He's the consulting veterinarian for the Marathon Turtle Hospital, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office animal farm on Stock Island, the Key West Aquarium and Theater of the Sea, a dolphin facility in Islamorada. Mader graduated from the University of California-Davis in 1986 and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and immediate past president of the North American Veterinary Conference. Mader is an internationally acclaimed lecturer and on the review boards of several scientific journals, and has published numerous articles in scientific and veterinary journals.


Ron Magill

  • Event: Wednesday, The New Communicators, 9:00 p.m.
  • Ron Magill has worked with wildlife for over 30 years and has had the privilege of having "hands-on" experience with a tremendous variety of animals. As Zoo Miami’s "Goodwill Ambassador," he has made frequent television appearances on many programs including "National Geographic Explorer," the "Today Show," "The Late Show with David Letterman," "CBS’ The Early Show," "Dateline" and "CNN." Ron is also a regular guest on several Spanish language television programs including international hits "Sabado Gigante" and "Despierta America." In addition, he has written and produced many wildlife articles and award-winning photographs that have appeared in publications and galleries around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout Africa, India and Tropical America while developing and directing award-winning conservation projects and documentaries focusing on the wildlife of those regions.


Chris Mann


Alex Marion


Frank Mazzotti

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, WILDLIFE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: Florida's Iconic Mega-Fauna, 2:00 p.m.
  • Dr. Frank J. Mazzotti, an associate professor at the University of Florida, has over 30 years experience researching and teaching issues relating to the ecology of South Florida. A major focus of Mazzotti’s research and education programs has been evaluating effects of human activities on wildlife and their habitats. In addition to crocodilian research, monitoring, and modeling, recent projects have integrated wildlife sampling, vegetation sampling, and GIS based species habitat modeling to assess effects of human activities on ecosystem integrity and to form the basis for management decisions. Current projects focus on developing long term, integrated, research, monitoring, and education programs to support ecosystem restoration and management efforts in South Florida and the Caribbean.


Robert McClure

  • Event: Sunday, Breakfast Plenary with the Authors, 8:30 a.m.
  • SEJ board member Robert McClure’s midlife crises both had to do with environmental journalism. After more than a decade on the environment beat in South Florida, with a one-year detour to be a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan, and approaching age 40, he determined he should move West to cover the really big environmental stories. He spent his second weekend as a resident of Washington, his 40th birthday, camping at Mount Adams. Everything went swimmingly at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where he produced five major projects, until the folks at the Hearst Corporation in New York City noticed that the paper hadn’t made money in years, promptly showing 90 percent of the staff to the door to go online-only. How would McClure continue his work? He did something that could easily be considered crazy or stupid, but which he finds fun: He co-founded InvestigateWest, a non-profit Seattle-based news agency focused on the environment, public health and social issues.


Laurence McCook

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE OCEAN: An Alarming Update: Coral Reefs and Ocean Acidification, 9:00 a.m.
  • Laurence McCook manages ecosystem health and resilience for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and has been responsible for the strategic coordination of the scientific information needed to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Laurence has extensive scientific experience, including the ecological processes underlying coral reef resilience and degradation and the effects of marine reserve networks. He has strong interests in the application of science to environmental management, including public perceptions of scientific uncertainty, burden of proof, shifting baselines, and the interface between environmental and economic values. He has a Ph.D. in marine ecology from Dalhousie University, in Canada. In 2005, Laurence was awarded an international Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, focused on the resilience of coral reefs under climate change, and has recently run a series of workshops on coral reef management for reef managers and communities across Indonesia.


Mike McKenna


Stephanie McMillan

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT: A Storytelling Playshop: Can the Environment Be Funny? 2:00 p.m.
  • Stephanie McMillan has been a political cartoonist since 1992. She self-syndicates "Code Green," a weekly editorial cartoon focused on the environmental emergency, and creates the comic strip "Minimum Security" five days a week for Universal Uclick. Both can be seen on her website. Her award-winning cartoons have appeared in hundreds of publications worldwide including the Los Angeles Times, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Daily Beast, Yes! magazine, Funny Times, Amarillo Globe-News, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She has three books: a comic strip collection, Attitude Presents Minimum Security (NBM, 2005); a graphic novel with writer Derrick Jensen, As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial (Seven Stories Press, 2007); and a children’s book with writer Derrick Jensen, Mischief in the Forest (PM Press, 2010). Her work is also included in many textbooks and anthologies.


Marcia McNutt


Ayana Meade


Christopher Meinen


Gonzalo Merediz


Erik Milito


David Miller

  • Event: Sunday, Book Author Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • David Miller is the publisher of Island Press. Over the course of his more than thirty years in the industry, he has published numerous New York Times bestsellers, three National Book Award finalists, and such noted authors as Richard Feynman, John Holland, and Sir Martin Rees. David has served on the Executive Board of both the Trade Division and the International Division of the Association of American Publishers and is a long-standing member of the faculty of the Columbia Publishing Course.


Richie Moretti

  • Event: Sunday-Wednesday, Post-Conference Tour 1, Unlocking the Florida Keys: Development, Coral Reefs and Marine Research in Paradise
  • Richie Moretti, a New Jersey native, moved to Winter Park, Fla., in 1963 and opened an automotive garage that became the largest independent Volkswagen facility in the United States, employing more than 120 people. He moved to Marathon in the Florida Keys in 1983, two years after buying the Hidden Harbor Motel in Marathon. In 1986, he received a state permit to rehabilitate injured or sick sea turtles in the motel's Gulf of Mexico saltwater swimming pool, and opened the adjacent Turtle Hospital in 1992. He's directed it ever since, and it's been a primary site for researching fibropapilloma, a disease specific to sea turtles that causes tumors and apparently is linked to a herpes virus. He splits his time between Marathon and Key West.


Anne Morkill

  • Event: Sunday-Wednesday, Post-Conference Tour 1, Unlocking the Florida Keys: Development, Coral Reefs and Marine Research in Paradise
  • Anne Morkill manages the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges comprising the National Key Deer, Great White Heron, Key West and Crocodile Lake national wildlife refuges. The refuges — a combined 23,000 acres of land and 349,000 acres of open water — support ecosystems and habitats that sustain a wide variety of plants and animals, including some not found anywhere else on Earth. She's originally from Miami and has a master's in zoology from the University of Wyoming. She started her career in wildlife management with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in 1986, and joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1990. She lives on Big Pine Key. She took over the Keys refuges in 2006.


Ted Morton


Peter Mumby





Melodie Naja

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 3, Big Sugar, Big Cleanup, Big Lake: The Sugar Industry, the Everglades Cleanup and Lake Okeechobee, 7:00 a.m.
  • G. Melodie Naja is the Everglades Foundation's water quality scientist. Prior to joining the Foundation, Naja, a former resident of Montreal, Canada and graduate of University Henry Poincar in Nancy, France, was a research officer at the National Research Council of Canada and visiting professor at McGill University in Montreal. She holds a bachelor's degree in physical chemistry, a master's degree in molecular and physical chemistry and her doctorate in environmental physical chemistry and chemical engineering, all from the University Henry Poincar. Naja has conducted research as a consultant for government institutions, non-governmental organizations and the corporate sector.


Talli Nauman


Ken Nedimyer


Valerie Nelson


Laurel Neme

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE NATION: Busting the Bad Guys: Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws, 2:00 p.m.
  • Laurel Neme has camped in the Kalahari, investigated walrus carcasses on Alaska's Bering Sea beaches, and gotten lost in the Amazon jungle with the Brazilian Federal Police. She is the author of Animal Investigators: How the World's First Wildlife Forensics Lab is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species. She's also host of "The WildLife" weekly radio show and is a regular contributor to and She reports for Earth Negotiations Bulletin, where she covers the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Perhaps because she holds a master's degree in public policy from the University of Michigan and a PhD in public and international affairs from Princeton University, she has a special place in her heart for wolverines and tigers.


Jaimy Norris

  • Event: Saturday, Sustainable Chefs: Reducing the Footprint of Your Dinner Plate, 6:00 p.m.
  • Jaimy Norris joined Ocean Conservancy in June 2010 as a sustainable seafood specialist to lead our work in harnessing the power of the seafood marketplace to improve sustainability practices in Gulf of Mexico and other domestic fisheries and best respond to the ongoing impacts of the BP oil spill disaster. Jaimy has a B.S. in marketing along with nine years experience as a seafood buyer, most recently with Sam’s Club. While at Sam’s, Jaimy worked with various NGOs including World Wildlife Fund and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership on sustainability initiatives. Jaimy is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.





Ric O'Barry


Ari Odzer


Sharon Oosthoek

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT: Freelance Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Sharon Oosthoek, an SEJ board member, is a Toronto-based freelance science and environment journalist. Her work has appeared in New Scientist, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Geographic,, Today’s Parent, Canadian Family, ON Nature and Canadian Wildlife. Sharon has more than 20 years' experience working for daily newspapers, magazines and online news services. Before becoming a freelancer in 2002, she was a reporter for The Hamilton Spectator for 10 years covering social trends, education and crime. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Oosthoek holds a bachelor's degree in political science. Her journalism degree is from Ryerson University. She has twice won both Science in Society Journalism Awards from the Canadian Science Writers' Association and the Western Ontario Newspaper Awards. Oosthoek has also taught corporate communications students at Toronto's Centennial College how to write.





Don Parrish

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE NATION: Clean Water Act: Who’s in Charge? 9:00 a.m.
  • Don Parrish is the senior director, Regulatory Relations, for the American Farm Bureau Federation's Public Policy team in Washington, D.C. His primary area of responsibility is the Clean Water Act, including wetlands, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), water quality standards, and conservation issues related to the farm bill (such as swampbuster). Before joining the AFBF staff, Don was an economist at Auburn University. Don received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agronomy from Auburn University and a Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University. Originally from a farm in Alabama, Don now resides in the Washington, D.C. area.


Nadine Patrice


Daniel Pauly


Leonel Perez


Jerry Phillips

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE NATION: Busting the Bad Guys: Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws, 2:00 p.m.
  • Jerry Phillips is the director of Florida’s chapter of the non-profit organization Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a national alliance of local, state and federal resource professionals. In this position he assists public employees who need help ensuring that environmental decisions made by public agencies are driven by sound science. He is also a former assistant general counsel with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, responsible for initiating enforcement actions against wastewater facilities and other regulated interests violating environmental regulations. Phillips has lived in Florida for more than forty years. He is married and has two children and a granddaughter. He also enjoys nature photography and biking.


Francisco Pineda

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, LATIN AMERICA: Connecting the Mining Frontier and the Corporate Hometown, 11:00 a.m.
  • Francisco Pineda is the 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize Recipient for South and Central America. He is a farmer with a degree in sustainable agriculture. He is the founder and president of the Environmental Committee of Cabañas / Comité Ambiental de Cabañas El Salvador, a community volunteer association. Living under the constant threat of assassination, Pineda leads a citizens' movement that stopped the Canadian-based Pacific Rim Corp.’s gold mine from affecting El Salvador's dwindling water and forest resources. Due in large part to Pineda’s leadership, the Salvadoran government has not granted Pacific Rim the necessary extraction permit to move forward with its project and the company has reduced its active exploration area by 50 percent. In fact, the Salvadoran Environmental Ministry has frozen all new mining permits and renewals. Pacific Rim has initiated a $100 million lawsuit under CAFTA claiming that El Salvador is in violation of the agreement for halting the company’s plans.


Jorge Piñón


Juliet Pinto

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 8, South Florida and Sea-Level Rise, 9:30 a.m.
  • Juliet Pinto, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in Florida International University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She studies media and democratization in Latin America, particularly in terms of environmental journalism and communication. She has developed classes in environmental journalism and communication, and has taken students to the Galapagos to report on issues pertaining to resource use and management there. Her research has been published in journals such as Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, and Communication Law and Policy, among others. 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: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE NATION: Busting the Bad Guys: Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws, 2:00 p.m.
  • Event: Sunday, Breakfast Plenary with the Authors, 8:30 a.m.
  • Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. He graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him "the most destructive force on campus." Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Since 1998 he has reported on environmental issues for Florida's largest newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, winning awards from SEJ and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. He's the co-author of Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss, which placed third last year in SEJ's Rachel Carson Environmental Book Award, and author of Manatee Insanity: Inside the War Over Florida's Most Famous Endangered Species. His new book, The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid, hits stores next spring.


Steven Platnick


Bruce Popham


Angela Posada-Swafford

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT: Freelance Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Breakfast Breakout Session 1, Someone to Watch Over Us: Mapping Earth from Space, 7:30 a.m.
  • Angela Posada-Swafford, co-chair of SEJ's 2011 annual conference in Miami, has been reporting, writing and producing stories about science, environment and exploration for the past 25 years for all media platforms in Spanish and English. Her work has appeared in WIRED and Astronomy magazines, The Miami Herald, The Boston Globe, National Public Radio (Living on Earth), Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Angela was the first Hispanic to be accepted into the Knight Fellowship in Science Journalism program at MIT, in 2000. She was also the first Hispanic journalist to receive the National Science Foundation's South Pole travel grant. Angela is the author of a collection of seven novels of science and adventure for readers ages 9 through 15, titled "Los Aventureros de la Ciencia" (The Adventurers of Science). She is co-director of the Logan Polar Program for Journalists at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Ma. Angela currently serves as Senior Science US Correspondent for the popular MUY INTERESANTE magazine (, the largest science publication for the general reader in Spanish language today, with a monthly readership of 3 million. Angela's website. Email.


Jim Poyser

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT: A Storytelling Playshop: Can the Environment Be Funny? 2:00 p.m.
  • Jim Poyser has worked in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies circuit for over 20 years, first as an arts reviewer and columnist for the Bloomington Voice, and for the past 18 years, as A&E and managing editor at NUVO Newsweekly in Indianapolis. In September, NUVO acquired a statewide environmental magazine, Indiana Living Green, and named Jim editor. A member of SEJ, SPJ and HSPA, Jim is co-founder of The ApocaDocs, a web site/comedy duo whose content seeks to "humor the horror" of climate collapse; the ApocaDocs are happy to announce the fall launch of a second web site:


John Proni





Chuck Quirmbach

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, Island Sun, Trashy Electricity and a Whole Lotta Atoms in Between, 9:00 a.m.
  • Chuck Quirmbach is an environmental reporter for the Milwaukee Bureau of Wisconsin Public Radio. He covers developments and issues in southeastern Wisconsin that are of statewide interest. Chuck has numerous years of experience covering state government, elections, the environment, energy, racial diversity issues, welfare-to-work laws and baseball stadium debates. He enjoys covering all topics. Chuck is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and several other regional or national radio outlets. He has won several individual awards, and several as part of a collaboration with other reporters.





Pedro Ramos


Matt Rand


Andrew Revkin


Curtis Richardson


Bruce Ritchie

  • Event: Sunday-Wednesday, Post-Conference Tour 1, Unlocking the Florida Keys: Development, Coral Reefs and Marine Research in Paradise
  • Bruce Ritchie is editor of and is a senior writer with The Florida Tribune. He previously covered growth and environmental issues for the Tallahassee Democrat and The Gainesville Sun. He covered state government in Alabama for United Press International and the Montgomery Advertiser. He's a former Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism and has attended more than a dozen SEJ conferences since joining in 1992. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina and a master's degree in mass communication from the University of Florida. Bruce is passionate about hiking, biking and exploring new places with his wife, Sue Ellen, a former reporter who has accompanied him to several SEJ conferences.


Alexis Rizzuto

  • Event: Sunday, Book Author Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Alexis Rizzuto received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Emerson College, where her work won the DuPrey Award. She has taught creative nonfiction at Cazenovia College, Syracuse University, and Grub Street Writers. Alexis started in the publishing business at the Kneerim & Williams literary agency, then moved to the editorial side at Da Capo Press and currently works at Beacon Press where she acquires on the topics of environment and education. Recent titles include Recovering a Lost River, Biocidal: Confronting the Poisonous Legacy of PCBs, and Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warming.


Pat Rose


Sean Russell





Kerry Sanders


Neil Santaniello

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 3, Big Sugar, Big Cleanup, Big Lake: The Sugar Industry, the Everglades Cleanup and Lake Okeechobee, 7:00 a.m.
  • Neil Santaniello joined the Florida Atlantic University faculty in 2006 and is based at the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter. He teaches environmental journalism and other news writing courses to FAU undergraduates and serves as the school’s coordinator for the Scripps Howard Institute on the Environment, a continuing education program for professional journalists funded by the Scripps Howard Foundation. He previously worked as a staff writer for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where he had a byline for more than two decades and covered environmental and water management issues. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.


Luis Santiago

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE NATION: Busting the Bad Guys: Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws, 2:00 p.m.
  • A 27-year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Luis Santiago is the Acting Resident Agent-In-Charge for Southeast Region. He oversees the work of special agents in the 10 Southeastern states and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In his career Santiago has been a wildlife inspector in Miami and Houston, a Special Agent in Florida and Puerto Rico, and Resident Agent-in-Charge at headquarters and Florida and Atlanta. He has helped conduct a variety of investigations including Operation Frost Bite, which led to the arrest and conviction of two Florida men for the unlawful commercial harvest of more than 8,500 pounds of spiny lobster from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, worth $155,000.


Jacqueline Savitz


John Schidlovsky


Mark Schleifstein

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 9, Eye of the Hurricane: The National Hurricane Center and the New "Wall of Wind," 10:00 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE EXTRAS: Covering Disasters Without Becoming One, 11:00 a.m.
  • Environment reporter Mark Schleifstein, previously an SEJ board member, has worked at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans since 1984. He is the co-author with John McQuaid of Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms, published by Little, Brown & Co. His reporting during and after Hurricane Katrina was among the newspaper's stories honored with 2006 Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service and Breaking News Reporting and the George Polk Award for Metropolitan Reporting. Stories prior to Katrina on coastal science issues were honored in 2006 with a special award from the American Geophysical Union. The 2002 series he co-authored, "Washing Away: How south Louisiana is growing more vulnerable to a catastrophic hurricane," won the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2003 Excellence in Media award and the 2003 National Hurricane Conference media award. He also was a co-author of the 1996 series, "Oceans of Trouble: Are the World's Fisheries Doomed?" which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service from the Society of Professional Journalists.


Keith Schneider


Matthew Schwartz


Kathleen Sgamma

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Energy Subsidies: Where’s the Money Going? 10:45 a.m.
  • Kathleen Sgamma, Director of Government & Public Affairs for Western Energy Alliance, handles federal legislative, public lands, environmental, and regulatory issues for oil and natural gas producers in the West. Prior to joining Western Energy Alliance in 2006, Kathleen spent eleven years in the Information Technology sector, including establishing the European consulting practice for a software vendor, and three years as a Military Intelligence Officer in the US Army. She holds a BS in Political Science/Defense and Arms Control Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MS in Information Technology from Virginia Tech.


Dawn Shirreffs


Kassie Siegel

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Critters and Climate Change: Winners and Losers, 9:00 a.m.
  • Kassie Siegel, senior counsel and Climate Law Institute director for the Center for Biological Diversity, develops and implements campaigns for the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution and the protection of plants and animals threatened by global warming, including the Center’s petition to protect the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. The Center works to secure a future for animals and plants hovering on the brink of extinction, for the wild areas they need to survive, and by extension for the physical, spiritual, and cultural welfare of generations to come. Prior to attending Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and working for the Center, she was a natural-history guide leading wilderness trips in Alaska. Siegel was named one of the ten most influential California lawyers of the decade by the Daily Journal in 2010 for her work on global warming and endangered species protection.


Susan Skemp

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE OCEAN: The Day after Tomorrow: Changing Atlantic Ocean Currents and Future Climate, 2:00 p.m.
  • Susan Skemp is the director of Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy at Florida Atlantic University. Skemp graduated from FAU in 1981 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and started her career with Pratt & Whitney as a senior analytical engineer from 1981 to 1990. She has worked on a variety of Pratt & Whitney’s acclaimed engine programs for the United States military, NASA, and commercial markets. In 1990, Skemp became program manager of advanced technology, a position she held until 1999. She worked on Pratt & Whitney’s Advanced Technology Engine Gas Generator Core Demonstrator, an ambitious $100 million program focused on increasing the thrust and weight capabilities of the military fighter jet. Skemp also managed the $8 million NASA Test Engine System Technology program, developing combustion technologies that reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides by 50 percent. This engine was later refined and placed in commercial service.


Keith Slack


Skip Snow


Nils Stolpe


Robert Sussman

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE NATION: Clean Water Act: Who’s in Charge? 9:00 a.m.
  • Robert M. Sussman is senior policy counsel to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and assists her with a broad range of policy issues across the agency. During the Clinton Administration, he served as EPA deputy administrator during 1993 and 1994. He also served as co-chair of the EPA Transition Team for President-elect Obama. He was senior fellow in 2008 at the Center for American Progress. Prior to that, Bob practiced environmental law for more than 30 years in Washington, the last 10 as chief of environmental practice with Latham & Watkins. He's a 1969 magna cum laude graduate of Yale College and a 1973 graduate of Yale Law School, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal.





Peter Thomson

  • Event: Wednesday, Afternoon Meet-and-Greet, International Environmental Reporting: Fertile Field or Fallow Ground? 3:00 p.m.
  • Peter Thomson, SEJ secretary of the board, is the environment editor at the BBC/Public Radio International program "The World" and the author of Sacred Sea: A Journey to Lake Baikal. He was the founding producer and editor of NPR's groundbreaking environmental news program "Living on Earth" in 1991, and in a decade with the program also served as senior editor, western region bureau chief, senior correspondent and special projects editor. Thomson's work has been honored with numerous awards, for reports and documentaries on subjects ranging from oil, natives and wildlife on Alaska's North Slope to threats facing America's drinking water supply to the environmental legacy of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Thomson has received fellowships from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Rockefeller Foundation and the MacDowell Colony. He is a member of the advisory board of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, and has served on the advisory board of the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources.


Brian Tissot


Michael Todd

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT: Freelance Pitch Slam, 11:00 a.m.
  • Michael Todd is online editor for Miller-McCune. Most of his career has been spent in newspaper journalism, ranging from papers in the Marshall Islands to tiny California farming communities. Before joining the Miller-McCune Center, he was managing editor of the national magazine Hispanic Business.


Jim Toomey

  • Event: Wednesday, The New Communicators, 9:00 p.m.
  • Jim Toomey took advanced degrees from Stanford and Duke, and made good use of them drawing the hit comic-strip Sherman’s Lagoon. The cast of characters includes a testy husband-and-wife team of great white sharks, a sea turtle, a brainy fish, and what is surely the only polar bear to turn up regularly in the tropical Pacific. Its messages for ocean conservation have produced a devoted following over twenty years, with a syndicate of over 150 newspapers and nearly twenty books. Jim is a member of the Ocean Artists’ Society and an avid supporter of several marine conservation groups.


Joseph Treaster

  • Event: Friday, Lunch Breakout Session 1, Everglades Around the Globe, 12:15 p.m.
  • Joseph B. Treaster is the editor of, the environmental magazine of the University of Miami on the Internet. He is a former reporter and foreign correspondent for The New York Times and the author of three books including Hurricane Force: In the Path of America’s Most Deadly Storms. Treaster holds the endowed Knight Chair in Cross-Cultural Communication at the University of Miami’s School of Communication and at its Knight Center for International Media. He teaches a course for graduate and upper class undergraduates: “Global Environmental Issues: Writing, Research and Critical Thinking” at the Coral Gables campus and in Stockholm and the Galapagos Islands.


Paul Tritaik





Tom Van Lent


Charlotte Vick





Scott Wallace


Harold Wanless

  • Event: Wednesday, Opening Reception and Dinner at the InterContinental Miami, 5:00 p.m.
  • Event: Thursday, Tour 8, South Florida and Sea-Level Rise, 9:30 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Lunch and Plenary, Flood, Sweat and Fears: Climate Change and Extremes, Noon
  • Harold Wanless, Ph.D., is a professor and the chair of geological sciences in the UM College of Arts and Sciences. He studies sedimentology, coastal geology, and environmental geology. Wanless has an active research program, funded by the National Park Service, the National Biological Survey, and NOAA to document hurricane effects on coastal environments; also to document the Holocene and historical evolution of the mangrove coastal wetlands and man-made effects on coastal and shallow marine environments. He is available to discuss erosion and how hurricanes change the dynamics of coastlines.


Carlton Ward


Ken Weiss

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 1, Dive on a Reef, Visit an Undersea Lab, 6:30 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Breakfast Plenary, Communicating Science: Reporters Go Head to Head with Top Ocean Scientists, 7:00 a.m.
  • Ken Weiss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Los Angeles Times, writes mostly about conservation and public health. He was the lead writer of the Altered Oceans series, which showed how the slow creep of environmental decay often has a more profound, corrosive impact than cataclysmic natural disasters. Besides winning the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2007, Weiss has won the George Polk Award, the Grantham Prize, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s National Journalism Award and awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in folklore from UC Berkeley and lives in Carpinteria, CA, which just happens to be adjacent to some of the best surf breaks on the West Coast.


Jake Weltzin


Eric Wenke

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, POLLUTION AND SOLUTIONS: Untold Environmental Success Stories in Industry and Government, 11:00 a.m.
  • Eric Wenke, assistant vice president of corporate development, oversees special projects for growth and efficiency, and leads environmental sustainability initiatives at Baptist Health South Florida. He has played a key role in award-winning “green” projects at Baptist Health and remains a major contributor to the ongoing development of eco-friendly programs and practices. In addition, Eric has more than a decade of executive management expertise, having successfully managed strategy projects for Fortune 500 companies, co-founded and built an Internet Telephony venture from a standing start to multi-million dollar annual sales and profitability, and both designed and led initiatives to turn-around Telefonica USA. He is committed to community involvement and is a founding Board member of the not-for-profit group, Dream in Green, which strives to promote environmental sustainability projects in South Florida schools. Eric holds a B.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania, cum laude, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.


Tim Wheeler

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE NATION: Clean Water Act: Who’s in Charge? 9:00 a.m.
  • Tim Wheeler covers the environment for The Baltimore Sun. He has written about the environment frequently in his 37-year journalistic career in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia. He spent two years as an editor helping to coordinate The Sun's medical, science, religion and environmental coverage, during which reporters for the paper won an SEJ award for spot-news coverage of a chemical-laden train fire in downtown Baltimore. His reporting on the Chesapeake Bay, childhood lead poisoning and other environmental topics has won multiple awards. Before coming to Baltimore, he worked for newspapers in Richmond and Norfolk, VA., and for Media General News Service in Washington, D.C. A former president and board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, he is a 1974 graduate of the University of Virginia, with a 1976 master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.


Daniel Whittle


Edith Widder

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE OCEAN: Deep-sea Exploration: Drugs, Damages, and Other Discoveries, 10:45 a.m.
  • Edith Widder is a deep-sea explorer and MacArthur Fellow who combines expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation with a commitment to reversing the worldwide trend of marine ecosystem degradation. A specialist in bioluminescence (the light chemically produced by many ocean organisms), she has been a leader in helping to design and invent new submersible instrumentation, and equipment to enable unobtrusive deep-sea observations. She is the CEO, senior scientist and co-founder of the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, an organization dedicated to the study and protection of marine ecosystems and the species they sustain through development of innovative technologies and science-based conservation action.


Lori Williams

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, WILDLIFE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: Invasive Species: Pets or Pests — Can We Keep Our Critters Contained? 10:45 a.m.
  • Lori Williams is the executive director of the National Invasive Species Council, through which she provides overall direction on national and international invasive species policy development and serves as the principle Council contact at the national level with other federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, states and local governments, and tribes. She supervises the Council staff, reviews and recommends legislative proposals, and briefs top federal officials regarding invasive species issues. Lori is particularly interested in improving coordination and building partnerships with state and local governments. She graduated from the University of Georgetown's Foreign Service and School of Law. She has been the legislative counsel to House and Senate committees, directed the congressional relations office and been special assistant to the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within the Department of the Interior, and served as vice president for ocean programs at the Center for Marine Conservation.


Rita Williams

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE GLOBE: Plate-centric America: The Bottom Line is Social Good, 11:00 a.m.
  • Rita Williams, a member of the alligator clan of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Ocmulgee, Oklahoma, is the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative’s Community Educator and Policy Coordinator. She manages two pilot projects that address health issues and reinforces traditional food knowledge by working with tribal communities and with tribal nations leaders in food services tied to health programs. Williams is also the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Food and Fitness Policy Council Chairperson.


Dale Willman


Roger Witherspoon

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, Island Sun, Trashy Electricity and a Whole Lotta Atoms in Between, 9:00 a.m.
  • Wm. Roger Witherspoon has spent more than 40 years working in all forms of the media as a journalist, author, educator, and public relations specialist. Along the way, he has written extensively on state and national politics, foreign affairs, finance, defense, civil rights, constitutional law, health, the environment, and energy. Most of Witherspoon's career has been in the news business, working as a full-time reporter, editor, columnist, or producer for a variety of media companies including newspapers (The Record, N.J.; Star Ledger, N.J.; NY Daily News; Atlanta Constitution; Dallas Times Herald; and Journal News (N.Y.); television ( CNN, KNBC and NBC Network); and radio (WCBN, MI.). As a freelance writer, he has written for several publications, including Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Essence, Black Enterprise, The Economist, US Black Engineer & IT,, and Witherspoon is the author or co-author of three non-fiction books: two histories and an engineering 101 text book.


Christine Woodside

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 4, Everglades National Park: Pythons, Gators and Billions for Restoration, 7:30 a.m.
  • Christine Woodside is a writer and editor interested in how Americans interact with nature and use natural resources. She writes about electricity and fuel consumption, climate change, backcountry adventure, and the clash of development and land, especially in New England. She edits Appalachia journal. In 2011 Chris's work appeared in Nature Climate Change, the Connecticut Mirror, The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media, and Patch. A travel grant from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Association sent her back to Iowa in June to research the papers of frontier author Laura Ingalls Wilder, about whom she is writing a book. Chris lives in Deep River, Connecticut with her science-teacher husband, with whom she once hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. Their daughters are in their 20s.





Helene York


Tom Yulsman

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 8, South Florida and Sea-Level Rise, 9:30 a.m.
  • Tom Yulsman, SEJ's representative for the academic membership, is an associate professor at the University of Colorado's School of Journalism & Mass Communication. As co-director of the Center for Environmental Journalism, he oversees a variety of programs with a colleague, including the Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental Journalism, a year-long, in-residence program for working journalists, and the environmental journalism emphasis in the school's master’s program. Yulsman also serves as a faculty member in CU's Environmental Studies Program, where he oversees the Graduate Certificate in Environment, Policy and Society. Since he began his career as a science journalist in 1980, Yulsman has written for a variety of major publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Denver Post, Discover, Audubon, Earth, Astronomy and, most recently, Climate Central. His journalistic work has ranged from health and medicine to environment to cosmology. He currently focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular focus on climate. In 2009, he created the content for “Covering Climate Change,” an online, interactive course hosted by the Poynter Institute’s News University. Yulsman has also written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003. Prior to joining the journalism school's faculty in 1996, he was editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Until it's closure in 1998, Earth was the only consumer magazine dedicated to the science of our planet.





Kolu Zigbi

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE GLOBE: Plate-centric America: The Bottom Line is Social Good, 11:00 a.m.
  • Kolu Zigbi, program officer for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems with the Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation in NYC, NY, is responsible for grants supporting organizations and networks engaging in a more environmentally sustainable and socially just agriculture and food system. Kolu co-authored Setting the Table for a Sustainable and Just Food System, published in Foundation Review, the findings of a partnership with the Kellogg Foundation to build the advocacy capacity of 10 people-of-color-led organizations addressing food policy issues. An active member of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders group, Environmental Grantmakers Association, and Philanthropy New York, Kolu is involved in dialogues and meetings meant to deepen grantmakers' issue understanding, sharpen strategies, and facilitate synergies. Most recently, Kolu played a catalytic role in creating a new New York City-based affinity group called Community Food Funders. Kolu’s education includes a 1999-2000 Charles H. Revson Fellowship at Columbia University, graduate study in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University and undergraduate degrees from Stanford University.


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