SEJ's 25th Annual Conference Agenda — Sunday



National Weather Center


Agenda Coverage Lodging/ Travel Exhibits/Receptions Environmental News About Norman




Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tours and Brunch at the National Weather Center

The National Weather Center, with 550 people housed in its five-story, high-tech facility, is a world leader on extreme weather research and education. We’ll tour the Storm Prediction Center, which predicts severe weather across the continental U.S., and the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and other features. Then we’ll have brunch with authors and discuss the environmental history of water, drought and the Great Plains. Pre-registration and $25 fee required.


Photo courtesy of the National Severe Storms Laboratory

Can Faith Save the World?

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Location: University C

Before heading to the National Weather Center, we'll have breakfast at the hotel.

For decades, scientists have warned about the harms of climate change and little has been done. Now it’s time to see if the word of God can make a difference. From Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical to evangelical Christian climate scientists talking about creation care, the faith community is showing that global warming is no longer just an issue of science and politics. Will it work? An informal Sunday morning (when better?) chat about the interplay of faith, science, the environment and journalism. Worth getting up for even if you don’t normally attend religious services. Coverage.

Moderator: Seth Borenstein, Science Writer, The Associated Press

Renee McPherson, Co-Director, South Central Climate Science Center and Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma
Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President, U.S. Operations, Catholic Relief Services


Shuttles to the National Weather Center

Board buses at 8:30 a.m. just outside the registration area. If you plan to go directly to the airport following the events at the National Weather Center, be sure to board the bus marked AIRPORT. 


Tours of the National Weather Center

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

The National Weather Center houses a unique confederation of University of Oklahoma, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and state organizations that work in partnership to improve understanding of events occurring in Earth’s atmosphere. The tour includes visits to the Storm Prediction Center, National Weather Service Norman Forecast Office and the National Severe Storms Laboratory. View the entire University of Oklahoma campus from the Observation Deck at the top of the building, see instrumentation on the rooftop classroom, get up close and personal with mobile laboratories and radar trucks, and witness real-time weather data on the Science on a Sphere global display system and Weather Wall.


Book Authors’ Brunch

Climate Lit and Lessons from the Great Plains

10:30 a.m. - Noon

The Great Plains have inspired some of America’s best storytelling, from the wrenching accounts of pioneering homesteaders, to the dispatches of young journalist Stephen Crane covering the “terrible and inscrutable wrath” of drought, to the parables of indigenous people for survival in harsh lands. This year’s author panel will explore the environmental literature and oral traditions of water and climate on the Great Plains — and what these narratives tell us about human nature and adaptation to water scarcity and climate change. Coverage.

Moderator: Cynthia Barnett, Journalist and Author, "Mirage," "Blue Revolution" and "Rain"

Sterling Evans, Author and Professor of History, University of Oklahoma
Bruce Johansen, Author and Professor of Communication and Native American Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Daniel Wildcat, Author and Professor, College of Arts & Sciences, Haskell Indian Nations University


Conference adjourns at noon. Buses will return attendees to either the hotel or airport, with airport arrival by 1:00 p.m.


Wednesday, October 7
Thursday, October 8
Friday, October 9
Saturday, October 10