SEJ's 25th Annual Conference Coverage





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



SEJ's 25th annual conference, October 7-11, 2015, took place at the Embassy Suites & Conference Center in Norman, Oklahoma, hosted by the University of Oklahoma. Below, you'll find session-by-session multimedia coverage provided by SEJ, volunteers and conference attendees, posted as it arrives. All available audio files are now posted.


Additional coverage:

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Wednesday, October 7
Thursday, October 8
Friday, October 9
Saturday, October 10
Sunday, October 11
Miscellaneous conference coverage and local news


Wednesday, October 7


Opening Reception, Dinner and SEJ Awards

L-R: Casey Camp-Horinek, moderator Jennifer Loren and Clara Caufield. More photos here (search on "Wed Opening Reception").                     Photo courtesy of Cindy MacDonald


Stolberg winner
Lana Straub.







Thursday, October 8


Tour 1, Diving into Tallgrass — and Wind

© Richard J. Blaustein


© Lisa Snell, Native American Times. Click to enlarge.

Tour 2, Tar Creek: A Superfund Study in Environmental Justice



Tour 5, Water Rights — Water Fights



Tour 7, Drilling, Fracking, Disposal and Earthquakes? Oh My!




Tour 9, National Weather Center: From Balloons to Supercomputers, Forecasting Severe Weather




"What's up with Jay? He's seriously depleted. 1.5 founders hanging out."                                © Amy Gahran

Independent Hospitality Receptions






Friday, October 9


Opening Plenary, Climate Change and Extreme Weather: Planning for an Uncertain Future

L-R: Kathleen Tierney, Berrien Moore, moderator Seth Borenstein, Kathryn Sullivan and Jonathan Overpeck.                                                                                                                        Photo courtesy of Cindy MacDonald



Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 1, Wrangling the Numbers


Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 2, Covering Environmental Crimes


Concurrent Sessions 1, ENERGY, What's Shaking: Earthquakes Linked to Drilling in Oklahoma and Beyond


Concurrent Sessions 1, WATER, Water in a Thirsty World: Costs and Risks


Concurrent Sessions 1, NATIVE AMERICANS AND DIVERSITY, Indians 101: The Law and the Land


Concurrent Sessions 1, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WEATHER, Hours to Decades: The New World of Long-Range Tornado Science


L-R: Moderator Mark Schleifstein of The Times-Picayune, Shellie Chard-McClary, Oklahoma DEQ, Kenneth Smith, American Society of Civil Engineers and previously Association of State Dam Safety Officials.
                                         Photo courtesy of Cindy MacDonald.

Concurrent Sessions 1, THE LAND, Infrastructure, The 14-Letter Dirty Word






Lunch Breakout Session 2, Beyond Hard Science: Social Science and the IPCC


Network Lunch 6, Oklahoma-Arkansas and the Poop Wars


Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 1, Figures That Illustrate, Figures That Obfuscate and How To Tell the Difference


Concurrent Sessions 2, WATER, Megadroughts: A Threat to Civilization?


Concurrent Sessions 2, NATIVE AMERICANS AND DIVERSITY, Environmental Justice Today: From the Plains to the Streets


Concurrent Sessions 2, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WEATHER, Meltdown: Climate Change and Political Instability


Concurrent Sessions 2, THE LAND, Winged Warnings: What Can Today’s Mineshaft Canaries Teach Us?

  • Audio file (01:15:35/30.9MB).
  • Note: The video file at right is black, except for the 10-minute showing of the Environmental Health News' project "Winged Warnings" at 00:52.
  • Event description.






Concurrent Sessions 2, FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, Can Big Data Save American Farmers?


Afternooon Plenary, What's in Your Email, Doc?

L-R: Mike Soraghan of EnergyWire, Gary Ruskin of U.S. Right to Know, Michael Halpern of Union of Concerned Scientists, Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech, moderator Tim Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun.
                                                                                                                     Photo courtesy of Cindy MacDonald.





Saturday, October 10

Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 1, Pipelines at Your Doorstep: Safety and Routing Databases


Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY, Fracking: What’s Happening in Your Home State?


Leona Morgan (story). Photo courtesy of A Cheyenne Voice.


Concurrent Sessions 3, NATIVE AMERICANS AND DIVERSITY, Conservation and Mineral Extraction on Native Lands



Concurrent Sessions 3, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WEATHER, A Most Violent Sky: On the Frontier of Severe Weather Research


Concurrent Sessions 3, THE LAND, Are We Exhausting the Planet?


Concurrent Sessions 3, FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, Ecosystem-Based Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation on U.S. Farms and Ranches


L-R: Moderator Laura Barron-Lopez of The Huffington Post, Mother Jones' Russ Choma and Edwin Bender of the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
                                         Photo courtesy of Cindy MacDonald.

Concurrent Sessions 4, THE CRAFT, Show Us the Money




Concurrent Sessions 4, ENERGY, Get on the Oil Train (or Pipeline): Policies and Future


Concurrent Sessions 4, WATER, Trouble at the Tap: Beyond the Toledo Water Crisis


Concurrent Sessions 4, NATIVE AMERICANS AND DIVERSITY, Indian Environmental Law: Flexing Legal Muscle Beyond Reservation Lands


Concurrent Sessions 4, THE LAND, Plight of Western Grouse: Trying To Be Wild in an Increasingly Tamed World


Concurrent Sessions 4, FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, Soil Tillage, Rainfall and Runoff




Lunch and Plenary Session, Our Energy Future


Mini-Tour 5, Takin' It from the Streets: Norman Neighborhoods and Stormwater Innovations


Sunday, October 11


Can Faith Save the World?

L-R: Joan Rosenhauer of U.S. Operations/Catholic Relief Services, Renee McPherson of OU South Central Climate Science Center and moderator Seth Borenstein, AP.
                                                                                                                     Photo courtesy of Cindy MacDonald.


Book Authors’ Brunch, Climate Lit and Lessons from the Great Plains


Miscellaneous conference coverage:

"In Need of a Career Boost?" Number 1 Shimbun, February 2, 2016, by James Simms.

"More Quakes Rattle Oklahoma But State Avoids Tough Measures," Associated Press, January 18, 2016, by Seth Borenstein, Kelly P. Kissel and Sean Murphy.

"Reporter's Notebook: A Microcosm of Environmental Change, in Focus," Sequim Gazette, November 18, 2015, by Alana Linderoth.

"YaYa Road Trip 2015 — Norman or Bust," by Lana Straub with Kathy Florsheim and Alison Jones.

"The Growth of the Water Beat," Circle of Blue, October 19, 2015, by Brett Walton.

"Indian Journalists Take Center Stage at Conference," Native Sun News, October 14, 2015, by Clara Caufield.

"Energy Industries Invest in Contest to Recycle Emissions," Climate Central, October 15, 2015, by Bobby Magill.

"October 2015 SEJ Edition of Crain's NewsPro."