SEJ's 27th Annual Conference Agenda — Sunday



Phipps Conservatory
Post-Conference Tour

Agenda Coverage Lodging/ Travel Advertisers/ Exhibitors Environmental News About Pittsburgh





Sunday, October 8, 2017


Buses depart from outside the Benedum Room beginning at 7:45 a.m. Last bus departs at 8:00 a.m. Be sure to check out in time and have your luggage with you if you're going directly to the airport from the morning program at Phipps.

Pre-registration and $20 fee required. Breakfast and airport transportation included.



8:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Phipps Conservatory

The UPitt bookstore is on site to sell SEJ members' and speakers' books, as well as offering environmental books handpicked for the SEJ conference.


Breakfast at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

8:00 a.m. - Noon

© Denmarsh Photography, Inc. Courtesy of Phipps Conservatory.


Under the glass, amidst the blooms, we’ll have a full breakfast, and a full plate of Roosevelts, while we ponder deregulation and privatization issues and ask, “What Would TR Do Today?” We’ll examine the conservation records and legacies of Teddy Roosevelt and his environmentally underrated fifth cousin Franklin, and consider the ironies of a Republican president dismantling decades of conservation efforts as his Interior Secretary aspires to follow in TR’s footsteps. Afterwards, we’ll take a behind-the-scenes tour of Phipps Conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes — billed as “the greenest building in the world” for being the first and only to meet four of the highest “green” certifications: the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, WELL Building Platinum and Four-Stars Sustainable SITES. Coverage.

Moderator: Cynthia Barnett, Journalist and Author, "Mirage," "Blue Revolution" and "Rain: A Natural and Cultural History"

Douglas Brinkley, Author, Professor of History and Fellow, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University
Land Tawney, President/Chief Executive Officer, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers


Noon: Conference ends and shuttles take attendees back to hotels or to airport, with airport arrival no later than 1:00 p.m.


Post-Conference Tour

Biking (and a Little Surfin’) on the Great Allegheny Passage

(Sunday, October 8 – Wednesday, October 11, $350 fee required)

© Photo courtesy of Allegheny Trail Alliance. Click to enlarge.

The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is one of the nation’s top biking trails. We’ll start at Mile 0, in Cumberland, MD, and take three leisurely days to ride 72 miles northwest, as far as Ohiopyle, PA. Along the way, we’ll make plenty of stops to discuss environmental issues, such as river reclamation, climate change-induced flooding, mountains and mining, and, of course, recreational trails — where are they headed (politically) during the next three years? Then, if you’re game, we’ll cap things off by kayaking a stretch of the Youghiogheny River.

Tour departs Pittsburgh following the Sunday morning program and returns to Pittsburgh no later than 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct 11, when you are on your own for lodging. The $350 fee covers bike rentals, transportation, bunk-bed-style lodging at trailside inns and hostels, and some meals and fees. Deadline to sign up is September 1. Caution: Do not book your flight until this tour has been confirmed on September 1. Deadline to cancel with refund (less $75 processing fee) is September 1. Coverage.

Tour Leaders:
Rebecca Lessner, Graduate Assistant, Environmental Journalism, Point Park University
Charles Quirmbach, Environment Reporter, Wisconsin Public Radio

Eric Harder, Youghiogheny Riverkeeper, on behalf of Mountain Watershed Association
Linda McKenna-Boxx, former President, Allegheny Trail Alliance
Bill Metzger, Author, "Great Allegheny Passage Companion"
Doug Riegner, Director of Community Relations, Allegheny Trail Alliance


Wednesday, October 4
Thursday, October 5
Friday, October 6
Saturday, October 7