SEJ's 27th Annual Conference Agenda — Wednesday



All-day Workshop
Meet and Greet
Opening Reception

Exhibitors and Advertisers

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





Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Environmental Journalism 2017: The 27th Annual Conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists officially begins Wednesday, October 4, at 5:30 p.m., with an opening reception followed by dinner and a program on environmental justice.

Before the official kick-off, we offer the all-day workshop below, as well as an afternoon meet-and-greet with fun networking opportunities.

All sessions, as well as registration, exhibits and breaks, will be at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown,
600 Commonwealth Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, (877) 999-3223, unless otherwise indicated.

Note: All information is subject to change. Please check back often for updates and information on event times, speakers, etc.



All-Day Journalism Workshop

Multimedia Training: Podcasts, Video and Social Media

8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Media Lab at Point Park University, 201 Wood Street, Pittsburgh

Point Park University is a small liberal arts school with a beautiful downtown campus. The university is a 10-minute walk from the Wyndham. Leaving the hotel you turn left out of the main door. Walk diagonally across Gateway Center Park to Third Avenue. Head up Third Avenue and walk three blocks to Wood Street. Point Park is on the corner at 305 Wood Street. It shares a lobby with the YWCA. There is a news ticker on the outside of the building, and seven TV monitors in the window. If you see that, you’re in the right place. Go into the lobby. The entrance to the media center is on the left.

Back by popular demand, but with a twist! We’ve touched on audio and video before, but this time we’re taking them further and throwing in something new. In the morning you’ll work on creating your own audio story. You can bring a recorder or use a phone app, but either way you’ll get up close and personal with audio production. Or if you prefer, join us for a second production track — basic video. At lunch we’ll discuss which stories are best told using which medium. In the afternoon we’ll all come together to add new skills in social media, including how to process your cellphone photos for maximum reach. When the day’s over, we guarantee you’ll have much more confidence in your ability to capture a story from every angle. SEJ members only. Pre-registration and $60 fee required. Breakfast and lunch included.

NOTE: This workshop is full.

Audio Trainer: Dale Willman, Program Director, Resilience Fellowship Program, City University of New York
Video Trainer: Kevin Beaty, Multimedia Journalist, Denverite

Draft Workshop Agenda:

8:00 a.m.                       Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 8:45 a.m.            Welcome and Introductions

8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  Video, Audio tracks

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.          Lunch discussion – Which media to best tell what stories?

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.            Social Media – Storytelling with photos from your phone

The camera in your phone can produce useful and beautiful pictures to include in your social media postings, but like with good writing, good pictures require editing. Dennis Dimick, SEJ member and three-decade photo editor at National Geographic, will explain what tools he uses to crop, tone and generally enhance images coming from mobile devices. He uses an iPhone but will discuss photo editing apps that are available for both iOS and Android, such as Google's SnapSeed.

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.            Social and Digital Media – How to get your work noticed, with Joseph Davis, Freelance
                                      Journalist and WatchDog Project Director/Editor/Writer, Society of Environmental Journalists



All-Day Farm Bill Workshop

8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Kings Garden 1 & 2, Second Floor, Wyndham Grand Downtown

NOTE: This workshop is by invitation only and is full.

In some way, the farm bill touches on almost everyone beyond farmers themselves. The farm bill spells out who gets food aid, both domestically and internationally. The farm bill sets aside the largest pot of federal money for conservation and stewardship on private lands in the country. Conservation programs take the carrot approach by offering incentives to farmers to use best practices on their ground. Is that money spent wisely? What are the measurable impacts? How does the farm bill tie into issues such as local water quality, algal blooms or hypoxic zones in coastal areas? What are the social justice implications of a bill that defines how poor you have to be to get food aid versus how wealthy you can be and still get farm subsidies?

The farm bill workshop comprises morning panel sessions followed by an afternoon tour. Breakfast (served at 8:00 a.m.) and lunch are included. See details and the agenda here. Coverage.



2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: 2nd floor at the far end of the Ballroom foyer

Pick up your badge and conference materials here. If you didn't sign up for the Thursday tours, Friday evening party at Carrie Furnaces or Sunday breakfast at Phipps Conservatory, there might still be room. Check with registration and sign up there.


SEJ Information Table

2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: 2nd floor, Ballroom foyer

Sign up here for Saturday mini-tours and beat dinners. Read up on Board candidates, find information about SEJ Award winners, membership and services.



3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: King's Garden 5, near registration

We'll gather to celebrate community, and, in particular, to discuss diversity in environmental journalism and SEJ, one of our top priorities. SEJ leaders will discuss the rationale for how increasing diversity contributes to SEJ's mission of providing robust, quality environmental journalism to wider audiences. From there we'll head over to the August Wilson Center for African American Culture for dinner and a headliner program on environmental justice.



6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Location: August Wilson Center for African American Culture

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


Opening Reception and Dinner

Tipping the Scales of Environmental Justice

5:30 - 11:00 p.m.
Location: August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Map.

© Photo courtesy of the August Wilson Center

We’ll head down the street to the eye-opening August Wilson Center for African American Culture to browse exhibits, mingle with colleagues, network with sources and meet local community leaders. This year communities burdened with pollution have dominated headlines, but there are many stories that haven’t made the news. So, following cocktails and dinner, we’ll convene in the center’s state-of-the-art theater for a discussion on environmental justice in urban and rural areas, covering national and local perspectives. We know that EJ is a concern for people of color as well as poor white communities. Across the country both have been saddled with disproportionate environmental impacts of all kinds. Our panel will examine a wide spectrum of environmental, economic and social impacts on these disenfranchised communities. Cash bar. Coverage.

Jennifer Bogo, Deputy Editor, Audubon
Don Hopey, Environment Reporter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Plenary moderator: Tony Norman, Columnist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mustafa Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization, Hip Hop Caucus and former Chief Environmental Justice Official, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mayor John Fetterman, Braddock, Pa.
Winona LaDuke, Executive Director, Honor the Earth
Deidre Sanders, Industry Environmental Justice & Policy Expert, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Entertainment! Pittsburgh tuba player Roger Day is putting together a great little jazz combo for the background music during the pre-plenary cocktail hour and dinner. It will feature George Jones (not the country singer) on congas.


Cocktails with Kenia

9:30 - 11:00 p.m.
Location: August Wilson Café, just outside the Theater on the main floor

After our plenary, Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering will sponsor drinks (beer and wine only; cocktails available for purchase) with Kenia, one of the most popular and successful U.S.-based Brazilian musicians. Enjoy post-plenary discussion, debate and even dancing as this Pittsburgh favorite of the smooth jazz movement entertains you with her subtle yet soulful vocals of Brazilian and American favorites.


Thursday, October 5
Friday, October 6
Saturday, October 7
Sunday, October 8