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SEJ Conference Highlights

Sep 8, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Here are some of the key sessions and events at the Society of Environmental Journalists Conference in New Orleans. Also listed are sessions with a television angle. Information comes from the society’s Web site at www.sej.org. For more details and locations, check the agenda on the Web site. All events are at the Astor Crowne Plaza, 739 Canal at Bourbon Street, unless otherwise indicated.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Special Plenary Session, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.-“Clearing the Air: How Two Corporate Giants Respond to Calls for Reduced Air Emissions”* The session addresses how Entergy Corp. has called for a national carbon emissions inventory and how ChevronTexaco is financing the development of environmentally friendly car technologies.Moderator: Margaret Kriz, staff correspondent, National JournalSpeakers: Robert Luft, chairman, Entergy Corp.; Patricia Woertz, executive VP, Downstream, ChevronTexaco

Thursday, Sept. 11

Day tours that include discussions of related environmental issues will be offered. They include:

* Coast 2050: Reconstructing Coastal Louisiana for Only $14 Billion

* A Trip Through the Bayous Chemical Corridor: Cancer Alley or Environmentalist Hype?Tour of a chemical plant

* Trouble on the Half-ShellTour through the oyster food chain and discussion of oyster industry and environmental impact

* Do Oil and Water Mix?Tour of the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, where oil drilling has occurred since the 1930s.

* Lake Pontchartrain: Dairies, Development and Clean WaterTour of the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain and how it’s being impacted by development and dairy farms.

* Bayou Trepagnier and LaBranche WetlandsTour down Bayou Trepagnier and the effect of waste dumps on the bayou.

* The Nature of the French QuarterEnvironmental tour of the French Quarter.

Friday, Sept. 12

Breakfast session, 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m.-“TV Weathercasters as Environmental Sources”How TV weathercasters can be science communicators and environmental sources.Speaker: Kris Wilson, assistant professor, School of Journalism, University of Texas at AustinLocation: Burgundy, Second Floor Mezzanine

Breakfast Session, 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. -“Mock Bioterrorism Attack: Is Your Newsroom Ready For This? Are You?” Experts discuss how to prepare for bioterrorism attacks.Moderators: Emilia Askari, public health writer, Detroit Free Press; Sandro Cinti, lecturer, Department of Public Health, University of MichiganSpeakers: James Aiken, medical director for emergency preparedness, Louisiana State University, division of disaster medicine; Steve Beatty, assistant city editor, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune; Major Joseph Booth, crisis management team leader, Louisiana State Police; Christopher Guilbeaux, acting bioterrorism director, Louisiana Office of Public Health; Terry Tullier, director, New Orleans Office of Emergency PreparednessLocation: Iberville, Second Floor Mezzanine

Opening Plenary, 8:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m.-“Eye of the Storm: What are the Media Doing Wrong with Natural Disaster Coverage?”Experts discuss how the media has handled natural disaster issuesModerator: Peter Dykstra, executive producer, CNNSpeakers: Jerry Jarrell, former director, National Hurricane Center; Conrad Smith, professor, University of Wyoming, and author, “Media and Apocalypse: News Coverage of the Yellowstone Forest Fires, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill,” and “Loma Prieta Earthquake”Speaker: James Lee Witt, former director, Federal Emergency Management AdministrationLocation: Grand Ballroom C & D, Second Floor

Concurrent Session, 2 p.m.-3:15 p.m., The City-“Lead and Metals Poisoning: Impacts from Car Exhausts, Industry and Lead Paint”Reporters who have done major pieces on lead poisoning discuss how they’ve covered it.Moderator: Peter Lord, environmental writer, The Providence (R.I.) JournalPanelists: Emilia Askari, public health writer, Detroit Free Press; Craig Cheatham, reporter, KMOV-TV, St. Louis; Nancy Gaarder, reporter, Omaha (Neb.) World-HeraldLocation: Toulouse B, Second Floor Mezzanine

Concurrent Session, 2 p.m.-3:15 p.m., The Craft II-“Multimedia Reporting: Turning Around the Same Story for TV, Web, Newspaper, and Magazines Repurposing Environmental Journalism for Different Platforms”Moderator: Adam Glenn, senior producer, business, health, science and technology, ABCNews.comPanelists: Mark Holmes, VP, programming & content development, NationalGeographic.com, National Geographic Society; Rob McLaughlin, executive producer, CBC Radio 3, Canadian Broadcasting Corp.; Freda Yarbrough, new media director, The (Baton Rouge, La.) Advocate and WBRZ-TV, Baton RougeLocation: Astor II, Second Floor – 225-388-0735

Concurrent Session, 2 p.m.-3:15 p.m. The Craft III (Interactive Workshop)-“TV and the Environment: How to Make the Environmental Story Work on the Small Screen,” “How to Pitch Your Story to the News Director”Moderator: Natalie Pawelski, reporter, CNNPanelists: Scott Miller, co-director, Resource Media; Don Wall, environmental reporter, WFAA-TV, DallasLocation: Burgundy, Second Floor Mezzanine

Saturday, Sept. 13

Breakfast session, 7 a.m.-8:45 a.m., “Inside EPA: From Science to Policy to Enforcement”EPA’s current top science advisor and one of its former top cops discuss the inner workings of EPA. Moderator: Dan Fagin, environment writer, Newsday, and president, Society of Environmental JournalistsSpeakers: Paul Gilman, assistant administrator for research and development and agency science advisor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Eric Schaeffer, executive director, Environmental Integrity Project, Rockefeller Family FundLocation: Grand Ballroom D, Second Floor

Breakfast Session, 7 a.m.-8:45 a.m., FOIA Breakfast Workshop-“How the changing FOIA Landscape Affects Environmental Journalists”Moderator: Ken Ward Jr., reporter, The Charleston (W.Va.) GazetteSpeaker : Patrick McGinley, professor, College of Law, West Virginia UniversityLocation: Grand Ballroom C, Second Floor

Concurrent Session, 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m., The Coast: “Bringing the Gulf Coast’s Dead Zone to Life … What Will It Take?”-The Gulf Coast’s infamous “Dead Zone”-an annual rite of spring/summer-appears to be getting bigger each year, with Texas waters now sharing Louisiana’s low-oxygen (hypoxia) woes. Four experts explore the depths of the issue.Moderator: Bud Ward, editor, environment writerPanelists: Doug Daigle, lower river program director, Mississippi River Basin Alliance; Nancy Rabalais, professor, Louisiana University Marine Consortium Department; Diane Regas, director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Don Scavia, chief scientist, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationLocation: Astor III, Second Floor

Concurrent Session, 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m., The City: “Gov. Leavitt’s Environmental Record”-Utah-based environmental players will examine the environmental record of Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, nominated to be the next EPA administratorModerator: Seth Borenstein, national correspondent, Knight Ridder NewspapersPanelists: Judith Fahys, environment reporter, Salt Lake City Tribune; Jason Groenewold, director, Healthy Environment Alliance Utah and Families Against Incinerator Risk; Dianne Nielson, executive director, Utah Department of Environmental Quality; Bill Williams, VP for technical services, Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.Location: Grand Ballroom D, Second Floor

Concurrent Session, 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m., The Land: “TRI at 12: The Economics of Environmental Regulation”-A panel examines the effects on industry emissions of The Toxics Release Inventory, a 12-year-old federal law that requires companies to publish the amount of pollutants they release into the air, water and land. Moderator: Don Hopey, land and environment reporter, Pittsburgh Post-GazettePanelists: Dan Born ‘, president, Louisiana Chemical Association; James Dutcher, president, Dutcher Communications; Paul Templet, professor, environmental studies, Louisiana State UniversityLocation: Bienville, Second Floor Mezzanine

Concurrent Session, 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m., Environmental Health: “GMOs: Panacea or Pandemic?”-A panel provides an orientation to FDA and National
Institutes of Health concerns about genetic modification in fish, trees and crops.Moderator: Debbie Schwartz, free-lance reporterPanelists: Steven Burkesenior VP, corporate affairs and external relations, North Carolina Biotechnology Center; William Muir, professor, animal sciences, Purdue University, John Nichols, Washington correspondent, The NationLocation: Iberville, Second Floor Mezzanine

Concurrent Session, 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m., The Globe: “Emerging Global Issues: What the Radar Screen is Missing”-A look at emerging environmental issues.Moderator: Phil Bailey, free-lance writerPanelists: Eric Dannenmaier, director, Tulane Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, Tulane University; Craig McLean, director, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration; Joanne Rodman, acting director, Office of Children’s Health Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyLocation: Astor II, Second Floor

Concurrent Session, 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m., The Craft I: “The State of Environment Reporting in the South”-Recently completed surveying in the South suggests regional differences in the beat. Data from New England, the Mountain West and the Northwest will be compared with findings in the South.Moderator: JoAnn Valenti, emerita professor, Brigham Young UniversityPanelists: David Sachsman, West Chair of Excellence and professor of Communication, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Mike Salinero, Capitol Bureau Reporter, The Tampa Tribune; Charles Seabrook, environment reporter, Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionLocation: Astor I, Second Floor

Concurrent Session, 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m., The Craft II (Interactive Workshop): “Radio and the Environment: Using Sounds and Words to Get the Story Across”-How best to craft stories for radio.Moderator: Dale Willman, executive editor and president, Field Notes ProductionsPanelists: Brenda Box, reporter/anchor, WTOP-AM, Washington; Michael Fields, Southern bureau chief, National Public RadioLocation: Burgundy, Second Floor Mezzanine

Concurrent Session, 10:45 a.m.-noon, The Coast: “Overfishing the Gulf and the Globe”-The lead author discusses the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy’s upcoming report on overfishing, which shows that fishing fleets have removed 90 percent of the oceans’ large fish.Moderator: Robert McClure, staff reporter, Seattle Post-IntelligencerPanelists: Maumus Claverlie, member, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Felicia Coleman, research scientist, biological science department, Florida State University; David Helvarg, author/activist, Ocean Awareness Project; Ransom Myers, Killam Chair in Ocean Studies, department of biology, Dalhousie UniversityLocation: Astor III, Second Floor

Concurrent Session, 10:45 a.m.-noon, The City: “From Formosan Termites to Zebra Mussels: How Invasive Species Impact Our Infrastructure and Economy”-Invasive species-bugs, plants, mammals and aquatic creatures-have become one of the most intractable global environmental problems. Moderator: John McQuaid, special projects reporter, The (New Orleans) Times-PicayunePanelists: Gregg Henderson, professor of entomology, Louisiana State University; Alysia Kravitz, invasive species specialist, Center for Bioenvironmental Research, Tulane and Xavier Universities; Phyllis Windle, senior staff scientist, invasive species, Union of Concerned ScientistsLocation: Burgundy, Second Floor Mezzanine

Concurrent Session, 10:45 a.m.-noon, The Land: “Endangered Forests: Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers and the Pine Industry”-Research has found that some pine trees need to be cut down to restore longleaf pine habitat for woodpeckers.Moderator: Bruce Ritchie, growth and environment reporter, Tallahassee DemocratPanelists: Ralph Costa, red-cockaded woodpecker recovery coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Craig Hedman, manager, forest ecology and water resources, International Paper; Frances James, emeritus professor of biological science, Florida State University; Patrick Parenteau, professor, Vermont Law SchoolLocation: Bienville, Second Floor Mezzanine

Concurrent Session, 10:45 a.m.-noon, Environmental Health: “Bhopal at 20: Contract Workers, Explosions and Chemical Plant Safety”-The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has identified more than 150 serious accidents over the past 20 years involving reactive chemicals-the type involved at Bhopal, India, history’s worst industrial disaster.Moderator: Bill Dawson, independent journalistPanelists: Glenn Erwin, health and safety coordinator, Paper Allied-Industrial Chemical and Energy Workers International Union; Dorothy Kellogg, director plant operations team, American Chemistry Council; Gerald Poje, board member, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation BoardLocation: Iberville, Second Floor Mezzanine

Concurrent Session, 10:45 a.m.-noon, The Globe: “The Underreported Local Story: Why is Population Growing in Certain Areas?”-A discussion of the area projected trends for population growth and population movement in the U.S. and the chief factors driving population growth.Moderator: Mike Maher, assistant professor of communication, University of Louisiana at LafayettePanelists: Roy Beck, executive director, Numbers USA Education and Research Foundation; Mike Salinero, capitol bureau reporter, The Tampa Tribune; Stephen Villavaso, CEO, Villavaso & Associates, LLCLocation: Astor II, Second Floor

Concurrent Session, 10:45 a.m.-noon, The Craft I: “Stayin’ Alive: Reporting Live from Harm’s Way”-Experts in reporter safety discuss the industry’s latest tools and commitment in keeping today’s newsroom employees alive, healthy and effective while on the hazardous assignment.Moderator: Jim Moscou, contributor, editor and publisherPanelists: Tim Crockett, risk management consultant, AKE Ltd.; David Handschuh, photographer, New York Daily News, and past president, National Press Photographers Association; Carl Prine, investigative reporter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Chris White, co-founder, The Anchor Point GroupLocation: Astor I, Second Floor