Lubbock, TX 2012




Welcome to Lubbock!




Agenda Coverage Lodging/Transportation Exhibits/Receptions Environmental News About Lubbock


Big Land. Big Sky. Big Issues.


Welcome To The Southern High Plains Of North America.


Welcome To Lubbock.


SEJ’S 2012 CONFERENCE WILL BE AN EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER… We promise we’ll really get you "out there." You’ll see and feel, and even taste, the true grit that made this land, and you’ll learn about new ideas to change the world.

For its 22nd annual conference, the Society of Environmental Journalists will gather at the scene of an epic story of struggle, courage, and triumph – the Dust Bowl – and, from that backdrop, we’ll examine new challenges facing humanity.

  • See a special premier showing of Ken Burns’ new film on the Dust Bowl and hear from Burns’ chief collaborator, Dayton Duncan.
  • Watch a pre-election debate about the environment and the Oval Office from those who have been there.
  • Sense the pressure of survival in an ever-tougher climate, taking home vivid lessons from prehistoric settlements to cutting-edge labs.
  • Learn the meaning of rain by the thimbleful and witness the search for solutions to resonate around the world.
  • Feel ceaseless wind that’s now measured by the megawatt in America’s largest wind-energy region – and watch lonely ridges and ranches pushed toward an uncertain future.
  • Interact with land-saving pioneers across the globe.
  • Question those creating tomorrow’s promising – or troubling – technologies.
  • See the original drafts of many of America’s great nature writers, from Ed Abbey to Bill McKibben, in the Texas Tech library.
  • Soak up the legend of Lubbock native Buddy Holly (yes, there’s a museum).
  • Hear great music, taste real food, and watch the sunset and stars during an evening outdoors that you’ll replay in memory time and time again. Maybe a cowboy-journalist fashion show, too.

We’ll be talking a lot about the land, water, and people. But riches abound for every interest. An all-day workshop on the business of freelancing. The latest in climate science – and the challenge of doing it in a rock-ribbed conservative state. On-the-record conversations with top officials and other newsmakers. Panels with experts on just about every hot environmental topic. Journalists from around the world, including the most dangerous place on Earth to practice the craft – just a short hop south in Mexico. And Lubbock’s nightlife, which lures the glitterati of eastern New Mexico and West Texas, all the way from Portales clear over to Narcisso. 

We’ll have tours to inspire great stories: Water in an arid land. A legendary and still-working Texas ranch. The birthplace of new nuclear fuel and the gravesite of radioactive and toxic waste, including PCBs from the Hudson. The “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Carlsbad Caverns. Oil, gas, and lizards. Environmental justice in a West Texas town. Habitats and birds surviving on the edge. Wind and wine on the Plains. And a post-conference trip to a remote and iconic destination facing today’s challenges, Big Bend National Park.


Conference chair: Randy Lee Loftis, The Dallas Morning News

Founded in 1990, SEJ is the world’s oldest and largest membership association of professional journalists, educators and students dedicated to more and better coverage of environmental issues. SEJ’s mission is to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism across all media to advance public understanding of environmental issues. As a grassroots educational group dedicated to the highest standards of public service journalism, SEJ is independent and nonpartisan. All SEJ programs, publications and services are designed and organized by journalists. The group has approximately 1,500 members working in print, broadcast and online news media throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and 27 other countries. Their reporting reaches millions of readers, listeners and viewers worldwide, on a daily basis. For more information visit

Texas Tech University is quickly approaching its goal of becoming one of the nation’s great research universities. Not since the university was founded in 1923 has there been such opportunity or momentum. Graduate and undergraduate enrollments are at record levels. The university offers comprehensive higher education to more than 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Total research expenditures will top $140 million this year. Our faculty and students are winning international acclaim. We are recruiting and hiring top-flight faculty in a variety of disciplines. Strong art and music programs are balanced with growing research in a number of sustainable energy areas. New areas of research in solar and nuclear energies as well as smart grids and storage are supported by major endowed chairs for which national searches are currently under way. And the work we’ve done regarding the environment has garnered national and international headlines. From here, it’s possible.

Discover a place authentic to its roots, filled with a vibrant history and situated in the unlikeliest of places – the dry, High Plains of West Texas. Founded by a collection of ranchers and farmers, Lubbock today is a rapidly growing city with a strong economy (ranking 29th in the 2009 Milken Institute’s list of 200 Best Performing Cities and 12th among midsize cities in CNN Money’s list of Best Places to Launch a Business). Yet, it’s still true to its hardscrabble forbearers. Delight your senses as you watch a true West Texas sunset fill the sky. Or maybe test your mettle as an epic dust storm blows through town. Witness the history of the early pioneers at the National Ranching Heritage Center. Or listen to Buddy Holly’s far-reaching musical influence at the center that bears his name. Texas culture lines the streets of the historic Depot Entertainment District, where great food and good music can be found. Lubbock’s authentic cowboy culture is waiting for you. So kick off your boots and enjoy true Texas hospitality, where people are friendly and glad you came to visit.