SEJ's 26th Annual Conference Agenda — Wednesday


All-Day Workshop
Opening Reception


Exhibitors and Advertisers

Agenda Coverage Lodging / Travel Advertise/ Exhibit Environmental News About Sacramento



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Environmental Journalism 2016: The 26th Annual Conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists officially begins Wednesday evening, September 21, at 5:00 p.m., with our opening reception, followed by dinner and special welcomes.

Before the official beginning, we offer this all-day workshop below, as well as an afternoon meet-and-greet session, where we’ll celebrate new members with fun networking opportunities.

All sessions, as well as registration, exhibits and breaks, will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sacramento,
2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, California, 95815, (800) 445-8667, 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

Power Sector in the Hot Seat: Challenges, Opportunities and Goals for Reducing Carbon Emissions

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: California Ballroom 2

The pressure is on to achieve last year’s international agreement limiting the increase in average global temperature, and the power sector’s involvement will be critical. But with proposed U.S. mandates in limbo, states are pushing ahead with their own plans. This workshop, organized by Metcalf Institute, will explore new business models, technologies and policies to cap carbon emissions, expand renewables and increase efficiency. Science, policy and economic experts from across the U.S. will provide the information you need to report the tremendous challenge of keeping temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees by 2100. Open to SEJ members and journalists only. Pre-registration and $60 fee required. Breakfast and lunch included. Coverage.

Moderator: Sunshine Menezes, Executive Director, Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting



8:00 a.m.                Continental breakfast served

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

8:45 - 10:45 a.m.   Energy and Climate Change: The Challenges

Nate Lewis, Cal Tech; Catherine Wolfram, University of California, Berkeley

This panel will provide a foundation for the day’s discussions, providing an overview of trends and projections for global change, energy use and energy policy.

10:45 - 11:00 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. - Noon The Goals: Limiting Emissions, Changing Behavior

James Bushnell, University of California, Davis; Margaret Taylor, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Stanford University

Speakers will discuss practical and aspirational goals and strategies for limiting emissions, including renewable portfolio standards, energy efficiency and consumer behavior.

Noon - 1:00 p.m.  Covering Energy Policy: A Reporting Discussion

Peter Fairley, Freelance Journalist; Debra Kahn, Reporter, E&E News

During lunch, energy reporters will share insights on how to cover the sometimes slow, sometimes breakneck pace of energy policy discussions at the local to national level.

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.    The Opportunities: Policy, Data, Technology, Markets and Financing

Christopher Clack, University of Colorado, Boulder; Dan Reicher, Stanford University; Governor Bill Ritter, Center for the New Energy Economy

Panelists will discuss innovations under way in government and the private sector that could serve as models for advancing clean energy.

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.    Carrots and Sticks: What is Feasible?

Rodney Boyd, Climate Policy Initiative; Revis James, Nuclear Energy Institute; Michelle Romero, Deputy Director, Green for All

What financial and other incentives are needed to meaningfully limit carbon dioxide emissions, and what regulatory or other requirements might facilitate, or hinder, this effort?  How are utilities responding to current efforts? How does this translate to jobs?

5:00 p.m.               Seminar adjourns



2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: California Ballroom Foyer 

If you didn't sign up ahead of time for the Saturday night party or Sunday brunch at the Library Galleria, there may still be room — please check with registration.


SEJ Information Table

2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: California Ballroom Foyer

Sign up here for Wednesday Open Screen, Friday beat dinners and Saturday mini-tours. Read up on SEJ Board candidates, and find information about SEJ Award winners, membership and services. Pick up copies of SEJournal and other SEJ information.


Meet-and-Greet Party

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: California Ballroom and Outdoor Patios

Join old friends and meet new ones as we gather outdoors in the hotel's patios and gardens prior to the evening festivities. Environmental artists from the region will have their work on display and UC Davis researchers will be on hand to explain their scientific research. After checking in at registration, head on over to grab a drink and delve into some great conversation.


Opening Reception and Dinner

Welcome to California!

5:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Ballroom

The bar opens early, so grab a drink and mingle. Chat with colleagues and network with sources. Browse the work of California artists and, at the poster session, learn about ground-breaking research on environmental issues. We’ve invited Governor Jerry Brown to offer welcoming remarks that kick off an evening designed to help you appreciate the significance of where you’ve landed in the Golden State and frame the discussions you’ll have over the next few days. Oh yeah, we’ll probably slip in a celebrity or two… after all, this is California. Later, there’s a screening of the Emmy-winning, science-based and inspirational movie, “Becoming California.” Coverage.


Joe Barr, Chief Content Officer, Capital Public Radio and Conference Co-chair
Carolyn Whetzel, Staff Correspondent, Bloomberg BNA and Conference Co-chair

CA Governor Jerry Brown

Jim Baxter, Executive Producer, "Becoming California" and the California Environmental Legacy Project, and Professor of Biological Sciences, Sacramento State University
Baba Brinkman, Climate Rapper, "Rap Guide to Climate Chaos" Off-Broadway Show
Governor Jerry Brown
Ted Danson, Actor (invited)
Helene Dillard, Dean, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis
Eldridge Moores, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Structural Geology and Tectonics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Davis
Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Mayor-elect, former California Senate President Pro Tempore
Kit Tyler, Producer and Director, "Becoming California," and Independent Filmmaker, Writer and Photojournalist
Jeffrey White, Executive Producer, "Becoming California" and the California Environmental Legacy Project, and Professor of Biological Sciences, Humboldt State University


SEJ Open Screen

9:00 - 11:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Ballroom

The SEJ Open Screen is a celebration of visual storytelling in environmental journalism. Participants can show up to 10 minutes of their visual journalism and spend a few minutes with Q&A afterwards. Members are invited to bring slideshows or video to share with attendees in an informal show-and-tell format. Media producers as well as overseeing editors, publishers and contributors are all welcome to show content. Look for a link to a sign-up form on the website and in listservs a week or so before the conference.

Use this link to sign up for 10 minute-long slots — don't forget to leave time to take questions from the audience! Presenters will be queued up on a first-come first-serve basis.

Media can be brought on a flash drive or else emailed to


Thursday, September 22
Friday, September 23
Saturday, September 24
Sunday, September 25