SEJ's 27th Annual Conference Speakers


See WHO has something to say!



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



Below are biographies (or links thereto) of speakers for SEJ's 27th Annual Conference, October 4-8, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as the sessions they're participating in. Pittsburgh conference home.

Alphabetical Speaker List

(a daily work-in-progress; check back often)

Endangered short-eared owl. Image: Tom Koerner/USFWS




B | C
D | E | F
G | H | I | J
K | L | M | N | O
P | Q | R | S | T | U
V  |  W  |  X  |  Y  |  Z  | 



William Andreen

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, WATER: Crystal Clear? Water Policy in the Trump Administration, 2:00 p.m.
  • Bill Andreen is the Edgar L. Clarkson Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law. He joined the Alabama faculty in 1983. He also serves as the Director of the school’s Summer Exchange Program with the Australian National University (ANU). Bill has visited at a number of law schools including Washington & Lee, Lewis & Clark, and Mekelle University (Ethiopia). He served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Law at the ANU’s National Europe Center in 2005 and taught in a joint graduate law program at Addis Ababa University from 2009 through 2012. Bill teaches Environmental Law, Administrative Law, and International Environmental Law. His writing largely concentrates on the Clean Water Act and Environmental Federalism, but he has also written on many other environmental and regulatory topics including NEPA, Water Law, and the ACT/ACF Dispute. Bill graduated from the College of Wooster and received his law degree from Columbia. After practicing with an Atlanta law firm, he joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, in 1979 as Assistant Regional Counsel. He remained with EPA for four years and primarily worked on defensive litigation.


Emilia Askari

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, WATER: Growing Awareness of America's Lead Problem: Next Steps, New Stories, 11:00 a.m.
  • Emilia Askari is a journalist, educator and former SEJ President who will co-chair SEJ’s 2018 annual conference, hosted by the University of Michigan-Flint. She teaches environmental and public health journalism at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and is getting a PhD in educational technology from Michigan State University. Her research focuses on uses of social media in civic education teaching digital storytelling skills to youth in Flint and Dearborn, Michigan. Askari worked for decades as a reporter for traditional news organizations, including the Detroit Free Press, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Miami Herald. Her work has been recognized by more than a dozen journalism prizes and fellowships, including the Knight Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan. Askari was part of a Detroit Free Press team that won the Oakes Award in Environmental Journalism for a series on lead poisoning. She has served on many nonprofit boards, supporting the Asian American Journalists Association, the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Journalism Fellowships at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the Arab American National Museum and the Oakes Awards in Environmental Journalism, among other organizations. Askari has a bachelor’s degree in economics and creative writing from Brown University, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s in information science from the University of Michigan.



Kat Bagley Maher

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, WILDLIFE: Species on the Move: Climate Change and Shifting Ecosystems, 9:00 a.m.
  • Katherine (Kat) Bagley is the web editor for Yale Environment 360. She was previously a reporter for InsideClimate News covering the intersection of environmental science, politics and policy, with an emphasis on climate change. She is co-author of the book "Bloomberg's Hidden Legacy: Climate Change and the Future of New York City," published by InsideClimate News in November 2013. Her writing has also been included in the anthology Best American Science and Nature Writing.


Cynthia Barnett

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 1: Book Author Pitch Slam, 2:00 p.m.
  • Event: Sunday, Breakfast at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 8:00 a.m.
  • Cynthia Barnett is an award-winning journalist who has reported on water and climate worldwide. She is the author of three books on water, including the latest Rain: A Natural and Cultural History​, a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing and named a best book of 2015 by NPR’s Science Friday, the Boston Globe, the Miami Herald and others. Her fourth book in the works is a story of seashells and what they tell us about how we’ve altered the oceans. She teaches Environmental Journalism at the University of Florida.


Jennifer Bogo

  • Event: Wednesday, Opening Reception, Tipping the Scales of Environmental Justice, 6:00 p.m.
  • Jennifer Bogo rejoined Audubon as deputy editor, coming full circle to birds after stints extolling the virtues of robots and space probes at Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. Her first loves, and degree, are biology and environmental science, and she’s delighted to focus on them full-time at Audubon magazine. Stories she edited have won a National Magazine Award and been included in the Best American Science Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing anthologies. She makes frequent media appearances as a science expert, and she has traveled to research stations from the Arctic and Antarctic to report climate-change stories herself.


Robert Boulware

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, ENERGY: The Next Fracking Fight: Pipelines, 11:00 a.m.
  • Robert Boulware is a public affairs veteran with more than 30 years of experience, including 14 years in the oil and gas sector. Mr. Boulware currently directs Seneca Resources’ communications and government relations activities — focusing on state and local policy issues, community outreach, media strategy and crisis communications. He also works with state agencies and nonprofit organizations to develop public-private partnerships to help foster creative community betterment projects. Previous assignments include the Marcellus Shale Coalition, where he served as program director in 2011. He was the manager of issues and crisis communications for the global shipper FedEx from 2006 to 2010. From 1998 to 2005, Mr. Boulware managed the communications and community relations functions for Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland, a utility company that served more than 450,000 customers. In addition to his Seneca responsibilities, Mr. Boulware holds board and advisory positions with several organizations including the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Allegheny Trail Alliance, Penn State College of Communications Alumni Society Board and the Pennsylvania Future Farmers of America Foundation Board.


Patrick Boyle

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 2: Working Around PIOs Who Don’t Live Up to Their Titles, 11:00 a.m.
  • Patrick Boyle has extensive experience in newspaper work and government communications. From 1970 to 1986, he was a reporter and editor, mainly at the Pittsburgh Press. He spent a decade directing marketing and communications for Pittsburgh International Airport, and served at U.S. EPA for 13 years as mid-Atlantic chief of public affairs and emergency planner. Issues he worked on included Washington D.C. lead contamination, mountaintop removal mining, the anthrax cleanup of Capitol Hill, and Hurricane Katrina. Retired since 2010, he now devotes his time to golf, grandchildren and fulminating about the sorry state of newspapers and government communications.


Douglas Brinkley


Talia Buford



Megan Ceronsky

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, CLIMATE: Climate Action in the Hands of the Courts, 2:00 p.m.
  • Megan Ceronsky served as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President and previously served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Energy and Climate Change within the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Megan was Director of Regulatory Policy and Senior Attorney with the Domestic Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense Fund and before that practiced energy and environmental law at Van Ness Feldman, LLP.


Robert Colwell

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, WILDLIFE: Species on the Move: Climate Change and Shifting Ecosystems, 9:00 a.m.
  • Rob Colwell is the adjoint curator in entomology at the University of Colorado, Boulder's Museum of Natural History and a distinguished research professor at the University of Connecticut. His specialty is studying global change, species interactions and coevolution, especially between plants and animals. He is also a coauthor of a recent Science study on the consequences of species redistribution under climate change.


Marla Cone


Don Corrigan

  • Event: Friday, Network Breakfast 6, So You Want to Write a Book? 7:30 a.m.
  • Don Corrigan is editor of three newspapers in the St. Louis area for Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc. He also has served as an award-winning professor of journalism in the School of Communications at Webster University in St. Louis. He is the author of six books on communications, the environment and outdoors. His most recent books are: “Environmental Missouri” and “Forest Park: Images of America.”


Stephen Curwood


Marie Cusick

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, ENERGY: The Next Fracking Fight: Pipelines, 11:00 a.m.
  • Marie Cusick is StateImpact Pennsylvania's Harrisburg reporter at WITF. Her work regularly takes her throughout the state covering Marcellus Shale natural gas production. Marie first began reporting on the gas boom in 2011 at WMHT (PBS/NPR) in Albany, New York. A native Pennsylvanian, she was born and raised in Lancaster and holds a degree in political science and French from Lebanon Valley College. In 2014 Marie was honored with a national Edward R. Murrow award for her coverage of Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry.



Joseph Davis

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Journalism Workshop, Multimedia Training: Podcasts, Video and Social Media, 8:00 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 2: Working Around PIOs Who Don’t Live Up to Their Titles, 11:00 a.m.
  • Joseph A. Davis is a freelance writer/editor in Washington, D.C. who has been writing about the environment since 1976. He directs the WatchDog Project, an activity of SEJ's Freedom of Information Task Force that reports on secrecy trends and supports reporters' efforts to make better use of FOIA, and writes SEJournal Online’s Backgrounders and TipSheet columns. He also compiles SEJ's daily news headlines, EJToday. Davis was senior writer with the Environmental Health Center until 2002, where he was acting editor of EHC's Environment Writer as well as principal author of EHC's reporter's guide on the science of global climate change. Between 1982 and 1989, he covered energy, environment and natural resources for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. Davis earned his B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has experience in database reporting and has taught Web publishing.


Brady Dennis

  • Event: Friday, Opening Plenary, Environmental Journalism in the Trump Era, 9:00 a.m.
  • Brady Dennis is a national reporter for The Washington Post, focusing on the environment and public health issues. He previously spent years covering the nation’s economy. Dennis was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for a series of explanatory stories about the financial crisis. Before that, he was a reporter for the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Dennis Dimick

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Journalism Workshop, Multimedia Training: Podcasts, Video and Social Media, 8:00 a.m.
  • Dennis Dimick, an SEJ board member, served as executive environment editor at National Geographic magazine and was a picture editor at the National Geographic Society for more than 35 years until his retirement from the Society at the end of 2015. He guided a variety of major magazine projects, including a special issue on global freshwater in April 2010, a 2011 series on global population and a 2014 series on global food security. In September 2004, he orchestrated a 74-page, three-story project on climate change called “Global Warning: Bulletins from a Warmer World.” In 2014, he created and edited projects on the future of coal as an energy source and on the vanishing snowpack of the American West. From 2008-2012, Dimick co-organized the Aspen Environment Forum, and he regularly presents slide-show lectures on global environmental issues. For 19 years he has been a faculty member of the Missouri Photo Workshop, and in 2013 received the Sprague Memorial Award from the National Press Photographers Association for outstanding service to photojournalism. His work has also received awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and Pictures of the Year International. Dimick, who grew up on an Oregon farm, holds degrees in agriculture and agricultural journalism from Oregon State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Scott Dodd

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 3: "We're So Screwed": The Ethics and Efficacy of Doomsday Reporting, 11:00 a.m.
  • Scott Dodd, an SEJ board member, edits Grist, the nation's leading nonprofit environmental publication. In two decades as a journalist, he has covered cities, sustainability, natural disasters, political corruption, the Super Bowl and a Bassmaster Classic, winning numerous awards for news writing and investigative reporting. He contributed to coverage of Hurricane Katrina that earned a Pulitzer Prize for public service. A Penn State grad, Dodd spent eight years at the Charlotte Observer, North Carolina's largest newspaper, and has written for Scientific American, Slate and many other publications. He was an editor at NRDC's award-winning onEarth magazine and has taught at the Columbia Journalism School, where he earned a master’s degree in science writing.


Gary Dorr

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Tribal Nations Take a Stand, 11:00 a.m.
  • Nez Perce Tribal General Council Chair Gary Dorr has a personal relationship to the land as a hunter, traditional salmon-gaffer and gatherer under the rights reserved to the Nimi'ipuu in their 1855 treaty with the United States. A founder of Shield the People, Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s authorized spirit camp to resist Keystone XL Pipeline construction, he became its media coordinator in 2014. He served more than 11 years in the U.S. Army as a military police sergeant. He had combat deployments in the Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia area, as well as four years in the Republic of South Korea. After his service, he attended Haskell Indian Nations University where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2004.


Tom Dougherty

  • Event: Saturday, Mini-Tour 1, Kayak the Allegheny River and Land on Sycamore Island, 2:15 p.m.
  • Tom Dougherty is the VP of Development & External Affairs for Allegheny Land Trust (ALT), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving green space in the Pittsburgh Region. Tom is a seasoned professional with 32 years of marketing, communications and management experience. A passionate supporter of the Western Pennsylvania region and a life-long conservation and outdoor recreation advocate, he joined the Allegheny Land Trust January of 2017 to assume responsibility for building greater awareness of the organization’s brand and mission and expanding its base of support. Prior to joining ALT, Dougherty was Director of Marketing at PPG where for 13 years he led the North American marketing efforts for the company’s architectural coatings business. Before PPG, Dougherty built a well-rounded business skill-set over 18 years of sales and marketing experience with other organizations including 11 years with the H.J. Heinz Company. A Pittsburgh area native, Dougherty holds a BS degree in Business Management from Penn State University and a MS degree in Corporate Communications from Duquesne University. He has been a supporter, active volunteer and board member of several area non-profit and conservation organizations throughout his career.


Breanna Draxler



Abigail Edge



Sonja Finn


Jordan Fischbach

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, One City, Three Rivers: Pittsburgh’s Water Challenge, 8:15 a.m.
  • Jordan R. Fischbach is a Senior Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation, Co-Director of the Water and Climate Resilience Center, and an Affiliate Faculty Member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is a leader in climate adaptation, water resources management and coastal planning. Dr. Fischbach has expertise in risk analysis, exploratory simulation modeling and Robust Decision Making, a method designed to better manage deep uncertainty and develop robust and adaptive plans through quantitative scenario analysis. He recently served as the principal investigator for the flood risk and damage assessment supporting the State of Louisiana's 2017 Coastal Master Plan. Dr. Fischbach also co-led a study focused on urban and agricultural water quality management under uncertainty in the Chesapeake Bay and Illinois River watersheds, recently completed multiple projects to support resilience planning and improved stormwater management in Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh, and is a Co-Investigator for the NOAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (MARISA) center. He earned a B.A. in History from Columbia University in 2001 and a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School in 2010, where he was awarded the Herbert Goldhamer Memorial Award.


Whit Fosburgh

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, ENERGY: Resources vs. Recreation in the Fight for Public Lands, 10:45 a.m.
  • Whit Fosburgh joined the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership as president and CEO in June 2010. His organization currently represents a coalition of 54 partner groups with a mission of guaranteeing quality places for Americans to hunt and fish. Previously, Fosburgh spent 15 years at Trout Unlimited, playing a critical role in the organization’s evolution into a conservation powerhouse. He has also served as fisheries’ director for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, chief environment and energy staffer for Sen. Tom Daschle and wildlife specialist for the National Audubon Society. Fosburgh grew up hunting and fishing in upstate New York and was a member of team USA in the 1997 World Fly Fishing Championships. He brings a wealth of experience centered on conservation policy, fundraising and program development, as well as a passion for the outdoors.


Reid Frazier


Eric Freedman

  • Event: Friday, Panel Session, How to Go from Prof(essional) to Prof(essor), 7:30 a.m.
  • Eric Freedman is Knight Chair and director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and Capital News Service at Michigan State University. Before joining the faculty full-time in 1996, he worked as a daily newspaper reporter in New York and Michigan, winning a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of a legislative corruption scandal. He has taught journalism in Uzbekistan and Lithuania through the Fulbright Program. His books include "Great Lakes, Great National Forests: A Recreational Guide" and "Environmental Crises in Central Asia: From Steppes to Seas, from Deserts to Glaciers."


Lisa Friedman


Yessenia Funes



Shanti Gamper-Rabindran

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 3: Beyond the Bubble: How to Communicate Environmental Issues Outside of the Echo Chamber, 2:00 p.m.
  • Shanti Gamper-Rabindran is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds a PhD in Economics from MIT, completed an MSc in Environmental Management and BA in Jurisprudence at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She is the editor of "The Shale Dilemma: A Global Perspective on Fracking and Shale Development" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017). She has conducted work for the World Bank and the Environmental Protection Agency. She was recently selected for the Bley Stein Visiting Professorship at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. Her peer-reviewed publications are in the areas of energy, environment and development policy.


Michael Gerrard

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, CLIMATE: Climate Action in the Hands of the Courts, 2:00 p.m.
  • Michael B. Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law and energy regulation, and is faculty director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He also chairs the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. From 1979 through 2008, he practiced environmental law in New York, most recently as partner in charge of the New York office of the firm now known as Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer. Upon joining the Law School faculty in 2009, he became senior counsel to the firm. A prolific writer in environmental law and climate change, Gerrard twice received the Association of American Publishers’ Best Law Book award. He has written or edited eleven books, including "Global Climate Change and U.S. Law" (second edition published in 2014, co-edited with Jody Freeman), and the 12-volume "Environmental Law Practice Guide." Gerrard was the 2004-2005 chair of the American Bar Association’s 10,000-member environmental law section. He chaired the New York City Bar Association’s executive committee and the New York State Bar Association’s environmental law section, and served on the executive committees of the boards of the Environmental Law Institute and the American College of Environmental Lawyers.


Emily Gertz


Ellen Gilmer

  • Event: Friday, Celebrating Environmental Journalism Luncheon, 12:15 p.m.
  • Ellen M. Gilmer is a legal reporter for E&E News in Washington, D.C., covering energy development. Her reporting focuses on the evolution of energy and environmental law in the face of a rapidly changing national energy landscape. She previously reported on state regulatory issues for E&E News. Her work has also appeared in The Oregonian, Scientific American and She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University and a master's degree in environmental law from Lewis & Clark Law School.


Bernard Goldstein

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, WATER: Growing Awareness of America's Lead Problem: Next Steps, New Stories, 11:00 a.m.
  • Bernard Goldstein is an Environmental Toxicologist and former dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. His research interests have focused largely on the concept of biological markers in the field of risk assessment. Dr. Goldstein has published in the areas of blood toxicity, the formation of cancer-causing substances (free radicals) following exposure to inhalants, various aspects of public health decision-making and global issues in environmental medicine. He also occasionally writes for the public, as in this commentary on lead poisoning for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Before coming to the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Goldstein was professor and chairman of the department of environmental and community medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where he established and directed the largest academic environmental and occupational health program in the United States — the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute. He also has served as an officer with the U.S. Public Health Service and as assistant administrator for research and development at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Goldstein received his medical degree from New York University and undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin.


Julie Grant


Sharon Guynup

  • Event: Saturday, Lunch Plenary, The Sixth Extinction... Live and Personal! Noon
  • Sharon Guynup is a journalist, author, photographer and multimedia producer who covers environmental issues. Her current work focuses on wildlife trafficking and environmental crime that impacts endangered species, ecosystems and human health. Her investigation for National Geographic into illegal wildlife trade at the Tiger Temple in Thailand sparked the seizure of the monastery’s 147 tigers and closure of its wildlife tourism operation. The story earned her the 2017 Arlene Award for “an article that makes a difference” from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists’ New York and D.C. chapters. Sharon is co-author of the book “Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat” (with photographer Steve Winter) and she launched “The State of the Wild” book series for the Wildlife Conservation Society. She is a National Geographic Explorer and a Global Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; spent a year in Turkey as a Fulbright Scholar; and holds a Masters degree from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.



Brooke Harper

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, ENERGY: The Next Fracking Fight: Pipelines, 11:00 a.m.
  • Brooke Harper is Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s Maryland/DC Policy Director, advocating for progressive climate policies in and around the state. Most recently, she was CCAN’s MD Field Director. She also chairs the Environmental Justice Committee of the MD State Chapter of the NAACP. Brooke graduated from York College of Pennsylvania and began organizing the summer of 2007 with’s campaign “Americans Against the Escalation in Iraq.” From there she received a position on President Obama’s 2008 staff, and traveled through eleven states on the presidential campaign. She then moved onto battling globalization issues with Jubilee USA Network and Global Trade Watch. She worked on Unite HERE’s BWI Airport campaign to improve working conditions and unionize eight hundred food and retail workers. At CCAN, she spearheaded our field efforts to expand the Renewable Portfolio Standard and to ban fracking.


Tom Henry

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 9, Fission and Our Energy Future: The View from Inside an Operating Nuclear Plant, 9:00 a.m.
  • Tom Henry is a member of Central Michigan University's Journalism Hall of Fame. He began his journalism career 35 years ago. He has focused on Great Lakes environmental-energy issues for most of his 23 years at The (Toledo) Blade. His many awards include one in 2014 from the International Association for Great Lakes Research, which honored Tom as the first newspaper journalist to receive its prestigious Jack Vallentyne Award for public outreach. IAGLR created that award a few years ago to recognize one person each year it believes has made a contribution to the public's understanding of the Great Lakes through sustained, high-level science communications for at least 20 years. In 2015, Tom received an excellence in environmental writing award from Wayne State University's Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. He has won multiple other awards. Tom is the only two-time recipient of a Vermont Law School fellowship for environmental journalists. In 2008, Tom spent 10 days in Greenland researching what became a four-day, nine-story series about climate change connections between Greenland and the Great Lakes region. Tom is a former Society of Environmental Journalists board member and currently serves as book editor and on the editorial board of the SEJournal. He has been a guest speaker at numerous events, from area colleges to civic groups. He delivered the keynote address to the University of Toledo College of Law's 2012 Great Lakes Water Law conference, and prior to that was a keynote speaker for a statewide convention of the Ohio League of Women Voters. You can contact Tom via email,, by telephone, 419-724-6079, on Facebook or via Twitter @ecowriterohio. You can follow his blog here.


Mary Hoff

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 3: Beyond the Bubble: How to Communicate Environmental Issues Outside of the Echo Chamber, 2:00 p.m.
  • Mary Hoff is editor in chief of Ensia, an independent, nonprofit magazine presenting new perspectives on environmental challenges and solutions to a global audience. She has more than two decades’ experience helping to improve understanding, appreciation and stewardship of our environment through print and online media. She holds a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in mass communication with a science communication emphasis from the University of Minnesota.


Emily Holden


Harlo Holmes

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 2: Safety, Digital Security and Legal Rights for Journalists, 9:00 a.m.
  • Harlo Holmes is the director of Newsroom Digital Security at Freedom of the Press Foundation. She works with individual journalists in various media organizations on how to secure their communications within their newsrooms, with their sources and with the public at large. She is a media scholar, software programmer and activist, and contributes regularly to the open source mobile security collective The Guardian Project.


Kara Holsopple


Don Hopey


Lisa Hymas

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, ENERGY: The Next Fracking Fight: Pipelines, 11:00 a.m.
  • Lisa Hymas is director of the climate and energy program at Media Matters for America. Previously, she was senior editor at the environmental news site Grist, which she co-founded. She has also worked at Greenwire, an environmental news service; Island Press, an environmental book publisher; and Tomorrow, a sustainable business magazine based in Stockholm. She has been a recipient of a Vermont Law School Environmental Media Fellowship and a Population Institute Global Media Award. She has discussed environmental issues during appearances on MSNBC and public radio programs and at SXSW Eco and the Aspen Environment Forum. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate, Salon and Mother Jones, among other venues.



Anthony Ingraffea

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 4, "Cracker" Plants and Fracking and All That Gas, 7:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Tony Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus, Cornell University. He holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, M.S. in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado. His research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes in metals, ceramics and geomaterials.. He has authored with his students over 250 papers in these areas. For his research achievements in hydraulic fracturing he won the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics "1994 Significant Paper Award", and has twice won the National Research Council Award for Research in Rock Mechanics (1978, 1991). He became Co-Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Fracture Mechanics in 2005. In 2006, he won ASTM’s George Irwin Medal for outstanding research in fracture mechanics. For his public education efforts on shale gas and oil, TIME Magazine named him one of its “People Who Mattered” in 2011. He is a co-author of recent papers on methane emissions (2011, 2012, 2014, 2016), wellbore integrity in Pennsylvania (2014) and on conversion of New York (2012) and California (2014) to wind/sun/water power for all energy uses in the next few decades.



Derrick Jackson


Jennifer Jacquet

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 3: "We're So Screwed": The Ethics and Efficacy of Doomsday Reporting, 11:00 a.m.
  • Jennifer Jacquet is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University. She is an environmental social scientist interested in large-scale cooperation dilemmas, especially overfishing, climate change and the endangered wildlife trade. She is the author of "Is Shame Necessary?" (Pantheon, 2015) — about the evolution, function and future of the use of social disapproval. She has also written about the dangers of the term "Anthropocene", "doom and gloom" in ocean science reporting and survivor guilt as a species.


Paulina Jaramillo



Steve Katz

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 3: New Media Business Models (in a Post-Truth Era), 9:00 a.m.
  • As Mother Jones’ publisher, Steve Katz helped guide Mother Jones through a decade of transformation into an award-winning digital-first investigative reporting organization with offices in San Francisco, Washington DC and New York. A leader in non-profit journalism recognized by the American Society of Magazine Editors as the 2017 Magazine of the Year, Mother Jones reaches an average monthly audience of 14 million readers online and in print. 70 percent of MoJo’s $16 million annual revenue comes from its readers, either as subscriptions or donations (the balance split between foundation grants and advertising revenue). Having worn many different hats at MoJo since starting there in 2003, Steve is currently the lead staff for The Moment for Mother Jones, a $25 million special fundraising campaign to underwrite investments in the organization’s growth. Launched in early 2016, the campaign is more than halfway toward its goal. Steve is also a co-founder of The Media Consortium, a network of more than 70 progressive, independent media organizations. Steve has forty years' experience working in the fields of journalism, environmental advocacy, the arts, social justice and neighborhood-based housing development, and has served on several non-profit boards. Steve received his PhD in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and his B.A. from Oberlin College.


Peter Kelley

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY: The Fate of Renewable Energy Under Trump, 9:00 a.m.
  • Peter L. Kelley, Vice President for Public Affairs at the American Wind Energy Association, leads strategic communications on behalf of the association’s 1,000 member companies and its federal and state issue campaigns. He previously was principal of RenewComm, a PR firm for clean energy companies and nonprofits, and led communications for three national conservation groups. He was communications coach for the University of Maryland’s winning team in the International Solar Decathlon, and taught Public Communications Management at American University. He began his career as a newspaper reporter in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., and holds a Bachelor’s in Government from Harvard University.


Ken Klemow

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, ENERGY: The Next Fracking Fight: Pipelines, 11:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Ken Klemow is a botanist and ecologist with expertise in the environmental impacts of energy development. He serves as a Professor of Biology and Environmental Science and directs the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Dr. Klemow is an active researcher on environmental and energy-related topics, including restoration of lands disturbed by coal mining and natural gas pipelines, the potential for plants to produce biomass energy, and the environmental impacts of wind farms. He recently coauthored a study on potential impacts of Marcellus shale development on surface waters in northeastern Pennsylvania, and served on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Natural Gas Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force. For the past 25 years, Dr. Klemow has been active at the national level on education issues. In 2010, he received the Ecological Society of America’s Eugene Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education. He writes essays on the public understanding of science relating to energy and environmental issues. Dr. Klemow received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, and his doctorate from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.


Kathy Knauer


Rona Kobell

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 5, From Steeltown to Green City, 7:30 a.m.
  • Rona Kobell is a reporter for the Chesapeake Bay Journal, a nonprofit monthly newspaper covering science and policy in six states and the District of Columbia. For five years, she produced and co-hosted a live monthly radio show on WYPR in Baltimore that was broadcasted statewide. She blogs regularly at and runs the Bay Journal’s Facebook page. In 2015, she was named one of 26 “women greening journalism” by the National Audubon Society. The same year, Baltimore Magazine named her Best Bay Watcher. She has twice appeared at the popular Stoop Storytelling Series and speaks frequently at local schools and universities. Recently, she addressed the Global Estuaries Forum in Deauville, France. A former Baltimore Sun reporter, she was awarded the Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan in 2008. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Grist, Slate, Modern Farmer, Yale Environment 360 and the Columbia Journalism Review.


Doug Koplow

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, ENERGY: Can We Afford Nuclear Power? 2:00 p.m.
  • Doug Koplow is the founder of Earth Track in Cambridge, MA. For nearly 30 years, his work has focused on government subsidization of natural resources, primarily in the energy sector. Working collaboratively with environmental groups, government officials and international agencies such as the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, he has helped to improve subsidy measurement and to document the pervasive reach and enormous scale of energy subsidies. Redirecting these hundreds of billions of dollars per year in subsidies is increasingly recognized as an important lever for reducing poverty, transitioning to cleaner energy and addressing climate change. Doug’s recent work has focused on subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear power. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA in economics from Wesleyan University.


Jeremy Korzenik

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, WILDLIFE: Criminal Elements: Organized Crime and Natural Resources, 11:00 a.m.
  • Jeremy F. Korzenik is a Senior Trial Attorney at the United States Department of Justice’s Environmental Crimes Section. In his twenty-six years with the section, he has managed investigations and prosecuted cases under all of the major environmental statues and related federal criminal laws in over twenty states. He has prosecuted the poultry industry in Mississippi and Missouri for Clean Water Act violations, initiated pesticide misuse and wildlife destruction cases in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, pesticide counterfeiting charges in Alabama, prosecuted financial fraud in the biofuels industry, and tried cases resulting in the conviction of individuals whose willful misuse of highly toxic pesticides caused one of the largest EPA emergency evacuations in US history. He has pursued individuals and corporations for falsifying records to conceal the illegal discharge of waste into rivers and into sewage treatment systems, obtained convictions for illegal hazardous waste disposal and fraud against sham hazardous waste recyclers in Mississippi, Ohio, and New England, prosecuted hazardous waste dumpers, and won convictions on fraud and Clean Water Act charges in a landmark seven week trial involving the destruction of hundreds of acres of wetland on the Mississippi Gulf coast. He obtained record penalties against a large pesticide manufacturer for the falsification of pesticide registration forms and for the sale of products containing chemicals toxic to wildlife. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, between 1983 and 1991, Mr. Korzenik served as an Assistant Attorney General in the New Hampshire Department of Justice, first in the Criminal Bureau investigating homicides and major crimes and handling criminal appeals then in the Environmental Enforcement Bureau.


Bill Kovarik

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 8, Coal, Steel and Smog, 8:30 a.m.
  • Bill Kovarik teaches journalism, media history and law at Radford University. He earned his PhD at the University of Maryland in 1993. He is the author of "Revolutions in Communication" (Bloomsbury, 2015) and coauthor of "Mass Media and Environmental Conflict" (1996), among other books. His reporting and editing background includes the Charleston Post Courier, the Associated Press, the Baltimore Sun and Appalachian Voice. He also served from 2004 - 2010 as the academic representative to the SEJ board of directors.


Todd Kuiken

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, WILDLIFE: Can DNA Editing Save Species? 2:00 p.m.
  • Dr. Todd Kuiken is a Senior Research Scholar with the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at NC State University where he explores the scientific and technological frontier, stimulating discovery and bringing new tools to bear on public policy challenges that emerge as science advances. He has numerous projects evaluating and designing new research and governance strategies to proactively address the biosafety, biosecurity and environmental opportunities/risks associated with emerging genetic technologies. He previously was the principal investigator on the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Synthetic Biology Project. Dr. Kuiken is a member of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Ad-Hoc Technical Expert Group on Synthetic Biology. He is also a member of the human practices committee of the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition and a founding member of its biosafety/biosecurity committee. Dr. Kuiken has provided expert testimony in front of the U.S. National Security Agency Advisory Board, the U.S. National Academies of Science, the United Nations Bioweapons Convention, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. He earned a B.S. in Environmental Management and Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology; an M.A. in Environmental and Resource Policy from The George Washington University; and a Ph.D. from Tennessee Tech University.



Winona LaDuke

  • Event: Wednesday, Opening Reception, Tipping the Scales of Environmental Justice, 6:00 p.m.
  • Winona LaDuke is an internationally renowned activist working on issues of culturally based sustainable development and human rights. She lives on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, where she is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, one of the largest reservation-based nonprofit organizations in the country. She is a two-time vice presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party. Locally, nationally and internationally, she tackles the issues of climate change, renewable energy, food systems and environmental justice with indigenous communities. She emphasizes protecting native plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch universities, LaDuke has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. She is the author of five books including "Recovering the Sacred," "All our Relations" and a novel, "Last Standing Woman."


Rebecca Leber

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, CLIMATE: Rethinking Climate Change Denial, 11:00 a.m.
  • Rebecca Leber is a Mother Jones reporter in the magazine's Washington D.C. bureau. She covers environment and climate change, covering everything from the state of federal policy to the latest trends in science denial. She's also been an editor and columnist at Grist and a staff writer for The New Republic magazine. Her work has been published by Huffington Post, Wired, Slate, Newsweek, The Guardian and other outlets partnered with Mother Jones' Climate Desk. You can follower her on Twitter at @RebLeber.


Renee Lertzman

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 3: "We're So Screwed": The Ethics and Efficacy of Doomsday Reporting, 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Mini-Tour 3, Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale, PA, 2:15 p.m.
  • Dr. Renee Lertzman is a communications advisor, strategist and researcher, focusing on environmental communications and education. She works with private, public, academic and philanthropic sectors to apply psychological insights to innovate effective communications. For almost a decade, Renee taught The Psychology of Environmental Education and Communication in the MAEEC program at Royal Roads University. She has taught psychology of environmental communications at Portland State University, University of San Francisco, and UC Santa Barbara. She currently focuses on trainings and workshops for practitioners and researchers. Renee is the author of "Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement" (Routledge 2015).


Rebecca Lessner


Dave Levitan

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, CLIMATE: Rethinking Climate Change Denial, 11:00 a.m.
  • Dave Levitan is a freelance journalist, covering a wide variety of scientific and environmental topics, especially as they relate to politics and policy. His work has appeared at WIRED, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Gizmodo and many other outlets, and he was formerly the staff science writer for His book, "Not A Scientist: How politicians mistake, misrepresent, and utterly mangle science," was published in 2017. You can follow him on Twitter at @davelevitan.


Josh Levy

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 2: Safety, Digital Security and Legal Rights for Journalists, 9:00 a.m.
  • Josh Levy is a longtime campaign strategist and digital rights advocate. For more than a decade — including as advocacy director at Access Now and campaign director at Free Press — he’s helped lead global efforts to protect free expression online, fight for privacy and the right to encryption, secure strong open internet rules, reign in overreaching government surveillance and otherwise protect the rights of at-risk internet users. He’s currently a non-resident fellow at Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab.


Randy Loftis

  • Event: Friday, Panel Session, How to Go from Prof(essional) to Prof(essor), 7:30 a.m.
  • Randy Lee Loftis is a lecturer in digital and print at the University of North Texas’ Mayborn School of Journalism. From 1989-2015, he was the environmental writer for The Dallas Morning News. Previously he covered the environment for The Miami Herald and was a reporter and editor for The Anderson (S.C.) Independent. He also is a senior editor for Texas Climate News, an independent, nonprofit news organization, and has freelanced for a number of outlets. Randy is a longtime SEJ member and a former board member. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia and his master’s at UNT.



Bobby Magill

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 4, "Cracker" Plants and Fracking and All That Gas, 7:00 a.m.
  • Bobby Magill is a freelance journalist based in New York City and SEJ President. Until August 2017, he was the senior science writer covering energy and climate change at Climate Central. Previously, Bobby covered Western energy and environmental issues as a freelance writer for Popular Mechanics and as a reporter for the Coloradoan newspaper in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the Daily Sentinel newspaper in Grand Junction, Colorado. His work has also appeared in Climate Liability News, Scientific American, The Guardian, Grist, Salon, USA Today and other publications. Find him on Twitter @bobbymagill or online at


Joan Maloof

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 1, The Allegheny National Forest: Where Timber, Oil, Gas and Wild Rivers Meet, 6:00 a.m.
  • Joan Maloof is the Founder and Director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, a nonprofit organization creating a network of forests across the US that will remain forever unlogged and open to the public. She is the author of four forest related books: "Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest"; "Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests"; "Nature’s Temples: the Complex World of Old-Growth Forests"; and the just-released "Living Forest: A Visual Journey into the Heart of the Woods". Maloof studied Plant Science at the University of Delaware (BS), Environmental Science at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (MS) and Ecology at the University of Maryland College Park (PhD). She is a Professor Emeritus at Salisbury University in Maryland, where she founded the Environmental Studies program. Joan Maloof travels widely to visit old-growth forests and she may have visited more than anyone alive today. She speaks up to defend threatened forests and helps others do the same.


Phil McKenna

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Environmental Justice in the Age of Trump, 2:00 p.m.
  • Phil McKenna is a Boston-based reporter for InsideClimate News. Before joining ICN in 2016, he was a freelance writer covering energy and the environment for publications including The New York Times, Smithsonian, Audubon and WIRED. "Uprising," a story he wrote about gas leaks under U.S. cities, won the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award and the 2014 NASW Science in Society Award. Phil has a master's degree in science writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was an Environmental Journalism Fellow at Middlebury College.


Karla Mendes

  • Event: Friday, Network Breakfast 7, Won’t You Be My Mentor? 7:30 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, WILDLIFE: Criminal Elements: Organized Crime and Natural Resources, 11:00 a.m.
  • Karla Mendes has 14 years' experience covering Brazil’s financial markets and politics for international and local audiences, in addition to in-depth human-interest stories. She has been working as a Rio de Janeiro-based freelance correspondent for the Thomson Reuters Foundation since August, covering land and property rights and environmental issues in Brazil. She is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Co-author of a series of reports for the Thomson Reuters Foundation about Amazon conservation, with travel support provided by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), which had great impact in many countries. Before being a freelancer, Karla worked as a Latin American correspondent for the news agency S&P Global Market Intelligence for two years. She also worked as a financial reporter for several leading media organizations in Brazil, including Agência Estado, O Estado de S. Paulo and O Globo. In 2012, she worked in the Spanish newspaper Expansión in Madrid. Karla holds a master’s degree in investigative and data journalism from The University of King’s College, in Canada, and an MBA in economics from FIA, in Brazil. Karla won the top prizes for financial journalism in Brazil in 2009 as a member of the team of Brazilian newspaper Correio Braziliense. In 2013 she won a grant from the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), and in 2017 she was one of SEJ’s RK Mellon Conference Fellows.


John Miller

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 8, Coal, Steel and Smog, 8:30 a.m.
  • John W. Miller is a former corporate and investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and Time Magazine, and Pittsburgh-based global mining and metals correspondent for the Journal. Miller has covered elections around the world, the European Union, Fortune 500 corporations, mining and metal-making from Appalachia to Australia, and is an expert on global commodity trade, coal, copper and iron ore mining, the steel industry, U.S. manufacturing, Chinese export policy, WTO and anti-dumping trade law, and EU politics.


Jenni Monet


Leslie Montgomery


Bernardo Motta

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 1: Data Journalism: How to Find It, Mine It, Animate It, 9:00 a.m.
  • Bernardo H. Motta is an assistant professor of Theory and Community Journalism at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in charge of USFSP’s Neighborhood News Bureau. A former lawyer, journalist and consultant in environmental law and communication from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he researches topics related to environmental and community journalism, national and international environmental law and policy, media law and ethics, and journalism education. His research focuses on the interactions between environmental journalism/communication and the law, especially community right-to-know and environmental justice issues. He earned a Ph.D. in Communication and Information from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a Master’s degree in Social Communication and a Law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communication/Journalism from Estácio de Sá University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Community Journalism, Media Law, Media Theory and Environmental Journalism among others.


Will Myers

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 1: Book Author Pitch Slam, 2:00 p.m.
  • Will Myers is an editor at Beacon Press, where he acquires for the nature and environment list. He is particularly interested in books on environmental justice and activism, and the intersection of race, class and the environment.



Talli Nauman

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Tribal Nations Take a Stand, 11:00 a.m.
  • Talli Nauman is the Native American Journalists Association 2017 First-Prize recipient for Best Environmental Coverage. She is co-founder and co-director of the international media project Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness, initiated with a MacArthur grant in 1994. She is the Health & Environment Editor at the Native Sun News Today, the largest weekly circulation newspaper in South Dakota, her home state. She is the Editor of Meloncoyote, a bilingual newsletter, which brings together prize-winning environmental journalists and aspiring youth in training sessions to advance media coverage of cross-boundary sustainability issues in Northwest Mexico and Southwest U.S.A. She has served as the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Diversity Associate, co-authoring the organization’s "Guide to Diversity in Environmental Reporting." Her experience includes 40 years in major media outlets in the Americas, including Reuters, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, UPI and The Associated Press in Los Angeles and Mexico City. She has a master's degree in International Journalism from the University of Southern California and a bachelor's degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard-Radcliffe.


Robyn Niver

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 6, To the Bat Cave! 8:00 a.m.
  • Robyn A. Niver has been an endangered species biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 2001. While working on all aspects of Endangered Species Act implementation, much of her recent focus has been on conservation of the Indiana bat and other WNS-affected bat species, including working with various agencies on range-wide or regional programmatic approaches to consultations, habitat conservation plans and mitigation strategies. She recently stepped down from serving as the national White-nose Syndrome Conservation and Recovery Working Group lead.


Rachel Nuwer

  • Event: Friday, Celebrating Environmental Journalism Luncheon, 12:15 p.m.
  • Rachel Nuwer is a freelance science journalist based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes for outlets such as the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American and BBC. Her first book, "Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking," will be published in 2018.



Alisa Opar



Meaghan Parker

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, WILDLIFE: Criminal Elements: Organized Crime and Natural Resources, 11:00 a.m.
  • Meaghan Parker, board representative for the SEJ Associate Membership, is the Senior Writer/Editor for the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, where she is the editor of the award-winning ECSP Report and supervising editor of the New Security Beat. Meghan is the supervising producer of four award-winning mini-documentaries, including the Healthy People, Healthy Environment series and Broken Landscape: Confronting India’s Water-Energy Choke Point, which won an Honorable Mention from the 2015 SEJ Awards for Environmental Reporting. Prior to joining the Center, Meaghan was Manager of Research and Internal Communications at the energy company PPL Global, where she analyzed international investments and renewable energy policy. Meaghan is a member of the DC Science Writers’ Association and the International Studies Association.


Michael Pell

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, WATER: Growing Awareness of America's Lead Problem: Next Steps, New Stories, 11:00 a.m.
  • Michael Pell is a Data Journalist for Reuters. With fellow Reuters reporter Joshua Schneyer, Pell won the 2017 Oakes Award in Environmental Journalism for a series on lead poisoning called Unsafe at Any Level. Through dogged use of state Freedom of Information Acts, the Reuters team gathered census-tract level data about blood lead levels of children covered by Medicaid. This was data that the government had collected but, in many cases, failed to analyze. Pell and Schneyer found nearly 3,000 communities across the country with lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint, Michigan. A nominating letter to the Oakes Award judges stated: “Pell and Schneyer showed that millions of at-risk children are missing required lead tests; a federal report left Indiana children at risk of poisoning in their own yards; and lead dangers lurk in thousands of private water wells nationwide, often undetected….Our reporting spurred action at the federal level and in communities around the country. In July, 75 House and Senate members, citing our finding that millions of children missed lead tests, pressed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to close the safety gaps Reuters exposed. The CMS acknowledged blood screening gaps, and issued an 8-page bulletin directing more testing…..Following the story, the reporters received invitations to collaborate from epidemiologists at Harvard and New York universities and the Pew Trust. The report gave rise to dozens of local newspaper articles and blog posts in high-risk communities. And thousands of readers explored a Reuters interactive map, built with previously unpublished data, allowing people to assess lead poisoning rates in their neighborhoods.” Pell has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Delaware and a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Previously, he worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Center for Public Integrity and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.


Will Pickering

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, One City, Three Rivers: Pittsburgh’s Water Challenge, 8:15 a.m.
  • Will Pickering is the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s (PWSA) Communications Manager where he directs the Authority’s media relations, public outreach, social media and government relations programs. Prior to joining PWSA last fall, Mr. Pickering was Manager of Communications and Government Relations at the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). In that role, he managed the communications program and spearheaded DC Water’s interactions with the federal, District and neighboring local governments. Mr. Pickering joined DC Water after serving as a project manager for the President's Management Advisory Board of the Executive Office of the President. His experience in local government includes serving as a policy advisor to the Director of the District Department of Transportation and as a Policy Analyst in the Office of District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Mr. Pickering has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Santa Clara University and received his Certificate in Public Management from George Washington University.


Kendra Pierre-Louis


John Platt

  • Event: Friday, Network Breakfast 1, North America’s Freshwater Extinction Crisis, 7:30 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, WILDLIFE: Beyond Megafauna: Small Species, Big Loss, 10:45 a.m.
  • John R. Platt is a writer and editor specializing in wildlife, endangered species, climate change, green technology and related environmental topics. After ten years freelancing for publications such as Scientific American, TakePart, Audubon and others, John is now the editor of The Revelator, a new environmental news site. John lives outside of Portland, Oregon, where he spends his spare time (what little of it exists) drawing cartoons.


David Poulson



Lauren Randall

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY: The Fate of Renewable Energy Under Trump, 9:00 a.m.
  • Lauren Randall is a Director of Public Policy for Sunrun, the largest dedicated residential solar, storage and energy services company in the United States. Lauren leads the public affairs team for Sunrun's Public Policy department. Prior to joining Sunrun in San Francisco, Lauren worked as a Press Secretary for the Sierra Club’s national Beyond Coal campaign, based in Washington, D.C. Lauren graduated magna cum laude from Union College in New York.


Christopher Rolinson


Charles Rosenblum



Naveena Sadasivam

  • Event: Friday, Celebrating Environmental Journalism Luncheon, 12:15 p.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Expanding the Environmental Justice Tent, 10:45 a.m.
  • Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering the environment, energy and climate change at the Texas Observer. Prior to joining the Observer, she wrote about the coal industry for InsideClimate News and fracking for ProPublica. At ProPublica, she was part of a team that reported on the water woes of the West, a project that was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting. She has a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in environmental and science reporting from New York University and is currently an Ida B. Wells fellow at The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. You can contact her at and on Twitter @NaveenaSivam.


Neena Satija


Colin Schultz


Mindy Schwartz

  • Event: Wednesday, Farm Bill Workshop, 8:00 a.m.
  • Mindy Schwartz owns Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery, a for-profit urban farm built on two vacant lots in Wilkinsburg. The farm has been a labor of love for the past decade and a half and has gained quite a following among organic and sustainably minded urban gardeners as well as retail-based customers including Whole Foods and the East End Food Coop. Building Garden Dreams led to other efforts including co-founding Grow Pittsburgh, a local nonprofit promoting and supporting urban agriculture and service on several local boards including the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation.


Aurora Sharrard


Kate Sheppard

  • Event: Friday, Panel Session, How to Go from Prof(essional) to Prof(essor), 7:30 a.m.
  • Event: Friday, Opening Plenary, Environmental Journalism in the Trump Era, 9:00 a.m.
  • Kate Sheppard is a senior lecturer in the School of Media and Journalism at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work focuses on the intersection of science, public policy and politics. She has a particular interest in environment and energy, but has covered a range of issues as a newspaper, magazine and online journalist. She is currently an enterprise editor at HuffPost, and previously reported for Mother Jones, Grist and the American Prospect. Her writing has been recognized with awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Online News Association and the Deadline Club, and featured in the Best American Science and Nature Writing. She is a past board member and vice president of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and also serves as a board member for Street Sense and the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment.


Sara Shipley Hiles


Jamie Smith Hopkins


Michelle Spicer

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 1, The Allegheny National Forest: Where Timber, Oil, Gas and Wild Rivers Meet, 6:00 a.m.
  • Michelle Elise Spicer is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Pittsburgh, in Dr. Walter P. Carson’s laboratory. She also holds the Rea Fellowship through the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh and the Fabiola Aguirre Fellowship through the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies. Michelle researches forest succession, or how and why plant communities change over time. In Pennsylvania, she uses long-term experiments to test how overabundant white-tailed deer and salvage logging impact plant diversity. In Panama, she climbs trees to figure out how host tree characteristics drive patterns in epiphyte colonization and community development. Michelle also uses motion-sensor camera traps to observe plant-animal interactions in the understory and the forest canopy. Prior to coming to Pitt, Michelle earned a BS in IDEAS (Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Science) and a MS in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lehigh University.


Tim Steed

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 9, Fission and Our Energy Future: The View from Inside an Operating Nuclear Plant, 9:00 a.m.
  • Tim Steed serves as the Director of Performance Improvement at Beaver Valley Nuclear Station. In this role, he is a core member of the Senior Leadership Team reporting directly to the Site Vice President and has shared responsibility for the safe, secure, reliable, cost effective operation of the Station. The site encompasses almost 500 acres with approximately 920 full-time employees generating nearly two thousand megawatts. His department has direct responsibility for the Nuclear Training, Regulatory Compliance and Emergency Preparedness programs along with onsite responsibility for Nuclear Site Protection. Tim joined FENOC in August 2012 and has over 39 years nuclear experience including 21 years in the management ranks. His career has spanned diverse areas in the industry, such as Radiological Protection, Organizational Effectiveness, Performance Improvement and Nuclear Training. Tim has worked or visited 33 different nuclear sites encompassing PWR, BWR and CANDU reactors, including the Bruce Nuclear Station in Canada and the Koeberg Nuclear Station in South Africa. He is a past member on the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Analysis Review Board and contributing author to several industry articles and publications. Prior to his civilian career, he served his country as a Submariner in the US Nuclear Navy.


Peter Sterne

  • Event: Friday, Opening Plenary, Environmental Journalism in the Trump Era, 9:00 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 2: Safety, Digital Security and Legal Rights for Journalists, 9:00 a.m.
  • Peter Sterne is a senior reporter at the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the managing editor of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a comprehensive online database of press freedom incidents in the United States. Before joining the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Peter covered the media beat for Politico. He is a graduate of Columbia University.


James Stitt

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, One City, Three Rivers: Pittsburgh’s Water Challenge, 8:15 a.m.
  • As the Manager of Sustainability for the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority, James Stitt is responsible for integrating sustainability principles throughout Authority operations, ensuring that the PWSA's sustainability efforts enhance economic performance, environmental conservation and community engagement. He is tasked with increasing the use of energy efficient products and engineering practices, moving the Authority to embrace innovative and sustainable practices such as variable drives for pump motors and the exploration of hydroelectric power generation. Recently, his efforts have focused on implementing watershed-wide strategies to promote green infrastructure practices for stormwater management throughout the City of Pittsburgh. James received a MS in Sustainable Systems from Slippery Rock University, and has a BA in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.


Art Sullivan

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 8, Coal, Steel and Smog, 8:30 a.m.
  • Art Sullivan first went underground to mine coal over 50 years ago. He has worked at nearly every underground coal mining job, managed coal mines, managed coal businesses and consulted with coal companies in nearly every US state where coal is mined and in eight foreign countries. Sullivan understands both the good and bad of coal mining. He aims to help coalminers and non-miners understand and appreciate the good and bad, so that coal mining and society may be able to exist in harmony.



Land Tawney


Peter Thomson


Melissa Troutman

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 4, "Cracker" Plants and Fracking and All That Gas, 7:00 a.m.
  • Melissa Troutman began investigating shale gas extraction as a newspaper reporter in her hometown of Coudersport, Pennsylvania before joining editor Joshua Pribanic to co-found the investigative news nonprofit Public Herald and create Triple Divide. You can follow her on twitter @melissat22.


Stephanie Tsao

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY: The Fate of Renewable Energy Under Trump, 9:00 a.m.
  • Stephanie Tsao has been working as a reporter covering the U.S. power sector for four years. She has written for a year for "Power Daily," a publication under S&P Global. Before that, she wrote for three years for "Argus Air Daily," a publication under Argus Media. Before becoming a journalist, she worked for six years as an environmental analyst covering regulatory impacts to the power sector for NRG Energy, a New Jersey-based power company.


Emily Turner

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 1: Book Author Pitch Slam, 2:00 p.m.
  • Emily Turner, editor at Island Press, acquires books at the intersection of human and environmental health. She is especially interested in food and agriculture, the microbiome, disease and the effect of chemicals on our health. Emily's favorite books deliver an important message through a compelling narrative or voice. Recent publications include the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Toms River" by Dan Fagin, "Water is for Fighting Over" by John Fleck and "Biting the Hands that Feed Us" by Baylen Linnekin. Emily first joined Island Press in 2002 and is now excited to develop their growing list on health. She has also worked at New York University Press and Academy Chicago Publishers. Emily holds an M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in English literature from the University of Virginia.



Jenny Wagner

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE CRAFT 3: Investigative Reporting: How to Dig Deeper, 10:45 a.m.
  • Jenny Wagner is a health and investigative reporter with The Intelligencer, Bucks County Courier Times and Burlington County Times newspapers in suburban Philadelphia. She's won multiple awards for her reporting on issues such as aging, behavioral health and substance use disorders, and for her work with colleague Kyle Bagenstose on the Unwell Water series, which began in 2016 when he broke the news that high amounts of perfluorinated chemicals were found in the drinking water of tens of thousands of southeastern Pennsylvania residents. They’ve written more than 150 stories on the issue since. She is a graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.


Matthew Wagner

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY: The Fate of Renewable Energy Under Trump, 9:00 a.m.
  • Matthew J. Wagner is Manager of Renewable Energy Development for DTE Energy, a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. He manages a team that focuses on various aspects of wind and solar development for DTE Energy, including overall project site selection, design, obtaining land easements, collection of wind resource information, and conduct of environmental studies including wildlife and wetland assessments. Wagner and his team are also involved in various aspects of communications and community relations related to wind and solar development at DTE. Previously at DTE Energy, Wagner worked in DTE’s environmental management department, where he managed environmental personnel responsible for the company’s environmental compliance. Prior to joining DTE Energy, Wagner worked as an environmental consultant for Delta Environmental Consultants in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and ENCOTEC, Inc. an Ann Arbor, Michigan based company. Wagner began his career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Automotive Emissions and Fuel Economy Lab, also in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Rob Walters

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 7, One City, Three Rivers: Pittsburgh’s Water Challenge, 8:15 a.m.
  • Rob Walters is Waterkeeper/Executive Director of Three Rivers Waterkeeper. Previously, Rob was the Director of Membership and Individual Giving for Venture Outdoors and he spent the last nine years persuing his passion for inspiring people to get outside and experience nature through outdoor recreation and environmental education. He is credited as being a cornerstone in the success of Venture Outdoors and is recognized as a pillar in Pittsburgh’s outdoor recreation community. Prior to his work at Venture Outdoors, while earning his degree in Wildlife Conservation with an Entomology Concentration, Rob worked as a Naturalist, Field Biologist and Field Technician for the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Recreation.


John Webb

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, WILDLIFE: Criminal Elements: Organized Crime and Natural Resources, 11:00 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Lunch Plenary, The Sixth Extinction... Live and Personal! Noon
  • Prior to his retirement from federal service in 2011 as an Assistant Chief in the Environmental Crimes Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, John Webb dedicated more than three decades in various positions investigating and prosecuting transnational and domestic wildlife trafficking and poaching, including aggressive application of a panoply of federal offenses to fight the growing threat of transnational organized crime. Between 1978 and 2011, John fulfilled various roles including actively advising federal criminal investigators in the Department of the Interior, assessing civil penalties for wildlife violations, and writing enforcement regulations, then for a quarter century at the Department of Justice personally prosecuting or assisting other federal prosecutors to obtain convictions in hundreds of wildlife cases nationwide developed by both overt and covert investigations. Moreover, John developed innovative techniques and theories for prosecuting wildlife traffickers during his tenure at Justice. Contributions by John in collaboration with the U.S. Sentencing Commission led to published Sentencing Guidelines for wildlife offenses still in effect stiffening criminal penalties for convicted offenders. In retirement, John remains actively in support of anti-trafficking efforts by ASEAN-WEN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - Wildlife Enforcement Network) and the efforts of USAID’s ARREST (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking).


Jennifer Weeks


Matt Weiland

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, THE CRAFT 1: Book Author Pitch Slam, 2:00 p.m.
  • Matt Weiland is a Vice President and Senior Editor at W. W. Norton & Company, where he publishes a wide range of fiction and nonfiction. He has worked previously at Ecco, The Paris Review, Granta, The Baffler and the documentary radio unit American RadioWorks. Weiland is the co-editor, with Sean Wilsey, of the bestselling "State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America," and his writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Bookforum, Slate and elsewhere. He also wrote the introduction to the recent reissue of "Names on the Land" by George R. Stewart.


Tim Wheeler

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 1, THE CRAFT 2: Working Around PIOs Who Don’t Live Up to Their Titles, 11:00 a.m.
  • Tim Wheeler has covered the Chesapeake Bay and other environmental issues for most of his career, including nearly 32 years with the Baltimore Sun and Evening Sun. He's a former president of the Society of Environmental Journalists and has won numerous awards, including the 2010 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation. A native of West Virginia, he grew up eating oysters and followed his taste buds to the Bay. He began his career at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, then worked for a regional news service in Washington, D.C. After that, he moved still closer to the Bay, reporting for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and finally to Maryland. He earned a B.A from the University of Virginia and a master's in journalism from Columbia University.


Carolyn Whetzel

  • Event: Friday, Concurrent Sessions 2, CLIMATE: Climate Action in the Hands of the Courts, 2:00 p.m.
  • Carolyn Whetzel, co-chair of SEJ's 2016 conference in Sacramento, is an environmental reporter for Bloomberg BNA, a private publisher headquartered in Washington, D.C. that covers legislative developments, federal and state laws and regulations, court decisions, and economic trends. Whetzel is based in California and covers a variety of state environmental issues including air and water quality, hazardous wastes, chemicals, and energy since 1992. Her work appears primarily in Bloomberg BNA's Daily Environment Report, Environment Reporter, Toxics Law Reporter, Chemical Regulation Reporter, Occupational Safety & Health Reporter, and Daily Report for Executives. Whetzel joined BNA in 1970 while attending George Washington University, but left four years later to travel and move to California. Before rejoining BNA, which Bloomberg acquired in 2011, she wrote for in-house publications for several companies and institutions and was a freelance writer in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Dallas.


Dan Whitten

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, ENERGY: The Fate of Renewable Energy Under Trump, 9:00 a.m.
  • Dan Whitten, as Vice President of Communications for the Solar Energy Industries Association, oversees all internal and external communications efforts, including media relations, email marketing, digital and social media efforts, and others. Dan comes to SEIA after more than 15 years as an energy and environmental journalist including as a Bloomberg News energy reporter in Washington, where he covered legislative, regulatory and financial aspects of U.S. climate and energy policy debates. Most recently, Dan served as a senior director of communications at America's Natural Gas Alliance, overseeing the group's earned media efforts and playing a significant leadership role in advertising and social media campaigns, as well as the group's core issue campaigns.


Jack Williams

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, WILDLIFE: Species on the Move: Climate Change and Shifting Ecosystems, 9:00 a.m.
  • Jack Williams is a professor in the department of geography at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is a paleoecologist and biogeographer who studies species responses to past and future climate change. He is also the former Director of the Center for Climatic Research.


Lance Williams

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, THE CRAFT 3: Investigative Reporting: How to Dig Deeper, 10:45 a.m.
  • Lance Williams is a senior reporter for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. He has twice won journalism’s George Polk Award – for medical reporting at CIR, and for coverage of the BALCO sports steroid scandal at the San Francisco Chronicle. With partner Mark Fainaru-Wada, Williams wrote the national bestseller “Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports.” In 2006, the reporters were held in contempt of court and threatened with 18 months in federal prison for refusing to testify about their confidential sources on the BALCO investigation. The subpoenas were later withdrawn.


Dale Willman

  • Event: Wednesday, All-Day Journalism Workshop, Multimedia Training: Podcasts, Video and Social Media, 8:00 a.m.
  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 3, THE CRAFT 3: New Media Business Models (in a Post-Truth Era), 9:00 a.m.
  • Dale Willman has been an award-winning correspondent, editor, trainer and teacher for more than 40 years. He recently spent a year in South Sudan working as Lead Journalism Trainer and Civic Education Advisor for a USAID-funded project. He also spent a year in Indonesia as a Senior Fulbright Scholar, and has worked as an international journalism trainer and mentor on five continents. Willman spent more than 12 years in various roles at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. During the first Gulf War he provided reporting and hourly newscasts from London. His work was included in NPR’s receipt of the 1991 duPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. Also while with NPR, Willman shared a Peabody Award for his work on the "Lost and Found Sound" series broadcast on "All Things Considered." As a correspondent he won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting in 1998 for his CNN Radio series, "Broadway’s Dirty Little Secret." And while with CBS, Willman provided coverage of the White House, Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the State Department for CBS Radio stations. He also served as field producer and correspondent for a number of major events, from U.S.-Soviet Summits to the bombing of the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City.


Lynette Wilson

  • Event: Saturday, Concurrent Sessions 4, WATER: Making the Great Lakes Great Again, 10:45 a.m.
  • Lynette Wilson is a 2017-18 Ted Scripps Fellow at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Environmental Journalism. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied environment and natural resource policy, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


Christopher Winslow

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 1, The Allegheny National Forest: Where Timber, Oil, Gas and Wild Rivers Meet, 6:00 a.m.
  • Christopher Winslow, PhD, is director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. He coordinates Ohio Sea Grant’s Great Lakes research with agencies and universities, as well as assists in research, curriculum development and student recruitment at The Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory. Winslow earned his doctorate at Bowling Green State University, with research focusing on interaction between the native smallmouth bass and invasive round goby.


Roger Witherspoon

  • Event: Thursday, Tour 9, Fission and Our Energy Future: The View from Inside an Operating Nuclear Plant, 9:00 a.m.
  • Wm. Roger Witherspoon has spent more than 50 years working in all forms of the media as a journalist, author, educator and public relations specialist. Along the way, he has written extensively on state and national politics, foreign affairs, finance, defense, civil rights, constitutional law, health, the environment and energy. He has worked as a full time reporter, editor, columnist or producer for a variety of media companies including newspapers (The Record, N.J.; Star Ledger, N.J.; NY Daily News; Atlanta Constitution; Dallas Times Herald; and Journal News (N.Y.); television ( CNN, KNBC and NBC Network); and radio (WCBN, MI.). As a freelance writer, he has written for several publications, including Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Essence, Black Enterprise, The Economist, US Black Engineer & IT, Asia-Pacific Journal and the Huffington Post. He is the author of "Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Mountaintop," Doubleday, 1985; and co-author of "Feats and Wisdom of the Ancients," Time-Life Books, 1989; "Engineering 101: A Text Manual," Hampton University College of Science and Engineering, 1997; and the extended essay "African Americans and the Technological Society," Microsoft Encarta Africana, 1999. He is a co-founder of both the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, which grew into the present National Association of Black Journalists, and the New York Association of Black Journalists; and a board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, the International Motor Press Association and the Automotive Press Association.


Christine Woodside



Karen Yacos