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Hello followers of SEJ's Unofficial Conference Blog! Only a few days until the conference begins, and they're getting the thunderstorms out of the way early. The weather looks PERFECT for next week. Check it out: http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Lubbock+TX+USTX0808:1:US Continue reading
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Some said they felt welcomed by the Society of Environmental Journalists, others felt marginalized by the organization. By Bruce Ritchie, Florida Environments More than 100 protestors for varying causes held signs, beat drums and chanted Saturday at a "Rally for the Environment" in a park outside the International Hotel in Miami, site of SEJ's national conference. Ana Campos of Fort Lauderdale described herself as one of the "culprits" who organized the event, involving more than 40 groups in South Florida along with the Miami version of Occupy Wall Street. She said the groups were welcomed by SEJ and felt they... Continue reading
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An unnamed environmental activist prepares signs for a rally to be held outside the Intercontinental Hotel to call attention to local environmental issues that did not make it into the conference program.. The rally was expected to begin after the lunch plenary, around 1:30 pm Continue reading
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will address SEJ's conference in Miami Wed, Oct. 19. With the House of Representatives threatening deep cuts to conservation budgets, Secretary Salazar will discuss what is at stake for America's economy and environment, and make the case for why now is the time for smart investments in landscape-scale conservation, from the Florida Everglades to Montana's Crown of the Continent. The dinner reception will be held from 5 - 9 p.m. at the Intercontinental Miami Grand Ballroom. I hope you can join us! Continue reading
John Daley, a reporter for KSL 5 News in Salt Lake City, moderated the event, which included Karen Harbert, director of the US Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy; Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity; Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; and Randy Udall, an independent energy consultant and former director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency and co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas — USA. Conversation got quite heated in Saturday's lunch plenary as a panel of experts representing several sides... Continue reading
Saturday’s concurrent session on the West focused on Northwest tribes and their spiritual, economic, and legal connection to the Salmon and Salmon runs. Chuck Brushwood, policy analyst for the Fish and Wildlife Department of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, began the session by discussing and introducing the effect of hatcheries on the decline of wild salmon. He said that at the Colville hatchery, they're using passive gears to collect the salmon, harvest only the hatchery fish, then release the wild ones back into spawning grounds, assuring they're only harvesting what is meant to be harvested. The wild fish... Continue reading
Footage from the Saturday night festivities in the chalet at the base of Montana Snowbowl's ski slopes, posted on behalf of videographer and SEJ member Michael Scott, environment reporter for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, OH: The Founders' Ceremony and Dance Party (with entertainment by the most excellent Big Sky Mudflaps) Continue reading
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The morning sun warmed journalists and environmentalists as they set off at 8:30 am on Thursday to learn about "Preserving Wildlife in a Changing World." The group spent the day exploring the homes of the snowshoe hare, lynx, elk, wolf, and dozens of other species living on the edges of Montana's urban areas. At the first stop, they visited a new housing development near Missoula, with views across urban elk habitat. On Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal land, game cameras monitoring wildlife corridors -- underpasses and overpasses -- caught footage of curious journalists instead. As the tour rolled to the... Continue reading
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Members of the "Managing Indian Country" tour saw a herd of American bison at the Bison National Wildlife Refuge. The herd was just outside the tour bus but we were kept inside for safety reasons. There were young bison close to their mothers and big bulls wandering in their midst. One of the most interesting sights was a lone bull bison sitting in the fog in a valley by himself. A refuge official said it's not uncommon for an old bull bison to decide he just wants to live alone from the herd. The refuge rangers on their horses can... Continue reading
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Stretching from the infamous Berkeley Pit at Butte to the former Milltown Dam site outside Missoula, the Clark Fork Superfund area is one of the largest in the country. An amalgamation of four different superfund sites, Butte/Silver Bow Creek, Montana Pole, the Anaconda Smelter, and the Milltown Reservoir, it runs along 140 contiguous miles of the Clark Fork River. Leaving before sunrise, Thursday's Superfund Tour visited each of the major superfund sites along the river before ending back at Missoula later in the day. Each site offered a unique glimpse of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in action, working to... Continue reading
boost in wildfires, temps, glacier melt; the West’s up a creek, paddlelessly! invasive species so fruitful — no hills left for natives to flee to land snatched from tribes now so spoiled by climate change no one would want it back coming water wars will pit the haves against the thirsty have-nots three hours to Glacier and three hours back — does this bus make my butt look sore? listen close and you can hear inexorable drip of glacier melt Continue reading
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The use of dispersants during the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster has been a thought- provoking, highly debatable issue. Speaking at a network lunch, Dr. Claire Paris-Limouzy from the University of Miami disagreed on using of dispersants to remove oil, saying that we have negligible knowledge about their impact on the ocean ecosystem. We also lack the basic knowledge about the chemical structure and what kind on dispersant to be used for a particular type of oil. Thus, a lot of scientific research is required to understand and broaden our knowledge about dispersants, and how to use them at the right... Continue reading
Some day, all roads will lead to Alberta...that is, if the Canadian province's vast oil reserve known as the tar sands continues its steep development trajectory. According to Janet Annesley, vice president of communications for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, everything changed for Alberta in 2002, when the U.S. Department of Energy officially declared the Alberta tar sands as an economically and politically feasible source of energy. With a flick of its regulatory pen, the DOE shifted the landscape of the whole energy-consuming world. As Annesley explained, the tar sands oil reserve constitutes "half the investible oil in the... Continue reading
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Roughly a dozen SEJ conference attendees ventured into the Montana wilderness braving the early morning chill, and a trail that could potentially lead them 19 miles into the Bitterroot Mountains. They were at Kootenai Creek: a tour added at the last minute, thanks to high interest in hikes along trout habitat. As I was the only volunteer who was familiar with the area, I was asked to lead the group and be van-driver to the Stevensville trail Thursday morning. Although the group opted to hike only about two and a half miles in, the group reached the edge of a... Continue reading
Good morning! I will be joining Axita Gupta as a graduate science student at this year’s SEJ Conference; the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island has graciously sponsored both of us. From the online schedule, this looks like it will be a truly amazing week, and I am particularly excited to study the interface between the science and journalism communities. Continue reading
A mysterious illness has decimated honeybees around the world. An article in the October 6 edition of The New York Times reported that new research blames a fungs tag-teaming with a virus for the die-off. A Fortune story two days later took issue with this research. Reporter Katherine Eban pointed to financial ties between Bromenshenk and Bayer AG, the chemical company that produces the pesticides blamed for the neurological disorders that make bees unable to navigate and work. Janet Raloff, senior editor at Science News, and Beth Daley, environmental reporter for the Boston Globe, will co-host a Saturday mini-tour on... Continue reading
Hi! I am Axita Gupta. I am a graduate student at Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, Louisiana State University. I am studying biogeochemistry and biodegradation of hydrocarbons by microbes in sandy beaches as a part of my thesis research project. Metcalf Institute at University of Rhode Island selected me as one of the graduate student to attend SEJ conference this year. This conference will be a great platform to build my writing and communication skills in order to convey scientific issues to general public. Really excited about this conference. Continue reading
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SEJ 2010 is going to be a multi-media affair. If you're creating video of conference tours and events while in Missoula, SEJ will help you get it onto the 'net and linked to this blog. According to SEJ executive director Beth Parke, I wanted to let folks know that I have updated SEJ's plus account with VIMEO, available for upload of longer (or shorter) video. Contact me for passcode if you want to make use of it for the blog. We also have a YouTube account. ...SEJ members with intent to upload conf. video, email me at bparke at sej.org... Continue reading
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Missoula is easy. You've got your river and you've got your hills and everything else is oriented to these, most of it in walking distance. If you get lost, just look up. Continue reading
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The first SEJ conference I attended was Austin. I was turf maintenance editor at a golf magazine then. This position was considered so unpleasant that the managing editor didn't even tell me it was part of my responsibilities for a week after I started the job. Little did he suspect that I'd find the chemistry, weather, horticulture, machinery and labor, all of which contribute to making the maintenance budget the largest for golf course owners, fascinating. I leaned on SEJ for guidance in covering the issues. SEJ earned my enduring gratitude for helping me manage the steep learning curve. That... Continue reading
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This is Miranda Spencer, making my first post to the Unofficial Conference Blog. I'm very excited about wilderness hiking in Montana, meeting up with old friends and making new contacts. I'm looking forward to learning whatever I can at the conference about how to get back in the swing of making at least part of my living as an environmental journo, in this rapidly changing, sometimes disheartening media landscape. I've always observed that networking is THE best way to find key information and get work leads, not to mention the most fun. I know that multimedia capabilities are becoming a... Continue reading
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SEJ's 20th annual conference is less than two months away. Here are some links to get you to Missoula from Oct. 13-17, 2010 : 2010 agenda Conference registration Lodging & transportation City of Missoula official website University of Montana, conference host Download the conference brochure (PDF) SEJ members: Find a roommate or rideshare © Spanish Creek by Margaret Emerson. © Image courtesy Margaret Emerson. Continue reading
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Planning for the Montana conference is moving ahead like gangbusters! Here's where the post-conference tour is going: That's right: Glacier National Park. Learn more about SEJ's conference here: http://www.sej.org/initiatives/sej-annual-conferences/AC2010-main See you in Missoula! Continue reading
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Planning for the Montana conference is moving ahead like gangbusters! Here's where the post-conference tour is going: That's right: Glacier National Park. Learn more about SEJ's conference here: http://www.sej.org/initiatives/sej-annual-conferences/AC2010-main See you in Missoula! Continue reading
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Mar 15, 2010