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Christine Heinrichs
California's Central Coast
I write about environmental subjcts, from agriculture, especially poultry, to oceans, especially marine mammals.
Interests: traditional poultry breeds, northern elephant seals
Recent Activity
Florence Williams and the panelists were telegenic at their early morning event, talking about their book experiences. One publisher asked Michael Kodas how telegenic he was, during the book proposal process. Michael recommends saving goos photos and clips of yourself for marketing. Elizabeth Grossman, herself formerly an agent, doesn't use one now. she's noticed the disappearance of independent bookstores and newspaper book review sections that used to be mainstays of marketing. She and other writers on the panel succeeded by identifying interest groups that would be their core readers and contacting them directly. Her book, High Tech Trash, was in... Continue reading
What great booths at the hospitality reception! Fantastic food. One of the meat carvers was also the pastry chef, of which she was very proud. Personally, I liked the chocolate macaroons the best. Jon McRoberts the ocellated turkey expect, joined us. His research on Lesser Prairie Chickens was supported by the Dept. Of Fish &Game, among others. He thinks the Prairie Chicken could be charismatic enough to be the poster bird for habitat preservation. It's certainly a bird that captures attention. It's recognizable enough that the wildlife refuge us its silhouette on its signs. That's more encouraging than the opinion... Continue reading
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge showed us some of its birds today: a Great Horned Owl and a Northern Harrier flew past us. Sand hill cranes stayed far afield, but their musical calls carried across the clear, dry air. A smudge on the landscape might have been a burrowing owl, but it was too indistinct to be certain. As we were leaving the refuge, amazing birderRob Lee spotted one we could see and identify, at least through his spotting scope. We also saw avocets on the water, sandpipers at water's edge and several kinds of ducks. Refuge manager Jude Smith showed... Continue reading
Those birding SEJ members who aren't able to include the Muleshoe tour in their schedules, here's the bird list, Eat your hearts out. I've arranged to meet with Jon McRoberts, a Texas Tech researcher who is studying Ocellated turkeys of the Yucatan. I wrote about his work a couple of years ago and I'm delighted to have the chance to visit with him in person. Contact me if you would like to join us Thursday evening at 7. Continue reading
A dozen of us got together last night at the Beat Dinner for Media with a Message. Trish Riley is creating her own nexus of environmental news and information with Cinema Verde, a film festival. She's also established, an aggregation site for environmental news. I post there, general stories I find interesting, and stories specific to California. It helps me follow them. She can create a page for your state or subject of interest. How would an aggregation site help you and your work? Continue reading
Isabel Abrahms of Chicago asked the International Environmental Reporting panel about funding for science and environmental education for young people. “I see optimistic stories out there,” she said. The Pulitzer Center has a program that brings a documentary film producer into the classroom for six weeks to work with students. Global Gateway brings journalists into classrooms. After the session, I connected with Lynne Cherry, who will lead a session Saturday morning on "Kids These Days…Looking Out for Their Own Future." She has produced Young Voices for the Planet, a film series for schools. One of the students she features, Sean... Continue reading
Funding Journalism Projects The meet-and-greet for International Environmental Reporting: Fertile Field or Fallow Ground? brought SEJ members and nonprofit journalism funding organizations together. With funding disappearing from news organizations, these organizations are a route to getting the $$$ reporters need to do stories they are passionate about. These organizations can serve as the firewall between funders and journalists by making independent decisions on which projects to fund. Geoff Dabelko, director of the Environmental Change and Security Program for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, is looking for fellows who are journalists. The center supports 50-60 fellows at any given... Continue reading
Wow, Amy, thanks so much for this! I got energized about using video during this conference -- I'll start adding it to my blogs, and, next week.
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This tour, about preserving wildlife against both human encroachment and climate change, was my first choice, given my interest in the interface between wildlife and humans at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Viewpoint. Here in Montana, the species crossing paths with humans include elk, black bears and grizzly bears, wolves, lynx and hares. Jim Robbins and Alex Sakariassen did a great job of organizing the tour. We got out and saw the habitat where these critters live and talked to the experts in their native territory. New housing developments put people in elk range. Since the local herd increased from 40... Continue reading
I look forward to meeting you, Zach! Mark Schleifstein concluded yesterday's session by asking all of us to introduce ourselves to at least three new people every day of the conference. With hundreds of people here, that will be the easist assignment I get this month.
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The initial session this afternoon gave us stateside members a chance to hear from European journalists. SEJ boosted the presence of journalists from around the globe with funding from the University of Montana -- thanks, UM! The university funded 20 member fellowships. Christy George's President's Report in the current issue of SEJournal recounts how members from outside North America and Mexico stepped up and asked to attend, making it possible to give the conference more global reach. What a powerful experience to hear from journalists from the BBC, France, Sweden, Norway and other countries. Our professional lives share more in... Continue reading
Great, Jennifer! I'll be there. I just finished writing a story for Urban Farm magazine about chicken coops. One of my sources was Owen Taylor, training coordinator for Just Food in New York City, Their coops need to be secure against urban wildlife: raccoons, opossums, hawks, owls.
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They hold a special fascination because of their ability to carry on their lives under conditions so unlike our airy world.
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The Bad News is that sustainable living expert Trish Riley, my friend and colleague, won’t be able to attend the conference. The Good News is, she asked me to fill in for her hosting a beat dinner. Chris Allen of the Biomimicry Institute is the guest at Scotty’s Table, which serves great local food, on Friday. I hope you'll join us. I’m looking forward to meeting Chris Allen, and hearing more about his work. And eating -- perhaps the warm lentil salad with the polenta tart, or the local bolognese... The Biomimicry Institute offers resources such as, the biomimicry... Continue reading
What a great panel! Choosing one event over another is the hardest part of SEJ.
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You sure are at the center of environmental news, Axita! Thanks for attending the conference. You will add a lot and be an ambassador to your program from SEJ.
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One of my interests at this conference is to explore the interface between humans and wildlife. I’ve been gathering information by serving as a docent at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Viewpoint on California’s Central Coast. The issues of of marine mammals are similar to those of land mammals, which I’ll learn about on the Thursday tour, "Preserving Wildlife in a Changing World." Northern elephant seals don’t cross paths with humans much, so they’re less controversial than animals that do, such as manatees. SEJ member Craig Pittman’s book, "Manatee Insanity," examines how that innocuous vegetarian became the hot button animal... Continue reading
Jim Bruggers has let me know that Jag and his companion, Gov. Schweitzer, weren’t able to fit SEJ onto their schedules. Sen. Jon Tester, a friend of the governor, and former Congressman Pat Williams -- both Democrats -- will be there in place of the governor and his dog. Sen. Tester, a farmer who got into politics about ten years ago, knocked off a three-term incumbent Republican, Conrad Burns, in 2006. Rep. Williams served as a representative from Montana for nine terms. Now, at age 72, he plans to teach environmental politics at the University of Montana one more year.... Continue reading
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and First Dog Jag, his border collie, will be SEJ's guests at the opening reception and dinner Wednesday evening. Thomas Friedman, in Hot, Flat and Crowded, quotes Gov. Schweitzer at length on global warming. The governor and his wife, Nancy, are plugging an electric ZAP truck in this photo. It turns out that Montanans get it: elk hunting season has had to be pushed back from October to November, because the heavy mountain snows that push elk to lower elevations where hunters can track and kill them don’t arrive in October any more. “Changing the date... Continue reading
Fall is my favorite time of year, and seeing Montana in October is a dark star drawing me north, a perfect setting for my favorite conference of the year. I've volunteered for fewer events this year, because I discovered that being engaged in my own activities took me away from others. I hate it when something happens and I miss it. This year I’m leaving time for the unexpected. Sessions that catch my attention often feed into ideas that haven't fully developed for me yet. I got fired up about Laurel Neme's session on wildlife trafficking two years ago, and... Continue reading
Poultry meat is seasonal, too. See my article in this month's Backyard Poultry magazine, Learn more about raising traditional breed poultry in small flocks from my books, How to Raise Chickens and How to Raise Poultry.
Sustainable agriculture is such a great subject to write about – There’s always something new to learn. Today at Growing Power in Milwaukee, I learned that I put the wrong worms in my compost pile! As soon as I get home, I’m replacing those nightcrawlers with red wigglers. They live up to their name, showing off a vigorous wiggle for the assembled tour participants. Will Allen was selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 2008 for founding Growing Power. Talk about intensive agriculture – they’ve got fish ponds at the bottom, with the nitrogen-rich water pumped up into sprout trays that... Continue reading
Patty Loew stood out among the after-dinner speakers at the Opening Reception. Not that the others -- the governor, Galyord Nelson's daughter, former Forest Service Chief -- weren't good, but Patty grabbed my attention by leading us to an overlooked story: the impact of climate change on indigenous people. As an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, she speaks from a personal perspective. Native Americans are tied to the land, both culturally and geographically, by the boundaries of their reservations. They are intimately connected to the land and the plants, insects, birds and animals that... Continue reading