SEJ annual and regional conferences
Joseph Davis (above), freelance journalist and SEJ WatchDog Project Director/TipSheet Editor, along with the AP's David Pace, teach the craft of "Exploiting Databases" during SEJ's 2007 annual conference in Stanford, CA.
Photo by Ken Friedman.

SEJ's annual conference brings together journalists, scientists, government officials, advocacy leaders and others to explore the many facets of environmental stories in order to improve the quality and accuracy of environmental reporting. Annual conferences are open to both SEJ members and those who are not members.

SEJ also holds numerous regional conferences and other events to help its more than 1,500 members polish their craft and get important background on current environmental issues.

Each conference presents an opportunity to meet with other journalists, sit in on training writing and computer workshops, attend panel sessions where current issues are debated by experts, policy-makers and experienced reporters from all types of media. The annual conference also takes journalists out into the field, with full-day or half-day tours to environmental hotspots where issues may be explored on site with experts on hand to present sides and answer questions.

Participants in 2007 Saturday mini-tour "Driving the Future: From Cellulosic Ethanol to Plug-In Hybrids" watch as Pacific Gas & Electric staff demonstrate how its Prius "Sparky" returns electricity to the grid. Photo by Charlotte Kidd.
SEJ annual conferences have drawn an array of fascinating keynote and plenary speakers including:

  • Heidi Cullen, climate expert, The Weather Channel; Gail Kimbell, chief, U.S. Forest Service; Stephen Schneider, Stanford University climatologist and member of the Nobel PP-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and George Shultz, Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford distinguished fellow, Hoover Institution (2007)
  • Ben Cohen, co-founder, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream; Dean Kamen, inventor, and founder/president, DEKA Research & Development Corporation; Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT); and Marc Morano, communications director, U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (2006)
  • Molly Ivins, author, and columnist, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Bill Moyers, broadcast journalist, and president, Schumann Center for Media and Democracy; and Congressman Richard Pombo, chairman, House Resources Committee, U.S House of Representatives (2005)
  • Devra Davis, author, and director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; attorney and environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; and U.S. EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt (2004)
  • Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, and former SEJ board member and director of risk communication for the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, David Ropeik (2003)
  • Paul Ehrlich, the widely quoted Stanford biologist whose focus has been on population issues, and former Sen. Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day and counsel to The Wilderness Society (2002)
  • Russell Mittermeier, primatologist, conservation biologist and President of Conservation International, and Gale Norton, U.S. Secretary of the Interior (2001)
  • author Bill McKibben, and Canadian scientist and broadcast journalist David Suzuki (2000)
  • David Brower (1999)
  • marine biologist Sylvia Earle, and Ted Turner (1998)
  • UNEP Under Secretary-General Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Vice President Al Gore and E.O. Wilson (1995)
  • U.S. DOE Secretary Hazel O'Leary (1994)
  • U.S. EPA Administrator Carol Browner (1993)
Annual conferences

SEJ's 18th Annual Conference took place October 15-19, 2008, in Roanoke, Virginia. The conference was hosted by Virginia Tech. You can view the conference coverage and agenda, learn about the speakers, and download audio files (soon) of select sessions here.

The 19th Annual Conference will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 7-11, 2009.

Looking ahead: For our 20th Annual Conference, October 13-17, 2010, our host is the University of Montana-Missoula.

Details about future annual conferences are posted here about six months before each conference.

Information about past SEJ annual conferences is also available.

Regional conferences

SEJ's regional conferences sprout up wherever enthusiastic and energetic SEJ members join together to organize an event. These events range from three-day sessions including panels and keynoters to simple beer-and-pizza meetings with local experts or policy makers willing to spend a few hours with a handful of journalists. If you're an SEJ member and want to organize an SEJ event, click here.

SEJ regionals are organized to reach journalists and educators. Membership in SEJ includes discounts on event registration fees as well as many other benefits. For more information about joining SEJ, click here.

For full details on upcoming regional events, please visit this page.

Information about selected past SEJ regional conferences is also available.

The Society of Environmental Journalists
P.O. Box 2492 Jenkintown, PA 19046
Telephone: (215) 884-8174 Fax: (215) 884-8175

© 1994 Society of Environmental Journalists
The SEJ logo is a registered trademark ® of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Neither the logo nor anything else from the domain may be reproduced without written consent of the Society of Environmental Journalists.