14th Annual Society of Environmental Journalists Conference

More than 600 journalists, scientists, educators, governmentofficials, business leaders, environmental advocates and others willparticipate in the Society of Environmental Journalists 14th annualconference October 20-24 at Carnegie Mellon University. The conference,designed to improve and increase news coverage of environmental issues,will feature discussions by key policy decision makers, Hollywoodcelebrities and world-class environmental researchers.

The five-day conference kicks off Oct. 20 with a celebrity panel discussing how Hollywood influences environmental policy and policymakers from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the historic Pittsburgh Athletic Association in the city's Oakland section.

Actors Ted Danson and Mimi Rogers, and Myron Ebell, director ofthe Competitive Enterprise Institute, will participate in a discussionmoderated by New York Times reporter Andy Revkin.

A series of mini-tours through environmentally historic western Pennsylvania will begin at 7 a.m. Oct. 21. Journalists will see and experience a cache of "Rustbelt" success stories, including the world's biggest and cleanest steel coking plant in Clairton, Pa., to treks to Johnstown to discuss dam removal issues and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater house to discuss green building design.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chief prosecuting attorney for the HudsonRiverkeeper and president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, will speak at 7:30p.m. Oct. 21 at the Carnegie Museum Lecture Hall about the BushAdministration's environmental record.

The conference moves back to Carnegie Mellon at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 22 in the University Center with a welcome by University President Jared L. Cohon and a keynote speech by Gov. Michael Leavitt, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Saturday, Oct. 23, University Center program features a news-makingplenary on "Science and Politics" at 11 a.m. The panel, moderated byNational Public Radio's Ira Flatow, will discuss issues ranging fromwhether science is really apolitical to what the possible new scientificresearch standards will be from the powerful Office of Management andBudget. Other panel members for this plenary include Cornelia Dean, seniorscience writer of The New York Times; Paul Gilman, assistant administratorfor research and development and agency science advisor for the U.S. EPA;Neal Lane, former director of the National Science Foundation and aprofessor at Rice University; Raymond Orbach, director of the scienceoffice at the U.S. Department of Energy; and Russell Train, chairmanemeritus of World Wildlife.

In addition to these keynotes and plenary events, journalists will participate in more than 20 consecutive panels designed to debate everything from wastewater to climate change.

The conference taps the expertise of researchers from all over North America, including world-renowned Carnegie Mellon researchers such as Granger Morgan, head of a newly formed $6.9 million center designed to study the uncertainties inherent in climate change, and Chris Hendrickson and Lester Lave, co-directors of the university's Green Design Initiative.

Other conference panel experts include David Garman, assistant secretary at the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy;Christian Turner, first secretary, energy and environment for the BritishEmbassy in Washington, D.C., and John Bachman, associate director ofscience for the U.S. Environmental Agency's Office of Air Quality Planningand Standards.

An exhibit hall featuring more than 30 environmental boothsand products will be open for traffic Oct. 22-23 in the University Centergym. Deadline press are invited to cover single events, but fullparticipation requires conference registration. For complete details on theCarnegie Mellon/SEJ conference events, locations and registration, pleasesee the Web site of the Society of Environmental Journalists at www.sej.org.

For More Information, Please Contact: 
Catherine Copetas, copetas@cs.cmu.edu