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Conference session spotlight: Can’t miss events abound in McAllen

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Friday, May 23

Newsmaker: Water vs. Underwater Wildlife

Speakers: Myron Hess, National Wildlife Federation; Randall Luthi, President, National Ocean Industries Association; Dr. Larry McKinney, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies; Dr. Andrew Sansom, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.

Everyone has water issues. Pollution, over-harvesting and natural disasters are just a few of the challenges. This newsmaker session addresses some of the key issues confronting America’s water-based ecosystems. This four person panel, composed of those on the front line of water issues in the Gulf coast region, look at the effects man-made disasters and natural phenomena in the Gulf eco-system, the progress toward restoration and how the situation in the Gulf affects others thousands of miles away.

Newsmaker: Windmills vs. Wildlife

Speakers: Michelle L. Arenson, director, renewable asset strategy, Alliant Energy; Ed Arnett, director, Center for Responsible Energy Development; David Naugle, science advisor, Sage Grouse Initiative; Iliana Pena, director of conservation, Audubon Texas.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, from 2011 to 2012, the number of wind farms in the country grew more than 90%, with Texas adding more wind power capacity in 2012 than any other state. Windmills dot much of the Gulf of Mexico. The Department of Energy also estimates the wind sector employs more than 80,000 Americans. But this source of energy and economic strength comes at a cost to wildlife, particularly birds and bats. Join experts from both the conservation and wind energy sides of the issue who examine the effects of windmills on various ecosystems in the Gulf region, the prairie and elsewhere.

The Right Lens for the Job

Speaker: Ken Hubbard, Tamron.

Sometimes the right lens can make or break a shot. See for yourself with a Tamron pro staffer on hand and lenses available for testing.

TV/Film: How to Sequence Your Shots

Speaker: Kris Millgate, Tight Line Media.

Remember the old school trick of creating action by drawing the stick man running in the corner of flipping pages? That’s still the basic principal behind action shots. Visual movement is the one elemental advantage video has over all other mediums. Learn how to use movement to your advantage in the field. Every video shoot has a rhythm. Find that rhythm then match your working pace to what’s going on. Build a sequence of action without missing a beat.

Saturday, May 24

Write Tight: How to tighten up your prose

Speaker: Susan Ebert.

(final copy) Show up. Learn something. Earn repeat business. Make more money.
(original copy) OWAA members are encouraged to attend this session to learn a variety of different methods to help them hone their writing skills through group interaction and quick-study exercises so that they are better able to express themselves in a clear manner, more successfully write to an editor’s word count and develop the necessary skills to help them garner repeat business so that they are better equipped to ultimately increase their own personal revenue stream.

Bootcamp for Writers Who Need to Take Photos

Speaker: Ruth Hoyt.

Hoyt will take writers through the steps of producing documentary photographs that are sharp and exposed properly, with strong composition and content (story). Additionally, she shares tips for producing successful submissions that include writing and photography.

Newsmaker: Borders vs. Wildlife

Speakers: Ernesto Reyes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Krista Schlyer, author, “Continental Divide: Wildlife, People and the Border Wall;” John S. C. Herron, director Texas Conservation and Science with The Nature Conservancy; William C. Woody, chief, Office of Law Enforcement with the Department of the Interior.

The Real ID Act of 2005 authorized the Department of Homeland Security to waive all laws to expedite the construction of the fence along the Texas-Mexico border and other border barriers, which effectively removed protection for endangered species and fragile ecosystems in border regions such as McAllen, Texas. At the same time, illegal trafficking of exotic species remains a significant concern as these invasives frequently escape and then wreak havoc on native American ecosystems. This newsmaker panel will discuss border issues and the impact on wildlife, land use and outdoor recreation.

Sunday, May 25

Newsmaker: State of Outdoor Recreation

Speakers: Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; Mike Nussman, president and CEO, American Sportfishing Association; Steve Sanetti, president and CEO, National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Whether hunting, fishing, camping, birding, padding or hiking, we are all involved in outdoor recreation. Join the CEOs and senior leaders from the Outdoor Industry Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and American Sportfishing Association as they examine the state of outdoor recreation — who’s participating, what gear they use, where they’re recreating, why they’re outdoors — and what the future of outdoor recreation in the U.S. holds. Among the most prominent members of the outdoor world, these industry insiders will discuss the trends and challenges in each segment of outdoor recreation.

Newsmaker: The Hispanic Outdoorsmen

Speakers: Lefty Ray Chapa, writer; Stephanie Vatalero, Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation; Roy Rodriguez, Texas Parks & Wildlife; Bill Brassard, director of communications, National Shooting Sports Foundation.

This year’s diversity panel covers why Hispanics, one of the largest and fastest growing segments of our population, are attracted to the outdoors — or not. This session will cover barriers to entry with suggestions on how to recruit and retain the Hispanic outdoorsperson and why this is an important issue for all outdoorspeople.

Photo Scavenger Hunt Critique
Sponsored by Hunt’s Photo & Video

Judges: Earl Nottingham, Chris Madson.

Win cash and prizes from behind the lens! All attending members are encouraged to enter this fun contest in which professional and amateur photographers submit just one frame of each of the five required subjects, forcing them to “get it right” on a tight deadline. Doubling as both the annual entertaining critique of scavenger hunt entries and a general photo critique, two of OWAA’s top photographers tell us what they like and didn’t like about each photo helping everyone improve their photography skills. ♦

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