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Stanford Law School, Environmental & Natural Resources Law and Policy Program
Stanford Law School, Environmental & Natural Resources Law and Policy Program


We invite you to learn more about our exciting Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program at Stanford Law School.  We look forward to continuing our collaboration with all of you who share our interest in the crucial energy and environmental legal issues we face in our clinic, teaching, and scholarship.


Meg Caldwell, Dan Reicher, Deborah Sivas, Alicia Thesing, Buzz Thompson, Michael Wara

October, 2012



New Environmental Law & Policy LLM Program

Stanford Law has introduced a new Master of Laws (LLM) Program in Environmental Law & Policy to begin in the Fall of 2013.  This highly specialized two-year program invites lawyers with a law degree from outside the United States and relevant work experience to come join our community and build their transnational expertise.  This LLM program will join the existing LLM programs in law, science, and technology and corporate governance.

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Faculty Leaders: Buzz Thompson

Buzz Thompson JD/MBA ’76 (BA ’72)

-- authored a book, Water and the California Economy, Policy Institute of California, May 2012, with Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund, & 11 others.

-- published “The Nature and Causes of the Global Water Crisis: Syndromes from a Meta-Analysis of Coupled Human-Water Studies,”  48 Water Resources Research W10516, October 2012, with V. Srinivasan, E.F. Lambin, S.M. Gorelick, S. Rozelle.

-- featured as keynote speaker at the 20th annual water symposium, Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County, April 2012.

-- authored  “A Federal Act to Promote Integrated Water Management: Is the CZMA a Useful Model?," 42 Environmental Law 201, March 2012.

-- wrote “Water as a Public Commodity,” 95 Marquette Law Review 17, December 2011.

-- authored “EcoFarming: A Realistic Vision for the Future of Agriculture?,” 1 UC Irvine Law Review 1167, December 2011.

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Faculty Leaders: Michael Wara

Michael Wara '06

-- authored "Late Miocene Decoupling of Oceanic Warmth and Atmospheric Dioxide Forcing," 486 Nature 97, June 2012, with Jonathan P. LaRiviere, A. Christina Ravelo, Allison Crimmins, Petra S. Dekens, Heather L. Ford, Mitch Lyle.

-- cited in article, "Are toxic gases being created just to earn carbon credits?" in DNA India, September 2012.

-- featured in New York Times article, "Profits on Carbon Credits Drive Output of a Harmful Gas," August 2012.

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Faculty Leaders: Meg Caldwell

Meg Caldwell '85

-- introduced new course at Stanford University, "Marine Biodiversity: Law, Science & Policy" that examines the mechanisms that create marine biodiversity and the ways in which biodiversity and natural resources are linked, with Ryan Kelly, PhD, JD.

-- look for a piece in the ELI's Environmental Forum for November-December 2012 that will feature an article by Meg Caldwell and Ryan Kelly and another article by our recent alum Margaret Peloso '09.

-- authored “Ten Ways States can Combat Ocean Acidification (And Why They Should),” Harvard Environmental Law Review, December 2012 forthcoming, with Ryan Kelly.

-- authored “'Not Supported by Current Science’: The National Forest Management Act and the Lessons of Environmental Monitoring for the Future of Public Resources Management,” Stanford Environmental Law Journal, January 2013 forthcoming, with Ryan Kelly.

-- authored "Incorporating Ecological Principles into California Ocean and Coastal Management: Examples from Practice." Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, California. Center for Ocean Solutions, July 2012, with Ashley L. Erickson, Melissa M. Foley, Erin E. Prahler.

-- authored "Why Ocean Acidification Matters to California, and What California Can Do About It: A Report on the Power of California's State Government to Address Ocean Acidification in State Waters." Center for Ocean Solutions. March 2012, with Ryan P. Kelly.

-- authored “Big Think: Ocean Conservation Strategies and the Next Decade of Marine Conservation Philanthropy.” Center for Ocean Solutions, November 2011, with Xavier Basurto, Alice Chiu, Larry Crowder, Rod Fujita, Peter Kareiva, Stephen Palumbi, Whitney Smith, Mike Weber, Thomas Hayden.

-- wrote Op-Ed. "Clean Water Act Failing in New Climate," San Diego Union Tribune, October 2011, with Ryan Kelly.


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Faculty Leaders: Dan Reicher

Dan Reicher '85 

-- Named one of top 5 most influential figures in U.S. clean energy by Oil Price.com.  Reicher heads the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, an interdisciplinary center to study and advance the development and deployment of clean energy technologies through innovative policy and finance.

-- Authored "How to Make Renewable Energy Competitive," New York Times, June 2, 2012, with Felix Mormann.

-- Published "The Wind at Our Backs," 336 Science 672 (2012).

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Faculty Leaders: Deborah Sivas & Environmental Law Clinic Highlights

Deborah Sivas '87 directed another highlighly accomplished year of the Environmental Law Clinic during which our students authored briefs, argued motions, deposed witnesses, wrote comment letters, and advised clients on a range of issues including climate change, agricultural pollution, and sacred land protection.  Ben Brysacz ‘13, Max Friedman ‘13, Maggie Brennan ‘12 wrote a powerful and much appreciated amicus brief in the California Third District Court of Appeals on behalf of fifteen environmental organizations, ranging from small regional conservation groups to national environmental organizations.  The amicus brief highlighted the climate change implications of developing a large ski resort on Dyer Mountain, a remote and beautiful area in Lassen County.  The brief also addressed the increasingly important issue of agencies charging prohibitively high fees for compiling the administrative record in California Environmental Quality Act cases. 

Danny Cullenward ‘13 and Dave Weiskopf ‘13 wrote amicus briefs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a number of prominent climate and life cycle analysis scientists to defend the ability of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to address climate change by adopting a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) for transportation fuels. The LCFS is designed to reduce the climate change impacts from transportation fuels in California.  In one brief, Danny wrote on behalf of climate change scientists to demonstrate the sound basis for the science relied upon by California linking transportation fuels to climate change impacts.  In another, Dave represented a group of experts in the field of life cycle analysis to explain well-established scientific principles the life cycle methodology.

In other policy work on climate change, Danny also represented Stanford Professor Michael Wara ’06 in comments on two different "offset" protocols being developed by the Climate Action Reserve, both of which will likely be adopted in some fashion by the California Air Resources Board in connection with the state's new cap-and-trade program. 

Our clinic continues to work with Monterey Coastkeeper to abate agricultural pollution in Salinas Valley.  Since filing a lawsuit against Monterey County Water Resources Agency, alleging that the Agency has violated state statutory and common law protections for water quality, our students, including Peter Broderick ‘13, Matt Ezer ‘12, Caitlyn Chacon ‘13, Tom Pack ‘12, Nick Parker ‘13, Ben Brysacz ‘13, Jake Klonoski ‘13, Adrian LeCesne ‘13, Ingrid Price ‘13 and Brigid DeCoursey ‘12 all worked on various aspects of this case’s development in pretrial discovery phase, deposing senior agency staff, and briefing opposition papers and arguing discovery motions.  Our students also briefed portions of summary judgment motion that was filed over the summer.  Relatedly, on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups including Monterey Coastkeeper, Brigid filed a petition with the State Water Resources Control Board challenging a newly adopted regulation of agricultural pollution, seeking more stringent and protective regulations for water quality.

Tom Pack ‘12, Adrian LeCesne ‘13, Ingrid Price ‘13, and Ben Brysacz ‘13 advised Native American and non-profit clients in their efforts to protect sacred lands and cultural heritage on three National Forests in Northern California.  The clients have been pitched in a long battle to prevent large energy projects from destroying a pristine forest area that has been used for religious ceremonies, medicine gathering, and education for thousands of years. 

Chris Chou ‘12, Jarrell Cook ‘13, Caitlyn Chacon ‘13, Jake Klonoski ‘13, and Ingrid Price ‘13 worked with partner attorneys in Santa Barbara County to help several non-profit clients secure public access to coastal lands and protect them from development. 

Matt Ezer '12 and Aaron Teitelbaum '13 briefed and argued our case to ensure that the California Department of Fish and Game conducts an adequate environmental review of the impacts of its fish stocking program, including stocking impacts on high mountain lakes that have no native fish, or in areas with native trout species, like California’s prized golden trout, that might hybridize with the stocked fish.  Aviva Reinfeld ‘12 contributed extensively to the opening brief.

Aaron Teitelbaum ‘13 wrote an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in a case reviewing the Department of Agriculture’s obligations to conduct Endangered Species Act review before deregulating one of Monsanto's genetically modified crops (round-up ready alfalfa).

Finally, Peter Broderick ‘13 and Nick Parker ‘13, with assistance from Ingrid Price ’13, argued before the Marin County Superior Court in a challenge to the failure to address the impacts of the county’s planned development on salmon and steelhead, on behalf of the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network, a program of the Turtle Island Restoration Network.  The coastal streams in Marin support runs of endangered salmon and steelhead, and streamside development is detrimental to their continued existence.  Peter expertly argued the merits, while Nick addressed evidentiary issues.  In another case for the same client, Holley Horrell ‘12 argued before Ninth Circuit challenging the State Department’s annual certification decisions to import shrimp.  Despite well-written briefs by Justin Goodwin ‘11, and Holley’s well-prepared and articulate argument before a packed audience in Stanford’s own moot court room, the Ninth Circuit ruled that res judicata barred our claims. 

All of our students contributed to the clinic’s successes by workshopping briefs and mooting fellow students for oral arguments and presentations.  The clinic’s work was overseen by Clinic Director and Luke W. Cole Professor of Environmental Law Deborah Sivas ‘87, Staff Attorneys Alicia Thesing ‘00 and Leah Russin.  As always, Lynda Johnston provided invaluable legal assistance.

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Although we are a small school (our total J.D. enrollment is 510, or about 170 per year), this academic year, we are offering 8 courses on energy and environmental law: natural resources law and policy workshop; environmental law and policy; energy law; cleantech: business fundamentals and public policy; California coast: science, policy and law; natural resources law and policy; and basic and advanced environmental law clinic.  In addition, we are offerering over 35 enrichment courses that are of particular relevance to environmental students.  See our brief Guide for Academic Year 2012-2013.

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Interdisciplinary Ties

Our program has a strong a focus on interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship. In this regard, we have ties to other world-class Stanford University research centers and programs, including: Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and FinanceWoods Institute for the Environment; Center for Ocean Solutions; Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Program on Energy & Sustainable Development; Program on Food Security and the Environment; Precourt Institute for Energy ; Global Climate & Energy Project; Precourt Energy Efficiency Center ; and TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy.

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Joint Degrees

The Law School provides 20 Joint Degree programs, four of which are of particular interest to environmental students: Business (MBA, 4 years); Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) (MS, 3 years, PhD); International Policy Studies (MA, 4 years); and Public Policy (MPP, 4 years).  We currently have approximately 40 students seeking a joint degree.

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Student Journals & Organizations

The Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program works closely with students in related student journals and organizations, including the Stanford Environmental Law Journal; the Stanford Journal of Law, Science and Policy; the Stanford Journal of Animal Law & Policy; the Stanford Environmental Law Society; the Energy Society of Stanford Law School; and the Stanford Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.

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Recent & Upcoming Events, Including Natural Resources Law and Policy Workshop Winter 2012

Special Announcment: Stanford will co-host the fall triennial "Future of Animal Law Conference" with the Animal Legal Defense Fund in October 2013.  More information about the last event held at Harvard here.

Tim Preso, Earthjustice Northern Rockies Managing Attorney, October 11, 2012 4:00pm - 8:00pm

AB-32 on the Eve of Cap and Trade, October 17, 2012 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Bruce Duthu, Professor, Dartmouth, November 5, 2012 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Danny Kennedy, Sungevity, November 8, 2012 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Deborah Behles, Associate Professor, Golden Gate University Law School, November 14, 2012 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Energy Seminar, Mondays, 4:15-5:15, NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Natural Resources Law and Policy Workshop, Winter 2012, Mondays, 4:15-6:15, Neukom Building N102, Stanford Law School

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