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All VLS Courses

Course Name
Category
Faculty

Administrative Law

Environmental

Provides students with a working knowledge of the general principles of administrative law;  implementation of legislative policy through administrative agencies, including the role of administrative agencies in the governmental process, rulemaking, adjudication, and judicial review of agency actions.

Advanced Energy Writing Seminar

Environmental

This seminar provides students an opportunity to produce a significant written paper based on sophisticated research and thinking about a key area in energy policy and law. Seminar topics include proposals for reducing the economic and environmental costs of meeting energy needs. Efforts to reduce costs through more efficient delivery and end-use are assessed, with specific attention to the statutory, regulatory, and contractual techniques for creating sound incentives.

Advanced Environmental Legal Research

EnvironmentalWriting

Provides in-depth exposure to the most useful, efficient strategies and resources for environmental law research, including highly specialized information databases, advanced administrative law research, legislative history, and environmental news/updating services.

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Agricultural Biotechnology and the Law

Environmental

This seminar provides students with a multidisciplinary working knowledge of innovations in agricultural biotechnology, of the legal institutions involved in its development and use, and of the theoretical underpinnings and normative influences that shape the debate about agricultural biotechnology.

Air Pollution Law and Policy

Environmental

An exploration of the major programs and regulatory strategies embodied in the Clean Air Act that are used to address conventional air pollution, toxic air pollution, and greenhouse gas pollution. 

America's Energy Crisis

Environmental

This course addresses the fundamental crisis in which growing energy demands are threatening the buffering capacity of our global atmosphere, while also producing the greatest emissions of most primary pollutants, and the struggle to identify and create the legal elements necessary to promote and ensure solutions.

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Animal Law

Environmental

This course will illustrate how animal lawyers are advancing the U.S. legal system in the interest of protecting all animals. Although our laws view animals as personal property, these lawyers and policymakers craft legal and policy arguments, and act on innovative litigation strategies, to keep the law evolving.

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Animal Rights Jurisprudence

Environmental

A discussion of legal rights for nonhuman animals, the sources and characteristics of fundamental rights, why nonhuman animals are presently denied them, why all humans are presently entitled to them, whether they should be available for nonhumans under the common law and, and what strategies are available for obtaining them.

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Animals and the Law

Environmental


This course considers the tensions inherent in trying to serve the needs of humans and animals, plus constitutional limitations of justifiability, due process, and First Amendment guarantees. Students  become familiar with litigation tools commonly used in animal law practice.

CERCLA Law and Policy

Environmental
Matt Chapman

Examines CERCLA's broad liability and cost recovery provisions, emergency response and cleanup requirements that extend beyond the usual Superfund sites.  Brownfields, natural resources damages, community involvement, recent Supreme Court decisions and statutory amendments will also be addressed.  The course will examine how parties escape or limit  liability through due diligence, defenses,  pollution prevention, settlement, and cost allocation.

CERCLA Liability and Cleanup

Environmental
This course explores how strict, joint and several liability works in the context of hazardous site cleanup. Related issues such as settlement, divisibility, apportionment, contribution, and allocation of liability will be addressed. Brownfields liability and how the law may promote private cleanup will be examined.

 

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Climate Change Litigation

Environmental

This course reviews the various statutory and common law claims being tried in climate litigation, the kinds of remedies sought, and the jurisdictional and evidentiary obstacles that must be overcome.

Climate Change: The Power of Taxes

Environmental

This seminar explores the ways in which tax systems can effect change in the energy consumption behavior of business, industry, and consumers.  The seminar addresses issues of theory, policy, politics, and law and --while focusing on climate change-- provides students with a framework for understanding how and when to use tax measures to address other environmental problems.

Comparative Environmental Law Research Seminar

Environmental

A research and writing seminar that provides a framework and faculty supervision for students to engage in comparative environmental law research. While the seminar is designed primarily to support VLS students participating in the US-China joint student research projects and will focus generally on China, the seminar is sufficiently broad to accommodate students interested in researching the environmental law systems of other countries.

 

Comparative U.S.-China Environmental Law

International LawEnvironmental

An overview of the tremendous environmental challenges for the 1.3 billion people in China and the efforts to address them through law and regulation. After an introduction to the political and legal system and cultural background of the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, we will survey the basic regulatory schemes managing air quality, water resources and quality, natural resources, environmental impact assessments, and pending legislation concerning waste management and energy conservation. If there is sufficient interest, we may offer an additional, optional, one-credit session in China immediately following the class, to let students experience firsthand the environmental conditions and lectures and meetings with leading Chinese environmental scholars and activists.

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Culture and the Environment

JurisprudenceEnvironmental

Interdisciplinary seminar that combines the study of cultural ecology with legal anthropology. The course examines the historical roots of the current environmental crisis in the development of agriculture, urbanization and industrialization. The course focuses on the political and cultural challenges of climate change in other historical periods and the challenges that global warming presents in different parts of the world.

Earth Law

Environmental

Examines assumptions underlying environmental, constitutional, corporate, and other laws, and how those assumptions impede our ability to live cooperatively and sustainably with the natural world. Identifies legal, governance, and economic systems that better recognize the inherent rights of all people and the natural world.

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Ecology

Environmental

Explores the principles of ecology using an interdisciplinary approach and field-based work. Course work stresses the inventorying of biotic and physical components of a landscape, examining how these components are distributed, and determining what forces drive these patterns. Topics include interpreting the natural and cultural histories of a landscape, biodiversity conservation, and the scientific method, among others.

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Ecology of Food and Agriculture

Required JDRequired LLMEnvironmental

A critical examination of several case studies drawn broadly from the science, law, politics, economics and policy of food and agriculture.  The course also has the broader goals of teaching the student to critically read the scientific literature, and to effectively apply science in diverse legal and political settings. 

Ecosystem Conservation Strategies

Environmental

This course will focus on the conservation theory behind landscape scale projects and specific implementation actions. Case studies will draw conclusions for lawyers and practitioners. The course will involve lectures and discussion. Materials will draw on actual cases and projects involving The Nature Conservancy and other conservation organizations.
 

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Energy Law and Policy in a Carbon-Constrained World

Environmental

Examines key issues in American energy policy and searches for ways to ease the strains which that policy puts upon environmental sustainability. The course reviews fundamental facts about our energy demands and sample regulatory orders and legal writings that address many of those elements from the perspective of a legal review. Background readings will include ethical issues of social justice in siting projects and meeting-or limiting-energy demand, the statutory schemes underlying traditional regulation, and an introduction to wholesale electric markets.

Energy Regulation and the Environment

Environmental

Builds on the course Energy Law and Policy in a Carbon-Constrained World by exposing students to the legal, economic, and structural issues involved in energy regulation and energy markets, focusing on electricity. The course examines the evolution, theory and techniques of monopoly regulation; the current processes for rate setting; and the development of  competitive, market-based alternatives. The course exposes students to the latest approaches to managing the electric grid, to renewable energy strategies and procurement, energy efficiency, demand side management and green markets.

Energy, Development, and Climate Change

Environmental

An exploration of the intersection of energy and development with special attention to the implications of climate change. Course topics and readings are based on recent developments, including the environmental implications of growing energy demand in China and other large developing countries, opportunities and challenges to adoption of renewable energy and other technology-based solutions, and the potential contribution of carbon trading.

Environmental Aspects of Business Transactions

Environmental

This course will introduce students to the liability, diligence and drafting issues that arise in complex environmental business transactions, such as the purchase and sale of major assets, real property and company stock.

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Environmental Dispute Resolution A

Alternative Dispute ResolutionEnvironmental

Explores the range of processes that are used to resolve environmental disputes with particular emphasis on consensual processes such as negotiation and mediation.  Instruction will be based on lectures and discussions of the theory of dispute resolution and environmental law and simulations to practice the skills needed to resolve environmental disputes.

 

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Summer
Spring

Environmental Economics and Markets

Environmental

Introduces students to the discipline of environmental economics and expose them to debates over the use of market-based instruments in environmental and energy policy. It also introduces students to basic economics and finance concepts, examines key principles, and applies these basic elements and concepts to common environmental problems and actual case studies.

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Environmental Enforcement and Compliance

Environmental

Introduction to the enforcement of federal pollution control laws and a discussion of the basic regulatory structure of those laws and the enforcement tools available to regulators. Covers civil and criminal enforcement and alternatives to traditional command-and-control regulation and enforcement for gaining compliance with environmental standards.

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Environmental Ethics Seminar

Environmental

Explores the ethical foundations of environmental reasoning, including: intrinsic value, biocentrism, utilitarianism, eco-feminism, deep ecology, social ecology, and religious/spiritual foundations of environmental reasoning. These theoretical approaches are applied to concrete environmental policy issues. A central goal of the course is to assist students in developing a personal and professional environmental ethic.

Environmental Health Law Seminar

Environmental

Using  federal environmental law and state public health law this seminar addresses human health impacts resulting from exposure to physical, chemical, biological, and social factors in the environment.  Coverage includes toxic torts, lead poisoning prevention, food protection, and pesticides.  Public policy, and the role of government as policymaker and regulator, are emphasized.  

Environmental Insurance Law and Litigation

Environmental

Provides a broad based introduction to insurance law generally, and more specifically to how environmental issues have forced dramatic changes in the insurance industry, as well as how insurance is a fundamental component of many cases with environmental implications. It will cover the nature and purpose of insurance; different types of environmental insurance products; excess and reinsurance; issues affecting insurers, including tort reform, environmental cleanups, and insolvencies; state and federal regulation of insurers in the environmental arena.

Environmental Issues in Business Transactions

Environmental

An exploration of the types of environmental risks and issues that are commonly confronted in a variety of business-related transactions such as the acquisition of all a company's stock, asset purchases, real estate deals, leases and financings. Special focus on how the environmental issues in transactions are identified and managed in the course of a deal. The unique environmental issues associated with the purchase and redevelopment of contaminated properties or so-called "Brownfield sites" are also covered.

Environmental Justice

Environmental

This course examines the issue of environmental justice from an environmental law perspective and from a civil rights law perspective. It explores how environmental justice issues are framed, addressed, and resolved through litigation and mediation in the U.S. and internationally.

PDF LogoDownload the 2014 Course Syllabus - updated 6/10/14

Environmental Law

Environmental

An introduction to the broader categories of protecting human health and the environment  to both assess the successes and failures of environmental protection in the U.S. and gain more detailed substantive knowledge of several key statutes.

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Environmental Law and Finance

Environmental

A discussion of the four forms of financing (grants, concessionary loans, market loans, and loan guaranties) and their relative desirability and efficiency. Strategies for maximizing a utility's income, traditional cash flow analyses, and project cost reduction strategies.

Environmental Litigation

Environmental

How to sue the government, win, and get paid, with a focus on the Administrative Procedure Act and the citizen suit provision of the Endangered Species Act. The course also covers jurisdictional issues such as standing, ripeness, mootness, exhaustion, primary jurisdiction, and statute of limitations.

Environmental Litigation Workshop

Environmental

This course provides students with intensive, practical experience with application of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the context of civil environmental litigation. Participating in either a plaintiff’s or defendant’s litigation team, students will follow each step in pretrial civil litigation under the FRCP, from complaint filing through discovery.

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Environmentalism in America

Environmental

Explores what has happened to the environment and environmentalism in America since the first Earth Day in 1970. Considerable time is spent on proposals for a revamped or even new American environmentalism. Using scenario analysis, the course looks ahead at what the future might hold and what accounts for different possible outcomes.

Essentials of Electric Grid: Business

Environmental

Introduces the major financial and economic factors that energy companies use in making production and investment decisions, and how emerging environmental regulations might affect these decisions. The module will also cover deregulated market structures in the petroleum, natural gas, and electric power industries. 

Essentials of Electric Grid: Engineering

Environmental

The engineering realities of electric power grids and natural gas pipelines greatly constrain the choices that lawyers and policy analysts might otherwise make. This module covers the engineering fundamentals inherent in the current and expected energy infrastructure.

Essentials of Electric Grid: Legal

Environmental

Provides an overview of the fundamentals of energy law in both the U.S. and the European Union and addresses some of the most important problems faced by energy project development, including facility siting, environmental issues, and authority fragmentation. 

Extinction and Climate Change

Environmental

Examines the ecological, social and ethical consequences of biological impoverishment and considers various legal and policy options to address the phenomenon of climate change.  The course addressses the extent to which laws like the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and some international laws can be used to address both conventional threats to species as well as the  threat of climate change.

Food Regulation and Policy

Environmental

Presently, the United States is experiencing a resurgence in public concern over the safety of our food supply due to biotechnology, pesticide use, and unsafe food packaging, etc. This course will introduce students to the laws and policies that govern food regulation and policy in the United States.

Food System Justice and Sustainability

Environmental
Our current globalized food system affects the struggling margins that are impacted by industrial production methods and inequitable distribution of healthy food. This course will examine the policies and programs that could help create a Good Food environment, where food is healthy, affordable, and sustainably and fairly produced.

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Global Energy and Climate Policy

Environmental

Offers a detailed assessment of the most advanced commercially available technologies for strengthening global energy security, mitigating the effects of climate change, and enhancing resilience through adaptation and geo-engineering. The course also evaluates the barriers to the deployment of these technologies and critically reviews public policy options and behavior changes crucial to their adoption.

Global Energy Justice

Environmental

How can justice theory help people make meaningful decisions about the production, delivery, use, and effects of energy? The class is divided into four parts: (1) understanding the global energy system and the injustices currently associated with it; (2) exploring justice theory and what it can offer when applied to energy problems; (3) examining policy mechanisms and tools that promote energy justice; and (4) analyzing case studies around the world of where communities or countries have made remarkable gains promoting energy justice.

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Global Food Security

Environmental

This course explores the legal landscape of global hunger: the definition of “food security;” food security risks; global food governance organizations and legal instruments; assessing and monitoring food security; food related human rights concerns; the current status of global food security; and international NGOs’ strategies for policy advocacy against hunger.

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GPP II - Environmental Issues In Business Transactions

General PracticeEnvironmental

An exploration of the types of environmental risks and issues that are commonly confronted in a variety of business-related transactions such as the acquisition of all a company’s stock, asset purchases, real estate deals, leases and financings. Special focus on how the environmental issues in transactions are identified and managed in the course of a deal. The unique environmental issues associated with the purchase and redevelopment of contaminated properties or so-called “Brownfield sites” are also covered.

Indian Tribes as Governmental Stewards of the Environment

EnvironmentalDiversity

Examines the unique body of law governing "Indian country," the geographic areas recognized by the federal government as the homelands of sovereign American Indian tribes. Major topics include the history of federal-tribal relations, tribal property rights, tribal court systems, and the balance of governmental power between tribes, states, and the federal government.

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International Environmental Law and Policy

EnvironmentalInternational Law

Provides an overview of the structure and basic principles of international environmental law and policy. The course considers the challenge of addressing global environmental problems; the regulatory limitations of U.S. law; and the basic structure and principles of international environmental law. The course examines in detail the structure of the Montreal Protocol regime  and covers other areas, including treaties related to climate change, biodiversity and wildlife protection, and the intersection of international trade and the environment. 

International Investment Arbitration and the Environment

International LawEnvironmental

Covers particular themes where human rights, environmental, and investment law interact, such as the right to health, due process and denial of justice, property rights and expropriation, and stabilization clauses and positive human rights obligations. The course places special emphasis on ongoing negotiations, as well as on investment, human rights, and environmental cases decided by international tribunals.

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International Trade and the Environment

EnvironmentalInternational Law

Examines the intersection between trade liberalization and environmental protection. The course addresses protection of natural resources through unilateral trade-based measures, the legality of multilateral environmental agreements employing trade measures, utilization of science-based trade tests, and environmental impacts of foreign investment liberalization.

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Introduction to American Legal System: Constitutional Law, Legislation, Regulation

Environmental

Provides foreign-trained lawyers with a thorough introductory grounding in the U.S. legal system, environmentally-relevant common law, constitutional law, legislative and regulatory regimes, and the skills needed to access and utilize appropriate materials. 

Introduction to Legal Studies

Environmental

An introduction to the fields of legal analysis, research, and writing through the study of environmental statutes and case law. The course explores research and investigatory techniques, citation form, legal reasoning, writing skills, and professionalism. 

Introduction to Study of Law

Environmental

An introduction to the fields of legal analysis, research, and writing through the study of environmental statutes and case law. The course explores research and investigatory techniques, citation form, legal reasoning, writing skills, and professionalism. 

Land and the Law of Takings

Environmental

Traces the development of the constitutional regulatory takings doctrine in the United States-why it developed, what lines it draws, what voids have not yet been filled, how existing case law applies to various types of situations and whether the lines need to be redrawn by the courts or by legislatures to meet more fully the complex, competing needs of our society.

Land Conservation Law

Environmental

Examines the tools available to preserve ecological diversity, historic places, working lands, scenic viewsheds, and open space, such as conservation easements, purchase of sensitive lands, and private/public partnerships for land conservation. The course provides a practical understanding of both the legal and nonlegal dimensions of land conservation transactions involving conservation easements.

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Land Transactions and Finance

Environmental

An introduction to land transaction and finance, covering the study of the title system, title insurance and land contracts, the private development process, and modern real estate financing, including private financing and public financing. The course also introduces the public-private development process including redevelopment, military base conversion and Brownfield's redevelopment.

Land Use and Policy Clinic

Environmental

Provides an opportunity to address land use issues through the application of law and planning tools. Students work in non-adversarial projects such as drafting of legislation, plans, or legal instruments; researching, summarizing and analyzing relevant law and planning tools; developing training materials; and making presentations to lawyers and land use professionals.  Students also attend a weekly class and a weekly project strategy session.

Land Use Regulation

Environmental

A basic course in land use law.  Covers planning and all manner of private and public land use regulation from common interest communities, to subdivisions, to zoning, to variances, to planned development districts, to transit-oriented development, to traditional neighborhood design, to form-based codes, to growth management. 

Law of Ecosystem Management

Environmental

This course provides an introduction to the concept of ecosystem management—its history, principles, and current state of play in concrete policy settings. The course then explores laws and regulations relating to the six types of ecosystems often described in ecosystem management literature—forests, grasslands, freshwater, coastal and marine, fragile (e.g., deserts, alpine), and human dominated (e.g., agricultural, urban, recreational). Perspectives of agencies, resource users, environmental groups, and other interest groups will be explored.

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Legal Adaptation to Global Warming

Environmental

Using global warming adaptation as an example of how the law and legal institutions evolve in response to major social changes, the course examines the legal challenges raised by the need for our society to adapt to the impacts of global warming.  Topics include the need for alternative tools for dealing with eroding coastal shores and higher flooding risks, strategies for relocating urban populations to higher ground, modifications to the Endangered Species Act and other wildlife laws, federal and state property insurance policies, and techniques for reallocating water supplies.  

Legislative Clinic

EnvironmentalPublic

Provides an opportunity for students to work in a standing committee of the Vermont General Assembly under the supervision of the committee's chair and a legislative counsel.  Students are required to be in attendance at the General Assembly in Montpelier and to complete legal research and drafting projects relating to their committee's pending legislation.  

Mediation Advocacy

EnvironmentalAlternative Dispute Resolution

Designed to teach students how to be effective advocates in the mediation setting. Students will learn to counsel clients for mediation, how to prepare a mediation plan, select a mediator, as well as effective participation in mediation.

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Natural Resources Law

EnvironmentalRequired LLM

 Examines the statutes and regulations governing the management of the federal lands and their resources. Considers the historical, political, and ecological influences on the law and management of these resources, and includes an introduction to the agencies with jurisdiction over the components of the federal estate.

Negotiating Environmental Agreements

Alternative Dispute ResolutionEnvironmental

Examines the use of consensual processes such as negotiation and mediation to resolve environmental disputes and manage environmental conflict.  Instruction will be through lectures to discuss the theory of dispute resolution and through simulations to practice the skills.

New Frontiers in Environmental Policies

Environmental

Explores the proposition that successfully coping with today's environmental threats requires deeper challenges to our prevailing system of political economy than mainstream environmentalism in the United States has been willing to mount.  The course develops the idea that a new American environmentalism is needed and with it new environmental policy and law that go beyond the traditional realm of environmental affairs. 

Ocean and Coastal Law

EnvironmentalInternational Law

A review of domestic and international laws and treaties relating to coastal management, pollution, protected areas, endangered species, fish, marine mammals, wetlands, and seabed mineral and hydrocarbon resources. The course considers how effectively these legal authorities blend together to provide rational and comprehensive management and protection of marine resources.

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Oil and Gas Production and the Environment

Environmental

A review of the major contracts used to explore for and produce oil and gas in the U.S. and internationally. The course covers leasing practices on public lands in the U.S. and the acquisition of host government contracts from foreign governments, and provides an understanding of the future of petroleum as a resource, the technology used to produce it, and the externalities of production.

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Peace, War, and the Environment

EnvironmentalInternational Law

This course explores environmental protection during armed conflict and analyzes the role of environmental management in peacekeeping and state reconstruction. It considers current challenges in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and discusses how environmental obligations may be incorporated into the laws of new states.

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Public Health Implications of U.S. Agriculture and Food Policy

Environmental

An in-depth exploration of agricultural and food laws and the policies and regulatory mechanisms supporting them. The course covers diverse public health issues including Farm Bill nutrition assistance programs, food access, obesity and malnutrition, food safety and food-borne diseases, genetically modified foods, organic and other certification schemes, and the debate about food systems and sustainability.

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Public Lands Management - Montana Field Study

Environmental

A comparative approach to competing legal mandates and diverse philosophies that make federal land management a lively topic not only in the West, but throughout the country. Resource extraction, preservation, and sustainable/multiple-use concepts are addressed. 

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Professor Jack Tuholske and veteran students of the 2013 course held an informal Q&A session to answer student questions about what this backpacking course entails. You can view the discussion video here.

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Public Law

Environmental

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to public law, focusing on the constitutional structure of government, the legislative process and statutory interpretation, the nature and authority of public administrative agencies, the methods agencies use to establish regulations and other legal rules, and the process for judicial review of agency action.

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RCRA - Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulation

Environmental

Examines the regulation of solid and hazardous waste under the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Solid Waste Act, RCRA's overlap with other statutes, and the policy implications of the statute.  The course addresses the regulatory and policy problems associated with recycling, resource recovery, waste minimization, land disposal, incineration, underground storage tanks, and state and federal regulation of the generation, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes.  

Regulating the Marine Environment

EnvironmentalInternational Law

Examines the interaction of state, federal, and international regimes in the regulation of the marine environments through the examination of issues such as the marine environment as a source of energy; the nonrenewable resources of the seabed; and the winds, waves, currents, and temperatures of the sea itself.

Renewable Energy Law and Policy

Environmental

This course explores the expanding field of renewable and alternative energy supplies. It reviews local, state, and federal laws and policies that promote (and impede) such sources, and considers emerging distributed generation models. Turning to technology-specific evaluations, it surveys the range of emerging technologies and looks in depth into some specific models of high potential or value, concluding with consideration of proposed strategies for reducing greenhouse gases.

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Renewable Energy Project Finance and Development

Environmental

An in-depth look at the legal and regulatory issues associated with the development and project financing of renewable energy projects such as wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal, and the basic terms and conditions of the contracts that are necessary for a successful project financing, such as power purchase agreements, engineering contracts, fuel supply arrangements, and operation and maintenance agreements.

Risk Assessment

Environmental

A science and law course taught from the perspective of a scientist.   This course examines the science, methods, principles and limitations of risk assessment and, more broadly, teaches methods of evaluating and critiquing scientific information.

Science for Environmental Law

EnvironmentalRequired LLM

Introduces students to the science critical to environmental law and policy, including climate science, air pollution, toxicology, and natural resource management. It also introduces students to scientific thinking and culture, and explores some of the challenges involved in effectively using science in legal and policy decision-making.

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Scientific Controversies

Environmental

Through case studies, this course explores the manipulation of scientific information underpinning some public policy controversies such us global climate change, abortion, homosexuality, DNA forensics, evolution, genetically modified organisms, and debates over the safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs. The course also has the broader goals of teaching the student to critically read and identify political or social bias on scientific literature.

State and Local Government

EnvironmentalPublic

Examines the interaction between federal, state and local governments, with particular attention to resource management, pollution control, and human rights. The course also covers non-state jurisdictions such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Indian Country.

Sustainable Community Planning in Practice

Environmental

Covers key issues that can be addressed at the community level as components of effective local land use planning.  Reviews regulatory and nonregulatory tools to implement plans and examines topics such as the evolution of land use planning, and smart growth and its barriers.

The Law of Animals in Agriculture

Environmental

Covers the evolution and regulation of animal agriculture in America, contrasted with farmed animal welfare policies in other developed nations. Will evaluate the long-term sustainability of CAFO food production specifically and animal food production generally. Students will explore the pressures from increased international trade in agricultural products.

 

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The Modern Farm Bill

Environmental

An introduction to the policies and legal authorities included in the Farm Bill that Congress re-evaluates every 5 years. This course will demonstrate the impact of a modern farm bill on private working lands and consumers. International trade, clean energy, forestry, rural development, and overall food policies will be reviewed. 

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The Tools of Environmental Law

Environmental

Introduces students to the various legal methods of achieving environmental improvement. Topics covered include market forces and emission trading; handling inspections and enforcement actions; environmental litigation and complex causation; acquiring and using information; risk assessment; and methods to account for and transfer environmental risks in business transactions.

Three Essentials of the Electric Grid

Environmental

This course sets out, in three linked modules, the fundamental knowledge that professionals should have for working in the closely intertwined fields of energy and the environment. Students may take one, two, or three modules for one credit each.

Module A: Engineering Essentials

The engineering realities of electric power grids and natural gas pipelines greatly constrain the choices that lawyers and policy analysts might otherwise make. This module will cover the engineering fundamentals inherent in the current and expected energy infrastructure.

Module B: Business Essentials

The energy and electric power industries in the U.S. are facing unprecedented challenges in meeting our society’s demands for low-cost, high-reliability energy and electricity with lower environmental impacts. This module will introduce the major financial and economic factors that energy companies use in making production and investment decisions, and how emerging environmental regulations might affect these decisions. The module will also cover deregulated market structures in the petroleum, natural gas and electric power industries.

Module C: Legal Essentials

This module will provide an overview of the fundamentals of energy law in both the US and the European Union. It will focus on what financiers, engineers, and economists need to know about energy law in order to work together and with lawyers in the energy world. The course will address some of the most important problems faced by energy project development, including facility siting, environmental issues, and authority fragmentation. In every issue a comparative perspective will be adopted.

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Water Quality

Environmental

An in-depth analysis of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Ocean Dumping Act, along with relevant regulations, policies and case law. Other federal statutes are covered more selectively, along with state laws. Regulation of groundwater contamination is included as well as tort claims for damages. 

Water Resources Law

Environmental

Examines the three main systems of water law in the United States: Eastern riparian systems, the prior appropriation doctrine of the West, and the nationally diverse laws regulating the use of groundwater. The course will also review federal water allocation issues, interstate water disputes, tribal water rights matters, and will highlight contemporary water allocation dilemmas throughout the country.

Watershed Management and Protection

Environmental

Taking "ecosystem approach" to the study of watersheds and the laws that attempt to restore and maintain them, the course contrasts the current fragmented approach of pollution control and land use law with the kind of integration that is needed to deal more effectively with the problems affecting watersheds. Topics include the public trust doctrine, water allocation, pollution control, floodplains and wetlands conservation, storm water controls, "factory farms," endangered species preservation,  and ecological restoration.  

Wetlands Conservation

Environmental

Provides a survey of federal wetlands regulation under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and related laws and a discussion of international protections. Includes discussions of the basis for federal jurisdiction over wetlands, the fundamentals of the wetlands regulatory process, the role of wetlands in climate change, the relationship to other federal laws, enforcement, international treaties, and other obligations related to wetlands, and scientific and policy issues.

Wildlife Crimes: Nature, Scope, and Response

EnvironmentalInternational Law

An introduction to the domestic statutes and international treaties that regulate and/or prohibit particular types of unlawful wildlife taking and trafficking, with emphasis on the enforcement schemes and methods used to address these crimes. The course includes a discussion of the most common types of wildlife crimes and an examination of the CITES treaty.