All VLS Courses
Public Lands Management - Montana Field Study
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.
Download the 2013 Course Syllabus
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.
Download the 2014 Application and Waiver
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.
RCRA - Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulation
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
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
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.
Download the 2013 Summer Course Syllabus
Renewable Energy Project Finance and Development
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.
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
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.
Download the 2013 Summer Course Syllabus
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
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.