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Environmental Law Center

Water and Justice Program

The Water and Justice Program promotes the wise and sustainable use of water resources locally, nationally, and globally through research, education and policy development. The program complements the law school's outstanding faculty and diverse course offerings in the field of water law and policy.

The program is administered by VLS's Environmental Law Center under the direction of Professors Jack Tuholske and John Echeverria. Program staff includes a research fellow and student research associates who contribute to reports, conference presentations, legal analyses, and law review articles to support the program's work. Faculty, staff and students meet regularly to discuss their research and learn about cutting-edge litigation and policy initiatives in the world of water law.

Based on a grant from the HKH Foundation, work will include a detailed examination of water governance for the Great Lakes region, including the public trust doctrine, water commons principles, statutory regimes that regulate water, international and Native American treaty rights that affect the Great Lakes, evolution of the common law, and other legal constraints on the use and governance of water. Additional work will focus on other areas of the public trust, Western water law, and government recognition and reservation of public rights in water.

The Research Associates for 2013-2014 are Jacqueline Goodrun, Katherine Michel, Antonette Palumbo, Emily Remmel, Carey Smith, and Ariel Solaski.


Research Associates


Jacqueline Goodrum

Jacqueline Goodrum spent her childhood summers on the Chesapeake Bay. These visits inspired her interest in the environment, including a fondness for water. Following the flow, Jacqueline earned a BA from the University of Virginia in Environmental Thought & Practice, worked for the UNEP and the Environmental Law Foundation in London, and choose to come to law school to pursue a career in environmental litigation. At Vermont Law School, Jacqueline competes on the National Environmental Moot Court Competition team, serves as the Senior Articles Editor for the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, and works for the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, as well as conducts research on tribal water rights for the Water and Justice Program. During Summer 2013, Jacqueline interned for the United States Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division's Environmental Enforcement Section in Washington, DC.


Katherine Michel
MELP '13, JD '15

Katie Michel is a native Californian. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz she worked around sustainable agriculture issues both as a fieldworker and in various nonprofit advocacy positions. Through this work, she had the benefit of visiting farms throughout Northern California and learning firsthand about the agriculture industry. Among other things, she became curious about the significant impacts of agricultural law and policy on water resources, motivating her decision to go to law school. She is currently a JD/MELP student and a Research Associate with the VLS Center for Agriculture & Food Systems as well as the Water & Justice Program.


Antonette Palumbo

Antonette Palumbo is a native of Springfield, Illinois and was drawn to Vermont for its beautiful landscape and environmental passion. After spending the summer before law school with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency working on setting water quality standards for the Chicago River, she realized that water resources held a special place within her environmental interests. Antonette has since devoted her law school career to learning as much as possible about the laws governing water supply, water quality, and interstate compacts. Her summer work with the Natural Resources Defense Council enabled her to put this into practice; she helped author public comments challenging NPDES permit renewals and worked on a project dedicated to supply issues within the Missouri River Basin. She plans to dedicate her career to water law.


Emily Remmel
JD '14

Emily Remmel is from Edmond, Oklahoma. Her admiration to protect and understand animals and the natural environment began early. She followed her dream and natural curiosity and graduated with both a BS and MS in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma, where she focused on aquatic ecology and toxic golden algae. Specifically, she researched Daphniid zooplankton life histories and behavioral effects in the presence of varying concentrations of toxic algae. When not geeking out in the laboratory, she could be found exploring the natural world around her - seining for fishes, collecting water samples, and netting zooplankton to keep as pet friends in jars along her windowsill. She quickly realized during her academic adventures that her favorite ecological habitats, streams and wetlands were in serious trouble. She ventured east to Vermont Law School where she is a third year JD student. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. She is focusing on water law and policy in efforts to pursue her life's dream­-to solve the freshwater demand crisis while protecting and preserving aquatic ecosystems.


David Scott
JD '15

After fishing with his family on Long Island during childhood summers, David Scott developed a deep love for the water. Inspired by the degradation of Long Island waterways, David attended the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry where he received a BS in Environmental Science with an option in Watershed Science. David's passion for water resources led him to spend a summer in Alaska working with sockeye salmon. While David thoroughly loved the science he learned through his undergraduate degree, he concluded that the best way to positively impact the environment would be to combine his scientific knowledge with a legal degree. This led him to attend Vermont Law School where he is currently a second-year JD student. David hopes to build upon this education, and the practical experiences he gained as a Law Clerk for the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, Department of Natural Resources to become a successful environmental lawyer focusing in water law.


Carey Smith

Carey graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2011 with a degree in Environmental Science, focused on fresh water studies.  His time studying the management of limited water supplies in the growing western states led him to Vermont Law School.  Dividing his time equally between the classroom and the outdoors has allowed Carey to maintain his passion for the environment and the water resources that define it.  Carey plans to follow the current back to Colorado to aid in protecting current water sources while increasing the efficiency of their distribution and use.


Ariel Solaski

Ariel Solaski grew up on Long Island, New York, and her respect for the ocean comes from many childhood summers at Watch Hill Fire Island National Seashore. She graduated from New York University in 2006. For the next four years, Ariel worked for a textbook publishing company in New York City as an online Marketing Manager. During her time at Vermont Law School, Ariel has worked as a legal intern at the National Wildlife Federation in Montpelier, Vermont, as a student clinician at the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic in South Royalton, Vermont, and as a law clerk at the Environmental Integrity Project in Washington, DC. Ariel is the Symposium Editor for the Vermont Law Review. She is interested in coastal adaptation and land use with the increase of major flooding events, and in the protection and value of public drinking water supplies.