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Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program (ENRLP)

Speakers, Conferences, & Seminars

Each year, Stanford Law School hosts special events addressing environmental and natural resources law and policy issues. For instance, the student-run Environmental Law Society arranges a variety of speakers and panels, including a yearly panel on career opportunities in environmental law and policy. The following is a cross-section of forums, conferences, panels, and workshops Stanford has hosted in recent years.

Climate Change and Marine Systems: Managing for Resiliency

On April 10, 2009, Environmental scholars and professionals from across the country will discuss challenges in ocean governance, managing fisheries and sustaining food supplies, promotion of marine renewable energy, and the protection of marine ecosystems in light of climate change. With Congress considering legislation that could greatly impact overall ocean management and energy development offshore, panelists will lay out policy recommendations to ensure the continued health of marine ecosystems.

The Robert Minge Brown Lectureship

Made possible by a generous gift from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, in memory of Stanford alumnus Robert Minge Brown, to provide long-term support for the program. The lectureship is awarded annually to a distinguished scholar, policy maker, or lawyer in the environmental law field for his or her innovative work in environmental policy. The first recipient of this lectureship was former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation. Subsequent lecturers have been Dr. Sylvia Earle, Explorer in Residence with the National Geographic Society and former Chief Scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Bruce Babbitt, former United States Secretary of Interior and two-term governor of Arizona; and Michael Bean, Chair of the Wildlife Program at Environmental Defense.

The Environmental Workshop

ENRLP invites a dozen or more leading academics, policy makers, and scientists each year to speak to the Environmental Workshop seminar, the oldest of its kind in the country.

Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture Series

In concert with the Environmental Law Society, ENRLP sponsors informal brown bag lunches, lectures, and roundtables for students, faculty, and the community to discuss pressing current events and policy issues, to expand students' exposure to both traditional and nontraditional careers in the field, and to take advantage of the world-class scientists, policy makers, and advocates who visit Stanford University.

Past Conferences

CLE Takings Conference

On November 6-7, 2008, the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center and Stanford Law School's Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program will host the 11th Annual Conference on Litigating Takings and Related Legal Challenges to Land Use and Environmental Regulation. [ Details ]


Financing Community-Based Working Land Conservation

On April 13 and 14, 2007, Stanford Law School hosted a two-day workshop exploring options for financing community-based conservation of working land. Invitees included leading community conservation advocates, land trust professionals, finance professionals, and academics with expertise in community-based natural resource management. The workshop focused on financial topics related to municipalities and local non-profit corporations acquiring forests, rangeland, and irrigation systems for conservation and continued production. [ Details ]

Sea Change NAELS Conference on Ocean and Environmental Law

The March 10 to 12, 2001, National Association of Environmental Law Societies (NAELS) conference had two components: one which focused on improving environmental law societies and building NAELS itself, and the other which focused on ocean law. The "Sea Change" conference name reflected a bold new vision that sees NAELS not only as an organization that holds an annual conference for the purpose of educating its members, but also as an organization that shapes, supports, and unifies America's next generation of environmental lawyers.

Ecosystem Services Workshop

On November 16 and 17, 2000, a group of three dozen legal academics, scientists, policy makers, business representatives, and environmental representatives met at Stanford University to discuss how ecosystem services might be used to help promote the preservation and restoration of watersheds. Law School faculty present included Professors Robert Fischman, J. B. Ruhl, James Salzman, and Buzz Thompson. Meg Caldwell and Josh Eagle of Stanford's program also participated.

The workshop arose out of an interdisciplinary EPA STAR grant directed by Professor Salzman. Salzman began work on the project while a visiting faculty member at Stanford in 1998-99 and has continued to collaborate closely on ecosystem services with Gretchen Daily and Paul Ehrlich of Stanford's Biology Department and with ENRLP. The workshop was funded jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and ENRLP.

In May 2001, the Stanford Environmental Law Journal published a symposium issue dedicated to the theme of ecosystem services with seven articles written by various workshop participants.

International Environmental and Human Rights Roundtable Dialogue

This roundtable on Corporate Responsibility and Accountability was cosponsored by the California Global Corporate Accountability Project and ENRLP. The dialogue brought together officials and leaders from multinational corporations, international agencies, and nongovernmental organizations to formulate workable policy solutions to environmental, natural resource, and human rights problems multinationals face in their overseas operations.

Access to Justice and Environmental Protection

International and domestic perspectives topics at this conference included: the conceptual bases of a human right to environment; the historical, moral, and legal foundations of a right to environment; and enforcement by international adjudicative bodies, particularly the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the American and European Courts of Human Rights.

Genetic Prospecting and the Protection of Biodiversity

The Vilcabamba Project conference was cohosted by the Environmental Law Society and Stanford's Institute for International Studies. The conference focused on the Vilcabamba Project, an ethnobotany project in Southern Ecuador known for its extraordinary plant diversity and active practice of traditional medicine, and the claimed advantages and potential disadvantages of genetic prospecting for new pharmaceuticals.

Native American Peacemaking Demonstration

Stanford Law students engaged in a public demonstration of an alternate form of dispute resolution used by the Navajo Nation known as "peacemaking." This demonstration was organized by Navajo Nation Supreme Court Associate Justice Raymond D. Austin, then in residence at Stanford as the Herman Phleger Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law.

Natural Communities Conservation Planning: Legal Issues, Problems and Solutions

California's top legal experts in federal and state endangered species laws and land-use planning participated in this roundtable community outreach discussion and workshop.

Endangered Species Conservation Incentives Forum Roundtable

Cohosted by Sustainable Conservation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit founded by Frank D. Boren '58, former president of the Nature Conservancy, this roundtable focused on the use of incentive systems to preserve biodiversity in California.