All VLS Courses
Oil and Gas Production and the Environment
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.
Download the 2013 Summer Syllabus
Peace, War, and the Environment
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.
In the 21st century, we are all witnesses to, actors in, and subjects/objects of something often called the "Information Age". For about a century, law has sought to define the "privacy rights" of individuals to control personal information held by others. Modern lawyers advocate on privacy issues in new and complex contexts. This course provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of privacy law and the training to reason analogically to accommodate emergent technologies within existing legal frameworks.
An introduction to the concept of ownership and its legal implications: rights to control, enjoy, and transfer real and personal property, including public and private restrictions on use; estates in land; concurrent ownership; adverse possession; easements and licenses; and landlords and tenants.
Public Health Implications of U.S. Agriculture and Food Policy
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.
Download the 2014 course syllabus
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.
Race and the Law Seminar
Provides an introduction to race as it relates to and is reflected in the law. The seminar focuses on the role and experience of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latin-Americans, and Native-Americans in American society, with attention to questions concerning critical race theory, class, family, and feminism.
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.