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Environmental Law Center
Litigating Takings Challenges to Land Use and Environmental Regulations

Speaker Biographies


ROBERT ABRAMS is a Professor of Law at Florida A & M University College of Law. He is an expert in both water law and environmental law. He is co-author of a leading casebook in each field: Legal Control of Water Resources (with Joseph Sax, Barton Thompson, Jr., and John Leshy, 4th ed. 2006) and Nature Law & Society: A Coursebook on Environmental Law & Policy, (with Zygmunt Plater, Robert Graham, Lisa Heinzerling, & David Wirth, 3rd ed. 2004). Professor Abrams is past Chair of the ABA Water Resources Committee and is currently serving as a Vice Chair of that committee. He is a contributing editor of the Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases and a Life Member of the American Law Institute.


VICKI BEEN is the Boxer Family Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, Professor of Public Policy at New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and Faculty Director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy is a joint research center of the New York University School of Law and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. More information about the Furman Center can be found at www.furmancenter.org. Professor Been teaches courses in Land Use Regulation, Property, and State and Local Government. She also co-teaches an interdisciplinary Colloquium on the Law, Economics and Politics of Urban Affairs. Professor Been received a BS with high honors from Colorado State University in 1978 and a JD from New York University School of Law in 1983, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar. After graduation, Professor Been served as a law clerk to Judge Edward Weinfeld, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from August 1983 to July 1984 and as a law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun, United States Supreme Court from August 1984 to August 1985. She was an Associate at the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City for one year, then served as an Associate Counsel at the Office of Independent Counsel: Iran/Contra in Washington, DC. She served as an Associate Professor at Rutgers University School of Law in Newark between 1988 and 1990, then joined the faculty at New York University School of Law. Professor Been has written extensively on the Fifth Amendment's Just Compensation Clause, Environmental Justice, Community Gardens, Impact Fees, Community Benefits Agreements, Housing Affordability, "Smart" Growth and other land use topics, and is a co-author of one of the nation’s leading land use textbooks, Land Use Controls: Cases and Materials (with Robert C. Ellickson) (Aspen Law & Business 2005).


J. PETER BYRNE is the Associate Dean for the JD Programs, Professor of Law, the Faculty Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program, and the Faculty Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown University Law Center. Professor Byrne teaches and writes in the areas of property, land use, constitutional law, and higher education law and policy. He previously served as Associate Dean for the Georgetown Law JD Program from 1997 to 2000, and was the John Carroll Research Professor in 1996-97. Prior to joining the Georgetown University Law Center faculty in 1985, he served as a Law Clerk for Judge Frank Coffin of the U.S Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Justice Lewis Powell of the U.S. Supreme Court, and then worked as an associate with the D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling. Professor Byrne is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.


ROBIN KUNDIS CRAIG is the William H. Leary Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Craig teaches property, environmental law, water law, ocean & coastal law, and toxic torts. Craig's research focuses on "all things water," especially the impact of climate change on freshwater resources and the oceans and the intersection of water and energy law; she also has written several articles and book chapters on constitutional environmental law, administrative law, and statutory interpretation. She is the author or co-author of four books—Comparative Ocean Governance: Place-Based Protections in an Era of Climate Change (2012), Environmental Law in Context (3rd ed. 2012), Toxic and Environmental Torts (2010), and The Clean Water Act and the Constitution (2nd ed. 2009)—and is currently working on a new water law textbook, Modern Water Law, with Professors Bob Adler and Noah Hall, due out in late 2013. Her publications also include over 50 law review articles and book chapters. Craig has served on three successive National Research Council committees on the Clean Water Act and the Mississippi River and currently works as a research consultant to the Environmental Defense Fund. She is active in the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, where she is currently serving on the Executive Council and helping to plan the 2013 Annual Water Law Conference. After earning a PhD at U.C. Santa Barbara in English literature, Robin Craig attended the Lewis & Clark School of Law in Portland, Oregon. After graduation she served as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones. She subsequently worked for the Natural Resources Section, General Counsel Division, of the Oregon Department of Justice.


NESTOR DAVIDSON is the Director of the Fordham Urban Law Center and Professor of Law at Fordham Law School. Professor Davidson's teaching and scholarship focus on property, land use, local government law, transactional lawyering in the public-private context, and affordable housing law and policy. Professor Davidson practiced with the firm of Latham & Watkins, focusing on commercial real estate and affordable housing, and served as Special Counsel and Principal Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to joining Fordham, he was an Associate Professor of Law at Colorado Law School from 2004 to 2011. Professor Davidson earned his AB from Harvard College and his JD from Columbia Law School. After law school, he clerked for Judge David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice David H. Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States.


JOHN ECHEVERRIA is a Professor of Law at Vermont Law School where he teaches property, water resources, natural resources, and climate adaptation. He also served as the Acting Director of the VLS Environmental Law Center from 2011 to 2013. He has written extensively on takings issues and other aspects of environmental and natural resource law, and also has served as counsel for state and local governments and environmental organizations in takings cases at all levels of the federal and state court systems. Prior to joining the VLS faculty, Professor Echeverria served for twelve years as Executive Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to that, he was General Counsel of the National Audubon Society and General Counsel and Conservation Director of American Rivers, Inc. Professor Echeverria graduated in 1981 from the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Following graduation, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Gerhard Gesell of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia In 2009, he received a Certificate of Commendation from the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and in 2007 he received the Jefferson Fordham Advocacy Award from the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law.


RICHARD EPSTEIN is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law. Professor Epstein has written numerous articles on a wide range of legal and interdisciplinary subjects. He has taught courses in administrative law, antitrust law, civil procedure, communications, constitutional law, contracts, corporations, criminal law, employment discrimination law, environmental law, food and drug law health law and policy, legal history, labor law, property, real estate development and finance, jurisprudence, labor law, land use planning, patents, individual, estate and corporate taxation, Roman Law, torts, and workers' compensation. Prior to joining the NYU faculty, he was a visiting law professor at NYU from 2007 through 2009. He has served as the Peter and Kirstin Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution since 2000. Epstein is also the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago. His initial law school appointment was at the University of Southern California from 1968 to 1972. Epstein received an LLD, h.c. from the University of Ghent, 2003. He has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1985 and has been a Senior Fellow of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago Division of Biological Sciences, also since 1983. He served as editor of the Journal of Legal Studies from 1981 to 1991, and of the Journal of Law and Economics from 1991-2001. From 2001 to 2010 he was a director of the John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics at the University of Chicago. A few of his books include Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration and the Rule of Law (Harvard 2011); Supreme Neglect: How to Revive the Constitutional Protection of Property Rights (Oxford 2008); Principles for a Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty with the Common Good (Perseus Books, 1998): Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain (Harvard, 1985).


DEBORAH GOLDBERG is the Managing Attorney of Earthjustice's Northeast regional office, where she supervises and conducts legal advocacy and litigation related to global warming and environmental health. Her arrival at Earthjustice in July 2008 marked a return to the practice of environmental law, where she spent the first decade of her legal career, as an attorney at the law firms Berle, Kass & Case and Arnold & Porter. Before joining Earthjustice, Ms. Goldberg was the Democracy Program Director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she litigated cases, published in academic journals and the popular media, and provided congressional testimony on issues of electoral and campaign finance reform. Ms. Goldberg is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Following graduation she served as a law clerk for then-Judge Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the late Constance Baker Motley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Goldberg also holds a PhD in philosophy and taught ethics for three years at Columbia University before embarking on the study and practice of law.


JULIE DEWOODY GREATHOUSE is the managing partner at Perkins & Trotter, PLLC. She regularly participates in civil litigation in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Her practice focuses on environmental and oil and gas law, with an emphasis on litigation. She recently served as co-counsel for the petitioner in the U. S. Supreme Court in the case of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States of America, 133 S. Ct. 511 (2012), She also served as Special Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court in the case of Baptist v. Murphy, 2010 Ark. 358 (2010), in which she authored a concurring opinion joined by Justice Brown and Special Associate Justice Ellis.  She is a 1999 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, where she served as Survey/Comments Editor of the Law Review and was a member of the National Trial Team and the Moot Court Board. She earned her bachelor's degree at Harding University where she graduated magna cum laude in 1996. Following graduation from law school, Ms. Greathouse served as law clerk to Justice Robert L. Brown on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Ms. Greathouse serves on the Arkansas Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, the Arkansas Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children, and on the board of her children’s school, and participates regularly in fundraising activities with groups such as Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and Reach Out and Read.


RODERICK HILLS is the William T. Comfort, III Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. He teaches and writes in a variety of public law areas—constitutional law (with an emphasis on doctrines governing federalism), local government law, land-use regulation, jurisdiction and conflicts of law, and education law. His interest in these topics springs from their common focus on the problems and promise of decentralization. Professor Hills’ recent scholarship has focused the politics and policy behind centralization of banking regulation, the role of the President in suppressing states' immigration policy, and the advantages of decentralization in educational policy. Professor Hills holds bachelor's and law degrees from Yale University, and was a Century Fellow with the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago in 1988. While attending law school, Hills was a member of the Yale Law Journal and co-editor in chief of the Yale Journal of Law & Humanities. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for the Hon. Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and prior to joining the Michigan Law faculty, he practiced law in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to being a scholar and teacher, Professor Hills has been a cooperating counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union for many years.


ALEXANDRA KLASS is the Julius E. Davis Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. She also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2010-2012. Professor Klass teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, natural resources law and environmental law. She is particularly interested federal and state regulatory barriers to energy infrastructure development such as transmission lines and pipelines in connection with the growth of renewable energy and other domestic energy sources. She is also one of the nation’s top scholars exploring legal and policy frameworks for geologic carbon capture and sequestration. Before entering academia, she was a partner at the Dorsey & Whitney law firm in Minneapolis, where she obtained more than a decade of regulatory and courtroom experience in environmental law, natural resources law and land use law. Professor Klass received her BA degree in political science and French with distinction from the University of Michigan in 1988, and her JD cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1992, where she was an articles editor for the Wisconsin Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. Following graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, from 1992-1993.


ERIC KLINENBERG is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is also editor of the journal Public Culture, and an affiliated faculty member of the Wagner School of Public Service and the Department of Media, Culture, and Communications. Professor Klinenberg teaches courses on cities, climate change, culture, and media, as well graduate seminars on research methods, ethnography, and urban design. Klinenberg's latest book is Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, a sociological analysis of the greatest social change of the past sixty years that we have failed to name or identify. His prior books include Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media. Professor Klinenberg is currently leading a major research project on climate change and the future of cities. Part of this work involves a sociological investigation of Superstorm Sandy and the challenge of adapting to the emerging age of extreme, dangerous weather. "Adaptation," the first article from this research, appeared in the New Yorker in 2013. Professor Klinenberg received his AB in History/Philosophy, magna cum laude, from Brown University, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.


ELIZABETH KOSLOV is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at New York University where she is a member of Superstorm Research Lab. Her research focuses on housing, urban redevelopment, and visual culture. Related interests include race, postcolonialism, and translation. Ms. Kosloff received her MS in Culture and Society from the London School of Economics and her BA in Communication and Spanish and Latin American Literature from the George Washington University.


ROBERT MELTZ is an Attorney-Adviser with the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, where he has responsibility for advising Congress on takings issues, property rights legislation, and environmental law. He has testified before congressional committees on property right legislation and is a frequent CLE lecturer. Mr. Meltz also has authored several articles on takings law such as Wetlands Regulation and the Law of Regulatory Takings, 30 ENVTL L RPTR. 10468 (2000), and co-authored a book entitled The Takings Issue: Constitutional Limits on Land Use Controls and Environmental Regulation (1999). He has served on the steering committees of the environment sections of both the District of Columbia Bar and Federal Bar Association. Mr. Meltz received a BA and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center.


THOMAS MERRILL is the Charles Evans Hughes Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. Professor Merrill teaches courses in property, environmental law, administrative law, and eminent domain. He writes widely in the fields of property and administrative law. In property, he has authored, with Henry Smith of Harvard, a series of articles relating the structure of property rights to information costs (“Optimal Standardization in the Law of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle," Yale Law Journal 2000), as well as a leading casebook (“Property: Principles and Policies,” 2012); a series of studies, with Joseph Kearney of Marquette, on the role of public property rights in the development of the Chicago lakefront (“The Origins of the American Public Trust Doctrine: What Really Happened in Illinois Central,” U. Chicago L. Rev. 2004); and a variety of writings on constitutional property (“Property: Takings (with David Dana 2002);” “The Landscape of Constitutional Property,” Virginia L. Rev. 2000; “The Economics of Public Use,” Cornell L. Rev. 1986). In administrative law, he has written a number of pieces about the history of administrative law (“Article III, Agency Adjudication, and the Origins of the Appellate Review Model of Administrative law,” Columbia L. R. 2011), and about judicial review of agency interpretations of law (“Chevron’s Domain," Geo. L. J. (with Kristin Hickman 2001)). Professor Merrill is a graduate of Grinnell College (1971) and Oxford University (1973), where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of Chicago Law School (1977). He clerked for the Hon. David L. Bazelon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and for the Hon. Harry A. Blackmun, U.S. Supreme Court. From 1987-1990 he was Deputy Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice. Professor Merrill has previously taught at Northwestern Law School (1981-2003) and at Yale Law School (2008-2010). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


YXTA MAYA MURRAY is a Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where she teaches criminal law, feminist theory, and law and literature. She writes and organizes conferences in the field of law and nonviolence. She is also the author of six novels and the winner of the 1999 Whiting Writers Award. Professor Murray received a BA, cum laude, from the University of California Los Angeles, and a JD, with distinction, from Stanford University Law School. Following graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Harry Hupp in the Central District of California and then for the Honorable Ferdinand Fernandez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


MARC POIRIER is a Professor of Law and the Martha Traylor Research Scholar at Seton Hall Law School. He teaches and writes in the areas of property theory, environmental and natural resources management, cultural property, and law, gender, and sexuality. For the past two years he has taught a class for law students on-site in New Orleans on the BP Deepwater Horizon Blowout & Oil Spill. Professor Poirier’s scholarship brings insights from sociology, psychology, history, cultural theory, literary theory, and feminism to bear on contemporary legal issues. He has written about and advised environmental advocacy groups on the public trust doctrine and the scope of permissible regulatory takings. For twelve years Professor Poirier practiced law in Washington, D.C., with the firm of Spiegel & McDiarmid, specializing in the licensing of hydroelectric projects and other energy regulatory matters. He has twice served as the Chair of the Hydroelectric Regulation section of the Energy Bar Association. He majored in Literature as an undergraduate at Yale, where he graduated magna cum laude with distinction in 1974. He then lived in Paris, France, working for a French oil pipeline engineering company. He graduated from Harvard Law School cum laude in 1978, where he was an Articles Editor on the Harvard International Law Journal. He received an LLM from Yale Law School in 1991.


PATRICIA E. SALKIN is Dean and Professor of Law at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. She is a nationally recognized scholar on land use law and zoning and author of the popular blog, Law of the Land. She is the author of more than one hundred books, articles, chapters and columns on a range of topics including sustainable development and land use law including: Climate Change and Sustainable Development Law in a Nutshell (West 2011); the 4-volume 4th edition of New York Zoning Law & Practice (1999); the 5-volume 5th edition of American Law of Zoning (2008); Land Use & Sustainable Development Law, 8th ed. (West 2013); and Land Use in a Nutshell (West (2007). Dean Salkin served two terms as an appointed member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Planning Federation, and was a member on the Land Use Advisory Committee of the NYS Legislative Commission on Rural Resources for more than a decade. She is a reporter for the American Planning Association's Planning & Environmental Law and on the Editorial Advisory Board for The Urban Lawyer.. She has consulted on land use issues for many national organizations including: the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, the National Academy for Public Administration and the National Governor’s Association. She is a past Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, and the State and Local Government Law Sections of the both the American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools. Prior to joining the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in the summer of 2012, Dean Salkin was the Raymond & Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law, as well as Associate Dean and Director of the Government Law Center of Albany Law School. Dean Salkin received a BA from University of Albany and a JD from Albany Law School.


ANNE SIDERS is a PhD candidate at the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University where she studies climate change adaptation to coastal hazards. She was previously a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University and a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Navy and has had a diverse range of experiences in international engagement, strategic planning, and capacity building. She led a multinational effort to improve counter-piracy capacity off the Horn of Africa; developed a new strategic planning mechanism for regional naval engagement in Africa; and authored the Managed Coastal Retreat Handbook: a collection of case studies and lessons learned for coastal management. Her main focus areas are climate change and international security, Arctic development, maritime capacity building and resource management, and coastal adaptation planning. She holds a JD and a Bachelor's degree in Human Evolutionary Biology from Harvard.


DANIEL L. SIEGEL is the Supervising Deputy Attorney General in charge of the California Attorney General's Land Law Section in Sacramento. He represents various state agencies in complex state and federal land use lawsuits, including many takings actions, and represents the Attorney General directly regarding matters such as the protection of Lake Tahoe. Mr. Siegel represented the State of California at trial and during appeals in Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Counsel v. TRPA, et al., and he authored amicus curiae briefs in takings cases such as Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environment Protection and Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington (U.S. Sup. Ct.) and San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco (Calif. Sup. Ct.). Mr. Siegel authored and updates the regulatory takings chapter, and co-authored the litigation chapter, in the CEB California Land Use Practice book. He also regularly gives presentations and writes articles concerning takings, and has testified before Congress and the California legislature regarding takings issues. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his law degree from New York University School of Law.


ILYA SOMIN is Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. He teaches courses on constitutional law, property, legislation, and federalism. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation and its implications for constitutional democracy. He is the author of Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter (Stanford University Press, forthcoming September 2013), and coauthor of A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming November 2013). His work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Critical Review, and others. Somin has also published articles in a variety of popular press outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. During the Fall 2008 semester, Somin was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and the University of Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before joining the faculty at George Mason, Somin was the John M. Olin Fellow in Law at Northwestern University Law School in 2002-2003. Professor Somin earned his BA, Summa Cum Laude, at Amherst College, MA in Political Science from Harvard University, and JD from Yale Law School. Following graduation, he clerked for the Hon. Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.


JERRY STOUCK is a shareholder with the firm of Greenberg Traurig where he conducts trial and appellate litigation. He has particular experience in complex business, regulatory and environment disputes with government agencies, and is Co-Chair of the firm's Government Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Stouck represented the lead bank plaintiff in the landmark "Winstar" litigation involving the government's breach of hundreds of savings and loan merger agreements, and has represented several nuclear utility companies in damages litigation over the government's failure to complete the Yucca Mountain repository for spent nuclear fuel. He regularly handles environmental and land use litigation, including related contract/commercial disputes, and has extensive experience with eminent domain and Fifth Amendment regulatory takings claims. He appears frequently in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and Federal Circuit, and in the D.C. federal district court and D.C. Circuit. He received a BA degree from Wesleyan University and a JD degree from New York University Law School. After graduating from law school he clerked for Judge Raymond Pettine of the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island.


MCMULLEN TAYLOR is an attorney with the firm of McAngus Goudelock & Courie where her practice focuses on municipal law, constitutional law, water law, energy and natural resources law, land use law, and appellate practice. Her practice has included representation of SC Department of Natural Resources, the governor's Savannah River Committee, water and sewer utilities, local governments, and private industry. Her work includes negotiating provisions of hydropower relicensing settlement agreements on behalf of a public agency; serving as lead attorney defending a county against regulatory takings claims with alleged potential liability exceeding 100 million dollars; defending a city against challenges to its use of water and sewer revenue; consulting for a major state university on interstate water issues; and advising various clients regarding surface water withdrawal permitting. Ms. Taylor graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA degree and earned an MA degree from Columbia College. After a twelve-year career in state and local government, Ms. Taylor obtained a JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In law school, she served as law clerk to the governor's Water Law Committee, helping draft the final committee report, and she also received a CALI Award for Land Use Planning and served as Associate Editor for the Southeastern Environmental Law Journal.