​​​​​​​​Vermont Law School invites leaders in the fields of environmental, energy, agriculture, and international environmental law to serve as Distinguished Summer Scholars in residency during the VLS Summer Session. Each Distinguished Summer Scholar delivers a public lecture, participates in informal social events on campus, and is available to meet with students individually. These distinguished visitors are a significant intellectual resource for our summer students and also offer valuable networking opportunities.


Environmental Law Scholar

Adell Amos, Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of Clinics , University of Oregon School of Law

Adell L. Amos holds the Clayton R. Hess Professorship and serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UO School of Law. She teaches regularly in the nationally-ranked Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, including courses in Water Law, Federal Administrative Law, Environmental Conflict Resolution, and Oregon Water Law and Policy. She also holds a courtesy appointment at Oregon State University as a member of the graduate faculty for Water Resources and Policy Management program. Her research emphasizes the jurisdictional governance structures that are deployed for water resources management in the United States and internationally. She focuses on the relationship between federal and state governments on water resource management, the role of administrative agencies in setting national, state, and local water policy, the role of law in developing water policy and responding to change, and the impact of stakeholder participation in water resource decision-making.

In 2008, Amos was recognized for her expertise in water resources law and policy and accepted a two-year appointment with the Obama Administration in Washington, DC as the Deputy Solicitor for Land and Water Resources at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In this role, Amos oversaw legal and policy issues involving the nation’s water resources and public lands. She supervised a team of attorneys in DC and across the country providing legal and policy counsel directly to the Secretary of Interior and Deputy Secretary as well as the offices for the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In particular, she worked directly on water resilience and planning, wilderness policy, the National Landscape Conservation System, renewable energy and its associated water footprint, low-impact hydropower, dam removal efforts including the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, and many others. Amos returned to UO in 2011 with renewed energy for the importance of teaching and researching in the area of water resource management, public participation, and the role of law in the policy arena.

Amos first joined the faculty in 2005 after practicing environmental and natural resources law with the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington DC. She worked as an Attorney- Advisor and served as the national lead on water and natural resources issues in the Office of the Solicitor, Division of Parks and Wildlife, where she represented and advised the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service on state and federal water rights and water management issues. Her portfolio included work in most of the major river basins in the United States – including the Klamath, Snake, Columbia, Middle Rio Grande, Mississippi, Colorado, Gunnison, Platte, and others. She provided legal and policy advice on the interaction of state and federal water law with the full range of environmental statutes including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Federal Power Act, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Her work also included the Park Service Organic Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, the Reclamation Act, the Flood Control Act among other authorizing legislation for federal agencies.

Her most recent scholarship focuses on the integration of law and policy into hydrologic and socioeconomic modeling for the Willamette River Basin as well as the legal framework that provides the backdrop for water conflicts and dispute resolution through a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary effort funded by the NOAA and the National Science Foundation. She also has active projects underway addressing the status of state instream flow programs throughout the Western United States, the impact of legal decision-making on public policy dispute resolution efforts in water-conflict basins, and strategic efforts to protect water resources for national public lands including the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Park System and the newly created, National Landscape Conservation System. She has published broadly in the field of water law including, most recently “Developing the Law of the River: The Integration of Law and Policy into Hydrologic and Socio-Economic Modeling Efforts in the Willamette River Basin”  in the University of Kansas Law Review; “Dam Removal and Hydropower Production in the United States – Ushering in a New Era” in the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation; and “Advancing Freshwater Conservation in the Context of Energy and Climate Policy" in the Denver Water Law Review.   This summer, along with the late Professor David Getches of the University of Colorado and Professor Sandra Zellmer at the University of Nebraska, Amos published Water Law in a Nutshell - part of the nationally recognized series for law students and practitioners providing succinct and comprehensive summaries of an entire field of law.  She has a forthcoming book with Carolina Academic Press entitled, Resolving Water Conflict.

She frequently speaks on water, energy, conflict resolution and climate topics including addresses at the University of Nebraska, the University of Kansas, the Univeristy of Washington, the University of Oregon, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Wingspread Foundation, the National Conservation Training Center. She has completed numerous grant-funded projects for the National Science Foundation, NOAA-CIRC, the Nature Conservancy, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Bureau of Land Management, among others.  

Professor Amos earned her B.A in 1995 from Drury College and her J.D. in 1998 from the University of Oregon (Coif). After law school, Amos clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for The Honorable Procter Hug, Jr. (then Chief Judge).  She is a member of the Missouri bar, admitted in 1999.

Energy Law Scholar

Shalanda Baker, Environmental Law Program Faculty Advisor, Associate Professor of Law, University of Hawai'i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law

Associate Professor Shalanda H. Baker is the Faculty Advisor to the Environmental Law Program and founding director of an energy law project at the law school. 

Professor Baker teaches International Environmental Law, Renewable Energy Law, Sustainable Development, Administrative Law, and related courses in energy and international development.  Her research explores large energy and infrastructure project development, including renewable energy projects; indigenous rights; and the effect of development on the environment.

She served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge under the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy.  Following her graduation from law school, Baker clerked for Justice Roderick Ireland of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  She also worked as a corporate and project finance associate for Bingham McCutchen LLP, initially in Boston and later in Japan. Professor Baker also completed a William H. Hastie Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she also received her LLM degree. 

Prior to joining the Richardson faculty Professor Baker taught for two years at the University of San Francisco School of Law as an Associate Professor of Law.​

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Scholar

Justin MarceauProfessor and Animal Legal Defense Fund Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Prior to joining the faculty at the College of Law, Professor Marceau clerked for the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked as a litigation associate with the law firm Heller Ehrman, LLP (San Francisco). Subsequently, Professor Marceau was an Assistant Federal Public Defender (District of Arizona) specializing in capital habeas corpus appeals. Professor Marceau continues to actively practice law as counsel of record, as a consultant, and as an expert witness. Since joining the faculty he was lead counsel in a federal habeas corpus trial and he has been counsel of record on a number of briefs. He has lectured at CLEs and been invited to present his work to judicial conferences. He regularly consults on cases with habeas attorneys and joins or authors amicus briefs for the Supreme Court.

Professor Marceau’s research interests include habeas corpus, the death penalty, criminal procedure, criminal law, constitutional law and animal law. Professor Marceau also litigates and consults for a leading animal welfare non-profit, the Animal Legal Defense Fund.​

International Environmental Law Scholar

Gabriel EcksteinProfessor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law; Director, International Water Law Project

Gabriel Eckstein is Professor of Law at Texas A&M University where he focuses on water, natural resources, and environmental law and policy issues at the local, national, and international levels. He has published widely in his areas of interest, including on the international law of transboundary aquifers, pharmaceutical contaminants in the environment, and water and climate change. In addition to the law faculty, he also serves on the Graduate Faculties of the Texas A&M Water Management & Hydrological Science program and the Texas A&M Energy Institute.

Professor Eckstein has served as an expert advisor and consultant for various UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other groups on US and international water and environmental issues. He directs the Internet-based International Water Law Project (www.InternationalWaterLaw.org), serves as an Associate Editor for Brill Research Perspectives: International Water Law and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Water Law, and is an executive board member of both the International Association for Water Law and the International Water Resources Association. Professor Eckstein was recently appointed to chair the International Scientific Committee of the XVIth World Water Congress​, which will be held in Cancun, Mexico, in May 2017.

Along with his JD, Professor Eckstein holds an LL.M. in International Environmental Law, an M.S. in International Affairs, and a B.A. in Geology. He also serves as Of Counsel with the law firm of Sullivan & Worcester.