Vermont Law School invites leaders in the fields of environmental, energy, agriculture, and international environmental law and journalism to serve as Distinguished Summer Scholars and Media Fellows in residency during the VLS Summer Session. Each visiting scholar or fellow delivers a public lecture, participates in informal social events on campus, and is available to meet with students and faculty individually. These distinguished visitors are a significant intellectual resource for our summer students and also offer valuable networking opportunities.
2022 Distinguished Scholars
International Environmental Law Scholar:
Cinnamon Piñon Carlarne, Associate Dean for Faculty and Intellectual Life; Alumni Society Designated Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Professor Cinnamon Piñon Carlarne is a leading expert in environmental law and climate change law and policy. Prior to joining the Moritz faculty, she was an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
From 2006-08, Professor Carlarne was the Harold Woods Research Fellow in Environmental Law at Wadham College, Oxford, where she was a member of the law faculty and the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. She previously taught at the University of Cincinnati Center for Environmental Studies. Prior to that, she was an associate attorney in the Energy, Land Use, and Environment section at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC.
Carlarne’s scholarship focuses on the evolution of system of domestic and international environmental governance, with a particular focus on questions of domestic and international climate change law. Her scholarly work includes a book on comparative climate change law and policy with Oxford University Press; a Foundation Press text on climate law with Dan Farber; the Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law; an extensive series of journal articles and book chapters exploring questions of domestic and international environmental law; and a textbook on Oceans and Human Health and Well-being. She is on the editorial board for Transnational Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press) and the academic advisory board for Climate Law (IOS Press).
Carlarne earned her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She also holds a BCL and a master’s degree in environmental change and management from the University of Oxford.
Environmental Law Scholar:
Blake Hudson, Samuel T. Dell Professor of Law; Co-Director, Environmental and Land Use Law Program, University of Florida Levin College of Law
Professor Blake Hudson is the Samuel T. Dell Professor of Law and the Co-director of the Environmental & Land Use Law Program.
Professor Hudson’s recent research has focused on the intersection of land use law, policy, and planning with natural resource management, with particular emphasis on the role of forest management in combatting climate change and the implications of land development for long-term natural resource management. His research has also centered on the “commons” and the complicated role of private property rights and government institutions as solutions to commons dilemmas. He has further assessed how the issues of federalism and constitutional structure have the potential to both complicate and resolve land use and natural resource management issues at the state, federal, and international levels. His articles are forthcoming or have been published in the Washington and Lee Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Georgia Law Review, Alabama Law Review, Florida Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Arizona State Law Journal, University of Colorado Law Review, Tulane Law Review, Florida State University Law Review, Connecticut Law Review, and BYU Law Review, among a variety of other legal and peer-reviewed journals. His book, Constitutions and the Commons: The Impact of Federal Governance on Local, National, and Global Resource Management, was published by Resources for the Future/Earthscan in 2014. He is currently working on a comprehensive book on public and private forest science, law, policy, and management.
Professor Hudson obtained his bachelor’s degree in both biology and history, as well as minors in pre-law and political science, at the University of Montevallo, where he was a scholar-athlete. He graduated with high honors from Duke University School of Law, and also graduated with a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Prior to joining UF Law in 2020, Professor Hudson was an assistant professor of law at Stetson University College of Law from 2009 to 2012, held a joint appointment as a full professor of law with the LSU Law Center and the LSU College of the Coast & Environment from 2012 to 2017, and was the A.L. O’Quinn Chair in Environmental Studies at the Houston Law Center from 2017 to 2020). He practiced law from 2007-2009 at the law firm of Baker Botts in Houston, Texas.
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Scholar:
Emily M. Broad Leib, Clinical Professor of Law; Director, Food Law and Policy Clinic of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School
As founder of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, Emily Broad Leib launched the first law school clinic in the nation devoted to providing clients with legal and policy solutions to address the health, economic, and environmental challenges facing our food system. Broad Leib focuses her scholarship, teaching, and practice on finding solutions to some of today’s biggest food law issues, aiming to increase access to healthy foods, eliminate food waste, and support sustainable food production and local and regional food systems. She has published scholarly articles in the California Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the Food & Drug Law Journal, and the Journal of Food Law & Policy, among others.
Broad Leib is recognized as a national leader in Food Law and Policy. She was named by Fortune and Food & Wine to their list of 2016's Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink. The list highlights women who had the most transformative impact in the last year on what the public eats and drinks. Broad Leib was one of the inaugural recipients of Harvard President Drew Faust’s Climate Change Solutions Fund in 2015. Broad Leib’s project, “Reducing Food Waste as a Key to Addressing Climate Change,” was one of seven chosen from around the university to confront the challenge of climate change by leveraging the clinic’s food law and policy expertise to identify systemic solutions that can reduce food waste, which is a major driver of climate change.
Before joining the Harvard faculty, Broad Leib spent two years in Clarksdale, Mississippi as the Joint Harvard Law School/Mississippi State University Delta Fellow, serving as Director of the Delta Directions Consortium, a group of university and foundation leaders who collaborate to improve public health and foster economic development in the Delta. In that role, she worked with community members and outside partners to design and implement programmatic and policy interventions on a range of health and economic issues in the region, with a focus on the food system. She received her B.A. from Columbia University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude.
Energy Law Scholar:
Natacha Teresa Mesa Tejeda, Lecturer in Business Law, University of La Habana
Natacha Teresa Mesa Tejeda is a Lecturer in Business Law at the University of La Habana (Cuba). She studied Law at the University of Oriente (Santiago de Cuba), before completing an LLM in Business Law at the University of Barcelona (Spain) and a PhD in Law from the University of La Habana (Cuba). She has written extensively in the field of corporate law, commercial arbitration, and the law of foreign investments in Cuba.
2022 Media Fellows
Environmental Law Media Fellows:
Lesley Clark, Climate Law Reporter, E&E News
Lesley Clark covers climate change litigation for Climatewire, a publication of Politico's E&E (Energy & Environment) News. She previously covered the energy transition, politics and the White House for E&E's Energywire. She also covered domestic and international politics, the White House, Congress and campaigns for McClatchy's Washington DC bureau and before that worked at the Miami Herald, covering Congress, state government and politics from Tallahassee, Miami and Washington.
Leah Douglas, Agriculture and Energy Policy Reporter, Reuters
Leah Douglas covers U.S. agriculture and energy policy for Reuters, where they specialize in data and investigative reporting into the business and politics of the food system. Leah was previously a reporter and associate editor at the Food and Environment Reporting Network, where they won multiple awards for in-depth reporting of big issues in U.S. agriculture, including COVID’s outsized impact on U.S. food workers. Leah has been cited and interviewed in dozens of outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight.
Maya Earls, Legal Reporter, Bloomberg Law
Maya Earls is a reporter on the Legal Intelligence team at Bloomberg Industry Group. She primarily focuses on environmental cases at the federal level, covering disputes over oil and gas leasing, water pollution, and species protection. When she's not at work, she spends her time watching and playing soccer, enjoying the outdoors, and exploring local eateries.
Animal Law Media Fellows:
Marina Bolotnikova, Independent Journalist
Marina Bolotnikova is an independent journalist in Madison, Wisconsin, focusing on factory farming and the criminalization of animal rights activism. She's written for Vox, The Guardian, The Intercept, The New York Times, and many other publications. She loves to do ideas-driven reporting that draws on intellectual history, law, history of science, and critical animal studies. Her work has been cited in dozens of outlets and taught in university classes. Before going freelance, she worked for five years as an editor for Harvard Magazine, where she wrote and edited stories on everything from grad student unionization to affirmative action to economics and history research. And before that, she was an editorial writer for the Toledo Blade.
Melanie D.G. Kaplan, Independent Journalist
Melanie Kaplan is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. She writes about science, travel, and animals and is a regular contributor to The Washington Post and National Parks Magazine. Melanie, a 2021 Knight Science Journalism Project Fellow, is working on a book that will explore the use of animals in research, testing and education, and will tell the story of her beagle Hammy, who spent four years in a lab.