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The Environmental Law Center presents selected lectures, sessions, and presentations that have been recorded for viewers:


"Climate Change Litigation After the Paris Agreement"​

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Fiona Harvey, The Guardian and Brent Kendall, The Wall Street Journal; both VLS 2016 Media Fellows


“Drought in the American West: Reflections on Law, Policy and Science”

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Adell Amos, Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of Clinics, University of Oregon School of Law; and the VLS 2016 Distinguished Environmental Law Scholar

Water resources in the western United States are facing increasing scarcity in light of climate change, severe drought cycles, and over allocation of a limited resource. This talk will focus on the emerging legal challenges for addressing drought conditions, the foundational issues addressing property rights and the role of governments in ensuring adequate water resources for current and future generations, and the role of coupled human–natural systems water modeling to identify water scarcity and model possible policy solutions.​


"The Clean Power Plan in the Courts"

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Sean Donahue, Partner, Donahue & Goldberg LLP

As counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund and coordinator of the environmental organizations supporting EPA, Sean Donahue has been centrally involved in the legal defense of EPA's program to cut greenhouse gas emission from power plants. He discusses the background of the litigation, its course so far, and what we can expect going forward.​

View a PDF of the PowerPoint slides.


“Protecting Land in Perpetuity: The Practitioners' Perspective”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Jessica Jay ‘97, Founding Partner, Conservation Law, P.C.; Gil Livingston, President of the Vermont Land Trust in Montpelier; Reagan Bissonette, Director of Easement Stewardship at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests; Jeanie McIntyre, President of the Upper Valley Land Trust.

National, statewide, and regional land trust perspectives and experiences with perpetual conservation easement stewardship and management over time. A panel of experienced land trust practitioners will address how they are planning for and actually managing perpetual conservation easement amendment and termination under the existing legal frameworks in New Hampshire and Vermont.


“Safeguarding Community Rights to Forests in a REDD+ World”

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Kristyna Bishop, Senior Social Development Specialist, World Bank

This lecture will discuss current trends in protecting community rights to natural resources in REDD+ countries and will highlight some of the key initiatives such as the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (DGM) that have the potential to fundamentally change the way forest dwelling communities participate in policy and decision making and benefit from REDD+ payments.​

View a PDF of the PowerPoint slides​.


"The Exxon Papers: Legal and Journalistic Implications"

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: John Cushman, Inside Climate Newss and 2016 VLS Media Fellow

A detailed look at the documents behind the prize-winning InsideClimate News investigative series The Road Not Taken, published in 2015. The link to the series of articles is here:


“Climate Change and Indian Media”

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times and 2016 VLS Media Fellow

Developing economies such as India are paying a heavy price for the rapid urbanization witnessed in the past three decades. With little awareness on the possible implications of climate change on human life, the issue is rarely a point of discussion among the parliamentarians as well as the media. Though the media plays a vital role in forming public opinion, it has failed when it comes to environmental degradation. The corporate nature of media outlets has only made it difficult for reporters to write on gross environmental violations which are being done in the name of development. Does changing the course of a river for the sake of a resort mean development?​


"Using the Ethics Rules to Improve Access to Legal Services"​

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Michael Kennedy, Bar Counsel, Vermont Professional Responsibility Program, State of Vermont​


"Disaggregating Preemption in Energy Law​"

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Hannah Wiseman, Attorneys’ Title Professor, Florida State University College of Law

This talk will address the growing tendency of states to preempt local control over the regulation of oil and gas and renewable energy development. It will argue that legislatures and judges considering energy preemption questions should recognize that there are numerous components of a broad regulatory area such as oil and gas regulation, including land use, technical and operational, and financial regulations, among others, and that different levels of government might best control these different regulatory components.


"From Science to Law—Transboundary Ground Water Resources and Emerging International Law"

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Gabriel Eckstein, Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law; Director, International Water Law Project; and the VLS 2016 Distinguished International Environmental Law Scholar

The number of international agreements addressing transboundary aquifers around the world​ can be counted on one hand. Yet, scientific research now suggests that billions of people rely on these shared ground water resources, many of whom have no other source of water available. International law for transboundary aquifers is in a nascent evolutionary stage. Using the Mexico-US border as a case study, this presentation will discuss how international legal norms are being developed in response to emerging scientific knowledge.​


"Restoring Power to Hawai‘i: (Missed) Opportunities for Energy Justice on the Road to 100% Renewable Energy"

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Shalanda Baker, Environmental Law Program Faculty Advisor, Associate Professor of Law, University of Hawai'i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law; and the VLS 2016 Distinguished Energy Law Scholar​

Hawai‘i’s abundant renewable energy resources and its aggressive 100% renewable portfolio standard make the state ground zero for the renewable energy transition. The world is watching. Will the Aloha State lead the way to a just energy future, or replicate systemic vulnerability? This lecture explores this question and examines the key regulatory and policy issues facing Hawai‘i ’s electricity sector: net energy metering, the transition to public power, and community solar.


"State of the Vermont Transmission Grid with High Levels of Renewable Resources"

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Chris Root, Chief Operating Officer, Vermont Electric Power Company

This talk discusses the changes taking place on the transmission grid as the level of renewables increases and the use of storage devices is being explored. Conventional power grid thinking is changing and some evolving changes are highlighted.​


"Utility 2.0: Making the Transition to a Sustainable & Distributed Energy Future"

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Steve Letendre, Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Green Mountain College

The electric power industry is in the midst of revolutionary change being driven by disruptive technologies and the policy imperative to address climate change. Drawing from two decades of experience in the energy sector, Dr. Steven Letendre will explore the technology and policy trends that are shaping the future of the electric power industry. The presentation will also address the regulatory changes that are needed to promote a more sustainable and distributed electric power system that maximizes the benefits to all stakeholders.​


Climate Talk: "Global Ambition, Local Action"

Friday, April 22, 2016

Vermont leaders and national environmental advocates will come together to discuss what the recent United Nations conference on climate change means for Vermonters during “Climate Talk VT: Global Ambition, Local Action,” an Earth Day celebration at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, in Chase Community Center ​


"Gaming the Future: A Winning Strategy for Land Use and Sustainable Development"

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Norman Williams Lecture

Patricia Salkin's talk explores how land use and land development can be viewed through the lens of game theory with many players in the land use game and multiple agendas and strategies to ultimately create winners and losers. Dean Salkin will discuss the goals of community development and sustainability in terms of what ought to be the rules of the game and the winning strategies. Patricia Salkin is the Dean and a Professor of Law at Touro Law Center and the Interim Provost of the Touro College Graduate and Professional Divisions.


Spring Faculty Speaker Series: "Life to the limits: Designing New Economies in Times of Scarcity"

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Marta Ceroni, Executive Director, Donella Meadows Institute