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Are you an undergraduate student committed to developing new ways of thinking about environmental law and policy? The Undergraduate Environmental Law and Policy program provides students an opportunity to learn cutting-edge issues, sample life as a law student, and experience the impact of environmental law and policy from top-notch experts in the field.

For any questions about the program, please contact Nasser Abdel-Fatah at or Admissions at


Undergraduate students: Become agents of change at the nation's premier environmental law school.

  • Learn from expert faculty in our top-rated Environmental Law Center, which has a rich history of working to influence environmental policy on local, national and international levels.
  • Establish a legal framework that will set you on a path to becoming a leader who uses the power of the law to make a difference.
  • Take additional courses in environmental law, energy law, water law, animal law, land use law, or food and agriculture law offered as part of the VLGS Summer Session program.
  • Attend "Hot Topics" lectures by leading environmental scholars and activists.
  • Have fun and explore Vermont. VLGS is nestled on the banks of the White River in the village of South Royalton. We are a short hike, bike ride, or drive to scenic and recreational destinations.

Course and Dates

May 30 - June 16, 2023

Ocean and Coastal LAW (3 credits)

Long neglected by lawmakers despite its essential ecological functions, the marine environment has increasingly been the focal point of conservation and natural resource management efforts. As a foundation for studying the laws that govern the marine environment, the course considers the natural components of estuarine, coastal, and marine ecosystems and the current conservation issues confronting them. We will review domestic and international laws and treaties relating to coastal management, pollution, protected areas, endangered species, fisheries, marine mammals, wetlands, marine spatial planning, and offshore energy resources, and examine alternative approaches to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. The course considers the effectiveness of these legal regimes in providing rational and comprehensive management and protection of marine resources in the face of emerging threats from climate change, crashing fish stocks, and energy shortages, focusing on current events such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the International Whaling Commission debate over commercial whaling, and climate change threats to the Arctic.


  • Ocean and Coastal Law (3 credits)
  • Total program cost = $3,000

Total program cost includes tuition, housing, and some meals. Limited scholarships are available.


Click here to Inquire about this Undergraduate Program


Priority Deadline: April 15, 2023
Final Deadline: May 1, 2023


Apply Now →


Sarah M. Reiter JD’ 13
Sarah’s work spans research on the ocean’s seafloor to its uppermost polar region, and she has played a role in the negotiation of multiple environmental agreements. A former meteorologist and U.S. Air Force Officer, she managed an operational floor of scientists responsible for providing weather support to military bases west of the Mississippi. Her experience at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions, and Monterey Bay Aquarium contributed to her ocean law and policy expertise. Sarah teaches several environmental law courses and serves as the head of an observer delegation to the international climate negotiations, where her students support small island nations.

Sarah received a JD from Vermont Law School, a MS in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston, and a BS in Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy. She holds an Honorary Research Associate position at the University of Oxford, collaborating with the Oxford Seascape Ecology Lab, and is published in cross-disciplinary journals such as Science and the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. When she's not fighting for the ocean, she enjoys exploring Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence Seaway watersheds with her young family.