Betsy Baker was named Executive Director of the North Pacific Research Board (www.nprb.org) in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2016 after almost a decade of teaching at Vermont Law School. Joining VLS in 2007 as a visiting professor, she became a full time faculty member in 2010 and received tenure in 2013. At NPRB she is honored to work with a small staff of marine scientists and a twenty-member board to fund research that improves understanding of the marine waters around Alaska, their fisheries and their ecosystems. This work dovetails with her distinguished record of research, teaching and speaking on Arctic, Ocean, International, and Comparative Law.
Baker clerked for Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was Visiting Scholar in the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She earned her LL.M. and doctorate in law in Germany, where she was an Alexander von Humboldt Chancellor’s Fellow. Over her decade living in Germany she was affiliated with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. She has taught at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Vermont Law School, the University of Minnesota Law School, and Harvard Law School, where she was the John Harvey Gregory Lecturer on International Organizations Law and ran the graduate program for international law students.
Baker was selected as a Dickey Research Fellow in the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College for 2009-2010. She was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board in 2014 and is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Society of Comparative Law, and the American Society of International Law.
As a Distinguished Scholar, Dr. Baker will return to VLS for occasional lectures and teaching engagements.
"Assessing Assessments of NAFTA’s Marine Environment: The Commission for Environmental Cooperation meets the World Ocean Assessment," in: Hoi Kong & Kinvin Wroth (eds.), NAFTA and Sustainable Development: History, Experience, and Prospects for Reform, Cambridge University Press 2015, 343-366 (expected Spring 2015).
"Inter-linkages in International Law: The Convention on Biological Diversity as a Model for Linking Territory, Environment and Indigenous Rights in the Marine Arctic," in: S. Ali and R. Pincus (eds.), Diplomacy on Ice, Yale University Press, 2015, 41-60.
"A Note on Arctic Information Platforms and International Law," in S. Lalonde and T.McDorman (eds), International Law and Politics of the Arctic Ocean, Essays in Honor of Donat Pharand, Brill 2015, 434-445.
B. Baker (ed.) with L. Campion, K. Sedlacek, J. Garcia Lomas-Gago, Z. Zhang, Implementing the Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines in the United States and Canada, Vermont Law School, Institute for Energy and the Environment, White Papers Nos. 1-4, August-September 2010.
Invited speaker, "Improving Stewardship as the Arctic Ocean Changes: Ecosystem-based Management as a Tool," Arctic Marine Governance, University of California-Irvine School of Law, April 22, 2016.
Invited speaker, “Two views of Arctic Resource Development: The Law of the Sea and Indigenous Rights on the Continental Shelf”, Tribal Sovereignty and Economic Development in Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, March 4, 2016.
Presentation, "Arctic Council Update," Arctic Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association, Anchorage, Alaska, January 11, 2016.
Panelist, "U.S.-Canada Shared Interests and Opportunities in the North American Arctic,” Arctic Domain Awareness Center, University of Alaska-Anchorage, December 15, 2015.
"Options for an Arctic Regional Seas Arrangement," Symposium on Arctic Governance, University of California, Irvine School of Law, January 30-31, 2015.
Panelist, "Do We Need an Arctic Ocean Science Coordinating Agreement?" at Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska, January 19, 2015.
"The International Legal Framework for Oil Pollution and Accident Prevention, Preparedness and Response in the Bering Strait," for WWF Workshop on Oil Spill Prevention and Response: Working across U.S.-Russian Boundaries for Arctic Stewardship, November 12, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska
"Planning Ahead: How Alaska can Drive Integrated Arctic Management, Curtail Federal Overreach and Safeguard the Country’s Longest Coastline," at Alaska Law Review Symposium, Duke School/University of Alaska-Anchorage, October 16, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska
"A Regional Seas Agreement for the Arctic Ocean?" Presentation to the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, University of Tromsø, September 2, 2014, Tromsø, Norway.
Who does own the North Pole? Science, Diplomacy and Politics under the Law of the Sea Convention and International Law, Arctic Encounter Symposium, Seattle University School of Law, February 8, 2014, Seattle, WA.
Arctic Governance Project Summit, Rapporteur and participant, January 29-31, 2010, Tromsø, Norway.
Report to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission about a September 21, 2009, workshop at University of Alaska Fairbanks, International scientific collaboration and legal regimes in a changing Arctic Ocean, and on plans for a white paper on Arctic Ocean access for scientific research with workshop collaborators, November 11, 2009, Cambridge, MA.
Member of Science Crew on the icebreaker USCGC HEALY, August 16-September 7, 2009 (HEALY 09-05) deployment, mapping the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf, Arctic Ocean.
Invited panelist, Japan-U.S. Arctic Strategy Workshop, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, March 5-6, 2015.
Awards & Accomplishments
Awards, Honors or Grants
Visiting Fellow 2009-2010, John Sloan Dickey Center for Int’l Understanding, Hanover, NH
Chandis Security Fellow, March - May 1998, Dissertation research at the Huntington library in San Marino, CA.
- University of Tromsø Faculty of Law, Norway, K.G. Jebsen Centre for Law of the Sea, Signe Veierud Busch, Third State Involvement in the Context of Establishing the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf, Defense September 2014.
- University of Lapland, Rovaniemi Finland, M. Waliul Hasanat, Soft-Law Cooperation in International Law: the Arctic Council's efforts to Address Climate Change, September 2012
- Harvard Law School, Kala Mulqueeny, Accountability in International Financial Institutions, awarded the Laylin Prize for best student paper in public international law, May 2008.
American Society of International Law/Academic Council on the UN, Workshop on International Organization Studies, July 12-24, 1992, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
- American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
- American Geophysical Union
- American Society of Comparative Law
- American Society of International Law
- Association of American Law Schools:
- Vice-Chair, Section on North American Cooperation
- Executive Committee, Section on Admiralty and Maritime Law
- Bar Admissions: Minnesota 1982 (currently inactive status); U.S. District Court (Minn.) 1983
- Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland, Scientific Advisory Board, appointed for 2014-2016
- University of Alaska, Department of Geography, Affiliated Professor of Arctic Law and Policy 2009-2012
- University of the Arctic, Arctic Law Thematic Network, Chair - Oil and Gas Working Group
- University of Vermont, James M. Jeffords Center, Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security, External Advisory Board, since 2011