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Adjunct Faculty
Online Faculty

Sarah M. Reiter JD’13

Adjunct Faculty
Environmental Law Center
Summer Session
Online Learning Program

JD, Vermont Law School

MS, College of Charleston

BS, U.S. Naval Academy

Curriculum Vitae

Sarah M. Reiter JD’13


As the associate vice president of ocean conservation practice at New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life (ACCOL), Sarah Reiter applies her nearly two decades of interdisciplinary, solutions-based expertise to lead key aspects of the Aquarium’s ocean conservation agenda. In this role, Sarah bridges between subject matter experts across various sectors and at the intersection of science, law and innovation, to achieve meaningful ocean conservation impact for communities, marine wildlife and habitats, and the emerging blue economy.  

Sarah joined the Aquarium as a law professor and the head of an observer delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations from the Vermont Law and Graduate School. She began her career as an oceanographer and meteorologist for the U.S. military and applied her leadership experience and technical expertise as she transitioned into ocean conservation work that has spanned research on the ocean’s seafloor to its uppermost polar region and includes previous experience at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of General Counsel, the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University, and Monterey Bay Aquarium. 



An Upwelling of Support for the Ocean-Climate-Biodiversity Nexus: Progress toward Institutionalization at COP26 (with Caroline Fullam, Aaron L. Strong, and Angelique Pouponneau) Sustainability and Climate Change Vol. 14, No. 6 (December 2021).

"A Framework for Operationalizing Climate-Just Ocean Commitments Under the Paris Agreement" (with Cheng, L., Pouponneau, A., Taylor, S., Wedding, L.) Frontiers Climate Law and Policy (October 28, 2021).

Reiter, S.M., LaFeir, L., Bender, M., Valcour, S. Legal Strategies to reduce plastic pollution in ocean and freshwater ecosystems. ECOLOGY LAW QUARTERLY (in prep).

Wedding, L.M., Reiblich, J. Gourlie, D., Reiter, S., E. Hartge and A. Guerry. Coastal ecosystem service and climate adaptation policy assessment. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLICY (in prep).

Wedding, L.M., Reiter, S.M., Verutes, G.M., Hartge, E.H., Guannel, G., and L.H. Good. Values at the Land-Sea Interface: Mapping Ecosystem Services in the Coastal Environment. CURRENT: JOURNAL OF MARINE EDUCATION. Volume 32, Number 1, pages 25-31 (2018).
Strong, A., Reiter, S., Post, D. The Muddied Waters of Rockweed Management in Maine. OCEAN AND COASTAL LAW JOURNAL (in prep).
Reiter, S.M., Wedding, L.M., A changing climate, a coast in conflict? Evaluating existing coastal management systems to manage conflict along California’s shrinking shorelines​, (in prep).​

Melius, M., Reiter, S., Newkirk, S., The Coastal Act, Power Plants, and the Case for “Undevelopment,” 18 VT. J. ENVT’L L. 4 (2017).

Mach, MM, LM Wedding, SM Reiter, F Micheli, RM Fujita, and RG Martone. Assessment and management of cumulative impacts in California's network of marine protected areas. OCEAN & COASTAL MANAGEMENT 137(1):1-11 (2017).​
L. M. Wedding, S. M. Reiter, et al., Managing mining of the deep seabed, SCIENCE 349(6244) 144-145 (2015).​
Mach, M.E., Reiter, S.M., & Good, L. H., Managing a mess of cumulative effects: linking science and policy to create solutions. CURRENT: THE JOURNAL OF MARINE EDUCATION, 29(2), 26-31 (2015).​
Reiter, S.M., Wedding, L.M., et al., Climate Adaptation Planning in the Monterey Bay Region: An Iterative Spatial Framework for Engagement at the Local Level. NATURAL RESOURCES, 6, 375-379 (2015).
Erin Prahler, Sarah M. Reiter, et al., It All Adds Up: Enhancing Ocean Health by Improving Cumulative Impacts Analyses in Environmental Review Documents, 33 STAN. ENVTL. L.J. (2014).​
Betsy Baker, Sarah (Mooney) Reiter, The legal status of Arctic sea ice in the United States and Canada, POLAR GEOGRAPHY (2012).​

Legal Advocacy

Sarah M. Reiter, Sarah Newkirk, Angela L. Warner. Threats Assessment to California’s Marine Protected Areas due to SLR Impacts. SUBMITTED TO RESOURCES LEGACY FUND (2014).
Betsy Baker, Jay Eidsness, Elena Mihaly, Sophia Kruszewski, Sarah (Mooney) Reiter, Roman Sidortsov, Dennis Thurston, Chapter 5, Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas, ARCTIC OCEAN REVIEW FINAL REPORT PHASE II (2011-2013).
Ashley Erickson, Don Gourlie, Lucie Hazen, Christina Hicks, Emi Kondo, Rebecca Martone, Lindley Mease, Sarah (Mooney) Reiter, Erin Prahler, Melissa Runsten. California Fisheries Preliminary Assessment Final Report, SUBMITTED TO RESOURCES LEGACY FUND (2013).​
Ocean and Coastal Law Committee of Vermont Law School Environmental Law Society, Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship Discussion Guide​, SUBMITTED TO SEA GRANT LAW CENTER AND GREEN FIRE PRODUCTIONS (2012).​
Erin E. Prahler, Sarah (Mooney) Reiter, Application of Land Use Practices and Tools to Prepare for and Adapt to Climate Change​, SUBMITTED TO MRY COUNTY PLANNERS (2012).​


Wedding, L.M., Reiter, S. et al. Modeling and Mapping Coastal Ecosystem Services to Support Climate Adaptation Planning. OCEAN SOLUTIONS, EARTH SOLUTIONS (2016).​
Aaron Courtney, Sloane Wildman, Sarah M. Reiter, Ocean Dumping and Marine Pollution, OCEAN AND COASTAL LAW AND POLICY, SECTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL, ENERGY, AND RESOURCES, AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (2015).​


Panel Moderator, Ocean/Water Pollution Panel, Vermont Journal of Environmental Law Symposium: The World of Waste in a Wasteful World (October 16, 2021).

Moderator, “A World of Waste in a Wasteful World: Ocean/Water Pollution Panel,” Vermont Journal of Environmental Law Symposium. (October 2021).

"From California to the Clarion Clipperton Zone, a deep dive on the evolution, design principles and function of networks of marine protected areas, with a focus on how ecological law can play a role in ongoing treaty negotiations for marine biodiversity on the high seas," EL&G Webinar Series, Ecological Law and Governance Association (June 2021).

"The New High Seas Treaty," Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth College, November 17, 2020.

Assessing Ambition and Conditionality in Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management program, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford (November 11, 2020).

"International Ocean Governance - Applications at the Science-Policy Interface," MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management program, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford (October 28, 2020).

Moderator, "Nature-Based Solutions," Vermont Journal of Environmental Law Annual Symposium, Vermont Law School (October 16, 2020).

“An Ocean-Climate Strategy to Achieve Ocean-Climate Health,” 11th Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School, (September 26, 2020).

"The Future of the Public Trust: The Muddied Waters of Rockweed Management in Maine,” Ocean and Coastal Law Journal Symposium on Innovations and Aquaculture and Law, Bath, Maine (March 27, 2020).

Speaker, Learning from trends in undergraduate career education, University of Maine School of Law: New England Law School Career Centers Annual Summer Meeting, Portland, Maine, 2017.
Speaker, Making Waves and Building Sandcastles: A Perspective on Marine Policy, Applied Marine and Watershed Science Graduate Seminar Series at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), 2016.
Speaker, From the bottom of the ocean to the top of the food chain: linking science and law to achieve healthy oceans, Environmental Residency Workshop at Vermont Law School, 2015.​​
Speaker, Navigating Arctic Policy: Past, Present and Future, Ocean and Coastal Resource Management Speaker Series at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, 2015.
Speaker, A changing climate, a coast in conflict, University of Minnesota School of Law Road to Paris Faculty Workshop, 2015.
Presentation Contribution, w/ Angela L. Warner, Sarah G. Newkirk, Advancing laws that address the threats of rising seas, California Adaptation Forum, Coastal Resilience Network,2014.​
Presentation Contribution, w/ Margaret R. Caldwell, Don Gourlie, Erin E. Prahler, Meredith Bennett, Ashley Erickson, Molly Loughney Melius, Cumulative Risk and Climate Change Adaptation Along Our Coast, State Bar of California Environmental Law Conference, 2014.​
Speaker, w/ Erin E. Prahler, Meredith Bennett, Ashley Erickson, Molly Loughney Melius, Margaret R. Caldwell, Angela L. Warner, Looking beneath the surface and beyond projects: Legal strategies for performing cumulative effects assessments, 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress, Society of Conservation Biology, 2014.
Seminar Contribution, w/ Beth Kerttula, From the Gulf to the Arctic: What Have We Learned Since the Deepwater Horizon Spill?, Resources for the Future, 2014.​
Presentation Contribution, w/ Margaret R. Caldwell, Megan Herzog, Maggie Peloso, Craig Segall, Angela L. Warner, Analyzing for Regulatory Risk Associated with Land Use Planning Adaptation Strategies, California Adaptation Forum, 2014.​
Keynote Contribution, w/ Margaret R. Caldwell, Meredith Bennett, Ashley L. Erikson, Melissa Foley, Megan E. Mach, Rebecca G. Martone, Lindley Mease, Molly Loughney Melius, Catherine Clarke Murray, Erin E. Prahler, Lisa M. Wedding, Living in a world where 1+1=4: aligning the law, science, and practice of multiple stressors in marine ecosystems, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, 2014.
Presentation Contribution, w/ Lisa Wedding, Eric Hartge, Molly Melius, Greg Guannel, Anne Guerry, Mary Ruckelshaus, Margaret Caldwell, Using a Spatial Approach to Evaluate the Role of Natural Habitat in Increasing Coastal Resilience, ESRI Ocean GIS Forum, 2014.​
Speaker, w/ Mark Madden, Making Cents Out of Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission Parklands, National Association for Interpretation Region 3 Conference, 2010.

Awards & Accomplishments

Awards, Honors or Grants

Honorary Research Associate, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford (June 2019)

Vermont Law School, Phenomenal Woman Award—Staff, for contributions to the school community (2018)
Monterey Bay Aquarium, Achievement Award, for Conservation Partnership work (2016)
Monterey Bay Aquarium, Achievement Award, for developing policy intern program (2015).
Vermont Law School Alumni Award (2013)​
United States Armed Services, The Air Force Achievement Medal (2007); The Navy Achievement Medal (2005); The National Defense Service Medal (2002).
United States Naval Academy, Leadership Award, for contributions to Honor Staff, Concept, and Brigade (2005); Women’s Swimming Patriot League Academic All-star (2004, 2005); Golden Key National Honor Society (2005).