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The Second Emerging Environmental Law Curriculum Conference for Environmental Law Faculty on the Future of Legal Education

Environmental law professors assemble regularly to discuss scholarship, but there are fewer opportunities to gather with our peers from other schools to grow our skills as teachers. Join Vermont Law & Graduate School’s Environmental Law Center and colleagues from across the country for a conference designed for passionate environmental law faculty dedicated to providing future environmental leaders with cutting edge legal education.

This June 2024 conference builds on the first Emerging Environmental Law Curriculum Conference in 2019 and the subsequent 2021 curriculum roundtable series (transcripts and analysis published in Vermont Law Review, Vol. 46: Book 4). We aim to reconvene the curriculum conference every five years to share updated learnings and techniques for teaching emerging environmental law.

This conference will expand on the issues explored in our earlier gatherings as well as dive into new discussions of innovation in and out of the classroom. The conference will feature faculty panelists from law schools around the U.S. Join us to hear from professors who are shaping the future of environmental law education AND share your expertise from the classroom. You can register for the event at the link below.

Register now to join us in June!


Thursday, June 20, 2024Panelist dinner at Cloudland Farm, Pomfret 5:30 pm

Friday, June 21, 2024

Breakfast: 9:00 – 9:30 am

Keynote:9:30 – 10:30 am

Panel 1:10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Lunch: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Concurrent Panels 2 and 3: 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Affinity Group Tables: 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Debate: 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Dinner: 5:30 pm at Fable Farm, Barnard, VT

Saturday, June 22, 2024 Ecology Field Trip: 9:30 – 11:30 am


The conference Keynote Address will feature Vicki Arroyo, Associate Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Policy. 

Vicki Arroyo currently serves as the Associate Administrator for Policy at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, overseeing a diverse portfolio at the agency that includes regulatory policy and management, climate adaptation, environmental economics, community revitalization, NEPA, and more. She previously served as Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center, directed the Pew Center on Global Climate Change’s domestic policy program, served in the Office of Air and Radiation and Office of Research and Development at EPA, and created and directed the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s policy office.

Keynote: teaching and practicing environmental law and policy in challenging times

Environmental law is a dynamic field, challenging efforts of professors and students alike to keep up to date with emerging scientific, legal and policy issues. Topics ranging from climate change to environmental justice to emerging contaminants are just some components of this rapidly transforming landscape, and professors must adapt teaching techniques to prepare students to practice in this dynamic environment. Keynote speaker Vicki Arroyo (Associate Administrator for Policy at US EPA, on leave from her position as Professor from Practice at Georgetown Law) will reflect on her experience working in government, think tanks and academia and share her thoughts on creative techniques aimed at training the next generation of environmental lawyers.

Date/time: Friday, June 21, 2024, from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. EST

PANEL 1: Environmental Law Professors Who answered the call of government: what they learned

A number of our academic colleagues answered the call to join the Biden Administration in senior leadership roles, in agencies across the Executive Branch. This session will bring several of these leaders together to discuss lessons learned from their government service that should inform environmental law curriculum and our teaching.

Moderator: Christophe Courchesne, Director, VLGS Environmental Advocacy Clinic


Vicki Arroyo, Associate Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Policy

Maxine Burkett, Assistant Director for Climate, Ocean, and Equity, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Professor of Law, University of Hawai'i William S. Richardson School of Law

Sarah Krakoff, Deputy Solicitor, Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Department of Interior, and Moses Lasky Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School

Clifford Villa, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Land and Emergency Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Professor of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law

Date/time: Friday, June 21, 2024, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST


How can numerical and scientific literacy improve student understanding of environmental law? This session will explore ideas beyond traditional lectures to engage students in quantitative and hard science topics.

Moderator: Mark James, Interim Director, Institute for Energy and the Environment

Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law

Ed Richards, Senior Fellow, Louisiana State University Law Center, Climate Change Law and Policy Project, and Professor Emeritus, LSU Law

Steph Tai, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School

Date/time: Friday, June 21, 2024, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST

PANEL 3: teaching at the intersection of federal INDIan Law and ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

A discussion of the important role of federal Indian law in the practice of environmental and natural resources law, and guidance on incorporating this intersection into traditional environmental law courses and curricula.

Moderator: Mia Montoya Hammersley, Director, VLGS Environmental Justice Clinic

Nadine Padilla,
Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico School of Law

Vanessa Racehorse, Visiting Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School

Heather TananaVisiting Professor, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Gerald TorresProfessor, Yale School of the Environment and Yale Law School

Date/time: Friday, June 21, 2024, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST

Affinity group tables

Conference attendees will self-select topical teaching areas for discussion with peers. Topics will include water, climate, property, and more.


Attend a presentation by Zyg Plater describing how “EL-T,” a unique Environmental Law-Teaching program, trains and gives selected law students, in pairs, the opportunity to design and teach a basic course in environmental law to undergraduates at a variety of host colleges and universities, with faculty status, prior to their own graduation. The presenter will encourage attendees to consider instituting the EL-T program at their own law schools.

Date/time: Friday, June 21, 2024, from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST


Hacking the Planet: Is geo-engineering a salvation or a curse?

Moderator: Jennifer RushlowDean, Maverick Lloyd School for the Environment and Faculty Director, Environmental Law Center

Wil Burns, Co-Director, Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy, American University, 
and Visiting Professor, Environmental Policy and Culture, Northwestern University

Pat Parenteau,  Professor of Law Emeritus and Senior Fellow for Climate Policy, VLGS Environmental Law Center

Date/time: Friday, June 21, 2024, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. EST

Teach the teachers ecology fIELD TRIP

Join Tom Lautzenheiser and Walter Poleman on an informational field trip to the Zebedee wetland area in Thetford, Vermont. These experienced field study instructors will provide valuable natural sciences background relevant to environmental legal instruction and advice on leading students in the field.

Zebedee Wetland is renowned by bird-watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. The .75-mile Linny Levin Trail is mostly flat and encircles the wetland and offers several spurs to vantage points looking over the beaver-maintained pond system. The Upper Valley Land Trust continues to restore Zebedee to an productive wetland. With the removal of an existing man-made dam in 2010, the wetland hydrology has been restored and the wetland ecosystem has returned to a dynamic natural state.

Date/time: Saturday, June 22, 2024, from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. EST



Participants are encouraged to stay at the Courtyard by Marriott or the Hilton Garden Inn, both in Lebanon, NH  to take advantage of the group discount to EELCC participants.  Please call the Courtyard at 603-643-5600 or the Hilton at 603-448-3300 on or before May 20, 2024, to reserve a room at the Vermont Law & Graduate School block rate.

Transportation We are approximately 2.5 hours from Boston by car. The closest airports serviced by major airlines are Burlington, VT (71 miles from VLGS), Manchester, NH (101 miles from VLGS), and Boston Logan.  There is a small local airport in Lebanon, NH with flights to and from the NYC area and Boston Logan.  In addition, there is train service to White River Junction on Amtrak, as well as a luxury bus service from Boston provided by the Dartmouth Coach.  Travel from Burlington, VT, to Hanover, NH is possible using Greyhound bus lines.

Transportation from Hotels to VLGS and other venues

We will provide transportation from the hotels to VLGS and other venues and back. Please meet the bus promptly in front of your hotel.


  • 4:35 pm pick up at hotels, deliver to Cloudland Farm for the panelist only dinner.
  • 7:00 pm bus from Cloudland back to hotels.


  • 8:05 am pick up at the hotels, deliver to VLGS.
  • 5:00 pm bus from VLGS to Fable Farms for the conference dinner.
  • 7:00 pm bus from Fable Farms back to hotels by 8:00 pm.


  • 8:50 am pick up at hotels for field trip.
  • 11:30 pm bus back to hotels by 12:30 pm.


Most meals are provided. Remember to register so we know if you have any special food needs.



  • Breakfast: Coffee and pastries provided at VLGS.
  • Lunch provided at VLGS.
  • Dinner provided at Fable Farm.


  • Breakfast on your own at the hotel.
  • Water and snacks provided at Zebedee wetland.

Dietary Preferences

Please let us know of any dietary preferences by emailing

What to Wear

Vermont weather is unpredictable! Of course we are hoping for sunny summer days, but please be prepared with layers and a rain jacket and comfortable shoes. It can still be quite chilly at night in June. Business casual is as fancy as you need to be.


Please let us know if you are interested and in need of childcare.