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VJEL Vol. 24 Symposium - Oceans 1.5C

5 Nov 2022

VJEL Vol. 24 Symposium - Oceans 1.5C

8:15am - 5:00pm

Chase Community Center

Live Broadcast on msTeams, link in the Description

The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law at VLGS Presents its Annual Symposium on Saturday, November 5th, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be in-person at Chase Community Center, and also virtual on Teams Live Events.

Oceans cover 70% of the Earth, with 40% of the world's population living within 100 miles of a coastline. Ocean governance is a complex legal field mired in domestic law and international treaties. This symposium will foster a proactive dialogue around sustainable use and preservation of our ocean and its resources.

The symposium is free and open to the public and press. We invite you, your colleagues, friends, and family to join us!

8:15 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Address

Welcoming and Introduction by the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law

Keynote Speaker Robert Percival, University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Robert Percival

Robert V. Percival is the Robert F. Stanton professor of law and the director of the Environmental Law Program at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. He received a BA summa cum laude from Macalester College and a JD/MA from Stanford University. Percival served as the managing editor of the Stanford Law Review and he was named the Nathan Abbott Scholar for graduating first in his law school class. Following graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White. Percival joined the Maryland faculty in 1987 after serving as a senior attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund. He has been a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School, the Georgetown University Law Center, the China University of Political Science and Law, and Comenius University. Percival is the principal author of the most widely used environmental law casebook, now in its ninth edition. He has received the Senior Distinguished Education Award from the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law and an award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy by the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources Law. In 2022 the University of Maryland named Percival a Distinguished University Professor, the highest honor it awards to faculty and the first time the award was made to a professor in the law school.


Panel Synopsis

9 a.m. Renewables in the Ocean

Moderator: Professor Kevin Jones


Edward (Ted) Boling »
Ted Boling served as the country’s top National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) attorney as an associate director at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the Executive Office of the President. Ted served at CEQ, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in Democratic and Republican administrations. His experience includes deep involvement in federal infrastructure permitting issues and the first comprehensive revision of CEQ’s NEPA regulations in 40 years.

Jeff Thaler »
Professor Thaler has taught at Maine Law School for over 12 years, while also acting as permitting and regulatory counsel for on-and off-shore wind projects and hydropower facilities. Currently an attorney at Preti Flaherty in Portland, he continues as the attorney for the only floating deepwater offshore wind power projects in North America. Professor Thaler is the lead author of The Maine Environmental Handbook and the Lexis Nexis Treatise “Treatment of Greenhouse Gases Under the National Environmental Policy Act”; and has authored the first Offshore Wind Energy Project Permitting and Leasing Roadmap, as well as articles on climate change and ocean renewable energy projects and regulatory reforms.

Carlos Soria Rodriguez »
Carlos Soria-Rodriguez is a Senior Associate Researcher at the Research Centre for Environment, Economy and Energy at the Brussels School of Governance and the Section of International and European Law of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is also a Marie Sktodowska Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Section of Public International Law and International Relations at the University of Jaen (Spain), where he carries out the project RENEWABLE-HIGH-SEAS.


10:30 a.m. Policy Management

Moderator: Professor Richard Sala JD/MELP'13


Carlos Soria Rodriguez » (Carlos will be presenting on both panels)

Glen Wright »
Glen Wright is senior researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), based in Paris, France. His work focuses on various aspects of marine policy and ocean governance, and he specializes in international negotiations, the high seas/areas beyond national jurisdiction, regional cooperation, marine spatial planning, and the regulation of wave and tidal energy technologies.

Betsy Baker »
Betsy Baker is a Vermont Law and Graduate School Distinguished Scholar, and an international lawyer based in Alaska. She is Global Fellow at the Wilson Center Polar Institute. Her work on ocean law and Arctic policy builds on 25+ years of experience as an author, consultant, law professor (including at VLGS), and director of an Alaska-based marine science funding organization.


12:30 p.m. Ocean Dumping and Pollution

Moderator: Professor Delcianna Winders


Olivia Kalynn Deans JD’20 »
Olivia Kaylynn Deans JD’20 is the Ocean and Coastal Law Fellow at the National Sea Grant Law Center. Deans received her JD from Vermont Law and Graduate School in 2020 and a BS in Biological Sciences from Michigan Technological University in 2016. During her time at NSGLC, she will focus on fisheries management and water law.

Sofia O'Connor JD’11 »
Sofia O’Conner JD’11 is a staff attorney at Environmental Law Institute (ELI). She has worked on projects related to climate change adaptation, environmental displacement and environmental migration, ocean resource management, marine spatial planning, marine protected areas, and marine litter. O’Connor is particularly interested in how legal codes can be changed to incorporate considerations of climate change. She holds a JD from Vermont Law and Graduate School and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

George A. Kimbrell »
George A. Kimbrell is the legal director for the Center for Food Safety (CFS), a nationwide nonprofit with a mission to empower people, a nationwide nonprofit with a mission to empower people, support farmers, and protect the planet from the harmful impacts of industrial agriculture. His legal, legislative, and policy work runs the gamut of CFS program areas, including animal agriculture, crop agriculture, food labeling, food safety, and new and emerging food technologies. Among other landmark cases, Kimbrell was counsel in the first U.S. Supreme Court case on genetically engineered organism regulation.


2 p.m. Challenges in Coastal Communities

Moderator: Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale


Cinnamon Carlarne »
Cinnamon Carlarne is a VLGS Distinguished Scholar and Robert J. Lynn Chair in Law, Associate Dean for Faculty and Intellectual Life at the Ohio State Moritz College of Law. Carlarne's scholarship focuses on the evolution of system of domestic and international environmental governance, with a particular focus on questions of domestic and international climate change law. Her scholarly work includes a book on comparative climate change law and policy with Oxford University Press; a Foundation Press text on climate law with Dan Farber; the Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law; an extensive series of journal articles and book chapters exploring questions of domestic and international environmental law; and a textbook on Oceans and Human Health and Well-being.

Carolina Torres Trueba »
Carolina Torres Trueba is an attorney at Island Conservation•Galapagos. She has over six years experience managing cases that link administrative law with environmental law. Torres Trueba is a member of the Assembly of the Ecuadorian Center for Environmental Law (CEDA) and the International Transdisciplinary Academy of Environment (A TINA). In the conservation field, she has been the lead attorney of the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD).

Keith Hirokawa »
Professor Hirokawa is a summer faculty member at VLGS and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship at Albany Law School. He teaches courses involving environmental and natural resources law, land use planning, property law, and jurisprudence. Professor Hirokawa's scholarship has explored convergences in ecology, ethics, economics, and law, with particular attention given to local environmental law, ecosystem services policy, watershed management, and environmental impact analysis. He has authored dozens of professional and scholarly articles in these areas.


CLE Credit is available for symposium attendees.

Breakfast and coffee in the a.m. (via VLGS Cafe); lunch will be provided via outside vendor.



Questions? Concerns? Contact Kevin McElfresh at