Friday, June 20, 2014

Felicitaciones (Congratulations) to Denver Law LLM and JD students awarded prestigious Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) scholarships

The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), the most prominent natural resources-focused organization of legal practitioners and academics in the Western Hemisphere, has awarded four of its prestigious scholarships to Denver Law students. Three of the students will begin their LLM studies at Denver Law in August. The fourth winner is a third year JD student. 

Don C. Smith, Director of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law program, said, "It is indeed a great day for the Denver Law students who have been awarded these impressive RMMLF scholarships. Students who have earned similar scholarships in the past have told me that this award was one of their proudest moments as a student. Moreover, the scholarships recognize the high quality of students who study at Denver Law."

Scholarship selections are based on the interest of students studying natural resources law and their potential to make significant contributions to the field.  To date, 380 scholarships totaling nearly $2 million have been awarded.

Three of the scholarships were awarded to LLM students who will begin their studies in August.  Notably, each of these students is from South America, a continent where Denver Law has a long history of recruiting the best and brightest students.  The South American students are:
  • Renato De Vettori, a Peruvian lawyer, graduated with a law degree from the Universidad San Martin de Porres. 
  • Nancy Garcia Yi, a Peruvian lawyer as well, graduated with a law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
  • Rodrigo Galleguillos, an attorney from Chile, obtained his law degree from the Universidad de Chile.
Lucy Daberkow, Assistant Director of the ENRL Graduate Program, said, "A continuing objective of our program is to be the most diverse environmental and natural resources law program in the Western Hemisphere.  Renato, Rodrigo, and Nancy's recognition by the RMMLF underscores the strength of these individuals and reflects positively on our on-going efforts to recruit the best students from South America.  The diversity of our program's students is a real point of differentiation in our recruiting efforts and we are thrilled they will join us."

The JD student is David Rueschhoff, who also earned a Joe Rudd Scholarship from the RMMLF.  Mr. Rudd was a prominent Alaska natural resources attorney.

In making the announcement of winners, Stevia Walther, Executive Director of the RMMLF said more than 100 scholarship applications were received.  Ultimately 34 students were chosen for scholarships.  "The selection process was not easy for the Committee, given the large number of well-qualified applicants," Ms. Walther said.

Ms. Daberkow, looking ahead to the beginning of the new academic year in August, said, "The incoming 2014-2015 will certainly be one of our most diverse and impressive classes. We look forward to meeting these students who will undoubtedly make outstanding contributions to our program and their professions in the natural resources and environmental industries."

In recognition of the diversity of the four award winners Ms. Daberkow said in Spanish, "Enhorabuena a nuestros estudiantes por este reconocimiento!" and in English, "Congratulations to our students for this honor!"

Denver Law is widely-regarded as having one of the premier natural resources, environmental, and energy programs in the United States.  In recent years, Denver Law has introduced new courses in many areas of study including Sustainable Development, Renewable Energy, and Oil & Gas. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kristy Disney, DU Law JD and LLM alumn, joins us as an adjunct professor

Kristy Disney, a 2011 JD and LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources graduate, will join our graduate program as an adjunct professor this fall. Prof. Disney will be teaching the class "Sustainable Development and International Trade," which provides an introduction to the interrelations among trade, environment, development issues, laws and policies. The class looks to explore how globalization can be compatible with sustainable development and focuses on environmental and social concerns as well as human rights, gender issues and governance.

Lucy Daberkow,  Associate Administrative Director, commented: "We have known Prof. Disney since she began our program as a graduate student and couldn't be more proud of her accomplishments as a Sustainable Development expert who is sharing her expertise with students  eager to learn about sustainability and globalization issues."

Prof. Disney is the current Interim Executive Director and Director of International Programs at the Sustainable Development Strategies Group (SDSG) and has been instrumental in negotiating and implementing natural resources legislation and policies in countries around the world.

Friday, June 6, 2014

European Policy Expert Who has Participated in Denver Law Courses Covers European Parliament Elections for Sweden's TV4

Marcus Oscarsson.
Marcus Oscarsson, an expert on European Union law and policy and a frequent contributor to various Denver Law environmental law courses, was recently a member of Sweden's TV4 political team that covered the elections to the European Parliament

Mr. Oscarsson said, "The EU elections are the second biggest election in the world, next only to India's election. Some 400 million voters from Spain in the south to Sweden in the north, from Ireland in the west to Romania in the east, elected the 751 members of the European Parliament (EP).  Because of the European Parliament's increasing power, the elections are particularly important in the context of big EU-issues such as environmental protection and energy policy.

"Many people have said that the most important environmental policy-related parliamentary body in the world is the European Parliament Environment Committee.  When the new Parliament assembles this summer, all of us will be watching with interest what direction this Committee takes."

Inside the European Parliament.
Don Smith, Director of Denver Law's Environmental & Natural Resources Law program said, "Marcus Oscarsson is a respected observer of EU policies and trends.  His involvement in a number of our courses -- either through video sessions or on-line discussion boards -- has been instrumental in helping our students prepare for a future where they will need to know not only about American environmental policy, but also happenings in the European Union."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 2014 Denver Law Environmental & Natural Resources Graduate Program Graduation: Eight Countries Represented

It's difficult to believe, but another graduation has taken place.  This year was another stellar one for Denver Law's Environmental & Natural Resources Graduate Program, with graduates coming from all around the world.  More specifically, the graduating class included individuals from:

Saudi Arabia
United States

In addition, two students who graduated with the top grade point average in their degree programs were recognized:

Master of Laws: Andrea Liniger
Master of Resource Law Studies: Amanda Nichols

Don Smith and Lucy Daberkow, who direct the graduate program, said, "For all of our graduates, graduation day marked an end and a beginning.  While we will miss seeing them, we will look forward to all the great things they will accomplish in their careers. It's also exciting to see our graduates form friendships that will last a lifetime."

Here are some of the happy graduates, their families and friends at the graduation ceremony and also at the graduation brunch hosted by Prof. Smith:

Don Smith, left, with Andrea Liniger, 2014 LLM graduate of Zurich, Switzerland,
 and her parents.

Don Smith, left, with Atheer Abdulaziz Al Jarboa, 2014 LLM
graduate of Saudi Arabia

Don Smith, left, with Khulan Amarsanaa,
2014 LLM graduate and originally from Mongolia,
and her father.

Lucy Daberkow, left, with Kristi Disney, 2011 JD and LLM
graduate, Andy Liniger and Sarah Smith, 2014 MRLS graduate.

Amelie Daberkow, left, with Lucy Daberkow, Emma Daberkow,
Katherine Beatty, current MRLS student from Perth,
Australia, Kristi Disney, Khulan Amarsanaa, and
Andy Liniger.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Denver Law Well Represented at IBA's Energy & Environment Meeting in Berlin

Denver Law was well represented at the recent International Bar Association (IBA) Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Law conference in Berlin, Germany.  The Denver Law group included faculty members and graduates of the LLM program.

"It was delightful to see a great contingent of Denver Law-affiliated individuals in Berlin, a gathering that reaffirmed our program's prominence and reach around the world.  When anyone speaks about energy and natural resources development, Colorado and the US Rocky Mountain West are often mentioned," Don C. Smith, Environmental & Natural Resources Law (ENRL) Director, said.

"Similarly, when the most prominent energy and natural resources lawyers from around the world gather, you can almost be assured that someone with a Denver Law affiliation will be there," he said.

The Denver Law-affiliated attendees included:
  • Scott Anderson, partner at Hogan Lovells in Denver; he has taught "US Mining Law" at DU.  Mr. Anderson spoke on a panel focusing on fracking in oil and gas projects.
  • Robert Bassett, partner at Holland & Hart in Denver; he teaches "International Mining Law" at DU.
  • Florencia Heredia, partner at HOLT Abogados in Buenos Aires; she has taught "Latin American Mining Law" at DU.  Ms. Heredia co-chaired a panel entitled, "Mining Near Cities."
  • Diego Parravicini, mining law attorney at Beccar Varela in Buenos Aires, and 2010 LLM graduate from DU.
  • Miguel Rivero, partner specializing in oil and gas at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque in Caracas, Venezuela and 2005 LLM graduate.
  • Luis Carlos Rodrigo, managing partner at Estudio Rodrigo, Elias & Medrano in Lima, Peru; he has taught "Latin American Mining Law" at DU.
  • Mark Safty, partner at Holland & Hart in Denver; he teaches "Renewable Energy Project Finance" and is a member of the organizing committee for the Denver Law Annual Renewable Energy Summit.
"When students come to the Denver Law ENRL program, whether to pursue a JD, LLM or Master's degree, they learn from the world's leaders in the fields of environmental, energy, and natural resources law," Mr. Smith said.  "As this list suggests, we are committed to continuing our long tradition of recruiting the world's best students and best practitioners and academics to teach in our program."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Comparative Environmental Law" students learn from experts from around the globe

The just finished "Comparative Environmental Law" course, taught in the January-April 2014 semester, was a "big success" in terms of diversity of coverage and speakers according to Professor Don Smith.

"The aim of the course is to acquaint students with a range of issues that drive environmental law and policy in a wide variety of countries," he said.  The countries covered included Argentina, Chile, China, India, Nigeria, the US, and the European Union.

"While I take the lead in most course sessions, it is also important for students to learn from others who are experts in their fields," Professor Smith said.  "This provides students a more robust and enriching experience than any one person could ever deliver."

The speakers this semester were:
  • Camila AstorgaMaria Paz Cerda, and Blanca Oddo, all of the Santiago, Chile-based firm Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana, who spoke on the intersection of Chilean environmental and natural resources law.
  • Alan Harrison, Vice President Drilling for WPX Energy, who spoke about the engineering and environmental aspects of horizontal drilling and gas and oil well fracking. 
  • Tonye Oki, a Denver energy executive and Denver Law LLM graduate; he spoke about Nigeria. 
  • Diego Parravicini, a Denver Law LLM graduate who practices with the firm of Beccar Varela in Buenos Aires, Argentina; he spoke about the relationship between natural resources development and environmental protection in Argentina.
  • James Tarpey, former member of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, who talked about the extent to which utility regulators take into account environmental issues when making rate decisions. 
"The students and I benefited a great deal from each of these speakers," Professor Smith said.  "We all owe a great debt of gratitude to these experts who ably and thoroughly spoke about their various areas of expertise."

Denver Law's Comparative Environmental Law course, taught every year for more than 10 years, has established a well-regarded teaching model where students learn from experts from all around the world.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Environmental and Natural Resources Graduate Program Names 2013-2014 Outstanding Students

Andrea "Andy" Liniger                            Amanda "Penny" Nichols

The Environmental and Natural Resources Graduate Program has selected the 2013-2014 Outstanding Students. This recognition is given to the students who have achieved the highest GPA's during their studies. The following are the recipients of this honor:

Andrea "Andy" Liniger is the LLM Outstanding Student. Andy, who is originally from Switzerland, received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Lucerne and a Master of Laws from the University of Bern.  Andy has worked as a legal librarian for Vischer Attorneys at Law and has interned for the Federal Office for the Environment in Switzerland.  Andy also worked as a research assistant at the law faculty of  the University of Zurich.

Andy commented that "coming to Denver for my LLM has been a great and rewarding experience, but it was also hard work, so the award means a lot to me! The effort was certainly worthwhile, and I feel very honored and grateful to receive this award. I owe many thanks to Prof. Don Smith and Assistant Director Lucy Daberkow for their great work on the Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy program-without their continuous support, this would certainly not have been possible. Thank you!"

Amanda "Penny" Nichols is the MRLS Outstanding Student. Penny received her B.A. in Environmental Policy from Colorado College.  She has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda and as a researcher for the Sustainable Development Studies Group with a focus on sustainable practices in mining. Her plans for the future include finding employment as a mining consultant specializing in sustainability. She had this to say about her experience in the program:

"The MRLS program has been an invaluable experience for me and what I have learned from most was the diverse and experienced adjunct professionals that matched my interest in natural resource use & extraction, human rights, environmental conservation and sustainable development. As a Masters student, I have been able to build a foundation in natural resource law, learn from my fellow law students and follow my passion by specializing in mining law." 

Andy and Penny exemplify the stellar students we strive to have in our program. We are extremely proud of their dedication, hard work, and academic excellence.  Congratulations to both!