Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflections on a Successful and Productive Year; Thanks to Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, Adjuncts, Friends of the Program

As 2010 nears an end it is only appropriate to reflect back on the people and events that made the year such a successful and productive one for all of us associated with the Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENRL) program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

It is nearly impossible to call attention in this year's final blog posting to everything and everyone that really merits attention, and so what we have tried to do is identify a handful of illustrative examples of why our program is the best of its kind in the U.S. and the western hemisphere. In reading this last posting of the year readers will also note the Sturm College of Law's continuing commitment to further expanding and developing a program that already is considered one of the best in the world.

So with that, let's begin.

The Blog

  • This year marked our 20,000th blog "hit." We are now averaging about 1,600 hits a month, something we thank all of you for!
  • We have enjoyed contributions from near and far (for example, Argentina, Chile, the European Union, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand, to name a few).
Program Highlights
  • The Sturm College of Law and the University Board of Trustees adopted an ambitious and far-reaching strategic plan for the College of Law. One of the key elements was the naming of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law program as a "flagship" program.
  • The College of Law established an Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate for JD graduates.
  • The LLM and Masters in Resource Law Studies programs attracted the most diverse group of students in the history of the program. Students from 14 different countries studied at the College of Law during 2010, making the DU ENRL program one of the most -- if not the most -- diverse program of its kind in the U.S.
  • A new series of three three-credit cutting-edge courses that consider the sustainable development of natural resources was added to the curriculum: (1) Emerging International Trends in Sustainable Natural Resources Development; (2) Sustainable Natural Resources Development and Nation States; and (3) Community Expectations and Sustainable Natural Resources Development. The courses are taught by Luke Danielson, an attorney with vast experience in the field and Cecilia Dalupan, Associate Director of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and an expert in the field.
  • A new course Renewable Energy for the 21st Century: Technology, Policy & Markets was approved by the faculty. It is taught by Robert Noun, Director of External Affairs at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Faculty Highlights
  • Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Fred Cheever continued to provide strategic leadership to the ENRL program.
  • Professor K.K. DuVivier wrote several ground-breaking articles about renewable energy.
  • Professor Mike Harris, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic, provided leadership for one of the nation's most effective student clinic experiences.
  • Professor Jan Laitos was a guest professor at the Austral University in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Professor Rock Pring and his wife Kitty continued to lecture world-wide about their pioneering book, Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts and Tribunals.
  • Professor Tom Romero, who joined the faculty in August, was active in tying together the strands that link history with the environment.
  • Professor Don C. Smith, Director of the ENRL Program, produced several interviews with leading environmental figures from across the world.
  • Professor Ann Vessels, Director of the College of Law Externship Program, continued to expand one of the country's largest legal externship programs.
  • Professor Annecoos Wiersema, who joined the faculty in August, established a Sustainable Development Reading Group for the faculty.
  • Professor Ed Zieglar resumed teaching in August after a year long stint teaching and researching at various European law schools.
Student Highlights
  • Students in the Environmental Law Clinic continued their important and successful work on behalf of several outside clients.
  • Nearly 10 students won prestigious scholarships from the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.
  • Many, many students were involved in externships that ran the gamut from federal, state, and local governments, to private law firms, to NGOs and advocacy groups.
Thanks, Merci, Gracias

The number of people who deserve a big thank you for the program's successes is so long it would take a year to name everyone. But a few who come to mind for special recognition:
  • All of the adjunct professors that are an integral part of the program. These individuals are the top practitioners in their fields and they give of their time and energy to make this program a practice-focused experience for our students.
  • The entire library staff, and especially Gary Alexander, Director of the Library, and International, Foreign, and Comparative Law Librarian Joan Policastri and Caryl Shipley. The College of Law library contains a vast amount of information that is key to our program's success, and the library personnel deserve a big thank you for all the time they spend supporting our students and program.
  • The Educational Technology Department, headed by Director Jessica Hogan. Wayne Rust, Saul Wiley, and Joan Pope make all of our lives easier and more efficient.
  • The program's wonderful and engaged alumni. The ideas, support, and energy provided by all of you continually enrich and enhance a program that "belongs" to all of us.
  • The multitude of "friends of the program," who while may not having formal connections to DU nevertheless provide us perspectives and ideas that improve the program.
Without question, we have been unable to include everything and everyone that made 2010 a great year. That is the problem with these kinds of lists. And so next December we will strive to be even more complete.

Looking ahead, we wish all of our readers a wonderful final day of 2010 and a Happy New Year for 2011! ¡Próspero año Nuevo en 2011!

Don C. Smith
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program

Lucy Daberkow
Assistant Director
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Graduate Program

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