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.

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