Speaker Series

As part of the center’s strategic plan to promote innovative thinking and engagement about environmental and land use law, each year CLEANR convenes a series of lectures on a particular environmental law issue.

2019-2020 Speakers

Past Speakers

  • paul kibel image

    Paul Kibel

    Rivers That Depend on Aquifers: Drafting Sustainable Groundwater Management Plans with Fisheries in Mind
    November 1, 2018

    In 2015, California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) went into effect. SGMA requires the designation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) for most groundwater basins in the state, and pursuant to SGMA each GSA must then prepare and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) to avoid certain specified “undesirable results.” To date, much of the focus on “undesirable results” under SGMA has been on the problem of overdraft, of groundwater pumping that exceeds groundwater recharge. However, in addition to the problems of overdraft, the “undesirable results” specified in SGMA also include the adverse effect of groundwater pumping on interconnected surface waters and the beneficial uses of such interconnected surface waters. Under the California Water Code, maintenance of fisheries and fishery habitat are recognized as beneficial uses of surface waters.

    In August 2018, the Center on Urban Environmental Law (CUEL) at Golden Gate University School of Law published the guidebook Rivers That Depend on Aquifers: Drafting SGMA Groundwater Plans with Fisheries in Mind, to help GSAs and other stakeholders prepare and implement GSPs that address the impacts of groundwater pumping on fisheries in a manner consistent with SGMA’s requirements as well as requirements under California public trust law. Professor Paul Stanton Kibel, one of the co-authors of Rivers That Depend on Aquifers, discusses SGMA and public trust requirements pertaining to the groundwater pumping impacts on fisheries, and outline the types of information and provisions that need to be included in GSPs to address such fishery-related impacts.

  • Rocky Flats: Causes of Action

    November 18, 2016
    Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering

    This program included presentations from the lead counsel in four landmark cases within the decades-long litigation that arose from the near meltdown and radioactive contamination at the covert Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility in Colorado. Event details
  • Chamyúuy~wóoyilash Where We Bow Our Heads Out of Respect: Cultivating Consciousness in Acjachemen Homelands

    April 8, 2015

    A panel of Native community leaders and academics discussed the history of the lands now known as Irvine and the relationships between the place, the university and the Indigenous communities in whose territory the campus is located. Discussion topics included the history of development’s impacts upon Native Nations in Orange County, the legal issues raised by development, and Native cultural perspectives on good planning and development.

    Sponsored by UC Irvine School of Law, Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources, UC Irvine Sustainability Initiative, Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, ADVANCE Program for Equity & Diversity and American Indian Resource Program

  • Genetically Modified: Food Security, Health & the Environment

    March 10, 2014

    CLEANR convened a panel of distinguished experts to explore some of the major issues raised by genetically modified food.  Panelists initially presented from their particular discipline on the health, security, environmental and intellectual property, and political issues of GM food.  Subsequently, the panelists engaged in a dialogue on the issues raised by their initial remarks, followed by an opportunity for questions from and discussions with the broader interdisciplinary audience of students, faculty, administrators, lawyers, government officials, and other members of the public. Event details

  • Daniel A. Farber

    Sho Sato Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

    September 27, 2012

    Beyond Imagination: Government Blind Spots Regarding Catastrophic Risks

    Prof. Farber specializes in constitutional and environmental law in the United States, and has written numerous books and articles on disaster law. He is also the Co-Director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment.

  • Kenneth Feinberg

    Feinberg Rozen, LLP and Fund Administrator, BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund

    March 21, 2013

    Unconventional Responses to Unique Catastrophes: Tailoring the Law to Meet the Challenges

    Mr. Feinberg has been key to resolving many of our nation’s most challenging disputes. He is best known for serving as the Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. In addition, Mr. Feinberg administered victim compensation for the BP Deepwater Horizon, Virginia Tech, Aurora Theater, and Penn State-Sandusky tragedies, as well as TARP Executive Compensation.

  • Richard J. Lazarus

    Howard J. and Katherine W. Aibel Professor of Law, Harvard University, and former Executive Director, President’s Commission to investigate the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    February 7, 2012

    The 2010 Gulf Oil Spill: Investigating its Root Causes at the Request of the President

    In this inaugural lecture, Professor Lazarus reflected on his experience as Executive Director of the President’s Commission to investigate the Gulf Oil Spill, focusing on the political challenges of running the Commission, the Commission’s findings, and subsequent events and lessons related to the disaster.

  • Lisa Grow Sun

    Associate Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

    March 28, 2013

    Disaster Wars: War Metaphors and Disaster Response

    Professor Sun has become a leader in the emerging field of Disaster Law, and her current work focuses on disaster mythology – misconceptions we have about the ways that people typically react in the aftermath of disasters.

  • Kent Syverud

    Dean, Washington University School of Law and Individual Trustee, BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust

    November 9, 2012

    Lessons from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust

    Dean Syverud is a leader in American and legal education who has written and taught extensively about complex litigation, insurance law, civil procedure, negotiation, and legal education.