Alejandro Camacho

Chancellor's Professor of Law

Faculty Director, Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources
Joint appointment in Law and Political Science

Alejandro Camacho


Environmental law, natural resource law, land use regulation, regulatory design and government organization, property


Professor Camacho’s scholarship explores the goals, structures, and processes of regulation, with a particular focus on natural resources and public lands law, pollution control law, and land use regulation. His writing generally considers the role of public participation and scientific expertise in regulation, the allocation of authority and relationships between regulatory institutions, and how the design and goals of legal institutions must and can be reshaped to more effectively account for emerging technologies and the dynamic character of natural and human systems.

His legal scholarship includes articles published or forthcoming in the Virgina Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Emory Law Journal, BYU Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Colorado Law Review, Yale Journal on Regulation, Harvard Journal on Legislation, Stanford Environmental Law Journal, Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, Regulation & Governance, and Law, Innovation, & Technology. Professor Camacho is the co-author, with Robert Glicksman, of Reorganizing Government: A Functional and Dimensional Framework, published by NYU Press in 2019. He is also the co-author of Property: Cases & Materials, Fifth Edition (with James Charles Smith and Edward J. Larson) (Aspen 2022), and Environmental Protection: Law and Policy, Ninth Edition (with Robert L. Glicksman, William W. Buzbee, Daniel R. Mandelker, and Emily Hammond) (Aspen 2023).

Professor Camacho’s interdisciplinary research has involved collaborations with experts in ecology, land use planning, political science, computer science, genetics, philosophy, and sociology. He is the principal investigator on the $1.2 million Integrated and Equitable Climate Action project, which aims to align local plans with California’s climate mandates while developing best practices for effective and equitable adaptation planning. He is a principal or co-investigator on six other ongoing funded research projects. His scientific publications include articles published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, BioScience, the Journal of Applied Ecology, Frontiers in Climate, and Issues in Science and Technology.

He is a frequent public speaker and has contributed opinion pieces or interviews for various print and radio news outlets (including the Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, The Australian, Discover, Nature Climate Change, Bloomberg, Businessweek, HuffPost, Mother Jones, The Hill, Washington Post and National Public Radio stations).

Professor Camacho is an elected member of the American Law Institute. He also serves as the inaugural Faculty Director of the UCI Law Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources, which seeks to promote policy-relevant research and public engagement through conferences, lectures, publications, stakeholder facilitation on a variety of regional and national environmental issues, and extensive interdisciplinary research. He is on the Board of Directors and a Scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform, a nonprofit think tank devoted to issues of environmental protection and safety. He holds a courtesy appointment in Political Science at UCI’s School of Social Sciences, and is the former chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Natural Resources.

In Fall 2017, he was the Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor of Law at the Yale Law School. Before joining UCI, Professor Camacho was an Associate Professor at the Notre Dame Law School, a research fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center, and practiced environmental and land use law.

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Prof. Camacho's Scholarly Papers on SSRN

  • Speaker, Pathways Towards the Safe and Effective Deployment of Engineered Microbial Technologies, February 27, 2024
  • Speaker, Ohio State Law Journal Symposium 2024, Imagining Better Environmental Law Structures, February 23, 2024
  • Speaker, The Future of Conservation Law, BIODIVERSITY CONFERENCE, LEWIS & CLARK LAW SCHOOL, April 7, 2022 (invited).
  • Speaker, Reconsidering Conservation Governance in the Anthropocene, STANFORD LAW SCHOOL, Oct. 12,
  • Speaker, Reconsidering Conservation Governance in the Anthropocene, UNIV. OF CALIF., IRVINE, Sept. 21,
  • Presenter, Environmental Law and Ethics in the Anthropocene, Reimagining UCI in a Climate-Changed World,
    UNIV. OF CALIF., IRVINE, April 18, 2022.
  • Panelist, Recommendations, Implementation of the Endangered Species Act, U.S. DEPT. OF INTERIOR, April 12,2022.
  • Presenter, The Future of Conservation? Law and Ethics in the Anthropocene, Northwestern Univ. Law School, March 17, 2022 (confirmed).
  • Participant, Law Review Symposium, Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, March 18, 2022 (confirmed).
  • Participant, ESA § 7(a)(1) Scoping Workshop, Defenders of Wildlife, Sept. 17, 2021, and Oct. 21, 2021.
  • Judge and Commenter, Sabin Colloquium on Innovative Environmental Law Scholarship, Columbia Law School, May 20-21, 2021.
  • Speaker, The Future of Conservation? Law and Ethics in the Anthropocene, Current Issues in Air Quality, Climate and Energy, Depts. of Chemistry & Mechanical Engineering, Univ. of Calif., Irvine, May 10, 2021.
  • Panelist, Extinction: Solutions for Species on the Brink Conference, Univ. of Calif., Irvine, Feb. 10, 2021.
  • Speaker, Beyond Substance and Process: Exploring the Structural Dimensions and Functions of Government Authority, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Feb. 5, 2021.
  • Keynote Speaker, Technologies and modalities of regulation, Constitutionalizing the Anthropocene, Tilburg Univ., Tilburg, Netherlands, Dec. 3-4, 2020.
  • Speaker, Reorganizing Government, Dep’t. Urb. Plan. & Pub. Pol’y, Univ. of Calif., Irvine, Nov. 16, 2020.
  • Panelist, The Role of Governance Structure in Promoting Effective and Adaptive Public Policy, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management 2020 Fall Research Conference, Nov. 13, 2020.
  • Speaker, Promoting Adaptive Structural Governance, Oversight and Accountability Conference, American Univ. Washington College of Law, Nov. 6, 2020.
  • Speaker, Neglecting Government Organization in Pandemic Planning and Response, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, Oct. 2, 2020.
  • Panelist, Structured to Fail, U.S. Response to the Covid Pandemic, Program on Regulation, Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Law, Aug. 26, 2020.
  • Panelist, The Future of Conservation and Emerging Strategies, Frontiers in Environmental Law: 50th Earth Day Celebration, Univ. of Calif., Irvine, April 22, 2020.
  • Speaker, Neglecting the Crucial Role of Government Organization in Pandemic Planning and Response, Mini-Conferences on Coronavirus and Law, Univ. of Oklahoma College of Law, April 15, 2020.
  • Panelist, Biodiversity Conservation and Biotechnology, Extinction: Solutions for Bringing Species Back From the Brink, Univ. Of Calif., Irvine, March 2020.
  • Keynote Speaker, De-extinction, Resurrection, and the Human Species, Tulane Law School, March 7, 2020.
  • Presenter, Assisted Migration and Endangered Species, Idaho Law School, Nov. 1, 2019.
  • Presenter, Reorganizing Government, Idaho Law School, Oct. 31, 2019.
  • Presenter, Biodiversity Conservation as a Wicked Problem, Vanderbilt Law School, October 25, 2019.
  • Presenter, Reorganizing Government, Univ. of Arizona Law School Faculty Colloquium, October 3, 2019.
  • Speaker, Reframing Conservation Law and Management in the Anthropocene, Current Issues in Air Quality, Climate and Energy, Depts. of Chemistry & Mechanical Engineering, Univ. of Calif., Irvine, April 22, 2019.
  • Presenter, Metropolitan Governance in 3D, Northwestern Univ. Law School Environmental Colloquium, March 14, 2019.
  • Speaker, Railroading Infrastructure: Misdirection and Half-truths through “One Federal Decision”, Colorado Law Review Symposium, March 1, 2019.
  • Speaker, Fire & Ice: The Shifting Narrative of Climate Change, Fifth Annual Forum for the Academy and the Public, Univ. of Calif., Irvine, Feb. 9, 2019.
  • Speaker, Assessing State Laws and Resources for Endangered Species Protection, Sierra Club 2018 State Colloquium, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Nov. 30, 2018.
  • Speaker, Reimagining Environmental and Natural Resources Law: 2020 and Beyond, George Washington Univ. Law School, March 21-22, 2019 (confirmed).
  • Speaker, The Changing Landscape of Public Lands, Colorado Law Review Symposium, March 1, 2019 (confirmed).
  • Speaker/Participant, Adapting Law to Climate Change, Climate Adaptation Implementation Barriers Workshop, sponsored by USFWS, Florida FWC, TNC & NWF, Orlando, Florida, June 12-13, 2018.
  • Participant, Adaptive Water Governance Workshop, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, Annapolis, Maryland, February 7-9, 2018.
  • Participant, Multiple Agency/Interest Collaboration and Funding of Wildlife Habitat Conservation in Anticipation of Development, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC, Jan. 18, 2018.
  • Participant, Yale Workshop on Trade and Climate Change, Yale University, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2017.
  • Distinguished Speaker, Assisted Migration and Other Emerging Conservation Strategies, Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, Nov. 14, 2017.
  • Presenter, Re-organizing Government: The Functions and Dimensions of Regulatory Authority, Yale Law School Faculty Workshop, Nov. 6, 2017.
  • Briefing, Assessing State Laws and Resources for Endangered Species Protection, United States Senate (hosted by Senator Tammy Duckworth), Washington, DC, Sept. 28, 2017.
  • Speaker, Natural Resources, Energy, and Environment in a Climate Changed World, Univ. of Colorado Law School, Aug. 10, 2017.
  • Speaker, A New Paradigm for Conservation Biology, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Calif., Irvine, May 5, 2017.
  • Panelist, The Legacy of Massachusetts v. EPA, Climate, Carbon, and Cars, 2017 Earth Day Conference, Univ. of Conn. School of Law, April 21, 2017.
  • Elected Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2020-Present.
  • Nominee, 2L/3L Professor of the Year, U.C. IRVINE SCHOOL OF LAW, 2019-20.
  • Top Ranked U.S. Legal Scholars for Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact, 2019 (ranked thirty-first).
  • Elected Member, AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE, 2017-Present.
  • Top Twenty Article of the Year, FIFTEENTH ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY ANNUAL REVIEW, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INSTITUTE AND VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL (awarded for Beyond Preemption, Toward Metropolitan Governance, 39 STAN. ENVTL. L.J. 125-198 (2020) (with Nicholas J. Marantz))