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Committees & Projects

ACOEL and its members are committed to improving the practice of environmental law and the administration of justice in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Together, we are working on a variety of projects both domestically and internationally. ACOEL’s activities are governed by a series of established task forces and internal committees described below. Read more


Annual Herrmann Legal Writing Award Competition

The Stephen E. Herrmann Environmental Writing Award is a prize presented to the author of a student article that best presents a current topic in the field of environmental law, judged for originality, quality of research, presentation and writing, and significance of contribution to the field of environmental law.

September 2021 Opportunities for Engagement

Communication Committee


  • Samuel Gutter, Sidley Austin LLP (Retired)
  • Kenneth J. Warren, Warren Environmental Counsel LLC


  • Participate in monthly Conference Call, 4th Monday, 3-4:00 pm Eastern
  • Complete Fellow Profile on the new ACOEL website
  • Edit blogs submitted by Fellows
  • Assist with website updates
  • Collaborate with other Committees regarding blog, website and communication strategies

Education Committee


  • Tom Burack
  • Tracy Hester
  • Amy L. Edwards


  • Participate in monthly Conference Call, 2nd Thursday, 1-2:00 pm Eastern
  • Help develop, build and promote monthly education webinars (Tom or Tracy)
  • Identify opportunities and areas of interest where ACOEL’s leadership can contribute, including new issues and potential partners (Tom, Tracy or Amy)
  • Following our successful program on “Pivotal Moments in the Development of Environmental Law and Policy” with Gene Lucero and his spouse Marcia Williams about the early development of RCRA, CERCLA and other key federal initiatives, we are brainstorming additional topics for future programs; please share your thoughts with Tom, Tracy and Amy.
  • Help us identify topics of interest to you (or where you might like to be a speaker) for programming in 2022.

Education Annual Meeting Subcommittee


  • President-Elect Mike Hockley
  • Steve Miano


  • Help Develop Annual Meeting Program Panels

Outreach and Domestic Pro Bono Committee

Leaders (contact for all purposes unless other contact noted):

  • Krista McIntyre
  • Lynn Slade


  • Participate in monthly Conference Call, 2nd Tuesday, Noon to 1:00 pm Eastern
  • Diversity of the Practice Outreach: The Outreach Committee is seeking connections to organizations representing communities of diverse law students and lawyers to cultivate a pipeline of diverse lawyers in our ACOEL practice areas. Collaborating with these communities to share knowledge and experiences in the areas of environmental law and policy is an objective of the College’s current strategic plan. If you participate in an organization and are willing to facilitate coordination with the College, please provide information on these activities in the ACOEL bio template or contact one of the co-leads listed above. 
  • ACOEL Mentoring Program: Establishing a mentoring program for law students and early stage practicing lawyers is an objective of the College’s current strategic plan. Members that express interest in mentoring on their ACOEL bio template will be matched with mentees as the program gets underway. 
  • Environmental Justice White Paper: ACOEL intends to develop a white paper on environmental justice in coordination with the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS). The paper would be developed to assist state agency directors who are working to implement environmental justice priorities throughout their regulatory programs. Members interested in contributing to this white paper project can contact the Outreach Committee co-leads.
  • Biden-Harris Interview Series: The Committee is assembling a list of new leaders in the Biden-Harris administration (EPA or other environmental, natural resource agencies) who may be candidates for future presentations to ACOEL members. Please contact the Outreach Committee co-leads if you have any suggestions for potential presentations.
  • Waterkeeper Alliance Pro Bono: Present at a future Waterkeeper Alliance Summit on the subject of judicial, administrative, and legislative developments under the Clean Water Act affecting enforcement of the Act.  Members interested in presenting at future events can contact the Outreach Committee co-leads.

Regional Activities Committee


  • Kathy Robb
  • Chris Thomas


  • Join periodic conference calls and emails within Committee and Regional Committees
  • Serve as Regional Co-Chair, help organize a meeting, moderate discussions, and attend regional gatherings

International Pro Bono Committee


  • Jim Bruen – Waterkeeper Initiatives
  • David Farer – Cuba Initiatives
  • Ginny Robbins – Africa Initiatives
  • Tracy Hester – India Initiatives
  • Mary Ellen Ternes – ESES and GCSE Initiatives – contact Jim Bruen for updates


Zoom Committee Meetings and Initiative Updates 

  • NOW: Contact Jim Bruen to Be Added To, Deleted From, Committee Membership List 
  • MEETINGS – three meetings each calendar year with featured speaker – TBD
  • NOW: Waterkeeper: Express Interest in Teaching at Waterkeeper International Summit (Attendees from Australia, Europe and Africa)
    • Topics to be selected in consultation with Waterkeeper
    • Teaching by Zoom
    • Program will be presented October 4-8, 2021
  • NOW: Africa (African Wildlife Foundation) – Develop training materials for wildlife prosecutors re African cybercrime
  • SOON Engineers for Sustainable Energy Solutions (ESES)/ACOEL Foundation/ACOEL joint project to:
    • Engage as Special Counsel to ESES in pilot project for Ugandan NGO to –
      • Use waste plastic to produce either very low-cost diesel fuel or very low- cost cooking oil depending on how ESES technology is configured by each user (exemplar conversion unit on display at upcoming Santa Fe Annual Meeting)
      • Empower Ugandan women to develop income-producing work gathering waste plastic
      • Work with ACOEL Foundation and ESES to use successful pilot project to increase use of waste plastic conversion technology in developing world
      • Mary Ellen Ternes is President of ACOEL and on the board of ESES
  • SOONWaterkeeper: Additional Strategic Advisor Opportunities on Dam Projects
  • SOON: Foundation Antonio Nunez
    • Delegation to Discuss Environmental Law in Havana, Cuba
  • FILLED Global Council for Science and Environment (GCSE):
    • Collaborate with French counsel to develop analytical comparison of American and French environmental laws
  • FILLED: Waterkeeper – Advisory Counsel for Dam Project    
    • Save the Mekong River in Laos, working w Waterkeeper + local Thai affiliates
  • FILLED: Waterkeeper – Advisory Counsel for Dam Project
    • Save the Karnali River in Nepal, working w Waterkeeper + local Nepal affiliates
  • FILLED: Waterkeeper – Latin America –Zoom teleconference – April 13-22, 2021 (Topics include Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance; United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; Inter-American Court of Human Rights)
  • FILLED – Cuba (Foundation Antonio Nunez) – Teach at Webinar at Columbia University
  • ADDITIONAL INTERNATIONAL PRO BONO OPPORTUNITIES likely to be announced during the coming year for Waterkeepers, Cuba, Kenya, Uganda and India.


ACOEL Education Committee

The Education Committee draws upon the unique expertise and capabilities of our Fellows to support, highlight and enhance the…

ACOEL Oral History Project

The American College of Environmental Lawyers was founded in 2007 and originally included 23 members, all in private practice….

ACOEL Sponsorship Committee

The ACOEL Sponsorship Committee is firmly committed to maintaining the membership and active involvement of all ACOEL fellows, a…

ACOEL Membership Committee
Chair: Lisa Goodheart

The Membership Committee is charged with building the foundation for a vibrant and diverse College. Through a nomination and…

ACOEL Regional Committee
Chair: Kathy Robb

The focus of the new Regional Committee is to promote Regional ACOEL meetings and activities, to increase the visibility…

ACOEL Communications Committee

The Communications Committee oversees the ACOEL blog program by soliciting blogs on current topics and editing the blogs for…

ACOEL Outreach Committee
Chair: Krista McIntrye

Welcome to the ACOEL Outreach Committee web page. Thank you for your interest in our work and opportunities to…

ACOEL International Pro Bono Committee
Chair: James Bruen

The mission of the International Pro Bono Committee is to (a) identify deserving non-US environmental groups underserved by the…