Thursday, March 6, 2014

LL.M. Students and Alumni Present at PIELC 2014

Last week, three of our current LL.M. candidates and an alumna served together on a panel at the 32nd annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) at the University of Oregon School of Law.  PIELC is one of the foremost environmental law conferences in the country and attracts thousands of lawyers, scientists, activists, and community members to share their ideas, experience, and expertise.

Kathryn Smith, Kelly Damewood, Lauren Bernadett, and Pamela Vesilind each presented on a separate topic for their panel, titled Food, Technology, and the Environment.  The presentations shared a common theme of discussing issues where these three fields collide.

Kathryn’s presentation addressed the environmental harms from agricultural runoff, current federal conservation programs, and agricultural conservation practices and new technologies that farmers can utilize to curb the negative environmental impacts.  Kelly discussed nanotechnology and emerging contaminants.  Lauren presented on genetically engineered (GE) salmon and the FDA’s evaluation and regulatory process for GE animals.  Pamela, currently a Visiting Assistant Professor with the University of Arkansas School of Law, addressed the development of in vitro meat and discussed whether it might solve any problems currently associated with industrialized livestock production.

The panel was staged in a large lecture hall at the law school and received an excellent turnout.  One audience member was Adam Soliman, who graduated from the LL.M. program with Pamela and has since started the Fisheries Law Centre, a non-profit focusing on fisheries law.  Adam presented at PIELC the day before on his work with community supported fisheries.  The conference was a wonderful opportunity for Adam and some of our current LL.M. students to meet.

The conference was an excellent networking opportunity for our students, as many attorneys from public interest groups that focus on food and agriculture issues, such as the Center for Food Safety and Food and Water Watch, were in attendance.  Additionally, the students took the panel as an opportunity to share information about the LL.M. program and our Food Recovery Project by making our new marketing materials available after the panel. 

We are very proud to support our students’ conference experiences, both financially and academically, as conferences are important networking opportunities and a great way to share ideas with and learn from other professionals.

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