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Top Ten Program in U.S. News & World Report for Environmental Law for Seven Years

The Wallace Stegner Center offers students one of the top 10 environmental and natural resources law programs in the United States. Modern society has the power to profoundly alter our natural surroundings, from the carbon emissions of our fossil fuel-dependent economy, to the fragmentation of ecosystems through development, to the conflict over-allocating scarce water resources, understanding the environment, how humans interact with it, and the tradeoffs and choices we face are some of the most crucial issues of the day.

The Stegner Center, named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and conservationist is dedicated to understanding today’s critical environmental challenges and to increasing public understanding and promoting dialogue about how to live within environmental limits. The Center offers students a variety of educational opportunities, including a J.D. Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law; an LL.M. degree; numerous substantive law courses; an Environmental Dispute Resolution Program; and a variety of other events and speakers at the College of Law.

The Stegner Center boasts a talented group of faculty fully committed to shaping environmental policy and to involving students in that work. Faculty members serve on local and national NGO boards and advisory committees are consulted by state and federal government officials on a range of policies, and testify before Congress and other policy-making entities.


On Conflict, Collaboration, and Leadership: An Interview with EDR Program Director Danya Rumore

Posted on June 7, 2021 By Tania Lown-Hecht Learn more about EDR Program Director Danya Rumore, her work, and conflict, collaboration, and leadership. This interview […]

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Uncovering & Restoring Our Urban Creeks

Posted on May 17, 2021 By Brian Tonetti  The creeks that connect us Six years ago, a group of University of Utah students (myself included) […]

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Breaking Down Silos: The Inception of the Utah Rural Coordinating Council

Posted on May 3, 2021 By Jordan Katcher   The term “breaking down silos” has been around for a while now, but what does that actually […]

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A High-Wire Act: Mediating High Conflict Online

Posted on April 19, 2021 By Bennett Brooks and Patrick Field This post originally appeared on Consensus Building Institute’s blog on September 10, 2020. We […]

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The Wallace Stegner Center is proud to announce that our student team of Natalie Beal and Stephanie Hanawalt are the winners of the 2021 National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition hosted by the West Virginia University (WVU) College of Law. The National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court draws approximately forty teams from top environmental programs throughout the country. In the four preliminary rounds, three elimination rounds, and the final oral argument (which was made to four federal judges and broadcast live on YouTube), Natalie and Stephanie represented the S. J. Quinney College of Law with tremendous skill and professionalism.

Natalie and Stephanie’s success would not have been possible without the dedication, enthusiasm and support of their coach Nate Mitchell. Nate Mitchell is a shareholder at Snow, Christensen & Martineau and an alum of the S.J. Quinney College of Law. He has coached the Stegner teams for the WVU energy and sustainability competition for the past three years. His dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism are evident in the past performance of our teams, which have consistently been competitive, and in this year’s number one finish. This year’s team also benefitted from the many individuals who sacrificed evenings or afternoons serving as practice round judges, including (in no particular order): Alex Vandiver, Nate Broadhurst, Rob D’Andrea, Trevor Gruwell, Nathan Marigoni, David Mooers-Putzer, Dani Cepernich, Nathalie Skibine, John Robinson, Dick Baldwin, Douglas Crapo, Trevor Lee, Professor Adler, and Professor Keiter.

The strength of the Stegner Center’s moot court program, which annually sends teams to compete in both the WVU National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition and the Pace University National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, is due in no small measure to the S.J. Quinney College of Law’s legal methods and research professors, the appellate advocacy program, and the strong foundation created by past coaches for the Stegner Center Moot Court teams. These coaches include (in chronological order) Melissa Reynolds, Ben Machlis, Jennifer Horne, Bill Richards, Lincoln Davies, Jamie Pleune, Sarah Carlquist, and Bob Adler. Throughout the years, administrative support has been provided by Emily Alpin, Karen Fuller, and Suzanne Faddis.

Without the support of our donors, many of whom have supported our teams year over year, the Stegner Center would not be able to send student teams to both the WVU and Pace competitions. The Stegner Center truly appreciates our donors’ consistent commitment to this important student educational experience. Our most recent donors include the law firms of Clyde Snow & Sessions and Lear & Lear, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, the Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section (ENREL) of the Utah State Bar, and individual donations (in alphabetical order) from Joe Amadon, Jennifer Bowen, Jason Groenewold, Joshua Johnson, Ben Machlis & Kristin Lindstrom, Walter Mason, Jessica Peterson McKinlay, Jim Moore and Kathryn Lindquist, Jamie Pleune, Helen Serrassio, Mark (Rod) Smith, Kate Tipple, and Peter Webster. On behalf of both current and future student competitors, we are most grateful.