College of Law

Student Resources


Annual Symposium

The Wallace Stegner Center annually holds a symposium during spring semester on an environmental or natural resources topic of regional, national, and international importance. The symposium is interdisciplinary in nature, and includes speakers from the sciences and social sciences, academia, government, industry, and the legal profession.

Through the symposia and other programs, the Stegner Center has brought numerous luminaries to the College of Law, including Bruce Babbitt, Sally Jewell, Wendell Berry, Helen Caldicott, Jane Goodall, Bill McKibben, Pat Mulroy, Naomi Oresekes, Lynn Scarlett, George Schaller, Michael Soule, Sandra Steingraber, Lawrence Susskind, Rebecca Watson, Terry Tempest Williams, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Eric Freyfogle, John Leshy, Patty Limerick, Pamela Matson, Zygmunt Plater, Robert V. Percival, Joe Sax, Paul Schullery, Alan Weisman, and Charles Wilkinson among others.

The R. Harold Burton Foundation was the founding donor for the symposium in 1996 and has been the principal donor each year. Other donors who have provided support for multiple years include the Cultural Vision Fund, Chevron, the Nature Conservancy in Utah, and ABA SEER.

Video archive

Wallace Stegner Center 27th Annual Symposium

Colorado River Compact Centennial | March 17-18, 2022

The Stegner Center’s 27th annual symposium will consider the network of laws and policies governing the Colorado River, including the Colorado River Compact, which will celebrate its centennial in 2022, and the management framework for the Colorado River system, which is set to expire in 2026. The significance of the Colorado River Basin cannot be overstated: It extends across 244,000 square miles and includes portions of two nation-states (United States, Mexico); seven U.S. states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming); two Mexican states (Baja California, Sonora); and 30 Indian reservations. The Basin provides vital water for 40 million people and extensive agricultural operations. The symposium will review the “Law of the River,” including the Compact, as well as its economic, environmental, and cultural impacts. It will also look forward, identifying possible river management modifications given hydrological changes from prolonged drought to climate change, as well as increased population and water demands. The symposium will bring together speakers from law, science, the agencies (including Biden Administration officials), the basin states, the tribes, and Mexico to reexamine management of the Colorado River system.   Sponsors include the Wallace Stegner Center and the Water and Tribes Initiative (WTI)

Wallace Stegner Center 26th Annual Symposium – Lectures

Day 1:

Session 1: Plastic: Too much of a good thing? - Roland Geyer

Session 2: Plastics in the Anthropocene - Anthony Andrady

Session 3: Photo Essay: Plastics in the Natural World - Br'ette Vanhouten

Session 4: Plastics and the Environment - Janice Brahney, Anela Choy, Sherri Mason

Session 5: Plastics and Health - Scott Belcher, Carmen Messerlian


Day 2:

Session 1: Overcoming Consumerism for a Better You and a Better Planet - Joshua Becker


Session 2: National and Global Solutions - Rolf Halden, Ramani Narayan, Michael Waas, Alan Eastman


Past Symposia

Twenty-sixth Annual Symposium, 2021

The Plastics Paradox: Societal Boon or Environmental Bane?
Postcard | Video Archive

Twenty-fifth Annual Symposium, 2020

Food and the Environment: Resilient and Equitable Food Security for the West
Brochure | Video Archive

Twenty-fourth Annual Symposium, 2019

Recreation Challenges on Public Lands
Brochure | Video Archive

Twenty-third Annual Symposium, 2018

Public Lands in a Changing West
Brochure | Video Archive

Twenty-second Annual Symposium, 2017

Water in the West
Brochure | Video Archive

Twenty-first Annual Symposium, 2016

Green Infrastructure, Resilient Cities: New Challenges, New Solutions
Brochure | Video Archive

Twentieth Annual Symposium, 2015

Air Quality: Health, Energy and Economics
Brochure | Video Archive

Nineteenth Annual Symposium, 2014

National Parks: Past, Present and Future
Brochure | Video Archive

Eighteen Annual Symposium, 2013

Religion, Faith and the Environment
Brochure | Video Archive

Seventeenth Annual Symposium, 2012

Silent Spring at 50: The Legacy of Rachel Carson
Brochure | Video Archive

Sixteenth Annual Symposium, 2011

Wildlife Conservation in the 21st Century
Brochure | Video Archive

Fifteenth Annual Symposium, 2010

The Challenge of Sustainability
Brochure | Video Archive

Fourteenth Annual Symposium, 2009

Wallace Stegner: His Life and Legacy
Brochure | Video Archive

Thirteenth Annual Symposium, 2008

Alternative Energy: Seeking Climate Change Solutions
Brochure | Video Archive

Twelfth Annual Symposium, 2007

The Colorado River Compact in the 21st Century: Time for Change?
Brochure | Video Archive

Eleventh Annual Symposium, 2006

Global Climate Change: The Arctic to the Rocky Mountain West
Brochure | Video Archive

Tenth Annual Symposium, 2005

Private Property and Nature Conservation: Land Ownership in the 21st Century

Ninth Annual Symposium, 2004

Wilderness: Preserving Nature in a Political World

Eighth Annual Symposium, 2003

The Nuclear West: Legacy and Future

Seventh Annual Symposium, 2002

Seventh Annual Symposium, 2002
Powell and Stegner: Fifty Years After The Hundredth Meridian

Sixth Annual Symposium, 2001

Metropolitan Growth: From Regional Visions to Real Results

Fifth Annual Symposium, 2000

The Presidency and the Environment: The Twentieth Century and Beyond

Fourth Annual Symposium, 1999

Where the Rivers Flow: Sharing Watersheds and Boundaries

Third Annual Symposium, 1998

Exploring Aldo Leopold’s Legacy: The Land Ethic and the American West in the 21st Century

Second Annual Symposium, 1997

To Cherish and Renew: Restoring Western Ecosystems and Communities

First Annual Symposium, 1996

The Native Home of Hope: Community, Ecology and the West