About Robert R.M. Verchick
Rob Verchick is one of the nation’s leading scholars in disaster and climate change law and a former EPA official in the Obama administration. He holds the Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans. Professor Verchick is also a Senior Fellow in Disaster Resilience at Tulane University and the President of the Center for Progressive Reform, a research and advocacy organization that advocates for solutions to our most pressing societal challenges.
Verchick has written more than 60 articles and four books, including the award-winning, Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World (Harvard University Press 2010). His work has appeared in many venues, including the California Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, and the environmental law reviews at Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley.
He has taught as a visiting professor at Yale University, Peking University, and Aarhus University in Denmark. He has received several teaching awards, including at Loyola, Tulane, and Harvard.
Verchick comments frequently on radio shows such as NPR’s All Things Considered and has written commentary for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and other publications. A popular speaker, he has addressed audiences throughout the country and on nearly every continent. His documentary-style podcast, CPR’s Connect the Dots, is in its sixth season.
In 2009 and 2010, Professor Verchick served in the Obama administration as Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In that role he helped develop climate change adaptation policy for the EPA and served on President Obama's Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.
Verchick, who grew up in the sun-scorched Las Vegas desert and survived Hurricane Katrina as a resident of New Orleans, has spent a career studying environmental resilience across the country. Committed to “place-based” analysis, he has paddled swamps, scaled glaciers, and dived among endangered corals, all to understand what is at stake and how we can protect the things we need—and love.
Verchick graduated with distinction and honors from Stanford University and with honors from Harvard Law School. His new book, The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience, intended for a general audience, will be available in Spring 2023. Visit his website at www.robverchick.com.
|Present||Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law, Loyola University New Orleans|
|Present||Senior Fellow in Disaster Resilience Leadership, Tulane University|
Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Law and Policy, Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law
Honors and Awards
- Fulbright-Nehru Environmental Leadership Award (Council for International Exchange of Scholars), supporting research on climate change adaptation policy in India (Fall 2012)
- Energy Law
- Property Law
- Disaster and the Environment
- Disaster Law and Policy
- Environmental Justice
- Natural Resources Law
- Environmental Law
|1986 - 1989||J.D. cum laude, Harvard University ‐ Law School|
|1982 - 1986||A.B. with distinction and honors, Stanford University ‐ English|
Loyola University New Orleans
College of Law
526 Pine Street, Room 415
New Orleans, LA 70118 USA
Journal Publications (37)
Katrina, Feminism, and Environmental Justice CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW AND GENDER (2007)
Nearly two years after Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans, we are still struggling to assess the damage, whether in terms of lives, financial loss, or geographic area destroyed. This essay focuses on another ...
Risk, Fairness, and the Geography of Disaster ISSUES IN LEGAL SCHOLARSHIP (2007)
This article examines risk and distributional fairness as they relate the Hurricane Katrina disaster and climate change. To be sure, these catastrophes are different. Katrina was regional, not global, and was fast-acting. Climate change is ...
Let the People Speak: Notice and Comment Rulemaking (Lessons from the Controversial New Source Review Proposal of the Clean Air Act ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REPORTER (2004)
Public Comments to APA "Informal" Section 553 Rule-making are potentially very important instruments in shaping law and regulation, particularly in environmental law. However, there have been relatively few articles discussing how one should craft these ...
Toward Normative Rules for Agency Interpretation: Defining Jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act ALABAMA LAW REVIEW (2004)
Wetlands advocates, from environmentalists to duck hunters, dodged a bullet last year when the Bush Administration dropped plans to narrow its jurisdiction over streams and wetlands. The decision marked a key chapter in a story ...
Steinbeck’s Holism: Science, Literature, and Environmental Law STANFORD ENVIRONMENTAL LAW JOURNAL (2003)
Advances in science, resource economics, global trade, and information exchange challenge environmental policymaking as never before. Only a few decades ago, an environmental ethic based on human stewardship and the "balance of nature" provided a ...
Why the Global Environment Needs Local Government: Lessons from the Johannesburg Summit Urban Lawyer (2003)
Can local governments play a critical role in saving the global environment? Professor Robert R.M. Verchick argues that they are already. Drawing upon his experiences as a Major Group Delegate at the World Summit on ...
Feathers or Gold? A Civic Economics for Environmental Law HARVARD ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW (2001)
For too long environmental policy debates have been stymied by an unproductive tension between moral advocates and market advocates, or, as I imagine the conflict, between the philosophies of Feathers and Gold. Crafting a framework ...
Critical Space Theory: Keeping Local Geography in American and European Environmental Law Tulane Law Review (1999)
Recently, legal scholars have begun to explore the meaning and significance of geographic space in law within the United States and internationally, a project highlighted in a 1996 Stanford Law Review symposium. Much of this ...
The Commerce Clause, Environmental Justice, and the Interstate Garbage Wars Southern California Law Review (1997)
This Article critically examines the Court's garbage cases in conjunction with traditional principles of Commerce Clause jurisprudence for the purpose of constructing a doctrine that is at once constitutionally and ecologically sound. The Article is ...
In a Greener Voice: Feminist Theory and Environmental Justice HARVARD WOMEN'S LAW JOURNAL (1996)
This Article explores the way in which women activists--and the feminist strategies they contribute--help shape the meaning and pursuit of environmental justice. [FN8] It shows how methods associated with feminism have contributed to the movement's ...
Engaging the Spectrum: Civic Virtue and the Protection of Student Voice in School-Sponsored Forums JOHN MARSHALL LAW REVIEW (1991)
This article suggests a new justification for protecting student speech that specifically addresses the need for free expression and inquiry in school- sponsored forums. Starting with the proposition that student speech prepares one for self-government, ...