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David Logan served as Dean at Roger Williams School of Law from 2003 to 2014, making him one of the nation's longest-serving law deans. In 2014, he returned to full-time teaching and research.

A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Logan clerked for a federal...

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Symposium Tackles Impact of Global Warming on Coastal Communities

Posted by David Logan on 12/10/2012 at 01:13 PM

Held just two weeks after the devastation from Superstorm Sandy, RWU Law’s 9th Marine Law Symposium tackled the legal implications of climate change on ocean and coastal communities. Shifting Seas:  The Law’s Response to Changing Ocean Condition brought together an unprecedented array of leading legal practitioners and scholars, scientists, and planners from across America, and even an Arctic expert from Norway!

Nearly 200 attendees, including several participating via webinar, spent two days considering the many ways that existing laws and policies are and will be challenged as the warming planet changes the oceans.

Panelists examined a full range of the issues, from increased storm events and sea level rise, to the melting Arctic ice cap and impacts on marine life caused by warmer, more acidic seawater.  Scientists provided the latest scientific findings, while lawyers, insurance experts and federal, state and municipal planners from New England, the Gulf of Mexico, and California tackled a thicket of challenging law and policy issues.

Current RWU students attended for free and several marine affairs alums were in attendance as well.  Going forward, it’s clear that climate change will have dramatic changes on coastal properties, marine resources, and maritime operations, and that RWU graduates will be well prepared to participate in the complex decisions to come.  To see Symposium presentations and media coverage, go to http://law.rwu.edu/marine-affairs-institute/symposiaconferences/9th-marine-law-symposium


“The Emerging Arctic” panelists:  Kirsten Ullbaek Selvig, Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Norway; Prof. Michael Burger, RWU SOL; Walter A. Berbrick, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Larry Mayer, University of New Hampshire; Betsy B. Baker, Vermont Law School

Extreme storm expert, Dr. Isaac Ginis, University of Rhode Island

Arctic science expert, Dr. Larry Mayer, image from his most recent September, 2012 Arctic expedition showing lowest ice levels ever recorded

Coastal planning expert, Dr. Tom Linton, Texas A&M University at Galveston, chats with 1L Eugene Samarin

Alum Jackie Rolleri (center), J.D. RWU ’11 and MMA URI ’11, took time from her Presidential Management Fellowship in Washington, D.C. to attend the Symposium and catch up with Prof. Michael Burger (left) and Dean Logan (right)

Grover Fugate, Rhode Island’s Executive Director of the Coastal Resources Management Council, and the Symposium program cover, illustrating impacts of climate change on Rhode Island’s coastline

Keynote speaker and renowned oceanographer, Dr. Bill Curry, President and Director, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, and 3L Chris McNally

Current RWU students enjoy the Symposium

RWU faculty, staff, current students and alums enjoyed catching up at the Symposium reception

Current RWU students were able to attend the Symposium for free to hear experts talk about the cutting edge legal issues they will face in their careers

Colleagues from Marine Affairs partner institution, University of Rhode Island Marine Affairs Department, Department Chair, Prof. Rob Thompson, Prof. Dennis Nixon, and 2L Marc Fialkoff