Environmental Law Program

ELP Students Blog from the 2011 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference

Environmental Law Program (ELP) Certificate Candidates, Miya Tsukazaki, Jo Sheng, and Melissa Uhl, traveled to the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon to attend the 2011 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC). Here’s what they had to say:
PIELC was amazing! I learned a lot — especially after taking Environmental Law with Prof. Antolini and Environmental Litigation with Prof. Sproat. PIELC was a fantastic opportunity to learn from and network with activists, attorneys (primarily from CA, WA, and OR), (law and science) students, and Oregon community members. I attended most of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) related panels since my summer job with the Fish & Wildlife Service will be focused on ESA listing. It was especially interesting to learn the broader picture for ESA listing procedures from the point of view of counsel from the Center for Biological Diversity. I also attended panels involving: bringing ESA Section 9 citizen suits, using the ESA to protect marine wildlife, starting up your own environmental law public interest practice, genetically engineered organism litigation, using the FOIA, strategies for litigating against CAFOs, and issues with solar development. I would highly recommend going to this conference!

During my stay, I was hosted by Ian Tsuda (a 1L University of Oregon law student from Hawai`i), his girlfriend Kirsten, and their handsome weiner dog Poncho. They were gracious and wonderful hosts – thank you for sharing your home!

-Jo Sheng
ELP Certificate Candidate ’12


PIELC, what a great trip! From debates about the first Supreme Court opinion on GMOs to a session called “How to Avoid Getting Arrested While Protesting,” the range of interesting topics at the conference was well covered. It was inspiring to see so many different kinds of people and interests all gathered in one beautiful setting with the common goal of making our natural environment a better place, for people and critters alike.

-Melissa Uhl
ELP Certificate Candidate ’12


I had an amazing time returning to the University of Oregon for this one-of-a-kind conference. PIELC was filled with amazing people from all walks of life, and we were able to take a little piece of each environmental sector back with us. I was especially inspired by a few sessions on curbing urban sprawl and I am glad to have seen many perspectives on the serious environmental issues affecting planet earth. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity… thank you ELP!

– Miya Tsukazaki, ELP Certificate Candidate ’11