Environmental Law Program

Richardson Students, Alumni, and Faculty Present at HCC

The 26th annual Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference (HCC) theme was He ʻaʻaliʻi kū makani au: Resilience in the Face of Change. William S. Richardson School of Law students, alumni, and faculty presented on a range of topics at the conference, including environmental law and policy research, motions and governance process for the 2020 International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC), the Hawaiʻi law fellows program, and Hawaiʻi wildlife crimes.

James Daugherty, ’20, Kaleio Crowell, ’20, and Ryan Toyomura, ’20 presented research findings from their recently completed Second-Year Seminar research papers on a panel presentation, Building Resilience by Building Leaders: Cutting-Edge Environmental Law & Policy Research from Hawai’i’s Law Students. James presented a summary of his work evaluating the power of constitutional and traditional law to support conservation efforts in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands. Kaleio followed with his critique of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s Mauna Kea II decision, and described implications of the dissent’s “degradation principle” on land held in public trust. Ryan completed the panel with his discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Koontz decision, how it was used to support a rollback of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s compensatory mitigation policy, and how it might be used to challenge low-income housing efforts. The students used this opportunity to embrace the challenge of clearly and concisely summarizing their extensive research for a diverse audience.  Professor Richard Wallsgrove moderated the panel and ELP Research Assistant Mac Blanchard, ’21 helped organize and worked with each presenter to refine their presentations and incorporate audience participation. 

Students from the Advanced Environmental Law class at the William S. Richardson School of Law presented on a panel, Motions and Governance Process for the 2020 IUCN World Conservation Congress. The panel provided an overview of the IUCN motions process and included presentations on motions in the areas of coral reef conservation, sunken vessels, climate change litigation, aquaculture, and disaster resilience. Presenters included Ryan McDermott, ‘19 (Aquaculture); Kekoa Andrade, ‘21 (Disaster Resilience); Katie Pham, ‘21 (Climate Change); Lorenzo Lima, ‘21 (Sunken Vessels); Emily DeVille, ‘20 (Coral Reefs); Emily Gaskin – Lecturer of Law, Co-teacher; and Associate Dean Denise Antolini, Co-teacher. The audience was invited to provide feedback on the ELP motions and informed about how to further engage in the motions process.  

ELP Alumni, Andrew Porter, ʻ12 presented The Hawaiʻi Law Fellows Program: Expanding Capacity for Environmental Resource Management, which outlined the format and purpose of the law fellows program as a whole and then a brief look at the responsibilities and achievements of each law fellow position individually. This event also highlighted other ways to expand regulatory agency capacity through Richardson law school students with externship, internship, or pro bono positions. The event wrapped up with a description of how the Hawaiʻi Law Fellows program can be used as a model for other jurisdictions to expand regulatory agency capacity. Following the oral presentation, panelists Ian Garrod ‘17, Todd Tashima ‘17, David Sakoda ’10 presented their poster which described each position and gave the fellows time to answer questions from the audience.   

Additional events included the IUCN Hui Meeting on the WCC 2020 Programme and the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Crime Prosecutors Workshop, moderated by Associate Dean Denise Antolini. Panelists for the workshop included ELP alumni Ian Garrod, ʻ17, Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) Law Fellow.

After the event, presenters from Building Resilience by Building Leaders: Cutting-Edge Environmental Law & Policy Research from Hawai’i’s Law Students shared their reflections on the panel and HCC: 

The Hawai’i Conservation Conference was a great opportunity to build upon my second-year seminar paper and apply it in a setting that could make a difference. To present my findings at such an esteemed conference and to an audience that appreciates my work made the experience that much more meaningful. Presenting my paper actually bolstered my understanding of the topic and helped me to realize the impact I can make as a law student. HCC is really the payoff at the end!” – Kaleio Crowell, ’20

“Just as our ecosystems connect and intersect in surprising and critical ways, so to does law. While my area of research focused on affordable inclusionary housing policy, the history of case law that has the potential for significant impact on housing was based on challenges to conservation and environmental laws.The Hawai’i Conservation Conference was my opportunity to share how important legal decisions, although seemingly attenuated on its face, can be a sword or a shield to a variety of important public policy decisions. The depth of knowledge and the passion for conservation was energizing. I encourage all students to participate in the Conference if given the chance.” – Ryan Toyomura, ’20

Everyone should take the opportunity to present at a public forum when offered the opportunity to do so. The networking opportunities are great for the presenter and for environmental efforts as a whole because someone in the audience may have a need the presentation fills.” – James Daugherty, ’20



ELP is grateful to the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance for allowing WSRSL students, alumni, and  faculty to learn and share during the fantastic HCC 2019 event.


ED 7/20/19