Environmental Law Program

Jarman Environmental Law Fellows Reflect on their Summer Experiences

For the past twelve years, the Environmental Law Program (ELP) has awarded the Jarman Environmental Law Fellowship (Jarman Fellowship) to support students who seek career development opportunities in the public interest or government sectors of environmental law (Jarman Fellows).  The fellowship honors ELP founder and former William S. Richardson School of Law (WSRSL) Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor M. Casey Jarman (now Leigh), in recognition of her first twenty-five years of service to the environmental community.  The Jarman Fellowship is made possible by generous ELP alumni and friends who started the UH Foundation Jarman Endowment in 2005.  

This year, two ELP students were selected as Jarman Environmental Law Fellows.  Kelli Ann Kobayashi ’22 and Tehani Louis-Perkins ’22 utilized this opportunity to work with government agencies during summer 2020.  Each student showed a commitment to environmental issues and the broader community in Hawai’i. 

The Jarman Fellowship allowed Louis-Perkins to reconnect to experiences that inspired her enrollment at WSRSL.  In 2014, she was one of the first youths who voyaged to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument with Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy on a special use permit.  These experiences have come full circle, enabling her to understand the permitting process that authorized those memorable trips. Louis-Perkins spent her summer with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  She worked more specifically with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Papahānumokuākea and NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office.  Her work focused on accessibility to Papahānaumokuākea through the permitting process.  Louis-Perkins researched the different authorities that allow various agencies and stakeholders to access the monument.  Her most significant takeaway from the summer is understanding that, “the permitting process is rooted in law and protects, but also allows access to the monument.”  

Despite not having taken administrative or environmental law at WSRSL, the summer served as an excellent opportunity for Kobayashi to get her feet wet and jump into both subjects.  Her work at the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) involved deciphering numerous statutes and rules that provide legal authority for both DLNR and DAR.  Kobayashi also worked on the 30×30 Initiative, a government effort aimed at creating a healthier and sustainable Hawaiʻi.  DAR is committed to effectively managing Hawaiʻi’s nearshore waters by 2030 under the Marine 30×30 Initiative. Through her position with DAR, Kobayashi collaborated with community leaders, government workers, lawyers, and scientists, while gaining exposure to the positive impact environmental law can have on communities. The experience was so meaningful that Kobayashi decided to continue her work at DAR as a fall 2020 extern.

Kobayashi and Louis-Perkins are deeply grateful to all of the generous ELP alumni and friends who made their respective fellowship placements possible.  Stay tuned for an informational session to be held by Kobayashi and Louis-Perkins providing more information on the Jarman Fellowship, in advance of the anticipated spring 2021 solicitation of applications to become the next Jarman Fellow!


TLP (10/5/2020)

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