Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy

Environmental Advocacy at Stetson Law

Stetson's Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy serves as an interdisciplinary focal point for education, research and service activities related to global, regional and local biodiversity issues.

The Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy hosts international speakers and conferences, and it coordinates courses, seminars and internships on a variety of topics, including wetland law and policy, environmental law, natural resources and international environmental law. Our Annual Report (PDF) provides more details on the institute's activities for 2014-2015.

Key Initiatives

  • The Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition devoted exclusively to global environmental issues. Founded at Stetson in 1996, the competition now includes regional rounds in Australia, Colombia, India, Ireland, Korea, the Philippines, Ukraine, and the United States, with the top teams advancing to the International Finals hosted at Stetson Law each spring. The next International Finals will be held at Stetson Law on April 13-16, 2016.
  • The International Wildlife Law Conference brings together lawyers, policymakers, scientists, and students interested in wildlife protection efforts. Co-sponsored by the Institute since 2007, this year's conference was held at the University of Granada, Spain, and the next conference will be held at Stetson Law on April 13-14, 2016.
  • Stetson is the only law school in the world with a memorandum of cooperation with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an international environmental treaty dedicated to conserving wetlands. Stetson is also a member of the U.S. National Ramsar Committee, which supports the goals of the Ramsar Convention.
  • The Stetson Sea Turtle Initiative works to assist the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, a regional treaty with 15 member countries.
  • Each year, the Institute offers the Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series. The lectures are open to the public and provide interdisciplinary perspectives and dialogue about important environmental issues.
  • The ELI-Stetson Wetlands Workshop is an annual event held in the fall with the renowned Washington-based Environmental Law Institute. The proceedings are captured in a special issue of ELI's National Wetlands Newsletter. On November 13, 2014, Stetson hosted the second annual workshop, and the third annual workshop will be held at Stetson Law on November 12, 2015.

Upcoming Events

Please join us for this semester's Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series at Stetson Law's Gulfport campus. The lectures are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend, please email

  • Oct. 22, 2015, at noon: Dr. Rodrigo Medellin, senior professor of ecology, UNAM, Mexico - How to do conservation science, implement it, and not die trying

On November 12, 2015, Stetson Law will host the Third Annual ELI-Stetson Wetlands Workshop. This year's theme is "Wetlands Mitigation and Long-Term Stewardship: Financial Challenges and Title Issues."

Recent News

media/sea_level_rise_conference_cropped.jpgStetson Law Faculty, Students, Staff, and Alumni Participate in Local Sea Level Rise Conference
On October 2-3, 2015, Stetson Law professors, students, staff, and alumni participated in a conference titled "Sea Level Rise: What's Our Next Move?" at St. Petersburg College. They acted as debaters, moderators, participants, and volunteers at the conference, which was designed to identify actionable next steps to address the issues associated with sea level rise.
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Mike Walker, Attorney at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Speaks at Stetson Law
As part of the Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series, Mike Walker, a senior enforcement attorney at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, presented at Stetson Law on September 29, 2015. He spoke about the legacy of Aldo Leopold, environmental ethics, and biodiversity issues.
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media/carlton-fall2015.jpgPhotographer and Explorer Carlton Ward Jr. Delivers First Foreman Biodiversity Lecture of the Fall 2015 Semester
On September 3, 2015, Carlton Ward Jr. spoke to over 150 students, faculty, staff, and members of the community about the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition and his work to help promote environmental conservation. Throughout his presentation, he shared photographs from his latest 70-day, 1,000-mile journey through Florida.
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Professor Royal Gardner Attends Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
In June 2015, Professor Royal Gardner discussed the state of the world's wetlands and the Scientific and Technical Review Panel's (STRP) activities in his STRP Chair's report at the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention. More than 800 representatives from 140 countries attended this meeting, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
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Team from Law Society of Ireland Wins Stetson's International Environmental Moot Court Competition
On April 16-18, 2015, Stetson hosted the International Finals of Stetson's 19th Annual International Environmental Moot Court Competition. The International Finals Champion was the Law Society of Ireland, and the Finalist was the University of the Philippines.
» Read More

For more articles, visit our News page. 

Service Opportunities

  • Service opportunities are available for students at a local, national, and international level. Recent projects include researching sea turtle protection legislation in Latin America and the Caribbean, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on endangered species issues in California, designating Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge as a Ramsar Site, and conducting beach clean-ups.

Courses and Scholarship

  • Stetson Law offers a wide range of environmental- and biodiversity-related courses, and Stetson offers a Certificate of Concentration in Environmental Law for select J.D. students who wish to focus their studies on environmental law.
  • Our faculty members teach courses such as Environmental Advocacy, International Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, and Wetland Law and Policy. Scholarship produced by Stetson faculty has real-world impacts on topics such as animal law, land use, and wetland mitigation.
  • Stetson students have the opportunity to serve as student editors of the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy.