Stetson Law Vice Dean selected to head two biodiversity groups Stetson announces creation of Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy

Contact Aaron Reincheld
Communications Specialist

Gulfport, Fla. – Stetson University College of Law Vice Dean Royal C. Gardner will lead two environmental organizations as chair of the U.S. National Ramsar Committee and director of Stetson’s new Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy.

“I am excited about the creation of the Stetson University Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy, which will serve as an interdisciplinary focal point for education, research and service activities related to global, regional and local biodiversity issues,” said Gardner, who also received the Dean’s Award at Stetson Law’s recent Honors and Awards Ceremony.

Gardner was elected chair of the U.S. National Ramsar Committee during the organization’s annual meeting last month in Charlotte, N.C. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Gardner is stepping down as vice dean to return to teaching and to increase Stetson’s work in environmental law through the new Institute, which just launched a new Web site at

Before coming to Stetson, Gardner served in the Army General Counsel’s office as the Army’s principal wetland attorney. He also worked for the U.S. Department of Defense, working on international agreements with Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus to facilitate the dismantlement of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons.

Gardner is an active scholar in the areas of environmental and international law. He has served in a number of organizations, including as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Water Quality and Wetlands and as a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Mitigating Wetland Losses. Gardner created the International Environmental Moot Court competition with Dean Darby Dickerson, now in its 10th year.