Director of the Green Energy Institute
Professor Melissa Powers is the director of the Green Energy Institute. She received her J.D. magna cum laude from Lewis & Clark in 2001 and began her legal career doing public-interest pollution-control litigation. From 2003 to 2008, she was a Clinical Professor at the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (now known as Earthrise Law Center), Lewis & Clark’s environmental law clinic. In 2008, Professor Powers joined the tenure-track faculty and began teaching courses in climate change and renewable energy, among others. She has also taught as a visiting professor at several schools in Italy, Spain, and the United States. In 2012, Professor Powers earned tenure at Lewis & Clark.
Professor Powers conducts research on laws to promote renewable energy, domestic policies aimed at mitigating climate change, and U.S. pollution-control laws. She is also interested in comparative law study in these areas. She is a co-author of Climate Change and the Law, the first U.S. legal text on climate change. She has written several book chapters and articles on U.S. policies to promote renewable power and mitigate climate change.
In 2012, Professor Powers received the Leo Levenson award for excellence in teaching. In 2013, she became one of the only junior scholars to earn the Environmental Scholar of the Week award from the University of North Carolina’s Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources. Professor Powers is a co-chair of the Research Committee of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, which aims to increase collaboration between environmental law scholars and to improve environmental law scholarship in developing countries. In January 2013, she also became a member of the IUCN Academy’s Governing Board, where she represents North America and the Caribbean and aims to increase collaboration among energy scholars and practitioners in the region.