Student Work

NEDC’s student project groups focus on specific environmental issues occurring in this region. Student projects provide an opportunity for law students to get hands-on practical experience in environmental law, beginning as early as the first semester of their 1L year.

To find out how to get involved in a project, contact and attend an NEDC meeting!

Student Staff:

  • Law Clerk: Austin Starnes
  • Student Directors: Dara Illowsky, Carrie Ng, Chelsea Stewart-Fusek
  • Project Coordinators:
    • Air & Climate: Dan Polkow, Casey Bage
    • Clean Water: Amanda Burgess, Matthew Campa, Aidan Freeman
    • Environmental Justice: Devon Guyer, Victor Ramirez
    • Food & Agriculture: Sydney Padgett, Trisha Sharma, Mary Stites
    • Public Lands & Wildlife: Nick Kirsch, Sarah Miranda


Student Articles:

First Year Perspectives

Unparalleled Opportunity

Recap of the 2014 Spring Student Board Member Fundraiser

Volunteer Spotlight: Ben Kirsch

Ben Kirsch, who is entering his 3rd year as a law student at Lewis & Clark Law School, has been working with NEDC since he first got to campus. He joined the team as a student volunteer, working on air toxics issues and the Cleaner Air Oregon regulatory reform effort. “It was an amazing opportunity to hit the ground running and get involved in environmental work from the beginning of my legal education,” said Ben, a Cleveland-native. “I don’t think I could have gotten that same active, hands-on experience with anyone else or anywhere else.”

During the school year, he continued to work with the air toxics team as Cleaner Air Oregon began to take shape. Ben stayed on with NEDC during this past summer and continued to work with air toxics issues, alongside a coalition of environmental and community groups. During his work, he provided background research, joined strategy sessions, attended public meetings, and gave testimony pushing for stronger community engagement and protections during the rulemaking process. “The whole summer was an eye-opening experience. Being able to see, and participate in, each step of the process was invaluable.” This year, Ben has continued to work with the air toxic project as the project coordinator.

This past October, Ben also represented NEDC in the Portland Marathon. Asked about his motivation to run the marathon, he said, “After everything NEDC has done for me, I wanted to give back in some way.” Ben, along with Lucy Brookham, Pavlo Stavrou, and Carolyn Griffin, who each ran the half-marathon, raised awareness and support for NEDC leading up to race day. Much to his relief, he survived the race and reached his fundraising goal. “It feels great when you can check something off your bucket list while supporting a great cause.”