Dan Rohlf 2023

Daniel Rohlf

Professor of Law and Of Counsel, Earthrise Law Center

Wood Hall 114
Legal Assistant:


Professor Dan Rohlf teaches Wildlife Law, Law, Science, and the Environment Seminar, Sustainability in Law and Business, and other courses in the law school’s environmental and natural resources program. He also works with the law school’s environmental LLM program, teaching the Environmental Law LLM Seminar. He has been at the law school since 1988.

Professor Rohlf is also a co-founder of the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, now Earthrise Law Center, the law school’s domestic environmental law clinic. Through his work with Earthrise, Dan supervises students working on administrative and judicial actions which affect the environment of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. While much of his work with the clinic focuses on protection of endangered species and their habitat – he has been involved with efforts to protect salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin for over two decades, for example – his docket also includes cases such as defending a small community organization from a lawsuit filed by a developer in retaliation for public comments against a proposed project that would adversely affect a local stream.

Originally trained as a geologist, Dan’s expertise includes endangered species law and policy, wildlife law, and ecosystem management. He is also interested in the interaction of law and science, and the developing law related to efforts to make society and businesses more sustainable.

Dan’s research and publications have also centered around conservation of biological diversity. He is the author of The Endangered Species Act: A Guide to Its Protections and Implementation, which won the National Wildlife Federation book award. He has lectured and published widely on topics related to protecting and managing biodiversity.

Dan received his BA degree in geology from Colorado College and his JD from Stanford. After law school he served as a clerk for Justice Jay Rabinowitz of the Alaska Supreme Court. He is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, and dragon boat paddler.

Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions

Academic Credentials

  • BS 1984 Colorado College
  • JD 1987 Stanford Law School


Separately Published Works

    • Winner of 1989 National Wildlife Federation Publication Award.

Works Published As Part of a Collection

  • Avoiding the ‘Bare Record’: Safeguarding Meaningful Judicial Review of Federal Agency Actions, 35 Ohio Northern University Law Review 575 (2009).
  • Conserving Endangered Species in an Era of Global Warming, 38 Environmental Law Reporter 10203 (2008) (co-authored with John Kostyack).
  • Can Federal Courts Save the Environment?, Forest Magazine (Winter 2007).
  • Lessons from the Columbia River Basin: Follow the Blueprint but Avoid the Barriers, 19 Global Business Development Law Journal 195 (2006).
  • Key International and U.S. Laws Governing Management and Conservation of Biodiversity, contributed essay in Principles of Conservation Biology, Third Edition (2006).
  • Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act: Top Ten Issues for the Next 30 Years, 34 Environmental Law 483 (2004).
  • Law, Science, and Policy in Managing Natural Resources: Toward a Sound Mix Rather than a Sound Bite, contributed chapter in Forest Futures: Science, Politics, and Policy for the Next Century (2004).
  • Revenge of the Once-ler: The Skeptical Environmentalist, 53 Case Western Reserve Law Review 297 (2002) (symposium on Bjorn Lomborg’s book The Skeptical Environmentalist).
  • Jeopardy Under the Endangered Species Act: Playing A Game Protected Species Can’t Win, 41 Washburn University Law Journal 114 (2001).
  • The BPA Power-Salmon Crisis: A Way Out, 31 ELR 10726 (2001) (Co-authored with Michael Blumm).
  • Can Law Save Salmon?, Contributed essay in Oregon Salmon: Essays on the State of the Fish At the Turn of the Millennium (2001).
  • Saving Snake River Water and Salmon Simultaneously: The Biological, Economic, and Legal Case for Breaching the Four Lower Snake River Dams, Lowering John Day Reservoir, and Restoring Natural Flows, 28 Environmental Law 997 (1998) (with co-authors).
  • There’s Something Fishy Going On Here: A Critique of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Definition of Species Under the Endangered Species Act, 24 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 617 (1994).
  • Response to O’Connell, 6 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 144 (1992).
  • Six Biological Reasons the Endangered Species Act Doesn’t Work - And What to Do About It, 5 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 273 (1991).
  • Environmental Policy Reform in Poland, 2 INTERNATIONAL LEGAL PERSPECTIVES, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Spring 1990, at 103.
  • Threats From the Outside, Inaction on the Inside: A Review of Our Common Lands: Defending the National Parks, 19 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 415 (1989).
  • Managing the Balance of Nature: The Legal Framework of Wilderness Management, 15 ECOLOGY LAW QUARTERLY 249 (1988) (co-authored with Doug Honnold).