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; Public Lands; Law, Science, and
the Environment; 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 online LLM and MSL programs. He has been at the law
school since 1988.

Professor Rohlf is also a co-founder Earthrise Law Center, the law school’s
domestic environmental law clinic. He continues to work on occasional cases
and projects with the clinic, as well as serves as a clinic advisor. Most of his
legal work with the clinic has focused on protection of endangered species
and their habitat – particularly efforts to protect salmon and steelhead in the
Columbia River Basin.

Originally trained as a geologist, Dan’s expertise includes management and
protection of biodiversity, particularly endangered species and their habitat.
He is also interested in the interaction of law and science, and legal 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, hiker, cross-
country skier, and outrigger canoe 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

  • Wildlife, Science, and Law in the United States, contributed chapter in Biodiversity Laws, Policies, and Science in Europe, the United States, and China, Springer (2024).
  • A Half-Century of Pacific Salmon Saving Efforts: A Primer on Law, Policy, and Biology, 64 Natural Resources Journal 137 (2024) (with co-authors).
  • Restoring the Emergency Room: How to Fix Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act, 52 Environmental Law 685 (2022) (with co-author).
  • Mainstreaming the Ambition, Coherence, and Comprehensiveness of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework into Policy., Conservation Science, vol. 3 (2022) (with co-authors).
  • Wolf Delisting Challenges Demonstrates Need for an Improved Framework for Conserving Interspecific Variation under the Endangered Species Act, 71 BioScience 73 (2020 (with co-authors).
  • Scientists, agendas, and litigation: Response to Peery et al., 17 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 555 (2019).
  • Biological and sociopolitical sources of uncertainty in population viability analysis for endangered species recovery planning, Scientific Reports (2019) (with co-authors).
  • Defending the Scientific Integrity of Conservation-Policy Processes, Conservation Biology 31(5): 967-975 (2017) (with co-authors).
  • The Endangered Species Act at Forty: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 20 Animal Law Journal 251 (2014).
  • Response to Goble and Colleagues, BioScience 64 (10): 859-860 (2014) (with co-authors).
  • Conservation-Reliant Species: Toward a Biologically-Based Definition, 64 BioScience 601 (2014) (with co-authors)
  • Is “Green” Energy bad for the Environment? 12 Environmental Law and Policy 37 (2014) (published by Kangwon National University Law School, South Korea).
  • Connectivity Conservation and Endangered Species Recovery: A Study in the Challenges of Defining Conservation-Reliant Species, Conservation Letters 8 (2): 132-138 (2014) (with co- authors).
  • Integrating Law, Policy, and Science in Managing and Restoring Ecosystems in The Laws of Nature: Reflections on the Evolution of Ecosystem Management Law and Policy (University of Akron Press, Kalyani Robbins ed., 2013).
  • Scientific Integrity in Recovery Planning and Risk Assessment: Comment on Wilhere, 26 Conservation Biology 743 (2012) (with co-authors).
  • Making Good Use of Adaptive Management, (white paper published by the Center for Progressive Reform) (2011) (with co-authors).
  • Book Review of Listed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Act, by Joe Roman, 1 Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 323 (2011).
  • Geography and Recovery Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, 24 Conservation Biology 395 (2010) (with co-authors).
  • Avoiding the Bare Record: Safeguarding Meaningful Judicial Review of Federal Agency Actions, 35 Ohio Northern 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).
  • Legal Ecology: Ecosystem Function and the Law (co-authored with Dr. David Dobkin), 19 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 1344 (2005).
  • 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 Environmental Law Reporter 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).
  • Law and Protection of Biodiversity, Contributed essay in Principles of Conservation Biology, 2nd Edition (1997).
  • 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 103 (1990).
  • Threats From the Outside, Inaction On the Inside; A Review of Our Common Lands: Defending the National Parks, 19 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 415 (1989) (book review).
  • Managing the Balance of Nature: The Legal Framework of Wilderness Management, 15 ECOLOGY LAW QUARTERLY 249 (1988) (co-authored with Doug Honnold).