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Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

Barbara Cosens, LL.M.

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Barbara Cosens LL.M. ’02 is Professor with the University of Idaho College of Law, where she has taught for the past thirteen years.  Her LL.M. is from Lewis and Clark law school, J.D. from the University of California, Hastings, M.S. in Geology from the University of Washington, and B.S. in Geology from the University of California, Davis. Her teaching and research expertise is in water law, the law-science interface and interdisciplinary research methods. 

Barbara was co-PI on the development of the Waters of the West interdisciplinary research and graduate program at the University of Idaho and is affiliate faculty in that program. She is co-PI on the UI Water Resources IGERT focused on adaptation to climate change, and is currently collaborating with faculty at Washington State University on an NSF/USDA grant on innovations at the food-energy-water nexus. For the past three years, she has served as co-chair of the Adaptive Water Governance project made possible through support from the NSF funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC, and focused on the intersection between law and resilience theory.  She spent spring 2015 as the Goyder Institute Visiting Professor in Public Sector Policy and Management at Flinders University researching adaptive water governance and water law in South Australia, and served as a distinguished scholar at SESYNC in 2016. In her outreach and engagement, she serves as an expert on western water law and its reform in the face of extended drought and climate change, the Columbia River Treaty and on the process of Native American and federal water settlement.