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The 4th Annual Environmental Justice Symposium

From Protection to Empowerment: Policy Solutions to Ensure Equal Access to The Green Economy



Erik Roper
(J.D. Candidate 2008) was born in Long Beach and is a lifelong resident of California. Before heading to college he served four years in the US Army (Germany, Bosnia & Kosovo) as an indispensable member of the small but mighty, fightin' Finance Corps. Feeling that he hadn't lived dangerously enough while in the Army, he moved to Chicago to fearlessly and swiftly deliver packages as a bike messenger. When snow started falling and riding a bike on black ice just didn't seem like the best use of his time he decided to use that Army GI Bill money to move back to California and attend Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM). On his way to graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Social Sciences in 2004, he became the driving force behind progressive activism at CSUSM. After college he taught English in Mexico City. Last summer he interned at the Oakland office of the California Department of Justice, Environmental Law Section. Erik first became interested in environmental justice issues while reading Mark Dowie's Losing Ground in an undergraduate political science class (thanks Professor Stricker!). At Boalt, in addition to chairing the EJ Symposium, Erik is the Fundraising Coordinator for the Ecology Law Quarterly. Unsurprisingly, he is pursuing a Certificate of Specialization in Environmental Law.

Erik wishes to express his profound gratitude to all the first and second year law students at Boalt Hall who have stepped up to help plan this year's EJ Symposium. He couldn't have done it without you!

Student Planning Committee Members:

Sara Gersen (J.D. Candidate 2010) graduated from Williams College with honors in 2005.  After graduating, she worked as an outreach assistant at the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative and traveled to Ukraine to serve as an international observer for the 2006 parliamentary elections.  At Boalt, Sara is a member of the Ecology Law Quarterly, the Boalt Hall Committee on Human Rights, and the Workers Rights Clinic.  She is pursuing a Certificate of Specialization in Environmental Law. 

Brendan Darrow (J.D. Candidate 2010) came to law school to focus on the study of immigration and environmental law... and bicycle racing, commuting, and building.  His persistent attempts to reduce his personal carbon footprint have extended to locally roasted coffee, locally brewed beer, and living without heat or air-conditioning for at least one year (8 months down...).  After four years in Philadelphia, Bren parted ways with the east coast, returning to the Bay Area where he grew up, and became a 1L happily ever after.

Nathan Bennett-Fleming (J.D. Candidate 2010) is a 2007 honors graduate of Morehouse College. At Morehouse,
Nathan was Executive Director of the Student Government Association and President of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. A native Washingtonian, Nathan has had various experiences in national, state, and local politics. In 2006, Nathan was a Regional Field Director for Benjamin Cardin's Senate Campaign. In 2004, Nathan was the Deputy National Director for African-American Faith Based Outreach for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential Campaign. In between these experiences, Nathan was a Summer Analyst at Goldman, Sachs and Co.

Catherine Norris (J.D. Candidate 2010) traces her interest in environmental justice to her Colorado roots and her mother's insistence upon spending all free time outdoors.  After graduating from Georgetown Univ. in 2004, she worked as a human rights accompanier in rural Guatemala, where she witnessed first hand the impact of natural resource extraction by transnational companies upon indigenous communities.  Here in Berkeley, she keeps her feet planted in the non-academic world by working as the administrator for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.

Jamey Volker (J.D./M.C.P. Candidate 2010) is a Berkeley native and graduated in 2006 from U.C. Davis, where he studied environmental policy and hydrology.  He is currently a second year student at U.C. Berkeley, where he is pursuing a joint degree in law and city planning, and is the president of the Boalt Environmental Law Society.  He has broad interests in the fields of environmental law and sustainable land use planning. After graduation he plans to pursue work as a plaintiff-side environmental attorney.

Randall J. Yates (J.D. Candidate 2010) is an enrolled member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Immediately prior to attending UC Berkeley School of Law, he worked with youth from rural Alaska Native villages on building academic skills and studied Resource & Applied Economics at the University of Alaska.

Sara Clark (J.D. Candidate 2010) is interested in the intersection of land use, the environment and social justice. Originally from Los Gatos, CA, she decided to give the East Coast a try and ventured to Boston. She spent four years at Harvard, studying Environmental Science and Public Policy, making boats move fast as a member of the Radcliffe Varsity Crew team, and taking advantage of employment opportunities in travel writing, spending summers in Australia, New Zealand and the deserts of Southern California as a research-writer for Let's Go. After college she put her degree to use back in the SF bay area as a Land Acquisition Specialist for the Peninsula Open Space Trust. She made a quick jaunt back east to do some graduate studies in Urban Planning at NYU, but is back in the bay once again and excited to be a part of the ELS EJ Symposium team.

Jessica Intrator (J.D. Candidate 2010) was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and grew up in San Jose, CA. She has worked on a wide range of environmental and education initiatives in California, Rhode Island, Brazil, and China. She is a first year law student at Boalt Hall.

Emily Jeffers (J.D. candidate 2010) is a California native and 2004 graduate of Yale University.  As an undergraduate, she rowed as a member of the varsity crew team and spent many an hour wishing New Haven didn't exist in a perpetual state of winter.  After graduating, she pedaled her bicycle 4,200 miles back to the Bay Area and spent 8 months traveling through countries along the western Pacific Rim.  Upon returning she put her biology degree to (somewhat) good use performing wildlife field surveys for the National Marine Fisheries Service and Wildlife Conservation Society.  This summer she is interning for the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. 

Catherine Mongeon (J.D. Candidate 2010) first became interested in environmental justice when she spent a semester interning on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis.  After graduating from Colby College she sought out a career that would allow her to promote environmental justice and see the world. She found the Peace Corps, and, while she didn't see much of the world, she did see a lot of Paraguay.  Catherine spent two years living in a rural town called Tava'i where she worked in community development and environmental education.  While in Tava'i, Catherine worked with school teachers, a youth group, a women's committee, local farmers, and the municipal government to help promote environmental awareness and develop community projects like a waste management program.  After two years, she moved to the capital, Asuncion, to work in environmental education traveling throughout the country with a Paraguayan non-profit, Guyra.  After nearly three years in South America, Catherine was finally convinced to return home to the United States when she received her acceptance letter from Boalt Hall.

Emily Tredeau (J.D. Candidate 2010) grew up in New Hampshire and went to college in Pennsylvania, where she studied African American history and linguistic anthropology.  After that she worked at a union-side labor law firm in DC until moving out to Berkeley, the land of milk and honey, by way of a magical two-month road trip through the northern US.

David Abella (J.D. Candidate 2010) is a San Francisco Bay Area native who is passionate about giving back to the community. David completed his undergraduate studies at San Francisco State University. At SFSU he built an impressive record of student leadership, including being elected President of the 28,000+ student population. Before coming to Boalt Hall he worked for Congressman George Miller, who represents California's Seventh Congressional District, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. David also volunteers with the Contra Costa Juvenile Hall Auxiliary, which provides direct services and mentoring to at-risk youth in the juvenile justice system. David is a very active Boalt 1L and member of the Berkeley La Raza Journal, Raza Association, Pilipino American Law Society, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and the Youth Education Law Society.

Matt Henjum (J.D. Candidate 2009) is a native Minnesotan and a 2003 graduate of Duke University. Matt will earn a Certificate of Specialization in Environmental Law from Boalt Hall's California Center for Environmental Law & Policy. He currently plans to specialize in international environmental law with an emphasis on marine conservation.