The Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment (GWC) is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Colorado Law School.

An unmatched reputation in environmental law

Ranked consistently among the very best in the nation, Colorado Law is known for its renowned faculty and curriculum addressing environmental, energy, and natural resources law—and has a longstanding reputation for academic excellence, experiential learning, and fostering innovative problem-solving.

The GWC was created in January 2013 to expand upon the over 30-year legacy of Colorado Law’s Natural Resources Law Center. The mission of the GWC is driven by a broader agenda and aspirations for deeper influence in law, policy, and practice. We regularly convene thought leaders and practitioners to address the most pressing issues of the day—including public lands, water resources, climate change, energy development, tribal resources and treaty rights, environmental justice, electricity systems, among others. The GWC has developed a substantial body of work, including pioneering research, articles, books, conferences, workshops, and public lectures.

Interdisciplinary focus

The GWC works closely with members of Colorado Law's Environmental Law Review and student-led Environmental Law Society. Colorado Law offers five related dual degrees & certificates:

  • JD / Master in Environmental Studies
  • JD / Doctorate in Environmental Studies
  • JD / Master of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources Law and Policy Certificate
  • Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program in Environment, Policy and Society

Events and public outreach

Colorado Law and the GWC host over 25 events each year addressing environmental, natural resources, public lands, energy, and climate issues—from workshops and lunchtime roundtables to multi-day conferences and contemporary lectures. Students are always encouraged to participate.

The Getches-Green Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law Clinic is one of the country’s first environmental law clinics and provides free representation to environmental clients.

Colorado Law's environmental law outreach intersects with our strength in American Indian law, which dates back to the 1970s. Through the Acequia Project, Colorado Law students help protect the water rights of low-income Hispanic farmers in the San Luis Valley through pro bono legal services.

Colorado Law’s commitment to teaching and research in these areas is complemented by its physical location in the Rocky Mountain West—a region defined by its vast natural resources, public lands and parks, and many American Indian reservations. The University of Colorado Boulder, which boasts world-renowned climate research, and the broader Boulder community, a hub of clean technology and location of several national laboratories, provide substantial opportunities for multidisciplinary learning experiences.

Our longstanding commitment to an equitable and inclusive vision of legal education uniquely situates the Getches-Wilkinson Center to be a leader in recruiting and training a robust population of diverse leaders who possess the knowledge, real-world experience, and critical thinking skills necessary to address complex legal challenges and forge innovative solutions.

Our namesakes

The center’s name honors the contributions of the two iconic figures in Colorado Law’s environmental and natural resources history, David Getches and Charles Wilkinson.

Charles and David

Support the GWC

Your donation supports the GWC’s cutting-edge research on water law and natural resources, mentorship for the next generation of diverse environmental leaders, and convening important conversations on how to protect our shared natural resources. Make a gift.