Jonathan Skinner-Thompson, who joined the Colorado Law clinical faculty in 2020, has transitioned from his role as associate clinical professor and director of the Getches-Green Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law Clinic to associate professor of law on the research faculty. He will continue to teach natural resources courses in his new role, including Climate Change Law and Policy and Environmental Law. Skinner-Thompson also serves as affiliated faculty for the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Justice at CU Boulder and sits on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s (CDPHE) Environmental Justice Advisory Board.
Skinner-Thompson has had a diverse career in environmental law, holding positions at public interest organizations, in private practice, and at all levels of government.
He graduated cum laude from Duke University School of Law and with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley.
Q: It’s great to speak with you, Professor!
Q: What excites you the most about the upcoming fall semester?
I can’t wait to be back in the building. Our students and community bring the school to life and make teaching and learning a joy.
Q: What originally sparked your interest in environmental law?
My interest in environmental law started as a public health and safety concern. I love the outdoors, but I’ve also experienced the bodily damage that can come with pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals. Environmental protection and human health are related, of course. Those experiences just sparked the interest.
Q: Is it safe to assume you will be focusing more on research in your new position?
Yes, that’s right. While I may continue some pro bono counseling on the side and will be serving on CDPHE’s Environmental Justice Advisory Board, my focus will shift to research and scholarship.
Q: What will you miss about your work with the clinic, and what excites you most about your new role?
I will miss strategizing and talking with clients and community groups around the country.
Q: Can you share a bit about what you’re working on now?
I have two projects at the moment. The first will touch on decolonial theory and environmental governance. The second builds on my recent article on procedural environmental justice. I’ll be doing a national survey of public participation procedures under a specific permitting program to see what we can learn about practices across the country.