CU Boulder leads the nation in research and programs addressing environmental, energy, and natural resources issues—with a longstanding reputation for innovative work on water resources, climate change, and energy. For more than half a century, environmental and natural resources law has been a key part of the Colorado Law curriculum. The school’s commitment to teaching and research in these areas complements the school’s physical location in the Rocky Mountain West—a region defined by its vast natural  resources, public lands and parks, and many American Indian reservations. Ranked consistently among the very best in the nation, Colorado Law’s Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources program is one of the strongest and deepest of its kind.


Colorado Law’s environmental and natural resources curriculum prepares graduates for careers at law firms, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and governmental  agencies. Students receive a broad-based legal education in addition to specialized environmental and natural resources courses and practicum opportunities.


The University of Colorado Law School has a proud tradition as a leader in the field of natural resources law, and it consistently ranks among the best programs in that field. The Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources Law and Policy Certificate recognizes the strength of the law school's natural resources program by affording law students the opportunity to design an educational program that provides a solid foundation in natural resources law, even while ensuring that they receive a well-rounded legal education. The certificate also offers prospective employers evidence of a student's interest and commitment to the study of natural resources law. Professor Mark Squillace is the certificate adviser.

Certificate signup form

Certificate Requirements


Colorado Law’s environmental and natural resources law faculty are passionate about teaching and are known for their extensive interaction with students both in and out of the classroom. The program’s full-time faculty members are experts and advocates in their field, influencing legal and public policy debates at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Professors also include adjuncts and visiting national and international teachers and scholars from the legal academia, legal practice, government, the judiciary, and business.

  • Professor Mark Squillace is an expert and frequent speaker on natural resources law issues. In 2000, he served as Special Assistant to the Solicitor at the U.S. Department of the Interior, working directly with Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.
  • Professor Sarah Krakoff has served as director of Colorado Law’s American Indian Law Clinic and acting director of the Natural Resources Law Center. Prior to joining Colorado Law, she was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work on the Navajo Nation as director of the Youth Law Project for DNA-People’s Legal Services.
  • Associate Professor Jonathan Skinner-Thompson was an attorney at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency--first in the Office of General Counsel and then with the Office of Regional Counsel in Denver. He also has served in the U.S. Department of Justice's Environmental Defense Section and was an environmental associate with firms in New York and Seattle. 
  • Professor Michael Pappas teaches primarily in the areas of property, natural resource, and environmental law. His scholarship draws upon interdisciplinary influences associated with economics and political economy, and his work explores the nature of property expectations, governmental responsibilities, and private rights in managing resources such as land, energy, water, wildlife, fisheries, and food.

Career Opportunities

Colorado Law students and graduates have receive externships and employment in the fields of environmental and natural resources law in numerous firms and organizations including: Arnold & Porter; Colorado Office of Attorney General, Natural Resources and Environment Section; Earthjustice;  Environment Colorado; Environmental Defense Fund; Johnson & Repucci; Lathrop & Gage; Patrick, Miller & Kropf; Patton Boggs; Ryley Carlock &  Applewhite; Shell Oil Company; Snell & Wilmer; The Wilderness Society; Trout Unlimited; U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resources Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Western Resource Advocates.

Related Fellowships & Scholarships

  • Charles N. Woodruff Fellowship is for Natural Resources Law Center interns
  • Environmental Law Society Summer Fellowship for low-paid or unpaid summer internships in non-private organizations
  • John & Cynthia Schultz Law Scholarship for natural resources, oil and gas, energy, or Constitutional law
  • Sustainable Development Scholarship for real estate development or land use policy
  • Welda and Gordon Allott Natural Resources Law Scholarship for Natural Resources Law Center research assistants
  • The David L. Harrison Innovations in Water Law & Policy Fellowship
  • The Sandgrund Environmental Law Fellowship


Colorado Law hosts about 25 events on environmental and natural resources issues each year, from workshops and lunchtime roundtables to multi-day conferences and contemporary lectures attended by more than 300 people. Many of these events are annual, such as the Getches-Wilkinson Center’s Annual Summer Conference.