UCSB Tower logo

Env S 124: Environmental Dispute Resolution



Posted Readings


Dept. Home Page


Welcome to the Spring 2004 website for Env S 124: Environmental Dispute Resolution. The course has been a part of the UCSB Environmental Studies Program curriculum for about 25 years, and it has its roots further back in the Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 1969. That event is widely recognized as an important catalytic event in the rise of the environmental movement in the United States, and my own personal response to it was to dedicate my professional life to the practice and teaching of environmental law. In the 1970s I founded one of the country's first public interest environmental law firms (still going strong today), and for its motto I wrote "Education is the first line of environmental defense; legal action is the bottom line."

As an environmental lawyer I found myself immersed in a legal and political disputing environment which was profoundly adversarial, both by design and as an inevitable consequence of people using blunt tools and coercive practices to address problems that generally require the more refined tools and sensitive approaches of the skilled negotiator. As an environmental educator (I was invited to join the UCSB faculty in 1971) I found myself in a position to help citizens to learn effective negotiation skills and how to use them and other consensual dispute resolution techniques in order to improve the quality of environmental decisionmaking processes and outcomes. Thus, this course came to be.

It has been an enjoyable challenge to update and rearrange the course readings and curriculum over the years and to work with a succession of interested and challenging students in the teaching and learning process. I think the current course materials provide an excellent basis for exploring and understanding the fundamental principles involved in the field of environmental dispute resolution and the most recent developments in it, and I enthusiastically welcome yet another bright group of undergraduate students to carefully and critically consider and discuss them.

J.Marc McGinnes, J.D.


UCSB logo

Contact the instructor at: mcginnes@es.ucsb.edu
Department Webmaster:

Copyright 2004 The Regents of the University of California