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Professor Mary Wood to keynote UO environmental law conference

Presentation to focus on themes from her latest work, “Nature’s Trust.”

University of Oregon School of Law Professor Mary Wood will be a keynote speaker at the 2014 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC), “Running Into Running Out.” Wood is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and the faculty director for the school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program.

Wood frequently speaks on global climate change issues and originated the Atmospheric Trust Litigation (ATL) approach, which holds governments worldwide accountable for reducing carbon pollution within their jurisdictions. She has published extensively on climate crisis, natural resources and native law issues.

Wood’s latest book, “Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age,” defines the frontiers of public trust law and maps out a full paradigm shift for the way in which government agencies manage public resources. Called a “profound assessment of the legitimate foundations of government” by Gerald Torres of Cornell Law School, the book reveals the dysfunction of current statutory law and calls upon citizens, government employees, legislators and judges to protect natural inheritance rightfully belonging to future generations as part of the public trust.

Wood’s research currently is being used in lawsuits and petitions brought on behalf of children and youth throughout the United States and in other countries. These lawsuits, which seek judicial decrees enforcing carbon reduction, represent a “macro” approach to climate crisis calibrated to planetary requirements for climate equilibrium.

The 2014 PIELC will take place February 27 through March 2 at the University of Oregon. “Running Into Running Out” conveys a sense of urgency that we must take greater action to prevent ourselves from running out of the resources necessary for survival. PIELC is an opportunity for lawyers, students, scientists, activists and citizens to gather and discuss issues critical to our planet. For additional information on the 32nd annual conference, visit

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