Thank you for expressing interest in the 25th annual Public Interest Environmental Conference. Since its inception in 1994, this Conference has explored important environmental legal and policy developments in Florida and other parts of the country. In achieving that end, the Conference has been a platform that has provided an opportunity for meaningful interdisciplinary discourse among legal scholars, scientific experts, environmental attorneys, and students. To celebrate our 25th anniversary, our goal for PIEC25 is to foster creative thinking, innovative policy strategies, and meaningful cooperation to address the spectrum of environmental issues that will affect future generations to come.
We are proud to announce that PIEC25’s Opening Reception Keynote Speaker will be Professor Andrew Light from George Mason University. Professor Light has two interrelated careers. As a professor, he teaches courses on Philosophy, Public Policy, and Atmospheric Sciences. Additionally, Professor Light has made a career out of being a policy expert and advocate. From 2013-2016, Professor Light served as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change and as a Staff Climate Adviser in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Policy Planning. Professor Light is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the World Resources Institute’s Climate Program, where he works on a variety of topics in both U.S. and global climate and renewable energy strategy.
We are equally honored to welcome Maya K. van Rossum, Esq. as this year’s Banquet Keynote Speaker. Van Rossum has served as the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network since 1994. Van Rossum is also the founder of the national Green Amendment movement. After the movement began to gather momentum, and following an important legal victory that established the Pennsylvanian people’s constitutional right to a clean and healthy environment, van Rossum authored and published The Green Amendment. In her book, van Rossum advocates altering the legal system through activist movements aimed at amending federal and state constitutions. Her message of inspiring a new agenda for environmental advocacy is timely considering the contemporary global need for urgent restructuring of climate change governance schemes.
The PIEC25 Opening Reception will be hosted at the University of Florida’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. The Harn Museum of Art collaborates with university and community partners to inspire, educate and enrich people’s lives through art. As part of the museum’s evolving exhibit programming, the museum is hosting The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene. The exhibit features the works of art of 45 contemporary international artists and chronicles our contemporary reality of rapid, radical and irrevocable ecological change. The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene attempts to respond to imminent extinctions, rising water, surging populations, and accelerated climate change by re-envisioning how we think about the world to come. Despite the challenges of the current geological epoch, the exhibit explores humanity’s resilience and place within the non-human natural world.
In keeping with tradition, PIEC25 offers a variety of activities throughout the Conference: the Opening Reception and Keynote Speaker, diverse Conference panels, the Friday night Conference Banquet Dinner, and complimentary continental breakfasts on both mornings during the Conference weekend. For lawyers attending PIEC25, Continuing Legal Education credit will be available.