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November 15, 2013

Professor lectures to more than 20,000 students worldwide

Mary Wood participates in Massive Open Online Course

Mary Wood, Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and faculty director for the University of Oregon School of Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, recently spoke as a guest lecturer for Oregon Law 1981 alumnus Don Hornstein’s Massive Open Online Course on environmental law. Hornstein is the Aubrey L. Brooks Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina.

The course, An Introduction to Environmental Law, is one of the first of its kind; it features four 10-20 minute videos per week that are accessed by students via the Internet. Professor Wood lectured to more than 20,000 students from around the world. The video lectures are paired with short readings to enhance learning during the six-week period.

Professor Wood graduated from Stanford Law School in 1987; she currently teaches courses in property law, natural resources law and public trust law. In the past, she has taught the subjects of public lands law, wildlife law, federal Indian law and hazardous waste law.

Professor Wood has authored textbooks on natural resources law and public trust law; she has also been extensively published regarding the topics of climate crisis, natural resources and native law issues. Her new book, "Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age," was just released by Cambridge University Press.

Of the 20,000 students participating in the lecture, eight were chosen by lottery to "hang out" with Professor Wood and have a direct conversation about her latest book. They were linked live to her computer screen, simulating a small seminar.

"It was an amazing experience conducting a seminar with students from around the world and being able to converse with them about the concepts in 'Nature's Trust.' Though they were from different countries, the themes seemed to resonate with all of the students in the 'hangout,'" noted Professor Wood.

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