Oceans, Coasts, and Watersheds Project

Building on the law school's rich heritage in both ocean and coastal law and water law, the Ocean, Coasts, and Watersheds Project explores cutting-edge issues in both marine and freshwater environments. 

Recent Publications


OCWP Fellows

Samantha Blount - 3L - Bowerman Fellow 

Growing up in coastal Georgia allowed her to develop environmental awareness at a young age. She learned the importance of healthy coastal environments and marine conservation, as well as the devastating effects of overfishing and climate change. She received her B.A. in history and political science from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. This past summer she worked as a legal research assistant with the Center for Animal Law Studies, focusing on legal protections for aquatic animal species as well as ocean and marine animal conservation policies. She has also worked as a research assistant to Professor Wood. In addition to the fellowship, she serves as the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation. She hopes to focus her legal career on natural resource protection.

Brenden Catt -3L - Bowerman Fellow 

Brenden Catt grew up in southern Oregon. In 2018, Brenden graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon. During undergrad, Brenden worked for a local organic blueberry farm where he monitored the water quality and riparian health of a tributary to the McKenzie River. Prior to law school, Brenden was a research assistant at Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW). At ELAW, he researched mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia and microplastics in the aquatic ecosystems of South Africa. In addition to being an Oceans, Coasts, and Watersheds Project Fellow, Brenden is a Managing Editor for the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation and a volunteer for the Oregon Law Center. When Brenden is not studying at the library or a local coffee shop, he enjoys snowboarding, fishing, and exploring the watersheds in Eugene and the surrounding area. Last summer, Brenden worked for the Roseburg Public Defenders. 

Natalie Gillard  - 1L - Chapin Clark Fellow 

Natalie grew up in northern California. Her love of the outdoors stems from spending summers camping in Lassen National Park and backpacking in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. She attended CU Boulder where she majored in both Physical Geography and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and earned a certificate in Hydrology. While at CU, she worked in an environmental chemistry lab examining water quality from glaciers and mountain streams. After graduation, she took a brief break to hike the Camino de Santiago across Spain before starting as a graduate student at Utah State University. There, she earned a master’s degree in Watershed Science. Her thesis research examined how wildfires change flood magnitudes and sediment transport mechanisms, and the resulting impacts on native fish habitat. While at Utah State, she also participated in the Climate Adaptation Science program which focused on developing interdisciplinary solutions to climate change problems. After completing her master’s degree, she worked for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center. Her focus with the USGS was aquifer health and sustainability.

Mariah Ellis- 3L - Bowerman Fellow

Mariah's interest in the oceans began when she was younger upon hearing the legend of the first killer whale. From there, she became obsessed with learning everything she could about the oceans and the wildlife within. She went to Coastal Carolina University (Conway, SC) where she majored in Marine Science with a minor in Biology. She did research within all the different concentrations of Marine Science, including Chemistry, Biology, Geology, and Physical Oceanography. She assisted with the Shark and Dolphin research projects, concentrating on population densities and their correlation to climate change. She was a research assistant and ENR Fellow on the Ocean, Coasts, and Watersheds Project her 2L year with Professor Adams-Schoen and the ENR center. She worked with the University's Environmental Law Clinic in the Spring 2021 semester and over the summer, she was the Dana Wolfe Memorial Intern at Ocean Conservancy.

Kellie Warren- 2L - Bowerman Fellow

Kellie was born and raised in Nebraska. Growing up in landlocked Nebraska all she wanted was to be a sea lion trainer. While that dream may have changed, it took her to Texas A&M University where she earned her B.S. in Marine Sciences with minors in Ocean and Coastal Resources Management and Biology. While in school Kellie had the opportunity to work closely with locals in both Texas and Madagascar. She conducted research to understand the effect community lifestyles had on the ocean and coastal resources in the areas. After graduation, she moved to Alaska and became a senior technician at an environmental consulting firm and laboratory. There she helped small businesses and local tribes who were struggling with polluted water due to large companies. Kellie’s previous work has instilled in her a commitment to environmental equality that brought her to law school and that she hopes to build her future career upon.