Adell L. Amos is the Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UO School of Law. She teaches regularly in the nationally-ranked Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, including courses in Water Law, Federal Administrative Law, Environmental Conflict Resolution, and Oregon Water Law and Policy. She is also a Courtesy Member of the Graduate Faculty for the Water Resources Policy and Management (WRPM) MS Degree in Oregon State University’s Water Resources Graduate Program.
Her research emphasizes the jurisdictional governance structures that are deployed for water resource management both domestically and internationally. She focuses on the relationship between federal and state governments on water resource management, the role of administrative agencies in setting national, state, and local water policy, the role of law in developing water policy and responding to change, and the impact of stakeholder participation in water resource decision-making.
In 2008, Amos was recognized for her Expertise in water resources law and policy and accepted a two-year appointment with the Obama Administration in Washington DC as the Deputy Solicitor for Land and Water Resources at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In this role, Amos oversaw legal and policy issues involving the nation’s water resources and public lands. She supervised a team of attorneys in DC and across the country providing legal and policy counsel directly to the Secretary of Interior and Deputy Secretary as well as the offices for the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In particular, she worked directly on water resilience and planning, wilderness policy, the National Landscape Conservation System, renewable energy and its associated water footprint, low-impact hydropower, dam removal efforts including the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, and many others. Amos returned to UO in 2011 with renewed energy for the importance of teaching and researching in the area of water resource management, public participation, and the role of law in the policy arena.
Amos first joined the faculty in 2005 after practicing environmental and natural resources law with the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington DC. She worked as an Attorney- Advisor and served as the national lead on water and natural resources issues in the Office of the Solicitor, Division of Parks and Wildlife, where she represented and advised the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service on state and federal water rights and water management issues. Her portfolio included work in most of the major river basins in the United States – including the Klamath, Snake, Columbia, Middle Rio Grande, Mississippi, Colorado, Gunnison, Platte, and others. She provided legal and policy advice on the interaction of state and federal water law with the full range of environmental statutes including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Federal Power Act, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Her work also included the Park Service Organic Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, the Reclamation Act, the Flood Control Act among other authorizing legislation for federal agencies.
Her most recent scholarship focuses on the integration of law and policy into hydrologic and socioeconomic modeling for the Willamette River Basin as well as the legal framework that provides the backdrop for water conflicts and dispute resolution through a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary effort funded by the NOAA and the National Science Foundation. She also has active projects underway addressing the status of state instream flow programs throughout the Western United States, the impact of legal decision-making on public policy dispute resolution efforts in water-conflict basins, and strategic efforts to protect water resources for national public lands including the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Park System and the newly created, National Landscape Conservation System. She has published broadly in the field of water law including, most recently Water Law in a Nutshell, Fifth Edition, co-authored with Zellmer, West Academic Publishing, (June 2015).
She frequently speaks on water, energy, conflict resolution and climate topics including addresses at the University of Nebraska, the University of Kansas, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Wingspread Foundation, the National Conservation Training Center. She has completed numerous grant-funded projects for the National Science Foundation, NOAA-CIRC, the Nature Conservancy, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Bureau of Land Management, among others.
Professor Amos earned her B.A in 1995 from Drury College and her J.D. in 1998 from the University of Oregon (Coif). After law school, Amos clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for The Honorable Procter Hug, Jr. (then Chief Judge). She is a member of the Missouri bar, admitted in 1999.
Law Review Publications
“Evaluating Instream Flow Programs: Innovative Approaches and Persistent Challenges in the Western United States,” co-authored with Christopher R. Swensen, 61 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 22-1 (November 2015) (peer reviewed). | Bepress | PDF | SSRN |
“Developing the Law of the River: The Integration of Law and Policy into Hydrologic and Socio-Economic Modeling Efforts in the Willamette River Basin,” 62:4 Kansas University Law Review, May 2014. | Bepress | PDF | SSRN |
'Advancing Freshwater Conservation in the Context of Energy and Climate Policy: Assessing Progress and Identifying Challenges in the Western United States,' 12:1 Denver Water Law Review, Fall 2008. | Bepress | PDF |
'Hydropower Reform and the Impact of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 on the Klamath Basin: Renewed Optimism or Same Old Story?,' 22(1) Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation, Summer 2007. | SSRN | Bepress | PDF | Online |
Water Law in a Nutshell, Fifth Edition, co-authored with Zellmer, West Academic Publishing, (June 2015).
“Why it makes little sense to regulate rainwater barrels in the dry western U.S.,” theconversation.com, March 25, 2016. | Online |
Scenarios of Future Water Availability in the Willamette River Basin Driven By Climate Change, Economics and Population to the Year 2099, Draft Executive Summary, December 2, 2015. | Online |
“Why the BLM’s Decision on Cadiz Was the Right One,” San Bernardino Sun Times, October 31, 2015. | Online |
“EPA’s Clean Water Rule: What’s at Stake and What Comes Next,” The Conversation, June 3, 2015. | Online |
Policy Letter for National Parks Conservation Association, to U.S. Department of the Interior, March 2010.
'Freshwater Conservation: A Review of Oregon Water Law & Policy,' for The Nature Conservancy, August 2008 (available through the Nature Conservancy Office in Portland, Oregon). | PDF |
'Policy Agenda Connecting Energy, Climate, and Water: Working within the Prior Appropriation System,' International Municipal Lawyers Association, Published Conference Proceedings, September 2008.
'More Dam Process: Relicensing of Dams and the 2005 Energy Policy Act,' co-authored with Rick Eichstaedt and Rebecca Sherman, 50:6/7 The Advocate: Official Publication of the Idaho State Bar 33, June/July 2007. | SSRN | Bepress | PDF |
'Environmental Law Teachers' Perspectives on Preparing New Lawyers for Practice,' co-authored with Sean B. Hecht and Janice L. Weis, American Bar Association 36th Conference on Environmental Law Published Proceedings, Keystone, Colorado, March 8-11, 2007. Awarded a Certificate of Recognition for 'Best Paper at 36th Annual Conference on Environmental Law.' | SSRN | Bepress | PDF|
'Emerging Water Law Trends in the Eastern United States: Will the Eastern Story Differ from the Western Experience?' American Bar Association, Eastern Water Resources: Emerging Issues in Competition, Science & Politics, Published Proceedings, May 11, 2006. | Online |
'Measure 37 is Overturned' Invited Opinion Editorial, Oregonian, October 23, 2005.
'Ecosystem Management and the Role of Water Resources,' American Bar Association, Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Ecosystems Committee Newsletter, Volume 7, Issue 2 (March 2004). | SSRN | Bepress | PDF |
University & Law School Service:
Senior Leadership Team, UO Law School, 2011-present (as Associate Dean)
Appointments Committee, 2011- present (as Associate Dean); 2009-2010
Law School Curriculum Committee, 2011- present (as Associate Dean); 2008–2009
Dean’s Faculty Advisory Committee, 2011- present (as Associate Dean); 2009-2010; 2007–2008 (elected)
Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, 2011- present (as Associate Dean)
Director of Clinics, 2015- present
UO Law Portland Committee, 2015- present
Environmental Law L.LM. Admissions Committee, 2011-2012; 2006–2007
Law School Curriculum Committee, 2011-2013 (as Associate Dean); 2008–2009
Transfer Admissions Committee, 2011-present
Diversity Committee, 2009-2010; 2012-2013
Academic and Professional Success Committee, 2012-2013
Vice President for Research and Innovation Search Committee, 2015-2016
UO Graduate Council, 2015- present
Faculty Grievance Appeal Committee, 2015- present
Wayne Morse Center for Law & Politics, Advisory Board, 2007–present
Faculty Grievance Appeal Committee, 2015-2016
Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation, Faculty Advisor, 2005–2009; 2009-2011; 2012-2013; 2015-2016
Research Advisory Board, Vice President for Research and Innovation Office 2012-2013
Portland Situational Analysis Working Group, 2012-2013
Truman Scholars Program (coordinated through the College of Arts and Sciences) 2012-2013
Environmental Studies Program, Executive Committee, 2006–2009
Green Business Initiative, Steering Committee, 2009-2013
Law School Pro Bono Committee, 2005–2006
Oregon Law Review, Faculty Advisor, 2007-2009
Oregon Law Students Public Interest Fund Board, 2005–2008
Oregon Tribes Professorship, Visitors Committee, 2008–2009
Resource Innovations—Climate Leadership Initiative, Faculty Advisory Committee, 2009-2010
University of Oregon, Meyer Sustainability Fund Working Group, Committee Member, 2007–present
University Senate, 2007–2008 (elected)
SB 202 Task Force on Independent Scientific Review for Natural Resources, 2015-present (Governor appointed)
Merit Selection Panel for the U.S. Magistrate, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, 2015 (selected by judges of the federal district court)
Ninth Circuit Representative for the District of Oregon, 2013-2016 (appointed by the judges of the federal District Court in Oregon)
Vice Chair, Public Land and Resources Committee, American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2012-17 (appointed)
National Judicial Center, Dividing the Water Program, Advisory Committee
Editorial Board, American Bar Association, Section on Energy & Environment, Trends Magazine, 2008–2011
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, pro bono work with Russian, Mongolian, and Haitian environmental lawyers on adaptation of U.S. dam system to climate change, 2012
Policy Dialogue Participant, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, 2007–2008
Oregon State Bar Ad-Hoc Task Force on Law—Sustainability Study, 2007–2009
Vice-Chair, Planning Committee, American Bar Association, Eastern Water Law Conference, 2006-2007
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, pro bono work with Chilean environmental lawyer on public involvement under U.S. law in dam authorization and construction, 2008
Southern Nevada Water Project, Nature Conservancy, pro bono work on water rights applications pending before the Nevada State Engineer, 2006
Advisory Board Member, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, University of Oregon School of Law, 2003–2005
Honors and Awards
- Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law, August 2015
- James O. and Alfred T. Goodwin Senior Faculty Fellow, August 2014
- Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Fellow, August 2013
- UO Faculty Fund for Excellence Award, June 2013
- Graduate Faculty Appointment, Oregon State University – Water Resources Policy and Management
- Ninth Circuit Representative for the District of Oregon, 2013-2016 (appointed by the judges of the federal District Court in Oregon)
- Vice Chair, Public Land and Resources Committee, American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2012-13 (appointed)
- Wayne Morse Center Resident Scholar, 2009-2010
- Orlando J. Hollis Teaching Award, 2009
- Dean's Fund Summer Research Award, 2006-2009
- Adjunct Appointment at Oregon State University, 2006
“Climate Change and Water Management: Flexibility in Reservoir Operations on the Willamette River,” with William Jaeger, UO Climate Change Research Symposium, Eugene, Oregon (February 17, 2016).
“Drought and the American West,” Oregon District Court Conference, Portland, Oregon (October 2, 2015).
“Drought 101,” JELL Symposium, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (September 25, 2015).
“Drought: The Legal Landscape in Oregon and California,” Lectures and Awards Presentation, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (May 7, 2015).
“A River Between Us,” Film Screening Panel Discussion, Cinema Pacific Film Festival, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (May 3, 2015).
“Water Scarcity, Water Law, and Future Change,” Water, Sustainability, and Climate Speaker Series, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (April 22, 2015).
“Water Law for Land Trusts,” Guest Lecture, Land Trusts and Conservation Easements Law Course, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (April 20, 2015).
“Western Water Rights,” Geography, Law, and the Environment Course Guest Lecture, Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (April 8, 2015).
“Land Trusts and Water Law: How Land Trusts Can Engage with State and Federal Water Law,” McKenzie River Trust Board Meeting (October 14, 2014).
“Alternative Dispute Resolution in Land and Water Cases,” Dividing the Waters Conference, The National Judicial College, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (May 14-17, 2014).
“Developing the Law of the River: The Integration of Law and Policy into Hydrologic and Socio-Economic Modeling Efforts in the Willamette River Basin,” Stakeholder’s Learning and Action Network Workshop, Willamette Water 2100 Project, Salem, Oregon (March 18, 2014).
Convener, “Addressing Water Scarcity and Conflicts in the Pacific Northwest: A Workshop for Issue Engagement,” Center for Agricultural & Environmental Policy Water Workshop, Oregon State University, Silverton, Oregon (March 3-4, 2014).
“Dam Removal and Hydropower Production in the U.S.—Ushering in a New Era,” JELL Symposium, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (November 20, 2013). Available here
“Judges and the Science of Instream Flow,” Dividing the Waters, National Judicial College Conference, Reno, Nevada (October 18, 2013).
“The Klamath Basin: Evaluating the Impact of Environmental Conflict Resolution” Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program and Appropriate Dispute Resolution Program Joint Brown Bag Series, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (April 25, 2013).
“A Lesson in Conversation Between Litigation and Collaboration,” University of Kansas School of Law Faculty Exchange Program, Lawrence, Kansas (April 18, 2013).
“Evaluating the Role of Environmental Conflict Resolution in the Klamath Basin” American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana (January 5, 2013).
“Integrating State and Federal Water Law and Policy into WW2100 Modeling Efforts,” Water Willamette All Scientists Meeting, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (November 19, 2012).
“Understanding Place: the McKenzie Watershed,” Environmental Studies Department, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (November 13, 2012).
“What is Environmental and Natural Resources Law,” ENR Program Brown Bag Series, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (October 2012).
“The Role of the Federal Government in Water Resource Law and Policy,” Water Resources Policy Seminar Series, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (October 17, 2012).
Panel moderator, “Tough by Nature: Land Use and Conservation,” Jordon Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon (August 9, 2012).
“The Klamath Basin: A True Story,” Fortnightly Club, Eugene, Oregon (February 16, 2012).
“Finding your Way as a Woman Lawyer: The Changing Face of the Practice of Law,” Lane County Women Lawyers Annual Federal Courthouse CLE Lunch, United States District Courthouse, Eugene, Oregon (February 3, 2012).
“The Realities of Climate Change and the Practice of Law,” Hydrologically Connected, University of Nebraska Water Center, Lincoln, Nebraska (October 12, 2011).
“Practicing Water Law for the Federal Government,” Environmental Law Student Society, University of Nebraska School of Law, Lincoln, Nebraska (October 11, 2011).
“Water and Climate Change: The Role of the Federal Government,” Climate Change 360: Transforming of Future, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (September 28, 2011).
“Water Wars: Climate Change and Water Disputes,” Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (March 1, 2011).
“The Department of the Interior’s Role in US Water Law and Policy,” 2nd Annual Northwest Water Law and Policy Symposium, Portland, Oregon (October 8, 2010).
“Defending the Water Commons,” sponsored by Vermont Law School and On the Commons, hosted by the Johnson Foundation at the Wingspread Conference Center, Racine, Wisconsin (June 10-12, 2009) (invited participant).
“The Energy Footprint of Water Use,” Natural Resource Law Professors Conference, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Chico Hot Springs, Montana (May 26, 2009).
“Advancing Freshwater Conservation in the Context of Energy and Climate Policy,” Keynote Address, Water Law Review 2009 Symposium: Practical Approaches in Fast-Moving Streams, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado (March 4, 2009).
“Can State Water Law Work to Accomplish Federal Purposes?: The Devil in the Details,” Presentation, U.S. Forest Service Resource Management Conference, Sedona, Arizona (February 25, 2009).
“The Klamath Basin – A True Story of Law, Science, Politics and Conflict Resolution,” Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (February 5, 2009).
“The Role of the Public in Water Resource Decision-making: Opportunities and Impediments for Non-Water Rights Holders,” Northwest Water Law Symposium sponsored by the American Bar Association, Portland, Oregon (January 30-31, 2009).
“Water for People and the Environment: Conflict, Compromise, and New Directions,” Address for Seeking Sustainable Solutions–A Series of Fireside Conversations on Global Warming, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (January 29, 2009).
“Western Water Law—The Federal Perspective,” Northwest Natural Resources Forum for Federal Executives, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and Natural Resource Conservation Service, Astoria, Oregon (November 12-13, 2008).
“Energy, Water, and Climate Policy: Comparing Resources in Western and Eastern Water Law,” Faculty Workshop, University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland (October 6, 2008).
“Water Policy In Light of Climate Change,” University of Oregon Geography Department Seminar Series, Eugene, Oregon (October 2, 2008).
Institute for Natural Resources: Science-Policy Seminar Series, Invited Dialogue Participant for Session with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (May 21, 2008).
“Connecting Western Water Law to Energy and Climate Policy,” Water in the West: Spring Hydrology Lecture Series, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (April 23, 2008).
“Protecting Federal Purposes Under State Water Law—Does It Work?,” Journal Club, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (April 23, 2008).
“Water Rights as Public Rights: Prior Appropriation as if the Public Interest Mattered,” Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (March 8, 2008).
“Water, Energy, and Climate: Making the Connection,” Thinking Out Loud Series, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (February 29, 2008).
“Water Law and Climate Change,” Focus the Nation Conference Event, Willamette University School of Law, Salem, Oregon (January 31, 2008).
“Can Western Water Law Be a Tool for Adapting to Climate Change?” American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, New York, New York (January 2–6, 2008).
“Integrating Science and Policy to Protect and Restore Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems,” Washington State University Conference on Water in the Pacific Northwest: Moving Science Into Policy and Action, Pullman, Washington (November 7–9, 2007).
“Water Distribution Rights and Profit,” HOPES 13: Confluence, Eco-Design Conference, University of Oregon School of Architecture, Eugene, Oregon (April 19–22, 2007).
“Preparing Green Lawyers for Practice in a Changing Environment,” Dialogue and Workshop, ABA 36th Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Keystone, Colorado (March 8–11, 2007).
“Protecting Instream Flow and Aquatic Habitat,” 25th Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, Eugene, Oregon (March 1-4, 2007).
“Legal Implications of Exempt Wells in Oregon and Washington,” 25th Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, Eugene, Oregon (March 1-4, 2007).
“At the Crossroads: Sustainable Solutions in the Klamath Basin,” Opening Remarks for the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation Symposium, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon (January 26, 2007).
“Water Conflicts in the West,” Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program Fireside Conversations Series (January 17, 2007).
“Protecting Federal Purposes Under State Water Law – Does it Work?” Keynote Address, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Assembly of Service Hydrologists, Las Vegas, Nevada (October 10, 2006).
“Hydropower Reform & Tribes: The Energy Bill of 2005,” 19th Annual Indian Law Symposium, University of Washington College of Law, Seattle, Washington (September 14-15, 2006).
“State Law and Federal Administrative Mechanisms for Protecting Instream Flow: Key Issues in the East,” American Bar Association’s Eastern Water Law Conference, Miami, Florida (May 11, 2006).
'The Need for Federal Reserved Water Rights and the Role of Enforcement: Could Cappaert Happen Again?' 2006 Devil's Hole Workshop, Death Valley National Park, Death Valley, California (April 26–28, 2006).
'Tribal and Federal Instream Flow Protection' 3rd Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Environmental Law Conference—Western Instream Flows: 50 Years of Progress and Setbacks, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon (April 20–21, 2006).
Participant at first meeting of national environmental law programs hosted by UCLA law school in conjunction with the 2006 Frankel Symposium, “Preventing and Responding to Catastrophe: The Role of Environmental Law and Policy,” Los Angeles, California (April 6–7, 2006).
“The Interim Strategy for Protective Instream Flows in the Walla Walla Basin,” 2nd Annual Northwest Tribal Water Rights Conference, Eugene, Oregon (October 2005).
“Government Careers in Environmental and Natural Resources Law,” Working Against the Grain Symposium, University of Oregon Law School, Eugene, Oregon (September 2005).
“Water Rights for the National Wildlife Refuge System,” U.S. Department of Justice, National Advocacy Center, Columbia, South Carolina (annually Fall 2003–Fall 2005).
“National Wildlife Refuge System and U.S. Water Law,” Environmental Law Institute, Enforcement, Capacity-Building Study Tour for Chilean Environmental Officials and Judges, Washington, DC (April 2005).
“Water For the National Wildlife Refuge System—A Comprehensive Strategy,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Academy, National Conservation Training Center, Shepardstown, West Virginia (3–4 sessions/year, 2001–2005).
“The Interface of the Endangered Species Act and Water Law,” National Assembly of Service Hydrologists, National Conservation Training Center, Shepardstown, West Virginia (Spring 2004).
“Water Law for the National Parks and Monuments,” National Park Service, Natural Resource Law and Policy Course for Superintendents, Denver, Colorado (Fall 2004).
“Water Law and Land Acquisition,” National Realty Academy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Shepardstown, West Virginia (November 2004).
“Public Land and the Role of Water Resources,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Realty Conference, Sunriver, Oregon (Spring 2001).