College of Law

Administration Office: 208-885-2255
Dean’s Office: 208-885-4977
fax: 208-885-5709
Menard 101
711 S. Rayburn Drive

Mailing Address:
College of Law
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321


phone: 208-364-4074
fax: 208-334-2176
322 E. Front St., Suite 590
Boise, ID 83702

Barbara Cosens Photo

Barbara Cosens

Office: Menard 204
Phone: (208) 885-6298

College of Law
University of Idaho
Professor of Law

Campus Locations: Moscow

  • Biography

    Barbara is a Professor with the University of Idaho College of Law and the Waters of the West Graduate Program which includes options for concurrent J.D./M.S. and J.D./Ph.D. degrees.  She teaches Water Law, Water Policy, Law Science and the Environment, and a leads a team taught graduate course in Interdisciplinary Methods in Water Resources.  Barbara coordinates the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program at UI.  Her research interests include the integration of law and science in education, water governance, and dispute resolution; adaptive water governance and resilience; and the recognition and settlement of Native American water rights.  She is a collaborator with the Utton Center and Earth Data Analysis Center at University of New Mexico and the American Indian Law Center on development of the Native American Water Right Settlement Electronic Repository and has served as a negotiator and mediator of Native American Water Right settlements. Barbara is a member of the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance  and has worked with Nigel Bankes, University of Calgary Faculty of Law, on two projects funded by the Program on Water Issues at the Munk School of Global Affairs: one on mechanisms for flexibility and adaptability in international water agreements; and the other on U.S. and Canada domestic law in international law. She is co-chair of a project made possible through support from the NSF funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC: Adaptive Governance in Regional Water Systems to Manage Resilience in an era of Changing Climate.  She spent spring 2015 as the Goyder Institute Visiting Professor in Public Sector Policy and Management at Flinders University researching adaptive water governance and water law in South Australia and the Lake Eyre Basin.

  • Research Projects
    • Water Law
    • Law and Science
    • Resilience, law and adaptive governance
    • Interdisciplinary Education
    • Dispute resolution
    • Native American Water Rights
  • Outreach Projects
  • Awards and Honors
    • University of Idaho Environmental Science and Water Resources Programs Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award 2013
    • University of Idaho Mid-Career Award for Excellence 2013
    • University of Idaho Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary or Collaborative Efforts 2010
    • Allan G. Shepard Professor 2009-2010, UI Law
    • University of Utah College of Law Stegner Young Scholar 2009
    • William F. and Joan L. Boyd Teaching Award, UI Law, 2008-2009
    • U. Idaho Law Review Faculty Award 2005-2006
    • Palouse Region STAR Award, November, 2005 for contribution to the region by bringing the Indian Water Rights Settlement Conference to Moscow, Idaho
    • Montana State Bar Local Professionalism Award, 1999
    • University of California at Davis Department of Geology Award for Outstanding Achievement

Barbara's Links