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College of Law

Physical Address:
Menard 101
711 S. Rayburn Drive

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

Main Office: 208-885-2255
Admissions: 208-885-2300
Legal Clinic: 208-885-6541
Office of the Dean: 208-885-4977

Fax: 208-885-5709

Email: uilaw@uidaho.edu

Physical Address:
514 W Jefferson Street
Boise, ID 83702

Mailing Address:
College of Law
University of Idaho
P.O. Box 83720-0051
Boise, ID 83720-0051

Phone: 208-364-4560

Fax: 208-334-2176

Email: uilaw@uidaho.edu

Barbara Cosens

Barbara Cosens

Professor of Law

Office

Menard Law Room 204

Phone

208-885-6298

Mailing Address

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

  • LL.M. Environmental Law (summa cum laude), Lewis and Clark School of Law
  • B.S. Geology, University of California Davis
  • M.S. Geology, University of Washington
  • J.D. University of California Hastings (magna cum laude)

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 U of I. 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.

  • Water Law
  • Law and Science
  • Resilience, law and adaptive governance
  • Interdisciplinary Education
  • Dispute resolution
  • Native American Water Rights

  • 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

Law Review/Journal Articles

Indigenous Water Justice, 22 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 841 (2018) (co-authored with Jason Robison, Sue Jackson, Kelsey Leonard & Daniel McCool). 

Modernization of the Columbia River Treaty: an Opportunity for Idaho, Advocate (Idaho), Aug. 2017, at 34.

Reconciliation of Development and Ecosystems: the Ecology of Governance in the International Columbia River Basin. 18 Regional Envtl. Change 1679–92 (2018) (co-authored with Matthew McKinney, Richard Paisly & Aaron T. Wolf).

Introduction to the Special Feature Practicing Panarchy: Assessing Legal Flexibility, Ecological Resilience, and Adaptive Governance in Regional Water Systems Experiencing Rapid Environmental Change. 23 Ecology & Soc’y art. 4 (2018) (co-authored with Lance Gunderson & Brian C. Chaffin).

Incorporating Social System Dynamics in the Columbia River Basin: Food-Energy-Water Resilience and Sustainability Modeling in the Yakima River Basin. 6 Frontiers Envtl. Sci. art. 104 (2018) (co-authored with Jennifer E. Givens et al.).

The Role of Law in Adaptive Governance. 22 Ecology &Soc’y art. 30 (2017) (co-authored with Robin K. Craig et al.).

Regime Shifts and Panarchies in Regional Scale Social-Ecological Water Systems, 22 Ecology & Soc’y art. 31 (2017) (co-authored with Lance Gunderson et al.).

Books and Book Chapters

Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance: Linking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience (Barbara Cosens & Lance Gunderson eds., 2018).

An Introduction to Practical Panarchy; Linking Law, Resilience and Adaptive Water Governance of Regional Scale Social Ecological Systemsin Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance: Linking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience (Barbara Cosens & Lance Gunderson eds., 2018) (co-authored with Lance Gunderson).

Case Studies in Adaptation and Transformation of Ecosystems, Legal Systems and Governance Systemsin Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance: Linking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience (Barbara Cosens & Lance Gunderson eds., 2018) (co-authored with Lance Gunderson).

Social-Ecological Resilience in The Columbia River Basin: The Role of Law and Governancein Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance: Linking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience (Barbara Cosens & Lance Gunderson eds., 2018) (co-authored with Alex Fremier).

Assessing Adaptive Water Governance for Lake Eyre Basin and Linked Portions of the Great Artesian Basin in Australiain Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance: Linking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience (Barbara Cosens & Lance Gunderson eds., 2018) (co-authored with Angela H. Arthington).

Legal Pathways to Adaptive Governance in Water Basins in North America and Australiain Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance: Linking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience (Barbara Cosens & Lance Gunderson eds., 2018) (co-authored with Robin Kundis Craig et al.).

Trajectories of Change in Regional Scale Social-Ecological Water Systemsin Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance: Linking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience (Barbara Cosens & Lance Gunderson eds., 2018) (co-authored with Lance Gunderson & Brian C. Chaffin).

Adaptive Water Governance: Summary and Synthesisin Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance: Linking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience (Barbara Cosens & Lance Gunderson eds., 2018) (co-authored with Lane Gunderson).

Governing the Freshwater Commons: Lessons from Application of the Trilogy of Governance Tools in Australia and the Western United States in Reforming Water Law and Governance: From Stagnation to Innovation in Australia (Cameron Holley & Darren Sinclair eds., 2018).

Book chapters out for review

Social-Ecological Resilience and its Relation to the Social Pillar of Sustainable Developmentin The Cambridge Handbook on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development (Sumudu Atapattu, Carmen G. Gonzalez & Sara Seck eds, forthcoming).

Excluded Uses: Indigenous Rights to Waterin Oxford Encyclopedia of Water Resources Management and Policy (Dan Tarlock ed., forthcoming).

Indigenous Rights to Waterin 9 Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Joyeeta Gupta & Joseph Dellapenna eds., forthcoming).

Recent Blog Posts

A Tribute to the Scholarship of Dale Goble

Posted Mon, 11 Nov 2019 15:47:00 -0800

The University of Idaho College of Law hosted a festschrift in honor of our colleague, Professor Emeritus Dale Goble, on Friday, November 1 at the U of I Water Center in Boise. Read more

University Distinguished Professor Cosens moderates a panel on Walker River/Walker Lake Litigation: The Public Trust Doctrine in Nevada at the annual ABA Water Law Conference in Denver

Posted Thu, 11 Apr 2019 09:55:00 -0700

The annual ABA Water Law Conference brings water law experts and practitioners from all over the US to discuss the latest issues/disputes in water law. This panel covered a case of first impression before the Nevada Supreme Court on certification from the Ninth Circuit on whether, under Nevada law, the public trust doctrine requires the State’s water administrative agency to curtail the exercise of existing water rights to protect a public trust resource and whether doing so would constitute a taking. Read more

University Distinguished Professor Barbara Cosens serves as leadoff speaker at a workshop on Bioethics and Adaptive Governance at the Brocher Foundation

Posted Thu, 06 Dec 2018 16:34:00 -0800

Professor Cosens was recently invited to introduce her work on adaptive governance in the natural resources and environmental field to a group of European and Australian scholars considering its potential application to emerging technologies in the field of health. Read more

College of Law

Physical Address:
Menard 101
711 S. Rayburn Drive

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

Main Office: 208-885-2255
Admissions: 208-885-2300
Legal Clinic: 208-885-6541
Office of the Dean: 208-885-4977

Fax: 208-885-5709

Email: uilaw@uidaho.edu

Physical Address:
514 W Jefferson Street
Boise, ID 83702

Mailing Address:
College of Law
University of Idaho
P.O. Box 83720-0051
Boise, ID 83720-0051

Phone: 208-364-4560

Fax: 208-334-2176

Email: uilaw@uidaho.edu