COP25 Delegation: Top, left to right: Ashli Taylor, Gillian Cowley, Jordan Stone, Andrew Hursh, Nick Hinckley. Bottom, left to right: Jon Turner, Antonia Douglas, Ayah Badran, Professor Sarah Reiter, Naveed Nanjee, Kristyn Ostanek.
Sarah Reiter – Professor/ Delegation Leader
Professor Reiter is experienced in managing large teams and negotiating complex natural resource policy issues. Professor Reiter’s work spans research on the ocean’s seafloor to its uppermost polar region, and has played a role in the negotiation of several environmental agreements. A former meteorologist, Professor Reiter was a commissioned United States Air Force Officer, managing an operational floor of scientists responsible for providing weather support to military bases west of the Mississippi. Her ocean law and policy experience at NOAA, Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions, and Monterey Bay Aquarium contribute to her perspective on teaching students and writing about ocean conservation and climate issues. She continues to collaborate with colleagues on ocean conservation and climate initiatives through her Honorary Research Associate position at the University of Oxford, and through cross-disciplinary scholarship, which can be found in journals such as Science and Stanford Environmental Law Journal.
Gabriela McMurtry – Teaching Assistant
Gabriela is back at it again! COP24 was such an amazing experience that she decided to come back as a TA for this year’s COP delegation. She is particularly excited to use her expertise in international marine and climate policy at the world’s largest climate change forum!
She earned her BS in Marine Sciences from Stockton University in New Jersey. During her undergraduate career, she visited nine countries to analyze the socio-economic impacts on local fish populations. She became more interested in the fisheries management policy once she realized the devastating consequences coastal communities suffered when important marine species are overexploited. Moved by such harsh realities, Gabriela decided to pursue a law degree to improve fisheries regulation in communities not traditionally recognized as important stakeholders.
Since starting at VLS, Gabriela has served as a VLS Ambassador, a research assistant for the U.S.-Asia Partnership for Environmental Law, a staff and notes editor for the Vermont Journal for Environmental Law, a teaching assistant for Torts, a research associate for the Environmental Law Institute, Ocean Program, and, finally, an intern at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Environmental Permitting and Counselling. Her international law training has taken Gabriela abroad to McGill University, Faculty of Law, before settling into Washington, D.C., where she is interning at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of General Counsel, International Section. When she is not trying to save the world’s oceans, she is living up to her nickname “Abuela,” and baking sweet treats in her apartment and watching crime documentaries on Netflix.
Andrew Hursh — Student Delegate
Andrew is a second-year law student at VLS with two main interests: resource management issues on western public lands, and international policies regarding climate change and protected areas. Andrew earned BS and MS degrees from the University of Montana, where he focused on resource management and ecology. Andrew’s master’s research addressed global models of soil respiration in response to climate change. Andrew is also passionate about wilderness as a policy ideal and conservation philosophy; he helped develop wilderness character monitoring protocols in the Selway-Bitterroot in Montana, and he spent part of his 1L summer as an intern with Wilderness Watch, a public interest NGO that watchdogs management decisions by federal lands agencies. During his 1L summer, Andrew also worked with Friends of the San Juans on housing and environmental policy issues in the Salish Sea community, and he has contributed background research for attorneys preparing state-level climate change cases modeled after the well-known Juliana federal case, in which young people have petitioned US courts to enjoin federal agencies from exacerbating the harmful effects of climate change. Andrew is excited for his continued studies at VLS, and this year will include a role as a staff editor on the Vermont Law Review and several courses in pursuit of a certificate in International and Comparative Law. Beyond his legal studies, Andrew spends as much time as possible either in the backcountry or working on musical projects.
Antonia Douglas — Student Delegate
Antonia is a second-year law student at VLS focusing on Energy Law. She received her BA in Political Science, Environmental Studies, and Ethics from Randolph-Macon College. Her passion for international environmental law developed when she studied abroad in Tanzania during undergrad, where she studied wildlife conservation and management, leading her to pursue a law degree after graduating. She recently returned from Myanmar and Cambodia, where she was studying sustainable governance, corporate social responsibility, and regulatory capacity building. Outside of her studies, Antonia enjoys hiking, skiing, swimming, and being outdoors with friends and family. Antonia is also serving as an Academic Success Mentor, a Teaching Assistant for Legislation and Regulation, and as a Research Associate for the Institute for Energy and the Environment at VLS. After graduation, she intends to use her degree to promote renewable energy development and sustainability throughout the east coast and to developing countries internationally.
Jon Turner — Student Delegate
Jon Turner is a student of law and environmental legal policy. Before coming to VLS, he worked as an educational contractor for the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia and Myanmar. He also spent five years editing newspapers in the U.S. and Cambodia, covering topics from curbside recycling to the Khmer Rouge tribunal. His primary academic interest is in environmental rule-of-law development. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina, and holds a teaching certificate from the University of Cambridge. If wishes were fishes, there’d be no need for the Magnuson-Stevens Act, but Jon dreams of someday working full-time to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations around the world.
Kristyn Ostanek — Student Delegate
Kristyn is a second-year law student focusing on international ocean policy. She received her BA in Marine Affairs from University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Coral Gables, Florida. While in undergrad, Kristyn focused her studies on fisheries management in fishing villages of developing nations. Additionally, Kristyn studied water law and policy in Vietnam and China, and studied environmental policy in Chile. Kristyn decided to attend law school to continue her lifelong passion of fighting for the ocean. During the summer after 1L year, she studied environmental governance in Cambodia and Myanmar. She recently returned from Italy, where she studied EU law at the University of Trento. Upon finishing her studies at Vermont Law, Kristyn intends to pursue a career internationally in ocean policy. When Kristyn is not studying, or traveling, she enjoys spending time with her dog and taking in the beautiful scenery of Vermont.
Gillian Cowley — Student Delegate
Gillian is a second-year law student at VLS and a Master of Environmental Management Candidate at Yale School of Forestry. She received her BS in Development Sociology and Biology from Cornell University. Gillian is particularly interested in how decisions about land use are made from local to global scales. She has previously worked with the land-use decision process as a summer clerk at the
Law Offices of James Dumont, Esq., a climate-change conscious environmental and land-use practice in Vermont, and as an environmental analysis intern at BFJ planning in NYC. Gillian recently returned from Myanmar and Cambodia where she explored environmental review processes and land management practices in developing areas. Outside of her studies, Gillian loves to spend as much time as possible outdoors with her peers – biking, swimming, hiking and exploring as much as she can.
Jordan Stone — Student Delegate
Jordan is a current second year law student at VLS. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Jordan has always been committed to community service and during her undergraduate career she was a member of Circle K International, a worldwide organization dedicated to service where she served as an executive board member for two years. At VLS, Jordan is a member of the Environmental Law Society. She has been active as a 1L Senator and will be a 2L Senator in the 2019-2020 academic year where she plans to add more community service projects to the agenda. Jordan’s travels include trips to Spain, Italy, France, Jamaica, Mexico and Australia. Her work with Australia’s Aboriginal people amplified her interest in climate change issues because she witnessed the impact climate change had on their way of life. At VLS, Jordan’s focus is on Environmental Law; she hopes to marry her commitment to climate change and community service towards influencing federal law and policy.
Ayah Badran — Student Delegate
Ayah is currently pursuing her JD at VLS, with a focus on climate resilience and urban sustainability. She received her undergraduate B.S. in Environmental Science at the University of Vermont, and her Masters in Environmental Policy and Urban Planning, with a Certificate in Water Security from Tufts University. Prior to attending law school she was a Program Coordinator at the American University of Beirut, conducting research on urban resilience in the MENA region. She also has experience working on a wide range of environmental policy issues for both U.S. and international nonprofits, and has interned for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, where she participated in several climate sustainability and water security regional initiatives. She intends to use her legal education to further international and domestic efforts to address the environmental and social impacts of climate change through more effective urban sustainability and resilience policy initiatives.
Ashli Taylor — Student Delegate
Ashli is currently a second-year law student at VLS. She received her B.A. in Government and Politics, with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and Sustainability Studies from the University of Maryland. Her passion for climate change grew after researching the measures that Indigenous groups use to combat the adverse effects of sea level rise. She is also interested in environmental security and climate
refugees. Outside of her studies, Ashli is the president of the Native American Law Students Association and a teaching assistant for Torts. After graduation, she intends to work on ocean policy relating to under-represented populations.
Nicholas Hinckley — Student Delegate
Nick is a second-year law student at VLS. He received his BS in Zoology from the University of Vermont. Before joining VLS, Nick worked as a compounder in both the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. Through that work he learned about toxic chemicals and how their improper disposal can have adverse impacts on local communities and the environment. That insight combined with a lifelong interest in animal and habitat conservation drove him to pursue a career in the legal world. Nick is pursuing his JD, a master’s in environmental law and policy, as well as a certificate in international law. He hopes to spend his time in law school developing an understanding about all aspects of environmental law. After receiving his degrees, Nick hopes to find an international role directed towards his interests.
Naveed Nanjee — Student Delegate
Naveed currently is an Accelerated Juris Doctorate Candidate at VLS where his concentration is Environment Law. Most recently, he worked at Georgetown University Law Center and Via On-Demand Transit. Previously, he served the Clinton Foundation as part of its Legal Team. He obtained his Masters of Law from the University of Edinburgh. He has worked at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva, where he served as part of the Secretariat to help monitor the implementation of the five Multilateral Environmental Agreements currently in force. Naveed completed his undergraduate degree with high honors from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee double majoring in Cognitive Science and Sustainable Development. Naveed is well traveled and has lived in Washington D.C., New York City, Geneva, Edinburgh, Tunis, Yangon, London and Cape Town.