‘Earth Jujitsu’: Escaping the Climate Chokehold by Adapting to Nature’s Rights.

Director of the Earth Law Center

Ms. Sheehan brings 20 years of environmental law and policy experience. Most recently, Ms. Sheehan took action on behalf of California’s waterways and ocean habitats as Executive Director of the California Coastkeeper Alliance, where she represented California’s 12 Waterkeeper organizations on statewide issues. Prior to the Coastkeeper Alliance, Ms. Sheehan oversaw the Pacific Region Office of the Ocean Conservancy, where she advocated for clean coastal waters, healthy fish populations, and vibrant ocean habitats. Among other efforts, Ms. Sheehan successfully advanced federal and state legislation, policy and litigation initiatives to: increase enforcement of clean water laws, provide state water quality data to the public, curtail sewage spills, boost water monitoring, conserve designated marine parks, improve oil spill prevention and response, control marine invasive species, reduce polluted runoff discharges, expand implementation of sustainable water supply strategies, and create new funding sources to ensure healthy waters. For her efforts in “fight[ing] pollution of the Pacific and the streams and rivers that flow into it,” Ms. Sheehan was recognized as a “California Coastal Hero” by Sunset Magazine and the California Coastal Commission.

Ms. Sheehan holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a Concentration in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; an M.P.P. from the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, where she was named a Berkeley Policy Fellow; and a J.D. from the University of California’s Boalt Hall School of Law. She is a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and is a member of the Commission on Environmental Law in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Ms. Sheehan is also Summer Faculty at Vermont Law School, where she teaches Earth Law. She is a contributing author to Exploring Wild Law: The Philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence, published by Wakefield Press in 2011; Wild Law in Practice, to be published by Routledge in 2013; and Rule of Law for Nature, to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.