This semester I took PUBAFF 6010, Legal Environment of Public Affairs, and the second semester of ENR 7981, the seminar for students in the Masters in Environment and Natural Resources program.
PUBAFF 6010 is a foundational course in administrative law, something I have been running into for years but now have a much better understanding. Besides the lectures, reading, and exams, I got real-world experience with an assignment to make a public records request. My request was of records related to the Ohio state police deployment to Standing Rock, and it resulted in a case before the Ohio Court of Claims.
This semester’s ENR 7981 basically took care of itself, with all the environmental rallies, conferences, and other events organized in the wake of the Trump election. I have never been so busy as an activist in my life, and writing reflections on these events has helped me to think through how they went and what could be done better next time.
I took on a number of new responsibilities in environmental advocacy this year, including chair of the Conservation Committee for Sierra Club Central Ohio Group, chair of the Political and Legislative Committee for Ohio Sierra Club, and mentor for the Climate Reality training held March 1-4 in Denver. I also got to speak at several events related to climate change and environment, and have started to act as a mentor to several great young local activists.