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  • James I. Farr Presidential Endowed Chair of Law, College Of Law
  • Affiliated Faculty, Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and Environment, College Of Law
  • Affiliated Faculty, Global Change & Sustainability Center
  • Professor, College Of Law
  • Editorial Board, Case Studies in the Environment, University of California Press

Research Summary

Robin Kundis Craig researches the law and policy of "all things water," including water rights, water pollution, and ocean and coastal issues, as well as climate change adaptation, the intersection of constitutional and environmental law, and the food-energy-water nexus. She has authored, co-authored, or edited 11 books, 21 books chapters, and over 100 articles in both law and scientific journals.


  • J.D./Environmental Law Certificate, School of Law, Lewis & Clark College
  • Ph.D., English, Science & Literature, University of California, Santa Barbara. Project: Romantic Transformations
  • M.A./Writing About Science, The Writing Seminars, The Johns Hopkins University. Project: The Chemistry of Human Biology
  • B.A., English/Writing Concentration, Pomona College


After earning a Ph.D. at U.C. Santa Barbara in English literature (science and the English Romantic poets) and an independent M.A. degree from the Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars in Writing About Science, Robin Kundis Craig attended the Lewis & Clark School of Law in Portland, Oregon, from which she graduated summa cum laude and first in her class, also earning the school's Certificate in Environmental Law. While in law school, she worked for the Natural Resources Section, General Counsel Division, of the Oregon Department of Justice, which allowed her to work on a variety of environmental and natural resource law issues, from Clean Water Act litigation to CERCLA cleanups to salmon and tribal issues to the intersection of state tax law and environmental law. After graduation, she stayed in Portland to clerk for two years for U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones.

Craig previously taught at the Lewis & Clark School of Law; Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts; Indiana University-Indianapolis School of Law; and the Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida. Her areas of professional expertise include Environmental Law, Ocean & Coastal Law, Water Law, Toxic Torts, Administrative Law, Property, and Civil Procedure.

At the College of Law, Craig teaches Property to first-year students and Environmental Law, Water Law, Ocean & Coastal Law, and Toxic Torts to upper-division students. She is also affiliated faculty to the College of Law's Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and Environment, a faculty affiliate of the University's Global Change & Sustainability Center, and a member of the Executive Board of the University's new Water Center.

Craig's research focuses on "all things water," especially the impact of climate change on freshwater resources and the oceans, the Clean Water Act, and the water-energy-food nexus. She also has written several articles and book chapters on constitutional environmental law, administrative law, and statutory interpretation. She is the author, co-author, or editor of 11 books, including The End of Sustainability (University of Kansas Press 2017, with Melinda Harm Benson); Comparative Ocean Governance: Place-Based Protections in an Era of Climate Change (Edward Elgar: 2012); The Clean Water Act and the Constitution (Environmental Law Institute: 2nd ed. 2009); Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protection (Foundation Press 2nd Ed. 2018, with Robert W. Adler and Noah D. Hall); Water Law: Concepts and Insights (Foundation Press 2017, with Robert W. Adler and Noah D. Hall);  Environmental Law in Context (West: 4th Ed. 2016); and Toxic and Environmental Torts (West: 2010, with Michael D. Green, Andrew R. Klein, and Joseph Sanders). Her publications also include over 100 articles and book chapters in both legal and scientific publications.

In January 2014 and then again in July 2015, Craig was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's two Committees to Review the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan.. She also served on three successive National Research Council Committees on the Clean Water Act and the Mississippi River and as a consultant to the Environmental Defense Fund, to the State of Victoria, Australia, and to the Council on Environmental Cooperation in Montreal, Quebec. She is also active in the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, where she served a three-year term on the Executive Council, as Co-Chair of the Water Resource Committee, on the Planning Committee for the 43rd Annual Spring Conference on Environmental Law, as Vice Chair for the 2014 Water Law Conference, and as Chair of the 2015 Water Law Conference.

Professor Craig was a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Tasmania School of Law, Hobart, Australia, in January-March, 2016. There she taught a summer course on Comparative Water Law and researched resilience and climate change adaptation issues. In 2017, Professor Craig was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Writing Residency fellowship, allowing her to spend four weeks in October and November 2017 on Lake Como, Italy working on a new book project, Re-Valuing the Ocean. In February 2018, Craig and Environmental Humanities Director Jeff McCarthy received a Global Change & Sustainability Center seed grant to support a conference on Re-Valuing the Ocean in early 2019, as well as an edited volume on the subject. 

Professor Craig will spend part of her Fall 2018 sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.