EDRP Faculty and Staff
EDRP Founding Director
Michele Straube is an attorney with over 30 years’ experience in environmental law. As a practicing attorney she represented private and public sector clients, gaining extensive experience with administrative agencies in their regulatory and enforcement functions. For the past 15 years, Ms. Straube maintained an environmental mediation practice in which she designed and facilitated consensus-building processes for a wide variety of government, corporate and non-profit clients. She also directed Salt Lake Solutions, SLC Mayor Becker’s collaborative government initiative. Ms. Straube has designed and teaches conflict management courses as an adjunct at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and Masters of Public Administration program. Ms. Straube joined the Stegner Center as Director of EDRP in February 2012.
Clinical Director Environmental Clinic
Jamie Pleune is the clinical director of the Environmental Clinic and she supervises clinic students working on projects with the Environmental Dispute Resolution Program. In addition to directing the environmental clinic and teaching environmental practice, Jamie is a practicing attorney at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson. Prior to joining the S.J. Quinney College of Law, Jamie worked as a staff attorney/teaching fellow at the Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown University Law Center, where she practiced public interest environmental law and earned her LLM.
John Ruple works on public land and water resource management as well as efforts to improve management efficiency and collaborative resource management between the federal and state governments. Prior to joining the Stegner Center, John worked as a Fellow with the University’s Institute for Clean and Secure Energy, where he addressed land and water issues involving energy development in Utah’s Uinta Basin. Before joining the University of Utah in 2008, John worked as policy analyst in Governor Jon Huntsman’s Public Lands Office, as an environmental attorney, and a NEPA contractor specializing in permitting for projects involving ski areas operating on National Forest System lands.
Patti Beekhuizen joined the College of Law in August 2011 as the Front Office Manager. She interacted with Faculty, Staff, Students and College of Law guests daily. She enjoyed the diversity of being in the hub of the main office but was looking for a bigger challenge. Beginning July 1, 2013 Patti accepted a new position as Administrative Assistant for the College of Law Research Administration Office. In this new position she now supports the Director of the Environmental Dispute Resolution Program and the Director of Grants and Contract Development. Patti’s new duties include working with all aspects of grants, contracts and the programs they support.
Haley Carmer (2014 JD candidate) earned environmental clinic credit in Fall 2012 by developing a simulation for use in a collaboration workshop for Forest Service rangers. She researched and selected the legal context for the exercise, and developed the desired teaching points and role play fact pattern. In Spring 2013, Ms. Carmer earned additional clinic credit by co-facilitating a committee retreat, as well as taking notes and drafting the full partnership meeting summary for the Escalante River Watershed Partnership. Ms. Carmer is earning credits toward a Pro Bono Certificate in Fall 2013 by providing research, interview and report-drafting assistance for the Homeless Situation Assessment.
Scott Hutchins (2014 JD candidate) is currently researching the history, process, and implementation of the Washington County Lands Bill (passed with the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-11). The Washington County Lands Bill is often described as the preeminent example of successful collaborative environmental dispute resolution. The final product for this project will be a case study, including a section devoted to lessons learned, that will further the educational element of the EDR program. Mr. Hutchins is focusing on natural resources law,and served as the Vice President of the Natural Resources Law Forum for the 2012 – 2013 academic year. He was awarded both a David C. Williams fellowship, as well as a Reza Khazeni Memorail Fellowship in Environmental Law for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Derrick Perkins (2013 JD candidate) earned mediation clinic credit for his assistance at two Escalante River Partnership meetings. He acted as scribe and co-facilitator for a woody invasives committee retreat; he took notes and drafted the meeting summary for the full partnership meeting. Mr. Perkins is focusing on real estate law with an interest in connecting that to ADR practices.
Jason Steiert (2014 JD candidate) helped design the Environmental Dispute Resolution in Utah Survey (see Current Projects, Report Card) to promote a balance between qualitative and quantitative responses, and conducted and wrote the quantitative survey analysis of the results. He is earning credit in Fall 2013 by providing research, interview and report-drafting assistance for the Homeless Situation Assessment. Mr. Steiert is tailoring his coursework to obtain the Wallace Stegner Center Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law upon graduation.