Can Lawyers Think Like Scientists?

Betsy Baker
Associate Professor
Vermont Law School
Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, 3:00pm
Chase 130

The Center for Ocean and Coastal Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center at UNH (CCOM/JHC) has played a key role in collecting extended continental shelf data for the United States under the Law of the Sea Convention. Betsy Baker, a Vermont Law School professor, will talk about how law and science interact in that process, based on her time working with CCOM/JHC scientists on two USCGC Healy Arctic extended continental shelf mapping deployments in 2008 and 2009. She will draw connections between the origins of the LOS Convention and how the continental shelf is regulated today, and touch briefly on the limits of both science and law when it comes to addressing disasters like the Deepwater Horizon/BP Macondo spill.


Betsy Baker is an ssociate professor at the Vermont Law School and spent 2009-2010 as a Dickey Research Fellow at the Dartmouth College Institute of Arctic Studies. Her current research examines Canadian and U.S. federal-Inuit relations and their effect on environmental protection; means to improve access to the Arctic Ocean for scientific research (working with University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute colleagues); and analyzing arctic offshore oil and gas regulatory regimes. She earned her J.D. at the University of Michigan her LL.M. and Dr. iur at Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany, where she was an Alexander von Humboldt Chancellors Fellow.