Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Many thanks to Matt for inviting me to participate this month and for his kind introduction. As regular reader of this blawg, I was delighted when Matt asked me to participate. However, I was a bit surprised as well. Beyond the normal trepidations of a junior faculty member wondering if she has enough to say or time to say it in, I found myself asking “Am I a Land Use Prof?”
Here is where I confess that I never took Land Use as a law student. In fact, I don’t even teach Land Use (at least not yet). When asked my subject areas, I tend to say Property and Environmental Law. I might mention my goals of teaching Federal Indian Law one day or perhaps my seminars on conservation easements. The phrase “land use” does not usually pass my lips.
When I got Matt’s invitation, I stepped back to take a look at my scholarship and practice and realized that maybe he understood me better than I understand myself. My dissertation and recent scholarship has focused on conservation easements and exactions. I am particularly interested in actions to preserve private lands and working landscapes. My graduate program involved studying planning and landscape architecture (along with environmental science and policy). My brief foray into practice put me the Land Use & Environmental Law group of a big firm. And, lately I keep noticing that I get slotted in the “land use” section at conferences. So, while it was no surprise to Matt and others, I had a bit of a “Holy Smokes, I’m a Land Use Prof!” moment when looking over my CV. Thus, newly bathed in self-awareness self-recognition, I am delighted to join the ranks and look forward to discussing land use, property, environmental law, and all stops in between.
- Jessica Owley