Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Arctic, Irene and ... Vermont Law School?

Many readers know that your blogger teaches at Vermont Law School (see blogger profile). Many in the eastern United States also know that Vermont was hard hit by flooding following Hurricane Irene and many have inquired as to how we fared.  Thanks for your concern, and for other readers' indulgence in this non-Arctic report.
Vermont Law School, in South Royalton, Vermont, reopened on August 31, but transportation around the state, and to and from campus, changes daily as roads are reopened, or repaired ... or erode further.  The school suffered only minor flooding but our neighbors in Royalton, South Royalton, Bethel, and numerous small communities have lost homes, livestock, possessions.  For more on the aftermath in Vermont go to or; and at VLS to or our Facebook or Twitter pages.
We continue our research at the Vermont Institute for Energy and Environment on the PAME Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines in Greenland and Russia, and in Canada and the United States (your comments welcome as we update these papers, reply here), on the legal status of sea ice, and on our contribution to the Arctic Ocean Review, among other Arctic-related projects.

Thanks for your concern.

Icebreaking into the Arctic

The USCGC HEALY embarked Barrow, Alaska, in August 2008 to map the US extended continental shelf, or ECS, in the Arctic Ocean (HLY 0805). Healy sailed again from 7 August to 16 September, 2009 (HLY 0905) to continue ECS mapping, joining with the Canadian icebreaker, the Louis S. St.-Laurent. The two vessels mapped together again in 2010 (see HLY1002) and 2011 (HLY1102).

As the only law professor on the science crew, I was along on HLY 0805 and 0905 to better understand
the science behind the legal process that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea establishes for states making ECS submissions. As to why the US is mapping now, even though it has not yet acceded to the Convention, read on both here, and in the Law of the Sea notes below.

Thanks to
Vermont Law School and especially to Larry Mayer, Director of the University of New Hampshire's Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, for making my part in the trip possible.
Thanks, as well, to Adriane Colburn, for opening new windows on and for the deep.