Rob Verchick is one of the nation’s leading scholars in disaster and climate change law and a former EPA official in the Obama administration. He holds the Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans. Professor Verchick is also a Senior Fellow in Disaster Resilience at Tulane University and the President of the Center for Progressive Reform, a think tank focused on public health and the environment.
Verchick has written more than 60 articles and four books, including the award-winning, Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World (Harvard University Press 2010). His work has appeared in many venues, including the California Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, and the environmental law reviews at Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley.
He has taught as a visiting professor at Yale University, Peking University, and Aarhus University in Denmark. He has received several teaching awards, including at Loyola, Tulane, and Harvard.
Verchick comments frequently on radio shows such as NPR’s All Things Considered and has written commentary for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and other publications. A popular speaker, he has addressed audiences throughout the country and on nearly every continent. His documentary-style podcast, CPR’s Connect the Dots, is in its sixth season.
In 2009 and 2010, Professor Verchick served in the Obama administration as Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In that role he helped develop climate change adaptation policy for the EPA and served on President Obama's Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.
Verchick, who grew up in the sun-scorched Las Vegas desert and survived Hurricane Katrina as a resident of New Orleans, has spent a career studying environmental resilience across the country. Committed to “place-based” analysis, he has paddled swamps, scaled glaciers, and dived among endangered corals, all to understand what is at stake and how we can protect the things we need—and love.
Verchick graduated with distinction and honors from Stanford University and with honors from Harvard Law School. His new book, The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience, intended for a general audience, will be available in Spring 2023.
In the Connect the Dots podcast, Rob Verchick, interviews legal experts, scholars and researchers, and community members on policy issues that impact you, your family, and your community. Each season untangles themes related climate adaptation, energy justice, workers’ rights and public health, and more.
September 16, 2022
Center for Progressive Reform, 20th Anniversary Roundtables and Reception: A Legacy for Progressive Policy for the Public Good (Washington, D.C.)
August 25, 2022
American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, “Solution or Pollution? Carbon Capture and Storage on Public Lands as a Tool for Decarbonization”
June 19-21, 2022
Indiana Supreme Court's Graduate Program for Indiana Judges (French Lick, IN), "Upheavals in Climate, Ecology, and Law"
April 12, 2022
Yale Law School, "Climate+: Disaster and Displacement"
April 7, 2022
Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement (CRIOBE), Mo`orea, French Polynesia, "Climate Resilience and Marine Management"
March 17, 2022
University of California Gump South Pacific Research Station, Mo`orea, French Polynesia, “Climate Resilience and Environmental Protection”
March 10, 2022
Deep South Center for Environmental Justice/Center for Progressive Reform, “The False Promise of Carbon Capture in Louisiana”
Jan. 31, 2022
University of California, Berkeley, "The Octopus in the Parking Garage: Reaching Beyond Carbon Toward Climate Resilience"
Dec. 21, 2021
University of Sydney, ""Purging Carbon from Louisiana’s Industry-Heavy Economy”
Oct. 29, 2021
University of Sydney, "Climate, Energy, & Justice" (remote)
Oct. 27, 2021
U.S. Green Building Council--Louisiana, Keynote, "Climate Change Adaptation and Migration in Louisiana" (with Camille Manning-Broome)
Oct. 4, 2021
Roma Tre University (Rome), "Is International Disaster Law Protecting Us?"
March 2, 2021
Vanderbilt University School of Law, Faculty Workshop, “The Octopus in the Parking Garage: Reaching Beyond Greenhouse Gases Toward Climate Resilience”
March 1, 2021
American Society of International Law (ASIL), Annual Meeting, Moderator, “We Are All Climate Change Lawyers Now”
Feb. 27, 2021
Tulane University School of Law, “New Deals, New Economies: How Green and How Soon?”
Feb. 26, 2021
Temple University School of Law, “The Long Goodbye:
How to Build a Responsible Climate Migration Program”
Jan. 14, 2020
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, “What Can Biden do about Wildfires and Climate Change?”
Dec. 17, 2020
Rotary Climate Network, "Confronting the Economics of Climate Change"
Nov. 6, 2020
American University College of Law, "Outsmarting Climate Change"