FIU Law Adds Academics in Addiction and Mental Health Policy, Environmental Law | FIU News

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Amber Polk

Assistant Professor of Law

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Illinois

JD, University of Illinois School of Law

A legal philosopher primarily concerned with our collective environmental crises, Polk’s research focuses on rights-based environmentalism as a legal, political, and moral movement. Prior to joining FIU Law, she was a lecturer for the LLM program in Environmental Law and Policy at Stanford Law School.

Part of what drew Pennsylvania native Polk to FIU Law was Miami’s location as ground zero for many of the environmental challenges facing society today, including climate change, rising sea levels of the sea, coastal erosion, competition between people and wildlife for land and water. Resources.

“A lot of science goes into policy decisions, but there’s more to it,” says Polk, who speaks fervently about environmental justice. “It is often tempting to make environmental policy decisions based solely on science and some form of cost-benefit analysis, but there are other normative factors to consider, such as questions of fairness, which neither can answer.”

Polk points to recent events to illustrate the issues.

“Take Hurricane Ian, for example,” says Polk, referring to the monstrous storm that hit southwest Florida when it made landfall in the United States on September 28 as a category hurricane. 4. “Its consequences raise many compelling questions of environmental protection and environmental justice. Are people rebuilding as things were? Can they? Should we encourage them? How do we support those displaced by the destruction of Ian? How to plan for a future that will displace coastal populations? Being here stimulates a host of important questions in our environmental policy. Florida is an excellent incubator in this regard.

Polk looks forward to working with his colleagues to ensure that graduates of FIU Law’s environmental program are ready for the future.

“Law structures society and therefore plays a fundamental role in determining what society might be. The notion of civics has its roots in Aristotle, but it’s more important than ever,” says Polk. “Massive climate migration and justice issues will occur over the next 100 years in Florida. The generation of lawyers studying in law school today will guide these discussions. Let’s give them the knowledge and skills they need to be better critical thinkers. »

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