Energy, environmental law expert Thaler appointed to UMaine post

Prominent Portland attorney Jeffrey A. Thaler has been appointed University of Maine Visiting Professor of Energy Law, Policy and Ethics for a two-year period beginning Aug. 29, 2011

“Jeff Thaler is an acknowledged expert in this field, and he will be instrumental to our efforts as we further develop renewable energy academic programming, research and community outreach,” says Susan Hunter, UMaine’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Our students will benefit from his insights and experiences as they explore this dynamic and exciting discipline.  We will gain additional benefits from Jeff’s legal expertise as we work through compliance, permitting and other issues related to clean energy research and development activities.”

In addition to his faculty appointment in UMaine’s School of Economics, Thaler will serve as University of Maine System Associate Counsel, focusing on UMaine’s energy, environmental and sustainability projects and initiatives.  He will teach UMaine courses for undergraduate students and graduate students, in addition to workshops for students and others, perhaps including sessions on the environmental permitting process for engineers and others who are not attorneys.

Thaler will also serve as liaison with University of Maine System universities involved in the new UMaine-based statewide curriculum in renewable energy.  That effort includes minors in Renewable Energy Engineering, Renewable Energy Science and Technology, and Renewable Energy Economics and Policy, all of which are open for student enrollment this coming fall.  Economics majors may also select a
concentration in renewable energy.

“I am very excited to help the University of Maine become a national leader educating current and future professionals in one of the country’s fastest growing fields–that of alternative energy generation and the efficient use of our electricity, heat and fuels,” Thaler says.  “The chance to also help implement implement projects and initiatives, not just teach about them, is also evidence of UMaine’s commitment to help Maine develop more good-paying job opportunities while also reducing adverse environmental impacts.”

Thaler is a Yale Law School graduate who founded the American College of Environmental Lawyers, serving as that organization’s president in 2010. He also is a founder and co-chair of the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine, and he serves on the Land for Maine’s Future Board.  He previously has taught environmental law at the University of Maine Law School.

July 13, 2011
Contact: Joe Carr
(207) 581-3571