Jessica Owley

Professor of Law and Faculty Director for the Environmental Law Program

Ph.D., 2005, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
J.D., 2004, University of California, Berkeley
M.S., 2001 Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley
MLA (Masters of Landscape Architecture), 2000, Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley
B.A., 1997, Wellesley College

Jessica Owley
Phone: (305) 284-5284
Office: G-270

Jessica Owley specializes in Environmental Law and Property Law, with a focus on Climate Change Law and Policy. She is a leading expert on private land conservation and conservation easements. Her interdisciplinary work explores ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as furthering other environmental goals in the context of drastic change. Her work is cited widely and has received multiple awards, including most recently the 2019 Morrison Prize for sustainability research. She annually participates as an observer at the annual treaty negotiations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Professor Owley holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California—Berkeley where she also received a J.D. and MLA (Masters of Landscape Architecture). She practiced in the Land Use and Environmental Law group at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco after clerking on the Ninth Circuit and in the Central District of California. She is a member of the California bar.

Before joining Miami Law, Jessica Owley was a Professor of Law at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) where she directed the Environmental Law Program. Prior to Buffalo, she was an Assistant Professor at Pace Law School. She spent 2017 as a Visiting Professor at the Universidad Pontificia – Comillas (ICADE) in Madrid, Spain where she was an OECD fellow.

She is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Law, Property, and Society. She is one of the founding members and the current president of the Environmental Law Collaborative. She is a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law and the World Commission of Protected Areas.


Environmental Law, Disrupted, West Academic, (2022).

Climate-Induced Human Displacement and Conservation Lands, 58 Houston Law Review 665-720 (2021).

Federal Land Conservation in Rural Areas, with Jess Phelps, 86 Brook. L. Rev. 839 (2021).

Climate Mobility and the Pandemic: Art-Science Lessons for Societal Resilience, with Katharine Mach, Xavier Cortada, Nicholas Mignanelli, Ian Wright, 11 World Art 277 (2021).

Private Confederate Monuments, with Jess Phelps, Sean Hughes, 25 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 253-302 (2021).

Rebuilding the Endangered Species Act: An Environmental Prospective, in Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy, and Perspective (Don Baur & Ya-Wei Li, eds, 3rd ed.), with Brett Hartl, 461 (2021).

The Paris Agreement Compliance Mechanism: Beyond COP 26, with Imad Antoine Ibrahim, Sandrine Maljean-Dubois, 11 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 147 (2021).

The Life and Death of Confederate Monuments, with Jess Phelps, 68 Buffalo Law Review 1393-1480 (2020).

The New Agriculture: From Food Farms to Solar Farms, 44 Colum. J. Envtl. L. 409 (2019).

Etched in Stone: Historic Preservation Law and Confederate Monuments, with Jess Phelps, 71 Fla. L. Rev. 627 (2019).

Environmental Law. Disrupted, with Inara Scott, David Takacs, Rebecca Bratspies, Vanessa Pérez, Robin Craig, Keith Hirokawa, Blake Hudson, Sarah Krakoff, Katrina Kuh, Melissa Powers, Jonathan Rosenbloom, Shannon Roesler, J.B. Ruhl, Erin Ryan, 49 Envtl. L. Rep. 10038 (2019).

Successful Land Conservation: Neither Zero-Sum Nor Win-Win, Beyond Zero-Sum Environmentalism (Sarah Krakoff, Melissa Powers & Jonathan Rosenbloom, eds.) 173 (2019).

What Can the Apple Teach the Orange? Lessons U.S. Land Trusts Can Learn from the National Trust in the U.K., with Lauren Gwin, Sally Fairfax, 30 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol'y F. 89 (2019).

Taking the Public Out of Public Lands: Shifts in Coal-Extraction Policies in the Trump Administration, 13 FIU L. Rev. 35 (2018).

Cultural Heritage Conservation Easements: Heritage Protection with Property Law Tools, 49 Land Use Policy 177-182 (2015).

Jessica Owley
Phone: (305) 284-5284
Office: G-270
Faculty Assistant

May, Catherine

Phone: (305) 284-3910
Office: G287

Area of Expertise

  • Environmental Law
  • Property Law
  • Climate Change Law and Policy

Websites and Blogs