That’s one of the messages Vanderbilt University professor J. B. Ruhl will make March 3 at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law Boehl Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Policy. The free, public talk begins at 6 p.m. in Room 275 at the law school.

Ruhl is the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law and co-director of the Energy, Environment and Land Use Program at Vanderbilt. His lecture, “Localism and the New Language of Conservation,” will cover the increasing importance of local policies and laws in conservation efforts.

Brandeis professor Tony Arnold, who holds the Boehl Chair in Property and Land Use, calls Ruhl “one of the nation’s leading environmental scholars” and said the topic is both timely and interesting for Louisville.

“Urban conservation is a really important issue in the Louisville community right now as we’re trying to green the city. We have heat island concerns, a need for urban tree conservation, more green infrastructure and water quality protection,” Arnold said. “With a scholar bringing in a new perspective and new ideas for planning and public policy, the lecture series is important to the law school, the university and the city.”

Ruhl said he will discuss how new ideas in conservation science evolve and become represented in law and policy.

“I’ll explore the new language of conservation through concepts such as socioecological systems, resilience and adaptation. Then, I will make the case that these ideas are profoundly connected to the local governance scale,” Ruhl said.

Ruhl has published extensively on ecosystem services, climate change adaptation, endangered species and wetlands policy and adaptive ecosystem management and governance. He has taught at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities.

The Boehl Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Policy is supported by the Herbert Boehl Fund, the Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund and the Center for Land Use & Environmental Responsibility.

Cindy Hess
Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.