Back to Top

Robert Verchick

Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar and Chair in Environmental Law


J.D., Harvard Law School (cum laude), 1989

A.B., Stanford University (with honors and distinction), 1986


  • College of Law
  • Environment
  • Law


  • Environment


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 nonprofit research and advocacy organization.

Verchick has written more than 60 articles and five books. 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 podcast, Connect the Dots, focuses on tackling some of our biggest environmental and health challenges.

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 love.

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. For more information, see his personal website


Classes Taught

  • Environmental Law

  • Natural Resources Law

  • Environmental Justice

  • Disaster Law and Policy

  • Energy Law and Policy

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental Law and Land Use

  • Climate Change

  • Disaster Resilience