NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) continues its Green Living Seminar series on “Living with Wildlife: Conflicts and Conservation” when Patrick A. Parenteau, senior counsel at the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC) and professor of law at Vermont Law School, discusses “A Shifting Approach to Saving Endangered Species.”

This event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Thursday, March 31, at 5:30 p.m. in the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, room 121.

Parenteau, former director of the Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center and of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, is recognized for his expertise in endangered species and biological diversity, water quality and wetlands, environmental policy and litigation, and land use and property rights.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Parenteau held various positions with the National Wildlife Federation, including vice president for conservation. He also served as regional counsel for the Environmental Protection Agency in Boston and commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

In the 1990s, he served as special counsel to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in the spotted owl exemption proceedings under the Endangered Species Act. In 1993, he returned to Vermont to assume the directorship of the Environmental Law Center, a position he held through 1998. In 2003, he helped found and directed the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, where he serves as senior counsel.

In addition, Parenteau teaches at Dartmouth College as an adjunct professor in environmental studies. He is the recipient of the 2006 National Conservation Achievement Award in the Legislative division, presented by the National Wildlife Federation.

He frequently is asked to testify before Congress, and the press regularly seeks his comment on national issues, including the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan and carbon rules. At Vermont Law School, he teaches “Climate Change and the Law,” “Extinction and Climate Change,” “Water Quality” and “Environmental Litigation.”

Last year, Parenteau was elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL). The 2015 ACOEL Fellows were selected by their peers in recognition of their achievements in environmental law and policy over a minimum 15-year period. Parenteau’s achievements span five decades.

Parenteau received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Regis College in Weston, in 1969, and his juris doctor degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., in 1972. He served as staff counsel for the Legal Aid Society of Omaha, Neb., and then earned his masters of laws degree from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., in 1975.

Each spring semester, MCLA’s Green Living Seminar Series hosts lectures by local, regional and national experts. Each series is organized around a central theme related to the environment and sustainability. The 2016 series is a presentation of MCLA’s Berkshire Environmental Resource Center and the Department of Environmental Studies at MCLA.

This spring, MCLA’s Green Living Seminars is examining the relationship between people and wildlife, both locally and more broadly.

For more information, go to or contact Dr. Elena Traister, chair of the environmental studies program at MCLA, (413) 662-5303.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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