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ELS Symposium: Saving a Bug's Life: Legal Solutions to Combat Insect Biodiversity Decline and the Sixth Mass Extinction

Friday, March 6

King Hall, Room 1001
8:30 AM – 6:30 PM


Insects have been called "the lever pullers of the world." One study estimated that insects contribute over $57 billion a year to the U.S. economy. However, many species currently face extinction. ELS invites you to explore the world of insects as we bring together law and science to address biodiversity decline. Join us as experts in the field of entomology and agricultural sciences converse with leaders in government, legal scholars, and practitioners about the current threat to insect populations and how we can use legal tools, policy, and management practices to combat the sixth mass extinction.



** Lunch and reception provided
** MCLE credits available


Agenda and speakers:

8:30-9:00 Breakfast and Check-in

  • UC Davis School of Law

9:00-9:50 Opening Remarks

  • Kevin Johnson, Dean, UC Davis School of Law
  • Benjamin Houlton, Director, John Muir Institute of the Environment
  • Peter Jansen, Environmental Law Society Symposium Co-Chair, UC Davis School of Law
  • Keynote: Charlton Bonham, Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

9:50-10:55 The Science of Biodiversity Decline

  • Brendon Boudinot, PhD Candidate, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
  • Angela Laws, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, Xerces Society
  • Arthur Shapiro, Distinguished Professor, UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology
  • Lynn Kimsey, Professor of Entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology; Director; Center for Biosystematics; and Director, Bohart Museum of Entomology

10:55-11:15 Break

11:15-12:20 Listing Insects Under the California and Federal Endangered Species Acts:

Procedures, Protections, and Repercussions

  • David Woodsmall, Attorney, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Matthew Sanders, Clinical Supervising Attorney and Lecturer, Stanford Law School
  • Damien Schiff, Senior Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • Moderator: Dr. Karrigan Börk, Professor, UC Davis School of Law

12:20-1:45 Lunch and Insect Fair, Located in Courtyard

1:45-2:50 Pesticide Use in Agriculture: Protecting Pollinators and Sustainable Yield

  • Neal Williams, Professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
  • Daniel Rubin, Chief Counsel, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
  • Josette Lewis, Director of Agricultural Affairs, Almond Board of California
  • Jhalendra Rijal, Integrated Pest Management Advisor, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Moderator: Brian Leahy, Consultant

2:50-3:05 Break

3:05-4:10 Protecting Insects and Combating the Sixth Mass Extinction: Best Policies and Practices

  • Daniel Karp, Assistant Professor, UC Davis Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
  • Dr. Stuart Weiss, Founder and Chief Scientist, Creekside Center for Earth Observation
  • Liz Luu, Marketing and Events Manager, UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center
  • Moderator: Albert Lin, Professor, UC Davis School of Law

4:10-4:25 Break

4:25-5:00 Closing Keynote

  • Holly Doremus, Professor of Environmental Regulation, Berkeley Law; Co-Director, Law of the Sea Institute; and Co-Faculty Director, Berkeley Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity

5:00-6:30 Reception, Located in Courtyard


For any further information or questions, please reach out to our symposium co-chairs, Kelly Beskin (kvbeskin@ucdavis.ed) and Peter Jansen (