Lara Fowler


Director of the Sustainability Institute,
Chief Sustainability Officer,
Professor of Teaching for Penn State Law


  • Sustainability & Environment
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Law and Policy

Focus Areas:


  • Fowler can speak about flood resilience, particularly in Pennsylvania.
  • She is particularly knowledgeable about water issues related to climate change and potential solutions.
  • Her background and expertise in the climate change policy sector enable her to also comment on these topics from a law and policy standpoint.

Lara Fowler is an attorney and mediator who focuses on environmental, energy, and natural resource law, with a specific focus on water-related issues. She is the director of the Sustainability Institute and the University’s chief sustainability officer, and a Professor of Teaching for Penn State Law. Her work focuses on flood resilience in Pennsylvania, water-resource rights, water issues in the Chesapeake Bay, and the energy transition. Fowler’s areas of expertise include climate change law and policy.

Prior to joining Penn State, she was an attorney in Seattle, Washington, where she focused on mediation and dispute resolution of complex natural resource issues, as well as representing clients facing regulatory hurdles in the environmental and energy fields. She has worked on issues such as who is entitled to store groundwater in the greater Los Angeles area; flooding issues in the Chehalis Basin, Washington State’s second-largest river basin; and energy issues in the Pacific Northwest. Before pursuing a legal career, she was a senior water resources coordinator with the Oregon Water Resources Department.

In The Media

"It's like we've spent down our bank accounts and it will take quite a while to rebuild—one year of good snowpack helps a lot, but is definitely not enough."

"A fixable challenge – if acted upon quickly – is turning the eyes of our state to the future, rather than relying on outdated government standards and data points to predict how flooding may impact Pennsylvania residents."

"I do tell my students: Find that curiosity, find that passion, be willing to ask the questions and don't take no for an answer. And I think that's been probably my motto for leading me into some really unusual, but really super interesting spaces. "

“This ruling gives states a process to actually look at the local conditions and take them into consideration.”

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