Dr. Wil Burns has worked for more than 20 years in the nonprofit environmental sector, governmental sector and academia. He specializes in scientific, legal and political issues related to climate change (global warming) and biodiversity, including the threats facing whales and other marine species. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Law & Policy at the Santa Clara University School of Law in Santa Clara, California and an affiliate of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, a policy research group in Oakland, California. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy and Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law.
He has edited two books - on climate change and whaling issues - and has authored more than 60 articles for both popular and academic publications. His opinion articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Milwaukee Sentinel, and several other newspapers.
On the academic side, Burns has been published in such
journals as the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review,
the Review of European Community & International Environmental
Law, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA),
and Global Change. He holds a Ph.D. in international law from
the University of Wales at Cardiff's School of Law.
Wil Burns has made hundreds of presentations over the past decade to a wide array of groups, including fraternal, nonprofit, and citizen organizations and university classes. His audiences have included the World Affairs Council as well as European Union gatherings in Brussels, London, Amsterdam, and Sophia. He has spoken in such academic forums as Oxford, Cambridge, New York University, Columbia, Stanford, and Berkeley.
While emphasizing the seriousness of the issues he addresses, his presentations often also outline measures that audience members can take to confront these issues. Audience feedback is that his speeches are both dynamic and compassionate.
Burns' speaking topics include the impacts of global
warming and what we can do about it, the threats facing whales, proposed
oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, international
trade in hazardous waste, and the threat to the environment posed
by the World Trade Organization. Audio programs featuring interviews with Burns are available here.
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