Reed Benson
Reed Benson

Reed Benson, Weihofen Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, has been named Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Water and the Environment at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.

The prestigious award from Fulbright Canada allows Benson to conduct his research, guest lecture, and mentor students at one of Canada’s most influential research universities for the fall 2015 semester.

“Having spent my career working on issues of water and the environment in the Western U.S., I am thrilled to be spending the semester at the University of Lethbridge, which emphasizes research on these same questions,” said Benson.

He is examining dam and reservoir operations, and whether they may be revised to address changing needs and values and mitigate the impacts of climate change.  With a focus on laws, policies, and institutions, Benson is studying proposed and actual changes to water operations in Alberta as compared to the western U.S.

“Western Canada is increasingly facing water scarcity, both in the current drought and in the longer term,” said Benson. “Management of scarce water supplies has been an issue in the American West for a long time, and I am grateful for the chance to learn more about how the Canadians are approaching these challenges.”

At the UNM Law School, Benson teaches courses relating to water law, natural resources, and administrative law, and chairs the school’s Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program. 

He has published nearly thirty articles on western water law and policy, focusing largely on environmental issues and federal water project operations, and he is a co-author of the Water Resource Management casebook from Foundation Press.

Fullbright Canada is a joint, bi-national, treaty-based organization created to encourage mutual understanding between Canada and the United State of America through academic and cultural exchange.