Michael, Birgit, Julian, and Cora during their visit to Eugene in 2004

ELAW has been collaborating with Michael Zschiesche of Berlin, Germany since 1995, the year that Michael attended his first ELAW Annual Meeting in Eugene. Since then, Michael has attended two more annual meetings and participated in an ELAW Fellowship during the summer of 2004.

We are thrilled to welcome Michael and his family to our community again, where he will be staying through December.  Michael’s partner Birgit and their two children, Cora and Julian were with him in 2004, however, the kids are older now and excited to improve their English and make new friends in their Eugene school this Fall.

Michael is the Director of the Department of Environmental Law and Public Participation at the Independent Institute of Environmental Concerns (UfU e.V.) in Berlin, Germany. You’ll remember his colleague Franziska Sperfeld visited Eugene with her family in the Fall of 2009. And Malte Schmitdals, Chair of UfU’s Climate Change and Education Department, visited Eugene as part of a U.S. study tour in the summer of the same year.

Michael also leads UfU’s Board of Directors. He is a lawyer (Humboldt University, Berlin) and economist (University of Economy, Berlin). His areas of interest include scientific research on the topic of environmental law, projects that support the understanding and practical use of public participation in environmental matters, and organizational questions related to non-governmental organizations in Germany and abroad.

While in Eugene, Michael will collaborate with ELAW staff on climate change policy and alternative energy. He also plans to meet with experts in the US and enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Look for more from the Zschiesches, our guest bloggers, in the coming months.