- (812) 855-4565
- Baier Hall 276
- Princeton University A.B. 1984
- University of Michigan M.S. 1987
- University of Michigan J.D. 1987
- Graduated summa cum laude from Princeton with an A.B. in Geology
- Received an M.S. in natural resources and earned the Joseph L. Sax Award at the University of Michigan
- Received his J.D. at the University of Michigan; elected to the Order of the Coif
- Distinguished Environmental Law Lecturer, Florida State University School of Law (2005)
- Plenary speaker, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conservation in Action Summit (2004)
- Board of Directors, Conservation Law Center, Inc. (2005-present)
- Board of Governors, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment (1994-1997)
- Indiana University Teaching Excellence Recognition Award (1999)
- Academic Fellow, Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study (2007)
- Member, American Law Institute, (2019-present)
Professor Robert L. Fischman is a distinguished scholar whose articles have won recognition as among the most influential in environmental law. His research explores the relationship between law and conservation implementation. He is one of very few professors to publish in high-impact, peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as law reviews. He is a co-author of the leading casebook on public land and resources law. His book on management of the National Wildlife Refuge System has become the standard reference in the field. He writes about public land management, endangered species recovery, federalism, adaptive conservation, climate change, and environmental impact analysis.
At the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Fischman teaches Environmental Law, Administrative Law, Public Natural Resources Law, Water Law, Wildlife Law, and an Advanced Environmental Seminar. At IU's O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, he teaches a capstone seminar and a course on biodiversity conservation policy.
Prior to joining the Law School faculty in 1992, Fischman taught at the University of Wyoming College of Law and served as staff attorney at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C. He has taught as a visiting professor at Vermont Law School and the Lewis and Clark School of Law. Professor Fischman also spent a year as a senior research scholar at Yale Law School. In 2017 he helped lead a team of professors win a $55 million Grand Challenge grant to establish an environmental resilience institute at IU.
Professor Fischman is a founding board member of the Conservation Law Center, Inc., which operates the law school's conservation law clinic. He is also a Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.
In The Media
- Appeared on "SOS: 50 Years after the Endangered Species Act," The 1A ( 11-27-2023 )
- Quoted in "Joint IU Maurer, McKinney symposium to focus on implications of Sackett Clean Water Act decision," The Indiana Lawyer ( 11-07-2023 )
- Appeared on "What the Endangered Species Act has accomplished in 50 years," PBS NewsHour ( 08-28-2023 )
- Quoted in "Public interest vs. private homes: Climate change and erosion fuel disputes along Lake Michigan’s shoreline," Chicago Tribune ( 07-30-2023 )
- Wrote "Beyond Trump Rule Reversals: A Lesson from the Endangered Species Act," Progressive Reform ( 07-25-2023 )
- Appeared on "Environmental Law Series: The Endangered Species Act (ESA)," Legal Talk Network ( 06-09-2023 )
- Quoted in "Supreme Court rulings to look out for this term," Indiana Daily Student ( 11-07-2022 )
- Wrote an op-ed titled "Reversing Trump's rules not enough to prevent extinctions," The Hill ( 06-23-2021 )
- Collaborative Governance under the Endangered Species Act: An Empirical Analysis of Protective Regulations, 38 YALE J REGULATION 976-1058 (2021) (with V. Meretsky & M. Castelli).
- Letting Go of Stability: Resilience and Environmental Law, 94 INDIANA LAW JOURNAL 689 (2019).
- Empirical Environmental Scholarship(with Lydia Barbash-Riley), 44 ECOLOGY LAW QUARTERLY 767 (2018). Judged one of the fifteen best articles published in 2018 on the topic of environmental law by a group of legal scholars convened by the Land Use and Environment Law Review.
- State Imperiled Species Legislation(with Vicky J. Meretsky, et.al.), 48 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 81 (2018).
- Judging Adaptive Management Practices of U.S. Agencies, (with J.B. Ruhl) 30 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 268-275 (2016).
- FEDERAL PUBLIC LAND AND RESOURCES LAW, 7th Ed.(with George C. Coggins, et al.). New York: Foundation Press, 2014.
- Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change: Lessons from the US National Wildlife Refuge System (with Vicky Meretsky et al.) 64 BIOSCIENCE 993 (2014).
- Leveraging Federal Land Plans into Landscape Conservation, 6 Geo. Wash. J. Energy & Envtl. Law, no. 3, Winter 2016, 46-55.
- Beyond Trust Species: The Conservation Potential of the National Wildlife Refuge System in the Wake of Climate Change (with Bob Adamcik), 51 NAT. RESOURCES J. 1 (2011).
- The Story of Kleppe v. New Mexico: The Sagebrush Rebellion as Un-Cooperative Federalism (with Jeremiah Williamson), 83 U. COLO. L. REV. 123 (2011).
- Adaptive Management in the Courts, (with J.B. Ruhl) 95 MINN. L. REV. 424 (2010). Cited in Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. Servheen, 665 F.3d 1015 (9th Cir. 2011); Izaak Walton League of America v. Tidwell, 2015 WL 632140 (D. Minn. 2015); Alaska Wilderness League v. Jewell, 116 F.Supp.3d 958 (D. Alaska 2015). This article was judged one of the twenty-one best articles published in 2011 on the topic of environmental law by a group of legal scholars convened by the Land Use and Environment Law Review.
- The Divides of Environmental Law and the Problem of Harm in the Endangered Species Act, 83 IND. L.J. 661 (2008). Judged one of the twenty best articles published in 2008 on the topic of environmental and land use law by a group of legal scholars convened by the Land Use and Environment Law Review.
- What is Natural Resources Law?, 78 U. COLO. L. REV. 717 (2007).
- From Words to Action: The Impact and Legal Status of the 2006 National Wildlife Refuge System Management Policies, 26 STAN. ENVTL. L.J. 77 (2007). Judged one of the twenty-two best articles published in 2007 on the topic of environmental and land use law by a group of legal scholars convened by the Land Use and Environment Law Review.
- Cooperative Federalism and Natural Resources Law, 14 N.Y.U. ENVTL. L.J. 179 (2005).
Areas of Expertise
- Environmental law