Special Issue: July 2023

Special Issue: July 2023


Jolisa Dobbs

At its annual meeting on July 19, the Foundation’s Trustees Council elected the Foundation’s Officers, Directors, and Trustees-at-Large for 2023-2024. Except for the incoming President, Jolisa Dobbs, whose accession from Vice-President to President occurs automatically under the Foundation’s Bylaws, the slate of Officers, Directors, and Trustees-at-Large were nominated by the Foundation’s Nominating Committee after careful consideration of nominations from the Trustees Council.

New President Jolisa Dobbs said, "Congratulations to Rachael who deftly guided the Foundation's implementation of the strategic plan over this past year. The success of the 69th Annual Institute reinforced that energy and natural resources industries and organizations continue to view the Foundation as a source for the highest quality education and scholarship. With the support of both the Board of Directors and our trustees, including 68 from industry associations, bar associations, and law schools, the Foundation is well-suited to provide experienced guidance on cutting edge topics with everyday practical advice. From my time as a Foundation scholarship recipient while at the University of Oklahoma School of Law to becoming a partner at an internationally recognized and award-winning energy law firm, my roots with the Foundation and the energy industry run deep. Serving the Foundation as President over the coming year is truly an honor. I look forward to working collaboratively with our Board and Trustees to deliver scholarly material ranging from pragmatic guidance to cutting-edge legal advice on all things energy and natural resources, while adding a little Texas flair along the way."

Michael Bourassa, who was elected Vice-President, will become the Foundation’s first Canadian and first non-U.S. President in 2024. He said, “I am extremely excited and honoured to have an opportunity to serve as Vice-President for the coming year – a dream come true and a chance to continue to promote the Foundation in Canada and elsewhere.” 

The following are the Officers, Directors, and Trustees-at-Large for 2023-2024:

Officers 2023-2024

President Jolisa Melton Dobbs, Holland & Knight LLP, Dallas, TX
Vice-President Michael J. Bourassa, Fasken, Toronto, ON
Secretary Jana L. Grauberger, Liskow & Lewis, Houston, TX
Treasurer Kathleen C. Schroder, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Denver, CO

Board of Directors Members-At-Large 2023-2024

Robert C. Mathes, OXY USA Inc., Denver, CO
Patricia Núñez, Núñez, Muñoz & Cía Ltda., Abogados, Santiago, Chile
Bruce F. Rudoy, Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA
Elizabeth A. Ryan, ConocoPhillips, Midland, TX
Amy E. Seneshen, Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., Denver, CO
Pilar M. Thomas, Quarles & Brady LLP, Tucson, AZ

Past Presidents on Board of Directors 2023-2024

Scot W. Anderson, Hogan Lovells LLP, Denver, CO
Rachael E. Salcido, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, CA

Trustees-at-Large 2023-2024

Wendy S. Brooks, Vital Energy Tulsa, OK
Matthew Brotmann, Equinor, Houston, TX
Mark L. Burghardt, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Salt Lake City, UT
Maranda S. Compton, Lepwe, Missoula, MT
Murray Feldman, Holland & Hart LLP, Boise, ID
Casey A. Furey, Crowley Fleck PLLP, Bismarck ND
Megan S. Haines, Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, PA
Rebecca H. Johnson, rPlus Energies, Salt Lake City, UT
Charles Kazaz, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto, ON
Karen M. McGaffey, Perkins Coie, Seattle, WA
Marianna Boza Morán, Brigard & Urrutia Abogados, Bogota, Colombia
Almira Moronne, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Denver, CO
Greg J. Nibert Jr., Chevron North American Exploration and Production Company, Denver, CO
Kristin Ann Nichols, Holland & Hart LLP, Denver, CO
Petr Polasek, White & Case LLP, Washington, D.C.
Stephanie M. Regenold, Perkins Coie LLP, Portland, OR
Gregory D. Russell, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, Columbus, OH
Juan Carlos Serra, Basham, Ringe y Correa S.C., Mexico City, Mexico
Courtney M. Shephard, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, Denver, CO
Sarah P. Steward, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Spring, TX
Temple Stoellinger, University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, WY
France M. Tenaille, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Toronto, ON
Paul M. Tilley, DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy P.C., Tucson, AZ
Adriano Drummond Trindade, Mattos Filho Advogados, Brasiliá, Brazil
Paul G. Yale, Gray Reed & McGraw LLP, Houston, TX

FOR EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE, greg nibert IS named honorary trustee

Greg Nibert

In addition to the other elections, the Trustees Council elected and conferred the prestigious status of Honorary Trustee for life on Gregory J. Nibert. The election of an Honorary Trustee is akin to a lifetime achievement award and reserved for those who have demonstrated exceptional and long-time commitment to and involvement in the Foundation and its activities.

Greg’s truly outstanding record of service includes serving as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and the Foundation’s Treasurer. He chaired an Annual Institute section twice, and in 2011 was the overall Program Chair of the Annual Institute. He twice chaired the Foundation’s Short Course on Federal Oil & Gas Leasing and served on the faculty from 2005 through 2019. He also chaired three Foundation Special Institutes, including his Herculean effort in 2020 to quickly organize a virtual special institute on bankruptcy and distress after the onset of the pandemic. He has served on thirteen program planning committees and four governance committees, authored papers for eleven institutes, and served as an update author of two treatises and two handbooks published by the Foundation.

The Trustees expressed their sincerest gratitude for all Greg has done and accomplished for the Foundation and the broader natural resources and energy law community. Congratulations, Greg!


The Foundation is pleased and honored to congratulate John S. Dzienkowski and Sandra Zellmer on their receipt of the Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award for their exemplary contributions in teaching natural resources and related areas of law to countless students, practitioners, and professionals.

About the Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award

Clyde O. Martz, the eighth president of the Foundation, was a professor who inspired generations of natural resources lawyers. His casebook, Cases and Materials on the Law of Natural Resources (The Development of Public Land Law in the United States) pioneered the teaching of natural resources law. To honor his contributions, in 1993, the Trustees of the Foundation established the Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award to recognize those teachers and practitioner-scholars who have performed (either in the classroom or through nonprofit educational organizations) meritorious teaching of natural resources and energy law. Excellence in teaching performance is the primary criterion for the award, but fostering a broad understanding of the law, mentoring students, and innovative style are also considered.

John S. Dzienkowski

John S. Dzienkowski is the Dean John F. Sutton, Jr. Chair in Lawyering and the Legal Process at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. Dzienkowski teaches and writes in the areas of professional responsibility of lawyers, real property, international energy transactions, and oil and gas taxation. He has delivered almost one hundred ethics presentations to in-house corporate departments, large and small law firms, state bar continuing legal education programs, and law faculties throughout this country. He is a five-term member of the drafting committee of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

Those who nominated him refer to Dzienkowski as an outstanding teacher, admired and respected by both his students and colleagues. On campus he is referred to as a terrific colleague and devoted mentor of students. In recognition of his teaching abilities, in 2005 Dzienkowski received the Texas Exes Faculty Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. And while he teaches classes in both domestic and international natural resources and energy law, he is unique in his ability to weave practical education and scholarly analysis on issues of professional responsibility and ethics into the practice of natural resources and energy law. Dzienkowski not only teaches law students; he has provided lectures around the world to generations of lawyers and other professionals on oil and gas taxation, professional responsibility, and other subjects. He has an innovative and engaging teaching style that makes subjects such as taxation and professional responsibility more interesting and engaging by extensively utilizing real-life and hypothetical fact patterns.

Dzienkowski’s commitment to further lifelong education in natural resources and energy law has also been realized through his work with the Foundation. He has been one of the longest-serving volunteer faculty members of the Oil and Gas Law Short Course, having now taught selflessly and enthusiastically for 34 years. He is one of the original authors and continues to serve as an update author of International Petroleum Law and Transactions, a casebook published by the Foundation on its fourth edition that is viewed as the definitive treatise on the subject. Frequently called upon to examine issues of professional responsibility and ethics, Dzienkowski has presented at thirteen annual institutes, special institutes, and webinars, many of which have resulted in a practical and scholarly paper. Dzienkowski also co-chairs the biannual University of Texas Program on Oil and Gas Taxation that is co-sponsored with the Internal Revenue Service.

As a scholar, Dzienkowski has authored leading articles on topics relating to conflicts of interest and lawyers as intermediaries, and co-authored important articles on the multidisciplinary practice of law and lawyers investing in their clients. He is also the co-author of a casebook on professional responsibility of lawyers, a coauthor of the first commercially produced casebook on natural resources taxation, the co-author of a leading treatise on oil and gas law and taxation, and the editor of the leading statutory supplement on professional responsibility.

Sandra Zellmer

Sandra Zellmer is a Professor and Director of Natural Resources Clinics at the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law. Before arriving at Montana, Zellmer served on the faculty and held the Robert B. Daugherty Chair at the University of Nebraska College of Law. She has been an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, litigating public lands issues for the National Park Service, Forest Service, and other federal agencies. She has also practiced law in the Environmental Litigation Group at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and clerked for the Honorable William W. Justice, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.

For more than two decades, Zellmer has taught public land law, wildlife law, water law, and other natural resources courses to hundreds of students. She is committed to integrating practice expertise and professional judgment into legal education, currently serving as the Clinic Director of the Land Use and Natural Resources Clinic at the University of Montana. Those who nominated Zellmer consistently referred to her as an excellent teacher. While at Nebraska College of Law, she received the Distinguished Faculty Award, which is presented to one law professor each year. “The Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes a current Nebraska Law faculty member whose teaching supports the College’s mission to develop inclusive leaders and whose research, writing and service solves problems or advances justice.”

In addition to her devotion to her students, Zellmer is dedicated to advancing continuing education for those in the legal profession and other professionals who work in natural resources. After years litigating public lands and wildlife cases with the U.S. Department of Justice, as an academic she has remained involved with federal land managers, for many years teaching a workshop at the Carhart National Wilderness Training Center in Montana. At the Foundation, she has spearheaded the development of important educational programs as a chair or co-chair of four special institutes and served on the planning committee for three others. She has offered thoughtful advice and analysis as a speaker at eleven Foundation institutes, including two annual institutes. She authored papers for many of these institutes, some of which led to other research and publications.

She has also furthered legal education by devoting her time to service when called upon as a Foundation leader. In addition to serving as a Trustee of the Foundation for sixteen years, she has been a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and was one of only a few professors who were directly involved in the development of the Foundation’s first strategic plan.

Zellmer has been a productive and influential scholar, producing dozens of law review articles on issues of federal lands, wildlife, and water over the course of the past twenty-five years. Nominators called her work timely and well respected by her academic peers and noted that she continues to produce at a high level. Zellmer’s work has not just influenced natural resources law and policy; it has advanced the education and understanding of students and practitioners. Zellmer has coauthored casebooks on natural resources law and water law, a natural resources hornbook, a water law nutshell, and a book on developing skills in environmental law. For her impressive career as an academic in natural resources law, she was inducted last year into the American College of Environmental Lawyers.

colorado oil & gas association is ADMITTED AS a CONSTITUENT ORGANIZATION

At the Trustees Council meeting on July 191, the Trustees voted to admit the Colorado Oil & Gas Association as a Constituent Industry Association of the Foundation based on unanimous recommendations from the Foundation’s Credentials Committee and Board of Directors. Please welcome the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA)!

Colorado’s energy and natural resources industry is diverse and includes oil and gas, renewables such as wind and solar, and mining of minerals such as gold and silver. Founded in 1984, COGA’s mission is to be a unified political and regulatory voice for the oil and gas natural gas industry in Colorado, and to support its members though advocacy, partnerships, education, and stakeholder engagement. COGA offer educational resources and training programs on topics such as safety and environmental regulations and conducts research and analysis on oil and gas industry-related issues. Additionally, COGA engages with local communities through outreach efforts to schools, community groups, and other organizations. Many members of COGA are also members of the Foundation, and each year members of COGA informally participate in the development of topics for the Foundation’s Annual Institute.


Last week from July 20-22, the Foundation held an incredibly successful Annual Institute that for the second year in a row attracted over 700 registrants, many of whom attended the Annual Institute for the first time!

This year the Annual Institute was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. It featured a diverse group of 60 speakers from practice, academia, companies, government, and non-governmental organizations. Nine different break-out sessions addressed timely and important topics ranging from practical mineral and energy contracting, litigation, and permitting problems, to broad issues of domestic and international natural resources, energy, and environmental policy.

Attendees were extremely complimentary of the timely presentations and both the facilities and accommodations at the Grand America Hotel, the site of the institute. The Annual Institute again attracted attendees from throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, and elsewhere. The high quality and depth of the presentations and the detailed peer-reviewed papers that accompany the presentations continues to set the Annual Institute and the Foundation apart. The papers will be published by the Foundation in the hardcopy Proceedings and electronically. And if you or your colleagues missed the Annual Institute, a majority of the presentations will be available soon to purchase for CLE credit on our on-demand Online Natural Resources Education platform.

The Foundation is again indebted to the small army of volunteers who worked to make the program possible, including the 12 members of the Program Committee, 163 section committee members who participated in planning meetings, and hundreds more who submitted proposed topics. We are extremely grateful to our Program Chair, Jana Grauberger (Liskow & Lewis, Houston, TX), whose tireless dedication, professionalism, and good humor assured an excellent program.

The speakers are too numerous to name, but the other members of the outstanding Program Committee included Sara Black (Range Resources, Canonsburg, PA), Sarah Dicharry (Jones Walker, New Orleans, LA), Corey Wehmeyer (Santoyo Wehmeyer, San Antonio, TX), Meg Meister (Modrall Sperling, Albuquerque, NM), Bob Comer (Fennemore Craig, Denver, CO), Freddy Sourgens (Tulane Law School, New Orleans, LA), Adriano Trindade (Mattos Filho Advogados, Brasilia, Brazil), Sam Kalen (University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, WY), Laney Vazquez (Chevron, Denver, CO), Megan Houdeshel (Dorsey & Whitney, Salt Lake City, UT), Jesse Richardson (West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, WV).

THE FOUNDATION holds its largest natural resourses law teachers workshop AFTER THE 69TH ANNUAL INSTITUTE


After the 69th Annual Institute ended on Saturday, the Foundation held its 5th Annual Natural Resources Law Teachers Workshop. The Workshop this year attracted a record 29 participants!

The Workshop was founded and has been led every year by Monika Ehrman, Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. This year, the Workshop was hosted by the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources & the Environment at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.

The Workshop encourages the work of scholars (full-time, adjunct, fellows) in the fields of natural resources and energy law and policy. The law teachers present their works-in-progress and others in attendance provide helpful comments. The Workshop also builds relationships and increases the sense of community among natural resources and energy law scholars. For the first time, the Workshop was so large that it required two separate tracks.

Natural resources law teachers will have another opportunity to present their work and receive feedback, and to hear about the work of other scholars in the field, at the Foundation’s next biennial Natural Resources Law Teachers Institute, which will be held on May 29-21, 2024, in Estes Park, Colorado. The Teachers Institute is the most important gathering of natural resources, energy, and environmental law professors in the United States. Information for law teachers about joining the planning committee will be distributed soon.


Although the 69th Annual Institute just ended on Saturday, planning is already underway for the 70th Annual Institute. All sessions will be held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. The institute will start at 8:30 am on July 18, 2024, and adjourn at noon on July 20, 2024. For Trustees, events and meetings will begin on Tuesday evening, July 16, 2024. When we last held the Annual Institute in Santa Fe seven years ago, it attracted almost 900 attendees. It has become our most popular Annual Institute location for good reason.

Eldorado Hotel

The 400-year-old city of Santa Fe, with relatively cool high-desert weather, sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. The Convention Center and most of our hotels with group discounts are located on or within a short walk from the Santa Fe Plaza, where visitors will find superb restaurants, museums, historic churches, and endless shops and art galleries. Those willing to take a short drive or ride share can visit award-winning attractions such as the Santa Fe Opera, Meow Wolf, or Ten Thousand Waves spa. Venture a little farther to golf on the mesas, hike in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, raft on the Rio Grande, or explore Pueblo ruins. Visitors can also take side trips to Taos, Los Alamos, Chimayo, or Bandelier National Monument.

Jared Hembree

To lead the 70th Annual Institute, new President Jolisa Dobbs has appointed New Mexico attorney Jared Hembree as the Program Chair. Jared is a partner at Hinkle Shanor LLP in Roswell, New Mexico, and is an adjunct professor at Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he teaches oil and gas law. His primary practice is in oil and gas law, including title examination, transactions, and litigation. Jared is a trustee of the Foundation and has served on our Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico and has served in various capacities for the American Association of Professional Landmen and the New Mexico Landmen’s Association.

Although it may seem too early to start thinking about next July, rooms in our blocks go extremely early for the Annual Institute, particularly when it is held in Santa Fe. Reserve as soon as possible to guarantee your spot!