McGeorge School of Law

Professor Börk’s Utah Law Review Article on Guest Species Tops Recent Downloads on SSRN

June 1, 2018

Professor Bork posing with a stripped bass

Visiting Professor Karrigan Bork teaches environmental law and California environment cases & places at McGeorge School of Law.

Bork teaching Environmental Law

Bork teaching Environmental Law

Visiting Professor Karrigan Börk's article, "Guest Species: Rethinking Our Approach to Biodiversity in the Anthropocene, was published in the first issue of Volume 2018 of the Utah Law Review in February 2018. His article is topping the charts for most popular downloads on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) and Utah Law Review websites.

On SSRN, Professor Börk's article is No. 1 in recent top papers in the categories of Conservation, Biology and Sustainability, Natural Resources Law and Policy and (tied) Environment as of June 1, 2018. It is also No. 1 on Utah Law Review's "Most Popular Papers" list as of May 15, 2018. The California WaterBlog posted an article by Professor Bork related to his research paper, "Guest Species - What about the nonnative species we like?" on May 28, 2018.

Professor Börk's Utah Law Review article "examines management of nonnative species to illustrate the problems with using the false dichotomy between nature and humanity to determine what is environmentally good or environmentally bad. Nonnative species in North America cause more than $120 billion per year in damages. But the broad narrative of evil invasive species obfuscates something important-many nonnative species offer important cultural, economic, and environmental benefits that outweigh their negative impacts. The existing legal literature virtually ignores these species and the moral and legal questions they raise. In light of the Anthropocene and the philosophical and regulatory readjustment it requires, we should not vilify all nonnative species, but rather evaluate them on their own merits. Guest species (nonnative species that we welcome into our ecosystems meet human needs and wants) offer environmental benefits, but our environmental laws and administrative decisions fail to honestly address the costs and benefits of welcoming these species." Read the full article here.

Professor Börk joined McGeorge on Aug. 1, 2015, as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, and as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at University of the Pacific. He was appointed as a Research Associate at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences in January 2018. His research concerns environmental law, natural resources law, international law, and administrative law, focusing on the interplay of science and law, with the goal of producing scholarship that will be useful to practicing lawyers, judges, and policy makers in the environmental field. His most recent publications explore the Anthropocene and what it may mean for environmental protection. Professor Börk graduated with Distinction and Pro Bono Distinction from Stanford Law School in 2009, and completed his Ph.D. dissertation in Ecology at UC Davis in September 2011. He clerked for Tenth Circuit Chief Judge Mary Beck Briscoe, U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson, and, most recently, Judge Janice Karlin on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas. At McGeorge he developed the law course "California Environmental Cases and Places," which includes significant field work, including a multi-day field trip, to explore the real-world impacts of environmental law.