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Oliver A. Houck

Professor of Law
BA, 1960, Harvard University; JD, 1967, Georgetown University

E-mail:  ohouck@tulane.edu
Telephone:  504.865.5946
Office:  Weinmann Hall, Room 255-C


Oliver Houck’s specialties involve environmental, natural resources and criminal law. He is active in legal proceedings involving wildlife, wetland, coastal and pollution issues and publishes regularly on these and related topics.

He has published several books, including Taking Back Eden (on environmental lawsuits abroad), Down on the Batture (on the Lower Mississippi River), The Clean Water Act TMDL Program (pollution control), and most recently Downstream Toward Home (on rivers of North America). He also has written extensively for academic journals and general interest publications.

Houck served as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and as National Wildlife Federation general counsel and vice president before joining the Tulane law faculty in 1981. He has since served on the boards of Defenders of Wildlife, the Environmental Law Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund, an advisory board of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and two committees of the National Science Foundation. He has also founded several public interest organizations in Louisiana and at Tulane Law School and has consulted on the development of environmental law in Cuba and other Latin American countries.

Houck’s classes emphasize relationships between ecology and law, and he regularly takes students on field trips into coastal ecosystems, the Pearl and Atchafalaya swamps and other natural areas. He has received the law school’s Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teacher Award was named a recipient of the Sumter Marks Award in 2000 and 2002 for his publications. He also has been honored with the New Orleans Press Club Award, the Tulane University Graduate Teaching Award and the 2005 Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Environmental Section.

He has been recognized as Louisiana’s Conservationist of the Year, Gambit magazine’s New Orleanian of the Year and the New Orleans Young Leadership Council’s Role Model of the Year.

Fall 2016 - Environmental Law: Natural Resources; Energy & Environment LLM Seminar
Spring 2016 - Comparative Environmental Law; Environmental Law: Coastal & Wetlands Seminar

Book Reviews
American Energy, Imperiled Coast, The Environmental Forum, May/June 2015
The Westway War and the Highway Program, The Environmental Forum, January/February 2015
“The Price of Gold: Who Owns Whom?,” THE ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM, November/December 2013
Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Future of Environmental Law and Policy, THE ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM, July/August 2012
Book Review, "1493," THE ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM, March/April 2012
Book Review, "Oil Over Again," THE ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM, July 2010
The Teapot Dome Scandal, The Environmental Forum, November 2009.
Rules Of The Road The Environmental Forum, August 2009.
Salmon Wars, The Environmental Forum, March 2009.
Crossing Over, The Environmental Forum, January 2009.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, 25 ENVTL. F. 6 (2008)
Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility, 38 ENVTL. L. 627 (2008)
Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids, 25 ENVTL. F. 6 (2008)
The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing From Crisis To Sustainability, 25 ENVTL. F. 6 (2008)
Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast, 24 ENVTL F. 28 (2007)
The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise, 24 ENVTL. F. 28 (2007)
The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed, 24 ENVTL. F. 6 (2007)
Book Review, “The Worst Hard Time,” ENVIRONMENTAL LAW FORUM, Summer 2007.
Book Review, “The Uncontrol of Nature:  Michael Grunwald’s The Swamp and Michael Tidwell’s Bayou Farewell,” ENVIRONMENTAL LAW FORUM, Spring 2007.
Book Review, “Babbit’s Goodly Archipelago, A Review of Cities in the
Wilderness:  A New Vision of Land Use in America,”
Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America, 23 ENVTL. F. 4 (2006)
Is that All? A Review of The National Environmental Policy Act, An Agenda for the Future, by Lynton K. Caldwell, 11 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol'y F.173 (2000)
Risk Management: Gone Too Far? A Review of BREAKING THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, by Stephen Breyer, 11 ENVTL. FORUM 8 (March/April) (1994)
The Second Battle of New Orleans: A History of the Vieux Carré Riverfront- Expressway Controversy, by Richard O. Baumbach, Jr. and William E. Borah, 57 Tul. L. Rev. 431 (1982)

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