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Sandra B. Zellmer

Professor of Law, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Sandra Zellmer began teaching at the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2003. She teaches and writes about natural resources, water law, public lands, wildlife, environmental law, disaster law, and related topics. Zellmer is a co-author and principal editor of a casebook, Natural Resources Law (with Professors Laitos and Wood) (West 2d edition 2012), Principles of Natural Resources Law: A Concise Hornbook (with Laitos) (West 2014), and Water Law in a Nutshell (with Amos) (West 5th edition 2015). Her book Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster, written with Christine Klein and published by NYU Press in 2014, has received outstanding reviews from across the country. Zellmer has also published dozens of book chapters and articles, and has given presentations around the globe, in far-flung venues such as IUCN Congresses in Sydney, Australia and Jeju, South Korea, and also at the M.S. Swaminathan Institute in Chennai, India with members of the Global Water for Food Institute. Closer to home, Zellmer participates in annual training sessions on wilderness management at the Carhart Wilderness Center in Missoula, MT.

Zellmer is a board member of the Society for Wilderness Stewardship and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. She also served as a committee member on the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committee on Missouri River Recovery; the committee report was published in 2010. She is active in the ABA’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, in particular, the Section’s committees on public lands and on water resources, and is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.

Previously, Professor Zellmer was on the faculty at the University of Toledo College of Law. She has been a visiting professor at Pepperdine, Tulane, and Drake law schools, and a scholar-in-residence at Colorado law school. Prior to teaching, she was a trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, litigating public lands and wildlife issues for various federal agencies, including the National Forest Service, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service. She also practiced law at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and clerked for the Honorable William W. Justice, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.


  • –present
    Professor of Law, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • 2003–present
    Professor of Law, University of Nebraska

Research Areas

  • Law (1801)