Faculty & Staff



Associate Professor of Law
Co-Director, Environmental Law Program
Director, Environmental Law Clinic
Regents' Medalist for Excellence in Teaching


JD, William S. Richardson School of Law, 2008
MS, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, 2008
BS, University of California at Berkeley, College of Chemistry, 1997


Richard Wallsgrove is an Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Environmental Law Program. His teaching and scholarship focuses on the clean energy transition and related issues at the nexus of environmental law and business law.  He also serves as the Director of the School’s Environmental Law Clinic, working on a variety of energy, climate, and environmental matters for community clients.  He is a co-author of the Pacific chapter of the Fifth U.S. National Climate Assessment, and his scholarship appears in journals such the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & PolicyEnergies, and the Vermont Law Review.  In 2024 he was honored with the University of Hawaiʻi Regents’ Medal for Teaching Excellence. He has also served as the Distinguished Climate Law Scholar at the Vermont Law and Graduate School, and the Haub Visiting Scholar at Pace Law School.

Prior to joining the William S. Richardson School of Law, he served as the Policy Director for the Blue Planet Foundation, where he helped to spearhead regulatory and legislative advocacy, including working to pass the nation’s first 100% renewable portfolio standard. He has also worked with the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments program to analyze climate change adaptation tools for managing water resources in the Pacific. His earlier legal practice focused on complex commercial litigation.  

As a student, Richard was co-Editor-in-Chief of the University of Hawaii (UH) Law Review. While at UH, he also performed field and laboratory research on the use of stable isotopes to measure biochemical markers of climate change (MS, chemical oceanography). Before UH, Richard worked as a high school science teacher, among other endeavors. At the University of California at Berkeley, he studied chemistry (BS). Richard was born in England and grew up around the world, including time in Saudi Arabia, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, and across the U.S. His full-time role is as a dad. But Richard also volunteers as the President of the Board of Directors for the SEEQS Foundation, in support of the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability, a public charter school in Honolulu. In 2014, he was selected as one of the Pacific Business News “Forty Under 40” business and community leaders in Hawaiʻi.

Teaching areas: Environmental Law, Business Associations, Lawyering Fundamentals, Clean Energy Law & Policy

Publications and Papers

  • Fifth National Climate Assessment, Ch. 30, Hawai‘i and US-Affiliated Pacific Islands, U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA (with A. Frazier, M.-V. Johnson, L. Fortini, C. Giardina, Z. Grecni, H. Kane, V. Keener, R. King, R. MacKenzie, M. Nobrega-Olivera, K. Oleson, C. Shuler, A. Singeo, C. Storlazzi, & P. Woodworth-Jefcoats) (A. Crimmins, C. Avery, D. Easterling, K. Kunkel, B. Stewart, & T. Maycock, eds.) USGCRP
  • Restorative Energy Justice, 40 UCLA J. Envtl. L. & Pol’y 133 (2022) eScholarship | ScholarSpace
  • Distortive Assumptions in the Literature on White’s Thesis: Toward Theologically Sensitive Measures of Dominion and Stewardship Ideology, J. Psych. & Theology, March 9, 2022 (with C. Brown and F. Volk) Sage | ScholarSpace
  • The Emerging Potential of Microgrids in the Transition to 100% Renewable Energy Systems, 14 Energies 1687 (2021) (with Jisuk Woo, Jae-Hyup Lee, & Lorraine Akiba) EnergiesScholarSpace
  • Survey of 100% Renewable Energy Standards in the United States, Climate Disruption and Decarbonization Conference, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources (Feb. 19, 2020)  (with Katherine Hughes) ABA
  • Is Community Solar Really a Security?, 43 Vermont L. Rev. 777 (2019). HeinOnlineSSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Water Resources in American Samoa:  Law and Policy Opportunities for Climate Adaptation (Pacific Regional Sciences and Assessments Program, East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, 2016) (with Z. Grecni)  East-West Center | ScholarSpace
  • What Can the Abolition of Slavery Teach Us About Climate Change? Local Action in the Liquefied Natural Gas Controversy, 33 U. Haw. L. Rev. 687 (2013) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai‘i: Adaptive Tools in the Current Law and Policy Framework (Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, 2012) (with D. Penn) Pacific RISA | ScholarSpace
  • Chief Justice Moon’s Criminal Past, 33 U. Haw. L. Rev. 755 (2011) (with K. Nichols) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Digital Island: A Case Study (Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship, Honolulu, Hawai‘i) (2009) (with W. Richardson et al.) 
  • Approaching Offshore Wave Power Generation in Hawaii: Integrating the Regulatory Scheme with Native Hawaiian Stewardship (2007) (selected for deposit in the U. Haw. Native Hawaiian Law Collection) 
  • Note, More than a Line in the Sand: Defining the Shoreline in Hawai‘i After Diamond v. State, 29 U. Haw. L. Rev. 521 (2007) (with S. Vance) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Seasonal patterns of alkenone production in the subtropical oligotrophic North Pacific, 21 Paleoceanography 1165 (2006) (with B. Popp et al.) AGUScholarSpace
  • A new method for estimating growth rates of alkenone-producing haptophytes, 4 Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 114 (2006) (with B. Popp et. al) ASLO | ScholarSpace
portrait photo


Phone: (808) 956-9620

Fax: (808) 956-5569



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