2014 Interns and Fellows
Frances Bursch just earned her B.A. degree from the Robert D. Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon. She studied International Studies with emphases in International Development, Latin America and Spanish. Frances is especially interested in fostering community-based socially and environmentally sustainable development. She has lived in Bolivia and the Dominican Republic and plans to continue to travel and work internationally. Frances was born and raised in Alaska where sustainable and responsible natural resource development first became important to her.
Mr. Luis Chavez holds a Bachelor of Law (LL.B) degree from the Monterey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (the “Monterey Institute”), a premiere institute in Mexico, and is licensed to practice law in Mexico. In December 2013, he earned an LLM degree in Environment and Natural Resources Law and Policy from the University of Denver.
Mr. Chavez has many years of international mining experience. From October 2007 to April 2012, he served as Legal Chief at the Mexican offices of Dia Bras Exploration Inc. (now Sierra Metals Inc.), a Canadian mining and exploration company with mining operations in Chihuahua, Mexico and Perú. From April 2012 to April 2013, he served Intercontinental Potash Corp (USA) as an Attorney, Business Development in Denver, Colorado.
In his professional capacity, he has been responsible for obtaining mining concession rights and titles, environmental permits and water permits. He has completed extensive merger and acquisition work for these companies and other clients. He has drafted, reviewed, and closed contracts including property acquisitions, service contracts, production contracts, and lease and sale contracts. He has been responsible for legal matters, including business development initiatives and regulatory compliance work. He assisted in preparing legal documents required to open mining operations, including lease extensions, well or drill hole reclamation plans, and Environmental Impact Statement documents.
He has also completed an international exchange program at Angelo State University in Texas, where he took courses including Business Law and International Economics, and he has completed nearly two years of coursework toward a Master’s of Taxation (Mexico) at the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua.
Katie McAuley is a second-year law student at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. She is specializing in Natural Resources Law and International Law. Before going to law school, Katie received her B.A. In Anthropology/Sociology from Green Mountain College in Vermont. Katie is very interested in international natural resource agreements and wants to learn more about how to increase community involvement in natural resource contracting. Katie loves the Colorado outdoors and enjoys it through skiing, fishing and hiking. She is Canadian but has also lived in Italy, Argentina, Switzerland and the US.
Amanda “Penny” Nichols is completing a Masters in Natural Resource Law with a specialization in Mining Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Her coursework and research focus on Community Development Agreements and delivering development benefits to communities affected by extractive projects. Before studying at DU, Penny earned her B.A. at Colorado College, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda and worked in education and advocacy for the Eagle River Watershed Council. Penny is a jeweler and avid outdoors-woman.
Ben Petersen is a second-year student at CU Boulder Law. After earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in Spanish at UC Davis, he began a career in sustainable transportation. He is currently Vice President of the Construction and Real Estate Law Association at CU Boulder Law, and his legal interests include land use, real estate, mining, and oil and gas. On the rare occasions you don’t find him in the Wolf Law building, he is almost certainly out riding his bike.
Jean Pyun is a third-year law student at the University of Colorado School of Law and a native Coloradan. Jean received her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College in International Politics and Economics. After graduating, Jean worked in international education before deciding to pursue a law degree. Jean is interested in environmental issues, international development, and sustainability. She speaks Chinese and Korean and enjoys traveling, yoga, and playing with her dog.
Stephen Young earned his J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School. He earned his B.A. from Bucknell University and an M.A. from Colorado State University. He is currently working on a Ph.D. at the School of Law and in conjunction with CSRM at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Stephen’s legal practice focused primarily around civil litigation, but he spent time working for a mining company that has an office in Denver, Colorado, where he consulted on legal and sustainability issues. He is primarily interested in how the mining industry affects indigenous and local communities as well as how industry affects women. He is extremely happy to be associated, in any capacity, with SDSG and looks forward to collaborating with them.