Fall 2018



Conner Sapp is in his second year of law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science and Spanish. After graduation, Conner spent time living and working in Spain, Ecuador, and Mexico. He is fluent in Spanish and most interested in the intersection between the political economy of development and the ecological issues that currently face modern civilization. As a result, Conner focuses his efforts on institutional fortification in Latin America in order to provide greater opportunity to a wider range of the population in a manner consistent with ecological balance.


Summer 2017


Daimeon Shanks

Daimeon is entering his second year at the University of Colorado Law School, studying international law, human rights, and indigenous rights. Hailing from the Oregon coast, Daimeon majored in romance languages at the University of Oregon before beginning a career in professional cycling. After nearly 15 years working for various professional teams, authoring a bike repair manual, and owning a bike shop, Daimeon left the cycling world to pursue a new challenge in the field of law. Shanks is currently a member of the Doman Society of International Law and will be representing CU this fall as a member of the school’s Jessup International Moot Court Competition team.


Fall 2017


Edwin Bustinza Lozada 

Edwin is an LLM Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He received this law degree from the University of Lima (Magna cum laude). Since 2012, he has served as legal counsel to Compañia de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A, a Peruvian mining company. Edwin specializes in mining, environmental, corporate law, and foreign investments related matters. He has served as in-hous counsel to recognized international mining companies. He has experience in drafting agreements; preparation and presentation of environmental documents and filings; negotiation with communities; and knowledge of environmental and social issues often related to the development of mining projects. He also provides advice on issues related to foreign investments in Peru, including corporate transactions.


Sarah Schulte

Sarah is in her second year of law school at the University of Denver (DU) Sturm College of Law. She is a recipient of the DU Chancellor’s Scholarship, which provides full tuition in recognition of academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to the public interest. Sarah participates in the Tribal Wills Program at DU and will be Secretary of the DU Native American Law Student Association for the 2017-2018 school year. Prior to attending law school, Sarah worked in mental health, providing direct service in residential and independent living environment. Sarah graduated from Colorado College in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy.


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 Andrew Gulley

Born and raised in Denver, Andrew Gulley went to the University of Chicago to study Law & Economics. There he focused on environmental valuation of acid mine drainage and a bachelor’s thesis on the regulation of hard rock mining on public land in the United States. After graduation, Andrew worked with a mineral-focused private equity group to identify targets for acquisition within the junior mining sector. In 2011 Andrew entered the crossover program between the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and the Colorado School of Mines Mineral Economics program. As a doctoral candidate at CSM, Andrew was awarded a research grant by the EPA and USGS to value ecosystem services impacted by mine sites. During this time, Andrew also worked for Newmont Mining and won fellowships from Resource Capital Funds and Royal Gold.

As a Research Fellow at SDSG, Andrew will draft materials for resource sustainability courses, explore stakeholder interests in artisanal mining, and examine the link between resource endowment and economic development. Andrew will graduate with a PhD in Mineral Economics in May of 2016 and is committed to pursuing his research interests in the mining sector.


fall 2015

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Aubrey Bertram

A born-and-raised Denver native, Aubrey Bertram is thrilled to be interning with SDSG this fall. She will graduate this spring with a J.D. certificate in International Law and an LL.M. in Natural Resource and Environmental Law and Policy from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Aubrey studied Biology, Statistics, and Geography at the University of Wyoming. She studied abroad in New South Wales, Australia and Andhra Pradesh, India while at UW. Aubrey has also spent time in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and worked at two wildlife rescue centers in Cambodia and Thailand. Previously, Aubrey interned with the Environmental Protection Agency, The Wilderness Society and Metro Volunteer Lawyers, as well as worked in the Environmental Law Clinic and on the Tribal Wills Project. She is on the executive board of the DU Water Law Review, the Natural Resource and Environmental Law Society, and the president of the Native American Law Students Association. Aubrey is also a research assistant to Professor Annecoos Wiersema on international wildlife law issues. A true Colorado native, you can find Aubrey running, camping, hiking, skiing, gardening, or enjoying a local craft beer in her free time with her two cats and two dogs.

Summer 2015

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Amber Naiman

Amber is a third year law student at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Born and raised just outside of Toronto, Amber graduated from the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario with a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree.  After graduating, she worked in the school’s Agricultural and Economics department. Under the supervision of Professor Maury Bredahl, Amber published a paper titled “Canadian Bilateral Trade Agreements: Drivers, Pressures, and Constraints“, which was discussed at the 2012 International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium (IATRC) Annual meeting.

Amber is currently pursuing a joint JD-LLM degree in International Business Transactions at the University of Denver. Amber’s studies focus on international trade, environmental protection, and economic and social sustainability. Outside of law school, she likes to spend her time outdoors and enjoys hiking, skiing, and running. She loves listening to bluegrass music, and like most Canadians, watching hockey.



Frances Bursch

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.


Megan Coontz  McAllister

Megan is a second-year JD student at the University of Colorado Law School. Megan received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley where she studied International Relations and Sustainable Development.  For her honors thesis, Megan conducted original research in Bolivia studying the mining industry and its impact on social and economic development.  She is biliterate and bilingual in English and Spanish and has studied French, Arabic, Portuguese and Italian.  Megan was awarded the Steiger Fellowship in 2013 and served as a law clerk for the Tennessee Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division.

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Mr. Luis Chavez

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.

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Katie McAuley

Katie 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.

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Amanda “Penny” Nichols

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.

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Ben Petersen 

Ben 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.

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Jean Pyun

Jean 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.

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Stephen Young

Stephen 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. 


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Misam B. Ali

Misam was born in Benghazi, Libya and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. Ali credits all of her successes to her parents who have always supported her. She graduated, with Honors and Distinction, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance with a concentration in Banking and Financial Institutions. She also graduated with a minor in Ethnic Studies. Throughout her undergraduate years, Misam assisted with various research projects and published her own work,  Debt Relief of Debt Cycle: A Secondary Analysis of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in African Nations, in November 2011, The McNair Scholars Research Journal, and The Good Life: A Cultural Crossroad. The Changing Demographics in Nebraska, in Sept. /Oct. 2012, in The Nebraska Lawyer. She has a strong interest in African Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, monetary policy, and public policy.

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Jessica Allen

Jessica is a second-year law student at the University of Colorado Law School. Originally from St. Louis, Jessica traveled to California to study Microbiology and Religious Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. After graduating, Jessica moved to Vail, Colorado. For four years, Jessica spent the winters skiing and the summers traveling as much as possible. Motivated by her experiences abroad, Jessica returned to academia and received a Master of Resource Law Studies at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Jessica started the JD program at the University of Colorado in 2012. In addition to her work at SDSG, Jessica has worked as a research assistant with the Getches-Wilkinson Center.

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Nurseit Baizhanov

Nurseit is a Doctor of Jurisprudence that he got from Tyumen Law Institute with Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. Also, he has a bachelor degree in Economics. His sphere of interest is problems in the field law and economics, economic and ecological crimes. Now Nurseit is studying at the University of Arizona within its program “Economics, Law, and the Environment” to pursue a dual degree, Master Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics and Jurist Doctor.

After having graduated from his law school with distinction in 1996, he worked as a lawyer in a private company. Then, he worked in central offices of Kazakh law enforcement agencies, at General prosecutor’ office of Kazakhstan, where he was in charge of analytical and legal work for issues related to economics and law. Also, Nurseit was the Associate Chief of Financial Police Academy, and a chief lawyer with the regional government.

Out of 14 years of his law practice, he had to examine and review a variety of issues related to law and economics in my country. He has been rewarded 33 times (including 6 awards from the Heads of Law Enforcement’s agencies) for his diligence, work ethics and results. In 2005, after joining the Academy of Financial Police as the Dean of the Academic Council (the associate director of the Academy), Nurseit became actively engaged in research work in the field of economic crimes and public safety.

Nurseit has published extensively, and all of his publications have been in the area of his interest. He published a monograph, a textbook, 17 articles in scholarly and academic journals, and a collection of works and presentations at scientific conferences.

Nurseit is a co-author of the Action Plan for the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on implementation of concepts to combat economic crimes in 2001 and 2003, as approved by the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on May 30, 2002. He is also one of the co-authors of the government programs to combat crime in the economic sphere in the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2005-2007, approved by the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on December 27, 2004.

During 2008, Nurseit was a member of governmental commission on anti-corruption examination of legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which was devoted to work on the revision of all legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan in order to avoid creating possible pre-conditions for corruption.

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Nick Clabbers

Nick is a second-year law student at the University of Colorado.  Nick grew up outside of Philadelphia, and graduated from Penn State in 2010 with degrees in Political Science and Community, Environment, and Development.  During college, Nick worked for the Environmental Policy department in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office, and as a Certification Intern for Pennsylvania Certified Organic.  Following his graduation from Penn State, Nick moved across the country to southern Utah, where he worked for two and a half years as a wilderness therapy instructor at Second Nature Entrada.  Nick enrolled in law school in August of 2012 with a desire to work on environmental and land use issues, especially as they relate to community participation and involvement.  When he is not studying, Nick enjoys riding his bike, cooking, and woodworking.

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Felipe Correa Rozo

Felipe is a Colombian Lawyer (LLB) (first class degree 2008) with specialization in Commercial Law (first class degree 2010). Since 2005 he Joined Baker & McKenzie Colombia. He is currently a candidate for an LL.M. Natural Resources Law and Policy, from the Centre for Energy Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, in the University of Dundee, Scotland.

Felipe is presently conducting relevant research on indigenous law, social impact assessment and host community relations, and has experience in transactions pertaining the natural resources and extractive industries, providing legal advice on contracts, security of tenure, and surface-rights. He is practiced in land law and servitudes for mining and energy operations; Felipe has also comprehensive experience in dispute resolution. He is practiced in preventive litigation, creating strategies to resolve legal disputes, and amicable methods for dispute settlement. He has been routinely involved in assessment of legal risks and litigation in various areas of law such as: contract law, tort law, constitutional actions (tutela and class actions), corporate law, real estate, debt recovery proceedings, precautionary measures, State’s liability, criminal law, corporate law, commercial agency and distribution agreements, bankruptcy and manufacturer’s liability.

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Heidi Ruckriegle

Heidi is a fourth-year JD & LLM student at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Originally from Colorado, Heidi attended CU Boulder where she studied Spanish and Business.  After graduating, Heidi lived in Costa Rica working as a guide for Outward Bound.  Her experiences in the beautiful and biologically diverse country, combined with her love of Colorado, lead Heidi to enroll in the JD program at the University of Denver in 2014.  The LLM degree allows Heidi to further master the Environmental and Natural Resources issues that Colorado, and the world, increasingly face.


Holly Taylor

Holly is a second-year JD student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a staff editor for the University of Denver Water Law Review.  Holly received her undergraduate degree from the Metropolitan State University of Denver where studied microbiology and anthropology.  Holly interest in environmental law and the protection of biodiversity and local cultural values lead her to pursue a law degree at the University of Denver.  Holly is a native of Colorado and enjoys Colorado’s abundant sunshine and spending time camping, hiking, and climbing.


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Raven Adams Phillips

Raven is currently a third year law student at the University of Denver, where she has focused on environmental and natural resources law.  Originally from California, Raven traveled to Colby College in Maine to study Psychology and Neuroscience.  After gaining further experience in scientific research labs, she decided to attend law school for a change of pace.  In addition to her work with SDSG, Raven has interned for Colorado Legal Services, the Denver District Court, and Denver Water.  Raven also serves as Managing Editor of the University of Denver Water Law Review.  In her free time, Raven enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga, and appreciating the beautiful Colorado wilderness through skiing, hiking, and rafting.

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Nadia B. Ahmad

Nadia is a native of Orlando. She is currently pursuing an LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy at the University of Denver. Nadia obtained her law degree from the University of Florida, where she was a Virgil Hawkins Fellowship recipient and served as Assistant Editor-in-Chief of The Florida Journal of International Law. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with high honors in Comparative Literature. At Cal, Nadia was initiated into the Golden Key National Honor Society and was a three-time recipient of the Barbara L. Frye Scholarship for student journalism from the Capitol Press Club of Florida. She is a member of the Florida Bar.


Mark Phillips

Mark is a third-year student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Mark grew up in Golden, Colorado, before leaving for Maine to get his undergraduate degree at Colby College. After four frosty winters he returned to Colorado started at DU, where he is pursuing the Environmental and Natural Resources certificate. Aside from his work at SDSG, Mark has interned in the Jefferson County District Court and at Colorado Legal Services. He enjoys skiing, hiking, and rafting throughout Colorado and the West.


Bo Saunders

Bo originally from Illinois, but moved to Denver almost 5 years ago and recently completed his JD at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.  He is now focused on finishing a masters program in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at DU with a concentration in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development.  He also currently serves as an editor on the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law.  Prior to joining SDSG as an intern, Bo spent time working for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office as well as law firms in the Czech Republic and Russian Federation.  An avid explorer with a particular passion for Latin America, he enjoys no-frills, grass-roots backpacking, mountain climbing, and sleeping in hammocks.  He is also proudly devoted to the love of his life, the St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball Club.


Charles Afeku

Charles is a lawyer from Ghana. He received his L.L.M degree in Mineral Law and Policy and Sustainable Development from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. In Ghana, he works with the Minerals Commission as Legal Officer; and is involved in negotiating and drafting mineral rights agreements, and advising the government on minerals and mining issues. He has also contributed to drafting national mining policies and legislation on mineral royalties and compensation of mining communities.  Charles is a member of the Ghana Bar Association, and volunteers some of his time as an Executive Director (Legal) for a non-profit dedicated to promoting the use of renewable energy in Ghana.