ASU life sciences professor wins national conservation award

July 17, 2015

For his lasting contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats, the American Society of Mammalogists has given the Aldo Leopold Award to Arizona State University professor Andrew Smith. The Aldo Leopold Award is named after an American scientist who is considered to be the “father” of wildlife ecology and management.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Leopold Conservation Award from the American Society of Mammalogists,” said Smith, a President’s and Parents Association Professor with the School of Life Sciences. “Aldo Leopold was a giant and everyone working in conservation today stands on his shoulders.” President's Professor Andrew Smith President's Professor Andrew Smith (right) with a Tibetan pastoralist whom Smith encountered regularly on his visits to China's Qinghai Province from 1990-2013. Photo by: Maxwell Wilson Download Full Image

Smith received the award for his decades of research in the behavioral ecology of mammals and the effects of habitat fragmentation and ecosystem services provided by small mammals. One of his more recent projects highlighted the importance of China’s Tibetan Plateau pika. He is also known for creating the School of Life Science’s Conservation Biology degree program, which is one of the first formal programs of its kind in the nation.

Found in parts of Asia, a pika is a small, rabbit-like mammal with short limbs, rounded ears and no external tail. According to Smith, the Chinese government has viewed the species as pests — frequently poisoning the population in hopes of extermination.

However, Smith’s research found that the pika is a keystone species in the area. Smith said their burrows lessen erosion and runoff created during summer monsoons. Areas where the pikas were poisoned saw much greater levels of damage related to flooding.

“In my teaching at ASU and in my research, I stress the importance of ‘getting it right’ — not letting preconceptions cloud one’s perspectives or the outcomes of conservation interventions,” Smith said. “I am proud of our work on the Tibetan plateau, where many of the management decisions made by higher authorities have been made in a vacuum, without the benefit of data or analyses of potential outcomes. And many of the resulting outcomes are proving to jeopardize not only the plateau’s unique biodiversity, but also the sustainability and livelihood of the people who have called the plateau home for thousands of years.”

Once Smith’s research papers circulated throughout China, his colleagues in the area helped educate the government about the importance of the pika. Smith said initial efforts to stop the poisoning campaigns have been effective.

Coincidentally, Smith is connected to Aldo Leopold through more than conservation biology. Aldo Leopold’s first son, A. Starker Leopold, taught Smith’s wildlife conservation class at the University of California. Smith even wrote his first research paper on the pika as a part of his class.

As part of winning this award, Smith will give the keynote speech during the 2016 American Society of Mammalogists’ annual meeting, where he also will be officially recognized for his accomplishments.

Jason Krell

Communication and events coordinator, Center for Evolution and Medicine


ASU law school recognizes faculty, student, alumni achievements

July 20, 2015

The ASU Law Case File is a quarterly roundup of students, faculty and alumni from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University who have been recognized for their work and achievements.

Student Achievements The ASU Law team of (from left) Sebastien Bauge, Josh Offenhartz, Ashley Ring and Christopher Steckbauer won second place at the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition in Hong Kong. Photo by: ASU Law Download Full Image

Adam Bean and Krystalyn Kinsel were hired as trial attorneys for the United States Department of Justice Honors Program in Natural Resources. They will begin working in the fall of 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Phillip Londen was offered a position as a judicial law clerk to Circuit Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, for the 2016-2017 term. Prior to this appointment, Londen will be clerking for District Judge David G. Campbell, United States District Court for the District of Arizona, in 2015-2016.

In March 2015, ASU Law students Josh Offenhartz, Christopher Steckbauer, Sebastien Bauge, and Ashley Ring comprised the team that won second place at the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition in Hong Kong. Competing against 100 teams from around the world, ASU advanced further than all other U.S. teams including Harvard, Yale, NYU, University of Chicago, Georgetown and many others.

Two students with the Indian Legal Program were selected as the 2015 recipients of the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research. Racheal White Hawk won first place for her paper, “A New Formula for Tribal Internet Gaming.” Glennas'ba Augborne earned second-place honors for “The HEARTH Act: Implementing UN Indigenous Rights Norms to Reconcile the Limitations of Tribal Environmental Sovereignty.”

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Kenneth Abbott co-edited a new book about global governance called, “International Organizations as Orchestrators,” published by Cambridge University Press. The book examines the significance of orchestration across key issue areas such as trade, finance, environment and labor. It also looks at the relationships in global governance among international organizations, non-state actors and states.

Professor Sarah Buel was quoted in a New York Times article discussing same-sex domestic violence and professional sports policies. She was also interviewed on the topic by Eddie Robinson, the host of the Sports Talk Radio Show for Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Professor Ira Ellman has released two publications on child support. The first, “Child Support and the Custodial Mother's Move or Remarriage,” was published in the journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. The article examines how much a father should pay in child support based on factors such as personal income and whether a mother remarries. Additionally, a monograph reported findings based on interviews with a random sample of the British public who were asked to determine the amount of child support fathers should pay based on various conditions. An article featuring work from these two publications was included in the Child and Family Blog. Ellman’s findings were also included in a blog for the National Parents Organization. Professor Ellman also wrote the essay, “Frightening and High: The Frightening Sloppiness of the High Court's Sex Crime Statistics,” which was co-authored with his wife, Tara. It discusses sex offender registries and a U.S. Supreme Court decision that lacked facts on sex offender re-offense rates, thus impacting this particular field of law and subsequent policymaking.

Faculty Associate Dale Furnish delivered a paper at the XIII Seminario de Derecho Internacional Privado at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, in May. Furnish was one of 50 invited presenters at the conference. The group included jurists from a number of European countries, as well as Latin America and Asia. Furnish was the only United States scholar on the program.

Professor Zachary Gubler presented his article, “Toward A Unified Theory of Insider Trading Law,” at the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum held at Harvard Law School in June.

Professor Tamara Herrera received the Rocky Mountain Award, which recognizes "contributions beyond measure" to legal writing in the Rocky Mountain area. The award was presented at the 15th annual Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, hosted by the University of New Mexico School of Law in March.

Professor Rhett Larson was interviewed on 91.5 KJZZ about Colorado River water use. He explained how laws that have been in place for more than 90 years result in states wasting water.

Professor Robert Miller gave a keynote speech on Shawnee treaties at an event titled, “Shawnee: Living in Both Worlds.” It was held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Miller also spoke at the event, “From Doctrine to Declaration: A Workshop Rescinding the Christian Doctrine of Discovery and Promoting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States,” held in Washington, D.C., in June.

Professor Jonathan Rose presented his paper, “The Judicial Development of the Law of Maintenance,” during the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies at the University of Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Victoria K. Trotta, associate dean for the Ross-Blakley Law Library, was selected by the American Association of Law Libraries to be inducted into its Hall of Fame. This honor recognizes members who have contributed significantly to the AALL through dedication and ongoing service.

Regents' Professor of Law Rebecca Tsosie received the 2015 Outstanding Achievement and Contribution Award from the ASU Commission on the Status of Women. She was also appointed as vice provost for Inclusion and Community Engagement, where she will help the ASU community further understand and learn how to address complex issues associated with race, gender, ethnicity, religion and other forms of diversity.

Alumni Notes


David L. Case (JD ’73), a shareholder of Tiffany & Bosco P.A., has received the 2014-2015 Eleanor ter Horst Distinguished Service Award from the State Bar of Arizona’s Probate and Trust Section. The award is given each year to a seasoned lawyer for superior knowledge in probate and trust law and related areas, and for exemplary service to the State Bar, the courts and the public; for participation in related committees and projects in these areas of the law; and for enhancing public awareness of trust and probate law and issues. On July 21, Case will again be chairing and presenting at the Arizona State Bar’s “CLE by the Sea” four-day program at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego.

Theodore Jarvi (JD ’73) was inducted into the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA) Hall of Honor for his service and leadership on behalf of disabled veterans. He has represented veterans with a variety of VA claims, including PTSD, Agent Orange-related diabetes or blindness, and Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability (TDIU).


Wendi Sorensen (JD ’84) has been named one of 2015’s “Top 25 Women Attorneys in Arizona” by Southwest Super Lawyers. Sorensen is a shareholder at Burch & Cracchiolo P.A., with nearly three decades of litigation experience for both insurance companies and plaintiffs in state and federal court.

Deborah Williams (JD ’85) was selected as the federal public defender for the Southern District of Ohio. She spent the past 27 years with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the District of Arizona.


Stephanie M. Cerasano (JD ’96) was named the litigation manager at the Jackson Lewis LLP, Phoenix office. With more than 15 years of experience in employment law, Cerasano advises businesses in their employment decisions and represents employers in federal and state court, along with administrative agencies.

Diane Enos (JD ’92) received the Professional Achievement Award as part of the Indian Legal Program’s 2015 Outstanding Alumni Awards. The awards recognize ILP alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary service in the field of Indian Law and have provided significant benefits to Indian Country.

Rob Kort (JD ’95) was elected to the board of directors of Future for Kids. He will provide strategic planning, financial oversight and fundraising efforts as a member of the nonprofit’s board.

Mary W. Shirley (JD ’92) received the Alumni Service Award as part of the Indian Legal Program’s 2015 Outstanding Alumni Awards. The awards recognize ILP alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary service in the field of Indian Law and have provided significant benefits to Indian Country.


Elizabeth (Laa.guen.gei, Kaa Tsáas) Medicine Crow (JD ’05) received the Emerging Leader Award as part of the Indian Legal Program’s 2015 Outstanding Alumni Awards. The awards recognize ILP alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary service in the field of Indian Law and have provided significant benefits to Indian Country.

Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law