Alison Rieser, Faculty, Department of Geography, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Alison Rieser

Professor Emeritus

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Although I now teach in a geography department, I consider myself only an accidental geographer; my training and scholarship are in marine law and policy. I’m an environmental lawyer who focuses on the 71% of the planet that is covered by water and where most of the Earth’s species reside.


  • Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, 1999-2002
  • LLM, Yale Law School, 1990
  • Postdoctoral: Fellow, Marine Policy & Ocean Management, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1977-1980
  • JD (cum laude), George Washington University Law School, 1976
  • BSc, Human Ecology, Cornell University, 1973


  • GEOG 423: Marine Policy
  • GEOG 435: Political Geography of Oceans
  • GEOG 468: Topics in Geography (Geography of Seafood)
  • GEOG 758: Research Seminar: Conservation


My research fields are marine area governance; law of the sea; marine conservation law and policy (marine fisheries and endangered species); and marine environmental history. I take an interdisciplinary approach focusing on the interface between science and policy making in governance institutions.