Faculty and Staff

James M. Van Nostrand


James M. Van Nostrand Associate Professor James M. (Jamie) Van Nostrand joined the faculty of the West Virginia University College of Law in July of 2011 to serve as the Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development. Professor Van Nostrand came to the WVU College of Law from the Pace Law School in White Plains, NY, where he served as Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center.

Joshua P. Fershee


Joshua FersheeProfessor Joshua Fershee joined the faculty at West Virginia University College of Law in fall 2012. His research and scholarship focus primarily on energy law and corporate law issues. Recent articles have discussed renewable energy programs in the transportation and electricity sectors, climate policy, geothermal energy, and corporate governance. His courses include Business Organizations, Energy Law & Policy, and The Energy Business: Law & Strategy. He was also a co-editor of the Business Law Prof Blog and a contributor to the Agricultural Law Blog.

Barton Z. Cowan


Barton Z. Cowan Barton Z. Cowan, Visiting Professor, serves as Senior Counsel for the firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School cum laude, and an A.B., with distinction and honor from the University of Michigan. He has been involved in legal matters relating to nuclear power and power generation facilities, focusing on licensing and regulation issues. He has testified on numerous occasions as an expert witness on nuclear power licensing and regulation. He has also counseled clients in the corporate and labor law areas. Courses taught include Business Transactions Drafting, and Energy Law.

Nathan Fetty


Nathan FettyNathan Fetty is the managing attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at the WVU College of Law. A native of Spencer, West Virginia, he is a graduate of the WVU College of Law and West Virginia Wesleyan College. He previously held a Skadden Fellowship. His background includes work in environmental and land use law, coal mine health and safety, and consumer protection. He resides in Buckhannon, West Virginia with his wife and daughter.

Katherine Garvey


Katherine GarveyKatherine “Kat” Garvey began her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII in the National Agricultural Compliance Assistance Center and with the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. Garvey is an ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Certified Lead Auditor. She developed and audited environmental management systems for military and large agricultural operations. Garvey transitioned from federal to local government in 2006, when she worked for the City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri as the Environmental Coordinator. She helped the City comply with permitting requirements for their airport and landfill. In addition, she helped the City develop a solid waste management plan, stormwater plan, stream buffer ordinance, and a natural resource inventory map. She continued her focus on local protection of natural resources as an Assistant Professor of Law and Staff Attorney at the Land Use Clinic at Vermont L aw School. In Vermont, Garvey worked with local governments, land trusts and other non-profits to address legal questions related to land conservation in the Northeast. Professor Garvey received her JD from the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 2004, and LLM from Vermont Law in 2010. She was born and raised outside of Kansas City, MO and now lives in Morgantown with her partner Derrick and their 2 Alaskan Malamutes.

Patrick C. McGinley


Patrick McGinleyProfessor Patrick McGinley is a graduate of Dickinson College and the Duke University School of Law where he was a member of the Duke Law Journal Editorial Board. Professor McGinley served as a law clerk to a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and as a Special Assistant Attorney General, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Environmental Strike Force. In the latter position he was engaged in environmental enforcement and mine safety litigation.

Alison Peck


Alison PeckAlison Peck teaches and writes in the area of sustainable development, including environmental and trade law, with special focus on agriculture and food law. Professor Peck practiced international arbitration and commercial litigation with Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP in Washington, D.C. She clerked for Judge Jon O. Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge G. Federico Mancini of the Court of Justice for the European Communities. She received a J.D. from Yale Law School and an LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Jesse Richardson


Jesse RichardsonJesse J. Richardson, Jr. is the Lead Land Use Attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic and Associate Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law. Before coming to WVU, Jesse was an Associate Professor in Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech, teaching land use law, environmental law, urban growth management and real estate. His research and experience focuses on land use law and water law. Prior to his academic endeavors, Jesse was in private practice in his home town of Winchester, Virginia, first with a large law firm, then as a solo practitioner. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Agricultural Law Association, the Universities Council on Water Resources and the National Cave and Karst Research Institute. He previously served on the Virginia Farmland Protection Task Force and the Virginia Water Policy Technical Advisory Committee. Jesse was honored with the 1999 Professional Scholarship Award from the American Agricultural Law Association, the 2004 William E. Wine Award for a history of teaching Excellence from Virginia Tech (the highest teaching award granted by the university), and the 2009 University Certificate of Excellence in Outreach. He has worked with communities in West Virginia and Virginia on land use planning issues, including issues related to karst and water resources. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Laura Griffin

Fellow for Energy and Environmental Law and Policy

Laura Griffin is the fellow in the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development (CESD), where she conducts policy and legal research. She also helps plan and organize the college’s annual National Energy Conference and the National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition. Griffin earned her J.D. and Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She previously researched shale gas development for The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania, assisted the Multnomah County land use attorney in Portland, Oregon, and supported the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's regional counsel with hazardous waste and wetlands litigation.

Samantha Stefanov

Administrative Assistant 

Samantha StefanovSamantha Stefanov is the Administrative Assistant for the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development (CESD). Samantha is the assistant to Director James Van Nostrand, in addition to several CESD faculty members. She helps plan and organize all CESD events, including the annual National Energy Conference and the National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition. She also serves as the main contact for the CESD.