Bennett L. Bearden

Associate Research Professor

  • 118 Walter Bryan Jones Hall
  • (205) 247-3683

Office Hours

By appointment


JSD, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, 2011

LLM, University of London, 2006

Post-Graduate Certificate in Watershed Management, University of British Columbia, 2004

JD, Birmingham School of Law, 1992

MS, University of Alabama, 1984

BS in Geology, University of Alabama, 1981

BS, University of Alabama, 1980

Research Interests

Research Interests: Water policy and law, environmental law, water policy analysis, interfaces among science, policy and law, water diplomacy, alternative dispute resolution interstate and intrastate water disputes, transbounday water conflict, watershed management, food-energy-water nexus, governmental relations and strategies, international water law and policy, international environmental law, litigation, and mediation.

The Water Policy and Law Institute (WPLI) provides local, national, and international guidance in the development of public policy and functional legal regimes for water resources through education, research, and policy analysis while balancing the needs of economic development and ecosystems management. The WPLI targets the capabilities and resources at the University of Alabama, an institution uniquely qualified in the state to utilize the tripartite approach of science, policy, and law, to provide applied research and policy development that addresses all aspects of water resources. The WPLI provides forward-thinking institutions, organizations, and governments with constructive resolution of emerging challenges at the intersection of water law and policy emphasizing data-driven policy making, strategic counseling, water diplomacy, water conflict mediation, creative dispute resolution, and enhanced relations with stakeholders and community groups.

The WPLI assists stakeholders in creating strategic partnerships that bring together diverse groups that resolve challenging public policy issues through close work with industry, public utilities, business, environmental and community groups.