Jim Blackburn is a professor in the practice of environmental law in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rice University, teaching courses in sustainable development and environmental law. He is also a practicing environmental lawyer with the Blackburn & Carter law firm in Houston and a Rice faculty scholar at the Baker Institute. At Rice, he serves as the co-director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disaster (SSPEED) Center and as director of the undergraduate minor in energy and water sustainability. At the SSPEED Center, Blackburn has been responsible for the development of landscape-scale green space solutions for surge damage mitigation, including the Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area, a web-based ecological services exchange and structural alternatives. He is the author of “The Book of Texas Bays” (Texas A&M University Press, 2004), which focuses on the environmental health of bays in Texas and efforts undertaken to protect them. He has received various public service awards, including the Barbara C. Jordan Community Advocate Award from Texas Southern University in 2007, the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation in 2001 and the Bob Eckhardt Lifetime Achievement Award for coastal preservation efforts from the Texas General Land Office in 1998. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary membership by the American Institute of Architects for legal work associated with urban quality of life issues in Houston. Blackburn received a B.A. in history and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in environmental science from Rice University.
Selected as a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, Aug. 2, 2021.