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Kathryn J. Mengerink

Kathryn J. Mengerink
Senior Attorney; Director, Ocean Program
(858) 822-5821

Dr. Kathryn J. Mengerink, Director of the Ocean Program at the Environmental Law Institute, researches law and policy to support effective ocean management. Current work includes supporting coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) implementation; developing innovative approaches to addressing cumulative impacts to West Coast marine ecosystems; supporting Alaska Natives communities’ engagement in Arctic CMSP; and examining the legal ramifications of the federal CMSP framework. Dr. Mengerink is a lecturer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She serves on the editorial board for the Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal. Before joining ELI, she served as research associate at the Law of the Sea Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps (UCSD) and a J.D. with a Certificate of Specialization in Environmental Law from UC Berkeley.


  • Biodiversity: invasive species management; marine biology
  • Water: marine biology; ocean and coastal law and policy; water quality management


  • J.D. with a specialization in environmental law, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
  • Ph.D. in marine biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, 2002
  • B.S. in zoology, Texas A&M University, 1996

Selected Publications

Kathryn Mengerink, Need to Know Ecosystem Status Prior to a Spill, 27 Envtl Forum 49 (2010).

Environmental Law Institute (ELI) & Center for Ocean Solutions, Coastal & Marine Spatial Planning: Legal Considerations (2010) (contributing authors include K. Mengerink, M. Armsby, & J. Diamond).

K. Mengerink, H. Scheiber, & Y. Song, Japanese Policies, Ocean Law, & the Tuna Fisheries: Sustainability Goals, the IUU Issue, & Overcapacity, in Conservation & Management of Transnational Tuna Fisheries 283 (R. Allen, J. Joseph & D. Squires eds., 2010).

ELI, Marine Spatial Planning in U.S. Waters: An Assessment & Analysis of Existing Legal Mechanisms, Anticipated Barriers, & Future Opportunities (2009) (contributing authors include J. Diamond, A. Schempp, K. Mengerink, & J. Austin with assistance from T. Chan, A. Fishman & C. Newton).

ELI, Ocean & Coastal Ecosystem-based Management: Implementation Handbook (2009) (contributing authors include K. Mengerink, A. Schempp, J. Austin, A. Brock, J. Diamond, R. Gruby, & R. Wolfarth).

ELI, Expanding the Use of Ecosystem Management in the Coastal Zone Management Act (2009) (contributing authors include Adam Schempp, K. Mengerink, & J. Austin).

K. Hansen, K. Mengerink, M. Sutton, A Bold New Ocean Agenda: Recommendations for Ocean Governance, Energy, Policy, & Health, 39 Envtl. L. Reporter 10012 (2009).

Environmental Protection Agency, Effects of Cliimate Change on Aquatic Invasive Species & Implications for Management & Research (2008) (contributing authors: R. Thomas, K. Mengerink, A. Kane, & B. Bierwagen).