Brigham Daniels

Professor of Law

Brig Daniels is an expert in environmental and property law. His scholarship focuses on the creation and administration of environmental law, the commons, and public risk management. His work frequently relies on empirical methods ranging from field experiments to archival research. Daniels has received research grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Since arriving at BYU Law in 2010, he has received teaching awards from his students, BYU Law alumni, and one from the university. He is grateful to hold the Marion B. and Rulon A. Earl Professorship. He teaches courses relating to environmental law, natural resources, and property law. He has also taught seminars on environmental topics and regularly oversees BYU Law’s Environmental Policy Impact Clinic (EPIC).

Outside of the classroom, Daniels has served on the boards of several environmental nonprofits and has represented and consulted for a wide range of public and nonprofit entities. He currently serves on BYU Law’s Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Council, oversees its Law and Social Change Initiative, and is a faculty representative on the campus’ interdisciplinary Environmental Ethic Initiative.

Daniels graduated from Stanford Law School. He also earned a PhD from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Utah. He was a recipient of the Harry S Truman Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Prior to joining BYU Law, he taught as an assistant professor at the University of Houston Law Center and as a lecturing fellow at Duke Law School.

Courses Taught

  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Policy Impact Clinic
  • Environmental Policy Seminar
  • Int'l Environmental Law
  • Natural Resources
  • Oil and Gas
  • Property Law
  • Public Lands
  • Water Law


  • Ph.D., Duke University
  • J.D., Stanford University
  • M.P.A., University of Utah
  • B.S., University of Utah
  • Books
  • Backman & Thomas, A Practical Guide to Disputes Between Adjoining Landowners (Release No. 31) (2020) (with David Thomas and Jim Backman).
  • Articles and Book Chapters
  • Disaster Vulnerability, 65 B.C. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2022) (with Lisa Grow Sun, Doug Spencer, Natalie Blade, Chantel Sloan, and Teresa Gomez). [SSRN]
  • Reconsidering NEPA, 96 Indiana L.J. 865 (2021) (with Andrew Follet and James Salzman).
  • ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ in Contextin The Cambridge Handbook of Commons Research Innovations (forthcoming 2021) (with Andrew Follett and Taylor Peterson).
  • Testing Transparency, 114 Northwestern U. L. Rev. 1263 (2020) (with Mark Buntaine and Tanner Bangerter) (peer-reviewed, empirical issue). [SSRN]
  • The Making of the Clean Air Act, 71 Hastings L. J. 901 (2020) (with Andrew Follett and Josh Davis). [SSRN]
  • Building Credibility: Lessons from the Leadership of William Ruckelshaus, 50 Envtl. L. Rep. 10,238 (2020) (with Andrew Follett). [SSRN]
  • Combining Bottom-Up Monitoring and Top-Down Accountability: A Field Experiment on Managing Corruption in Uganda, 7(4) Research & Pol. (2020) (with Mark Buntaine).
  • Just Environmentalism, 37 Yale L. & Poly Rev. 1 (2019) (with Lisa Grow Sun and Michalyn Steele). [SSRN]
  • Commons Storytellingin Handbook of the Commons (Routledge Press, 2019).
  • Can Information Outreach Increase Participation in Community-Driven Development? A Field Experiment near Bwindi National Park, Uganda, 106 World Dev. 407 (2018) (with Mark Buntaine). [SSRN]
  • Come Hell and High Water: Climate Change Policy in the Age of Trump, 13 FIU L. Rev. 65 (2018) (invited symposium).
  • Externality Entrepreneurism, 50 UC Davis L. Rev. 321 (2016) (with Lisa Grow Sun). [SSRN]
  • Our Constitutional Commons, 49 Geo. L. Rev. 995 (2015) (with Blake Hudson). [SSRN]
  • Mirrored Externalities, 90 Notre Dame L. Rev. 135 (2014) (with Lisa Grow Sun). [SSRN]
  • The Tragicomedy of the Commons, 2014 BYU L. Rev. 1347 (2014) (symposium). [SSRN]
  • Introduction: Our Global Commons, 2014 BYU L. Rev. 1347 (2014) (symposium) (with James Salzman).
  • Agency as Principal, 48 Geo. L. Rev. 335 (2014). [SSRN]
  • Legispediain Governing the Knowledge Commons (Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • Environmental Regulatory Nukes, 2013 Utah L. Rev. 1505 (2013). [SSRN]
  • When Agencies Go Nuclear: A Game-Theoretical A Game Theoretical Approach to the Biggest Sticks in an Agency’s Arsenal, 80 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 442 (2012). [SSRN]
  • Addressing Climate Change in an Age of Political Climate Change, 2011 BYU L. Rev. 1899 (2011). [SSRN]
  • Governing the Presidential Primary Commons, 84 Tul. L. Rev. 899 (2010). [SSRN]
  • Regulating Climate: What Role for the Clean Air Act?, 39 Envtl. L. Rep. 10,837 (2009) (with Hannah Polikoff, Timothy Profeta, and James Salzman) (republished in Old Law, New Tricks: Using the Clean Air Act to Curb Climate Change (2013)). [SSRN]
  • Is an Exemption from US Groundwater Regulations a Loophole or a Noose, 41 Pol’y Sci. 205 (2008) (with Erika Weinthal and Blake Hudson). [SSRN]
  • Revitalizing Zion: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and Today’s Urban Sprawl, 28 J. Land Resources & Envtl. L. 527 (2008). [SSRN]
  • Emerging Commons and Tragic Institutions, 37 Envtl. L. 517 (2007). [SSRN]
  • California, Climate Change and the Constitution, 37 Envtl. L. Rep. 10,653 (2007), (co-authored with Erwin Chemerinsky, Brettny Hardy, Tim Profeta, Chris Schroeder, and Neil Siegel) (reprinted in 25 Envtl. Forum, July/Aug. 2008, at 50). [SSRN]
  • Trade Journals, Op-eds, Reports, Other Writings
  • EPA at 50: Looking forward at the Biden administration and beyond, 52(4) Trends (Mar./Apr. 2021) (with Andrew Follett).
  • EPA at 50: Looking back at the formative years, 52(3) Trends (Jan./Feb. 2021) (with Andrew Follett).
  • Op-Ed: Utah can’t ignore climate change, Des. News (Apr. 18, 2019).
  • Op-Ed: Lee is right about one thing: Love is the answer to climate change, SL Trib. (Apr. 3, 2019).
  • Op-Ed: In replacing Pruitt, Trump should learn from Reagan, Hill.Ccom(July 11, 2018).
  • Op-Ed: Clearing the air: Environmental benefits limited from ‘Clunkers’ deal, Houst. Chron. (Sept. 6, 2009).
  • Op-Ed: Use aid to make Big Three build cars for 21st century; give bailout in exchange for more efficient vehicles, Houst. Chron. (Dec. 5, 2008).
  • An Evaluation of Utah’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Options, Nicholas Institute Report, (2009) (with Etan Gumerman).
  • Design Principles of a Cap-and-Trade System for Greenhouse Gases, Nicholas Institute Whitepaper, (2005), (with Tim Profeta). [SSRN]
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies in Utah: An Economic and Policy Analysis, (1999) (with Thomas Brill, Jamie Dalton, James Galanis, Susan Jancart and Glade Sowards).