Faculty Highlight: Sarah Morath

Professor Sarah Morath is an expert on legal writing pedagogy who also teaches and publishes on a wide range of topics related to environmental law, food law and policy, agriculture, and natural resources law, among other subjects. Her scholarly contributions to the field of legal writing are extensive. Her recently published book, Our Plastic Problem and How to Solve It, was created from her expertise in both writing and environmental law.

The topic of plastic pollution was inspired by Professor Morath’s research on food waste. She found out that the biggest source of food waste comes from grocery stores. This fact led Professor Morath to think about the food packaging, most of which is plastic, that is disposed of along with unsold food..

After researching the topic further, Professor Morath went on to publish an article titled “Our Plastic Problem” in 2019. After the article was published, Professor Morath was contacted by Cambridge University Press about potentially writing a book about plastic pollution.

“One of the main messages of the book is that we are just starting to fully understand how plastic is impacting our environment, especially in marginalized communities,” said Professor Morath, “we are finding that there is a clear connection between climate change and plastic production,” a topic which her book explores.

In her book, Professor Morath goes on to discuss that, like climate change, there is no single solution for the issue of plastic pollution. Instead, solving our plastic problem will require action by the local, national, and international communities as well as individuals and businesses.She also explores the connection between the oil and gas industries and plastic production.

Professor Morath is formerly the director of the Lawyering Skills and Strategies Program at the University of Houston Law Center, where she was also a Clinical Associate Professor of Law. Before joining academia, she clerked for Chief Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr., of the U.S. District Court, District of Maine; Justice Andrew M. Mead, Maine Supreme Judicial Court; and four justices of the Maine Superior Judicial Court.

Our Plastic Pollution and How to Solve It is now available for purchase from Cambridge University Press.