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Loyola Faculty Senate Recognizes Prof. Verchick for his Award-winning Contribution to the Literature on Climate Change

For Excellence in Research, the Senate has recognized Robert Verchick, Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law, College of Law for his award-winning contribution to the literature on climate change, The Octopus in the Parking Garage.

Loyola's law faculty were early readers of Rob Verchick's book, "The Octopus in the Parking Garage." Described by environmental law scholar Robin Kundis Craig, the book explores human resilience in adapting to climate change, emphasizing its current impact on real people and places. It presents two main theses: innate human capacities for resilience and the importance of engaging with climate change adaptation at the individual level. The book provides a layperson’s guide to resilience thinking, illustrating climate change adaptation through narratives of resistance, adjustment, and retreat. Verchick's interdisciplinary approach combines science, social science, resilience theory, and law, focusing on representative stories of climate change adaptation, including environmental justice communities, women, children, and the LGBTQ+ community.

A 2L student in Verchick's Disaster Law and Policy course praised his ability to connect the law to real experiences, making the material accessible. The student highlighted the class's enthusiasm, discussing excerpts from the then-unpublished book and commending Verchick for involving them in an exciting journey. "The Octopus in the Parking Garage" became a toolkit empowering students to pursue future-focused careers in environmental law, a sentiment expressed with gratitude and congratulations to Professor Verchick.