Jessica Laramie, J.D., came to Western as Energy Management professor following a decade of work in the oil and gas industry.
Laramie grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and attended Illinois State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. She then completed her master’s degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Law at the University of Denver. She remained in Denver for another ten years, working in the oil and gas industry. During that time, she also taught part time in the University of Denver’s law program, lecturing about contemporary issues in oil and gas and oil and gas agreements.
Western is one of only 10 undergraduate schools nationally accredited by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), and the only university in the Colorado. The program prepares its students to face challenges in the complex oil and gas industry.
“The role of the landman is very dynamic. They are a project manager and point person within the company responsible for reigning in different groups, whether it be geologists, engineers, land staff, technical staff and organizing their work. They are working on various land title issues, using knowledge of property regulatory laws, using environmental stewardship and to make way for responsible oil and gas development,” Laramie said.
Last summer, Laramie organized a partnership with Texas Tech University on the World Energy Project (WEP). The WEP provides basic solar power systems to off-grid communities in developing countries where access to electricity is unavailable through traditional sources.
Students travel to the communities to learn about system design and microfinance and to install the systems. Laramie and senior Energy Management student, Allie Huizenga, spent two weeks installing the solar systems in rural Peru. WEP participants installed a total of 25 power systems on this trip.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with other AAPL accredited schools to expand the World Energy Project; researching and writing about Social License to Operate in the oil and gas industry, including evaluating the environmental, health and social impacts of oil and gas development projects on local communities; and continuing to facilitate hands-on projects for students to run title on property in the Gunnison Valley, helping Gunnison Valley residents connect their current ownership of property to the history of the land,” Laramie said.