Hannah Needleman Bio

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Hannah Needleman credits her passion for environmental issues to an undergraduate study abroad program in Kenya, where she independently researched the ecology of East African savannas. During her study, which involved looking at interactions between humans and wildlife in the area, Hannah became interested in looking at these issues holistically and “not just under the microscope.”

This semester as a student in the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic, she will study the intersection between science and law a little closer to home.

Hannah will be working on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative consortium that brings together policymakers from Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to combine efforts to conserve the Bay. She will be researching the impacts of coal tar sealants, which are used on impervious surfaces like roadways and parking lots, on the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Her goal is to examine the significance of the problem and whether future action is an option for the Commission to consider.

“It’s a huge, intimate web that I’m going to try and unweave,” says Hannah.

Hannah completed her undergraduate studies in her home state at the University of Florida. In addition to her studies in Kenya, Hannah also studied law and policy in Rome, Italy. She is in her second year at William & Mary Law School. She writes for the Journal of Women and the Law and works with the Public Service Fund. This summer she will be working in Washington, D.C. at the Environmental Protection Agency.

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