Professor Sanne H. Knudsen received a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University, an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan, where she graduated Order of the Coif and was a member of the Michigan Law Review. She is a former law clerk for the Honorable Ronald M. Gould on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
After practicing law at private law firms in Chicago and Minneapolis, Professor Knudsen joined the University of Washington School of Law in 2011. She teaches Natural Resources Law, Environmental Law, Administrative Law, and Civil Procedure. In 2018 she became a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, where she has served on the Board of Regents.
Professor Knudsen’s scholarship focuses on how existing statutes and tort liability frameworks can be used to reduce or redress long-term and multiple-stressor environmental harms. Her work has been selected through peer-review for republication. Professor Knudsen also writes in the area of administrative law, where her work on the history of Seminole Rock deference was cited by the United States Supreme Court in Kisor v. Wilkie.
Professor Knudsen is currently developing a series of articles examining the relationship between administrative law and environmental law. In The Exoskeleton of Environmental Law, she argues that environmental law embodies a unique set of prescriptive choices centered on a commitment to self-restraint for the purposes of self-preservation. In a companion article currently in progress, she will examine how administrative law, though operating as a purportedly value-neutral procedural framework, has been operationalized to undermine the success of environmental law. In a shorter essay entitled Reclaiming Control, Knudsen suggests that Congress would be wise to recalibrate the balance of power between administrative and environmental law through an APA-type legislation specific to the challenges of environmental law.