Laura Westra did her undergraduate and graduate work in philosophy, and she received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1983. In 2005 she received her second Ph.D. in Jurisprudence at Osgoode Hall Law School, and her new doctoral thesis was published in 2004. She is the president of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG), and has organized several conferences of that group in conjunction with the IUCN Commission on Law and Environment (CEL), Special Ethics Group (ESG), to which she belongs for the last three years.She has held offices/served in the International Society for Environmental Ethics, the science for Peace Group, the Occupational Ethics Group, the Society for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (Ontario), the York centre for Applied Sustainability. She is on the Editorial Board of many philosophical and scientific journals, including Environmental Ethics, Environmental Values, the Journal of Ecosystem Health and Global Bioethics. She has been a member of many boards and committees, including the IUCN Commission for Environmental Strategy and Planning, the NSERC/SSHRC Board, the NSF (USA), and the Planning and Implementation Group for the Earth Charter.
Westra has been the Principal Investigator for SSHRC (1992-1999) and for NATO'S Advanced Scientific Research Workshop (1999) and has organized numerous meetings and sessions in that capacity, in Europe, Australia, the U.S. and Canada. She has won several fellowships including the Harley D. Hallett Fellowship (to pursue a law degree), and is currently funded by SSHRC for her second doctorate in Jurisprudence (2001- 2004). She has been a consultant for the World Health Organization, the University of Peace (Costa Rica) and the Ontario Government, and she has successfully worked on Environmental Justice together with the lawyers for an African American community in Birmingham, AL. She is legal consultant for a Health Canada Grant (2004-2006 on Governance Instruments and Child Health:Informing Canadian Policy); and Post Doctoral Student on a SSHRC Grant on "Controlling Ecoviolence:Linking Consumption and the Loss of Ecological Integrity to Population, Health, Ecojustice and International Law (2004-2006; University of British Columbia, PI William Rees).
Most of Westra's work is on environmental ethics, policy and law, with special emphasis on human rights and global justice. Westra has published more than 80 articles and chapters in books, and 27 books/monographs:
- Reconciling Human Existence and Ecological Integrity, co-editors Klaus Bosselmann and Richard Westra, Earthscan, UK.,2008
- Environmental Justice and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Earthscan,UK.,2007
- Environmental Justice and the Rights of Unborn and Future Generations, Earthscan,UK, 2006
- Ecoviolence & The Law (Supranational Normative Foundations of Ecocrime), 2004, Transnational Publishers, Inc., Ardsley, N.Y.
- Thinking About the Environment: Our Debt to the Classical and Medieval Past, 2002; Laura Westra and Thomas Robinson eds., Lexington Books, Lanham, MD.
- Just Ecological Integrity: The Ethics of Maintaining Planetary Life, 2002, eds. Peter Miller, and Laura Westra, Rowman Littlefield Publishers Inc., Lanham, MD.
- Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of Global Justice, 2001 2nd ed. Eds., Laura Westra and Bill Lawson, Rowman Littlefield Publishers Inc., Lanham, MD.
- Implementing Ecological Integrity: Restoring Regional and global Environmental and Human Health, L. Westra, Philippe Crabbe, Alan Holland and L. Ryczkowski, Eds. NATO Scientific Publications, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands 2000.
- Ecological lntegritv: lntegrating Environment, Conservation and Health. Island Press, Washington. D.C., 2900. The Business of Consumption: Environmental Ethics and the Global Economy, L. Westra and P. Werhane, eds. Rowman Littlefield Publishers Inc., Lanham. MD.,1998.
- Living in Integrity: Toward a Global Ethic to Restore a Fragmented Earth, Rowman Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 1998.
- Ecological Sustainability and Integrity: Concepts and Approaches, J. Lemons, L. Westra & Robert Goodland, eds. Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1997.
- Technology and Values, a collection of readings; eds. Kristin Shrader- Frechette and Laura Westra; with introduction to Ethics by Louis Pojman. Rowman Littlefield Publishers Inc., Lanham, MD, 1997.
- Perspectives on Ecological Integrity, a collection of papers, one of which by L. Westra, plus introduction. Eds. Dr. John Lemons (Professor of Biology and Environmental Sciences), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1995 (Product of SSHRC Grant, The Integrity Project).
- Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of Global Justice, Rowman Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Series on Social and Political Philosophy, editor, J. Sterba; a collection of essays, edited with introduction by Laura Westra; editor Peter Wenz, 1995.
- The Principle of Integrity An Environmental Proposal for Ethics, Rowman Littlefield Publishers Inc., Lanham, MD, 1994.
- Two books (1990 and 1999) on Ancient Philosophy
Westra has taught in both Canada and the U.S. from 1983 to 2000, and her last full time position was Endowed Chair of Environmental Studies at Sarah Lawrence College (NY).
Laura Westra, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita (Philosophy) University of Windsor
Ph.D. in Law, Osgoode Hall Law School
Adjunct Professor of Social Science,
4700 Keele Street,
Toronto,Ontario M3J lP3