Sharon S. Tisher

Lecturer, School of Economics and Honors College, University of Maine

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About Sharon

Tisher teaches environmental law and energy policy courses, as well as courses in the Honors College “great books” curriculum. Prior to joining the University of Maine in 1994, she was a trial partner in the Connecticut law firm of Day, Berry and Howard. She has served as chair of the boards of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and directed MOFGA’s Public Policy Committee for ten years, focusing on stricter regulation of genetically engineered crops and genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling, and pesticide notification and reduction policies. She served for seven years as a member of the Steering Committee of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, advocating for stricter national and state regulation of chemicals in consumer products. She has served on the Governor’s Task Force to Promote Safer Chemicals in Consumer Products, on the Maine Commission to Study Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, and on a variety of advisory committees to the Maine Board of Pesticides Control. She has given testimony in regulatory and legislative hearings related to Constitutional takings law, GMO regulation and labeling, pesticides regulation, and safer chemicals regulation. She is currently primarily involved in advocacy for sounder climate policy. In connection with a course on climate policy, she has developed a 40 page color-coded chronology tracking developments in climate science, international policy, and U.S. policy over the last century. She is a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps, and delivers the current iteration of Gore’s Nobel Prize-winning slide show, supplemented with her own materials, at venues throughout Maine.


In the News

"Trump Suddenly Has an ‘Open Mind’ on Climate Change. We Hope He Means It.," Sharon S. Tisher (with Harold W. Borns Jr.), Bangor Daily News, December 6, 2016.
"There’s No Blueprint for Farming in Our ‘New Normal’ Climate," Sharon S. Tisher (with Ted Quaday), Bangor Daily News, March 5, 2015.
"Bruce Poliquin Has a Chance to Make His Mark, Emulate Maine’s Environmental Heroes," Sharon S. Tisher (with Peter Mills), Bangor Daily News, December 23, 2014.
"Maine Should Lead Washington on Climate Policy," Sharon S. Tisher (with Peter Mills), Bangor Daily News, December 24, 2013.
"Climate Denial: Seductive But Not Morally Excusable," Sharon S. Tisher, Bangor Daily News, June 12, 2013.
"Facts Don’t Support Rhetoric of Climate Change Deniers," Sharon S. Tisher, Portland Press Herald, December 19, 2012.
"A New Approach to Fighting Maine’s Invisible Enemy," Sharon S. Tisher, Bangor Daily News, April 28, 2010.
"Connecting Chemicals and Obesity," Sharon S. Tisher, Lewiston Sun Journal, March 7, 2010.
"Give Obama ‘Super’ Support," Sharon S. Tisher, Bangor Daily News, February 29, 2008.
"Restore the Clean Water Act," Sharon S. Tisher, Bangor Daily News, October 3, 2007.
"Protect Health, Not a Cash Cow," Sharon S. Tisher, Bangor Daily News, April 20, 2007.
"A Bill to Maine’s Taste," Sharon S. Tisher, Bangor Daily News, March 24, 2003.
"Frankenfish and the FDA," Sharon S. Tisher, Bangor Daily News, February 15, 2002.
"Genetic Contamination Reaps Disaster," Sharon S. Tisher, Bangor Daily News, April 13, 2001.
"Biotechnology in Agriculture: A European Perspective," Sharon S. Tisher, Interview with Hans Hosbach (conducted by Tisher), Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, July/August 1999.


"Pesticides Quiz and Primer" Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener (September/November 1999).
Presents a list of questions, drawing from information and research found in peer-reviewed journals, advocacy group commissioned studies, and venerable science texts to educate Mainers who would endeavor to increase their knowledge of pesticides and their understanding of safe, alternative treatments and methods.
"Everglades Restoration: A Constitutional Takings Analysis" Florida State University Journal of Land Use Planning and Environmental Law 10, no. 1 (Fall 1994).
Details the restoration endeavors that the government will have to take to counter the ecological crisis in the Florida Everglades (including restoring the hydrology of the region to more closely approximate pre-flood control and pre-drainage groundwater levels, flooding and sheet flow dynamics, effecting the "unchanneling" of once meandering rivers, and transforming agricultural or residential lands to wetlands), and analyzes Florida common law and federal constitutional law to determine whether such restorative efforts are likely to be characterized as unconstitutional "takings" requiring compensation.
"A Climate Chronology," University of Maine, July 2016.

Explains the challenge in understanding and assessing the impact of industrial and technological activities on the planet’s climate and ecosystems, as well as responding effectively to the threats posed by that impact.  Gives new insights into where we have been, where we are now, and where we may be headed in this formidable endeavor. 

"Climate Policy 2015: Reports from the Congressional Trenches" (with Peter Mills ). Maine Policy Review 25, no. 1 (2016): 72 -76.

Urges action in Congress to address the problem of climate change, and stems from interviews with Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King, and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree regarding their climate-related initiatives in 2015.

"Why Pesticide Reduction? Why Now?" Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener (February 1997).
Argues that pesticides (including insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) are too costly, too risky, and in the long run not effective, and therefore farming communities as well as individuals and municipalities in Maine must turn to proven, effective alternatives that are safe for the environment and take action to reduce pesticide dependence and stave off environmental catastrophe.