Professor Hester teaches environmental law at the University of Houston Law Center. His research focuses on the innovative application of environmental laws to emerging technologies and unanticipated risks, including climate engineering, deep decarbonization (particularly in energy production), nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence, genetic modification, and advanced wind, solar, and other renewable power systems. Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, Prof. Hester served as a partner in Bracewell LLP for sixteen years and led the Houston office's environmental group.
Prof. Hester is currently teach the first U.S. law school course on Climate Intervention Law, which will focus on emerging climate engineering technologies and legal challenges. He also teaches classes on Environmental Law, Natural Resource Damages Liability, Environmental Law in Oil & Gas, Climate Change Liability and Litigation, Environmental Enforcement, Emerging Technologies and Environmental Law, and Advanced Hazardous Waste Law. He originated and teaches an innovative Environmental Practicum that matches students with multiple leading environmental attorneys to work on practical projects and to develop innovative environmental initiatives. He also teaches the first year course on Statutory Interpretation and Regulatory Practice.
Prof. Hester is currently the co-director and founding director of the Center for Carbon Management in Energy at the University of Houston. During the summer of 2014, Prof. Hester served as the interim Director of the North America Commission on Environmental Cooperation's Submission on Environmental Matters Unit in Montreal, Canada. The Environmental Law Institute also named him as its Environmental Scholar in Residence for 2015.
Prof. Hester was inducted into the American College of Environmental Lawyers in 2015 (and named a Trustee in 2018), elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2004, and named the Top Environmental Lawyer in Houston in 2011 by Best Lawyers of America. He was also elected to the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) in 2011 through 2014, and he currently co-chairs SEER's Law Professors Committee and its Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Ecological Services Committee. Prof. Hester is the past chair of SEER’s Special Committee on Congressional Relations as well as its Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, and he is currently vice-chair of the Greater Houston Partnership's Sustainability Advisory Committee.