Magazine Feature / People

DU law professor Erik Bluemel dies in apparent bicycle accident

DU’s Sturm College of Law community is mourning the loss of Assistant Professor Erik Bluemel, who died May 6 from injuries suffered in what authorities are investigating as a bicycle accident.

Bluemel came to DU last fall for the 2008–09 academic year. He taught courses in administrative, environmental and indigenous peoples law. His research interests included environmental federalism, climate governance, international administrative law, and environmental rights.

Bluemel held a law degree from New York University, a master’s of law from Georgetown University Law Center, and a bachelor’s degree in political economy from the University of California-Berkeley. Before coming to DU, he clerked for Judge Barefoot Sanders in the Northern District of Texas and Judge Kermit Edward Bye in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He also served as a staff attorney and teaching fellow at Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation.

“We have all lost a wonderful colleague, teacher and friend,” says Law Dean José (Beto) Juárez Jr. “I know that the College of Law community will continue to show their support for Erik’s family as we go through this unimaginable period. Please keep Erik’s family in your thoughts and prayers. Erik’s family and parents have drawn from the great support and love of the College of Law community.”

The Denver Police Department reports Bluemel apparently was involved in a bicycle accident shortly after midnight on Tuesday, May 5, along 15th Street in Denver’s Lower Downtown district.

Grief counseling is available on campus by calling the University of Denver Health and Counseling Center at (303) 871-2205, or Chaplain Gary Brower at (303) 871-4488 or

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