Mack Carlson

Mack Carlson



Mack Carlson brings his unique background in environmental geology to his work with various partners across the Natural Resources Department. Mack’s practice focuses on the intersection of a variety of topics, including water law, land use, environmental law and public law. 

Drawing on his analytical hydrogeology skills and professional background, Mack advises on water and groundwater law for a wide variety of clients, including rural mutual water companies, large agricultural interests and local groundwater management agencies. Mack tackles implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act from both the private and public agency perspective—assisting clients with review and development of groundwater sustainability plans. He has spoken at various conferences on groundwater sustainability agencies’ fee authority. He also has served as general counsel for a groundwater sustainability agency in Southern California. 

Mack has developed a detailed understanding of land use especially as it pertains to assisting developers and municipalities understand and leverage California affordable housing laws, including the Housing Accountability Act, California Density Bonus Law and the Permit Streamlining Act. He also serves as assistant legal counsel for the City of Carpinteria, where he drafts ordinances, reviews contracts, handles code enforcement and advises on the California Environmental Quality Act compliance. 

Before attending law school, Mack was a hydrogeologist in California and Utah, where he worked for an investor-owned water utility and international mineral extraction company. While in law school, he was a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge Miranda Du in Nevada and a legal extern with the Office of the California Attorney General’s Office in the Land, Environment and Natural Resources Section. 

Insights & Publications



  • J.D., 2018, University of California, Davis School of Law, Order of the Coif
  • B.S., 2010, Tufts University


  • California

Community Involvement


Water Education Foundation, 2021 Water Leader Class



William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class of 2021, Water Education Foundation