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‘UCSB Reads’ Events Examine Wildfires, Teddy Roosevelt and the Big Burn

By UCSB Office of Public Affairs |

UCSB Reads continues through winter quarter with a series of events that includes book discussions, faculty panels and featured speakers at UC Santa Barbara and at public libraries in Santa Barbara and Montecito.

Tim Egan
Timothy Egan (Barry Wong photo)

An annual event, UCSB Reads engages the campus and the Santa Barbara community in discussions about a key topic, while reading the same book. This year’s selection is The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt & the Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan.

On Wednesday, Jan. 29, Sarah Anderson, Andrew Plantinga and Naomi Tague, faculty members at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, will participate in a panel discussion introducing the Strategic Environmental Research Initiative (SERI), which brings together an interdisciplinary team of scientists in pursuit of new strategies for managing large-scale environmental challenges, including the impact of climate change on wildfires. The panel begins at 4 p.m. in the UCSB Library’s Mary Cheadle Room.

On Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m., UCSB faculty members Peter Alagona, Karen Lunsford and Dar Roberts will participate in a panel discussion at the Montecito Library, 1469 E. Valley Road. Alagona is an associate professor in the history, geography and environmental studies departments; Lunsford is an associate professor with the Writing Program; and Roberts is a professor in the Department of Geography.

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, artist Ethan Turpin will give a talk about his exhibition, “Burn Cycle,” which was commissioned by the UCSB Library and the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management in conjunction with UCSB Reads, and will be on display in the library lobby from Feb. 8 through May 30. Turpin’s talk begins at 6 p.m. in the Mary Cheadle Room.

On Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m., UCSB faculty and staff members from multiple disciplines will discuss the UCSB Reads selection at the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. Panelists include Jonathan Cook, associate director of physical facilities; Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook, associate professor of English; and John Majewski, professor of history.

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, journalist Ray Ford will speak on “History of Fire in Santa Barbara: Perceptions and Misconceptions.” His talk begins at 4 p.m. in the Mary Cheadle Room.

The UCSB Reads events will culminate in a talk by “The Big Burn” author Egan at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, in Campbell Hall, and the first ever UCSB Reads online author chat Wednesday, March 5 at noon. The online chat gives alumni, parents, and other friends of UCSB who can’t travel to campus an opportunity to participate in the program.

In addition, KCSB-FM will be broadcasting excerpts from the book, read by campus and community volunteers, on weekdays from noon to 12:30 p.m.

More information about UCSB Reads, including a complete schedule of events, is available online by clicking here. Questions can be directed to Rebecca Metzger at [email protected] or 805.893.2674.

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