Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 11:04 am | Overcast 75º


UCSB Reads ‘Lab Girl’

Lab Girl, paleobiologist Hope Jahren’s coming-of-age memoir, is the UCSB Reads selection for the 2018 season.


In the book, Jahren “traces her path from an early infatuation with the natural world to her hard-earned accomplishments as a scientist recognized for breakthrough contributions to her field.”

An annual event now in its 12th year, UCSB Reads engages the campus and the Santa Barbara community in conversations about a key topic while reading the same book.

UCSB Reads is presented by the UCSB Library in partnership with the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor.

A committee that included faculty and staff members, administrators and student representatives made this year’s selection.

On Jan. 11, UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang, executive vice chancellor David Marshall and Acting University Librarian Alan Grosenheider will be at the library to distribute free copies of the book to registered UCSB students.

Lab Girl will be on sale at the UCSB Bookstore as well.

A variety of UCSB Reads events, including faculty talks, book discussions, exhibitions and other programs will take place through winter and spring quarters, both on campus and in the community.

Jahren will give a free public lecture April 3 in Campbell Hall.

Lab Girl chronicles Jahren’s coming-of-age experience as a female scientist and is juxtaposed against beautifully rendered meditations on the life of plants.

With courage, Jahren reflects on difficult periods in her life, from her struggles with mental illness to the financial hardships of starting a research lab, all the while celebrating the joys of scientific discovery and friendship.

Demonstrating the book’s appeal across disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities, Jahren received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books.

Lab Girl also was a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Slate and others.

Currently, the J. Tuzo Wilson Professor at the University of Oslo, Norway, Jahren conducts research on living and fossil organisms, studying how they are chemically linked to the global environment.

She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and was a tenured professor at the University of Hawai’i from 2008-16, where she built the Isotope Geobiology Laboratories with support from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy and National Institutes of Health.

Jahren is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards, and is one of four scientists — and the only female — to have been awarded both Young Investigator Medals given in the earth sciences.

Questions about UCSB Reads can be directed to Alex Regan, events and exhibitions librarian, at [email protected] or call 893-3605.

— Andrea Estrada for UCSB.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >