Events & Media


"Critical Issues in America: Figuring Sea Level Rise Series"
(Learn more about upcoming events in this series)

Inaugural Event
"Santa Barbara Geography: Past, Present, and as Sea Levels Rise"

Friday, November 9, 2012
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

Keynote address by
Gary Griggs, Professor, Department of Earth Science
Director, the Marine Institute, UC Santa Cruz
Co-author, "City of Santa Barbara Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Study"

Panel Members:

Marc Fisher, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor and Campus Architect, UC Santa Barbara

Edward Keller, Professor of Earth Science, UC Santa Barbara;
Author, “Santa Barbara, Land of Dynamic Beauty: A Natural History”

Bruce Tiffney, Professor, Earth Science; Dean, College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara

Sea levels are rising, and all coastal communities will have to deal with higher water levels, more extreme storm surges, coastal erosion, and the intrusion of saltwater into coastal aquifers and wetlands. Santa Barbara is no exception. We live with the tension of our coastal location: we love our beaches, and we build close to the edge of the bluffs for the views and access, even as we struggle to protect them with sea walls.

When the powerful waves from winter storms grow more destructive, is the solution to erect larger walls or to retreat from the edge of erodible cliffs? What happens to the Santa Barbara Airport as water levels rise? How about our UCSB campus, which is surrounded by low-lying. We will have to address the problem of crumbling cliffs.

Panel members will discuss these and other problems related to sea level rise in the Santa Barbara area.  What do projections indicate for the likely rate at which ocean levels will rise?  What will the potential effects be, and what measures are already being considered for managing the increased pressure on our coastlines? Images of our area will be shown and discussion welcomed.

Co-sponsored by: College of Letters & Science; Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research; Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, Department of Film and Media Studies, Center for Information Technology and Society; AD&A Museum, and the Arther N. Rupe Foundation.


To join the "bren-alerts" mailing list and receive announcements about Bren School news and events, or to manage your bren-alerts account, go to

To see a list of scheduled Bren events, visit

To have an event considered for distribution via bren-alerts, send e-mail to

For more information or for assistance in accommodating a disability, please contact BJ Danetra

To find out how to support the Bren School, please contact Jennifer Purcell Deacon