UCSB Reads...about Fire in 2014

The eighth annual UCSB Reads program will be a joint presentation of UCSB Libraries and the Bren School Strategic Environmental Research Initiative, Fire (SERIF). The collaborative seed research project is bringing together faculty from various disciplines with thegoal of synthesizing existingresearch to generate newapproaches to wildfire management, particularly as it relates to the arid southwestern United States and climate change.

The UCSB Library and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor have announced the selection of a book for UCSB Reads 2014: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America (Mariner Books, 2010) by Timothy Egan. Through a common reading experience, UCSB Reads brings the campus and Santa Barbara community together in intellectually stimulating dialogue about important issues of our time.

The Big Burn is the story of the 1910 wildfire that burned more than three million acres in two days across the national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Egan’s account of the nation’s largest wildfire is interwoven into the equally dramatic story of President Teddy Roosevelt’s efforts, along with chief forester Gifford Pinchot, to fight the destruction of the country's natural resources. Set against the backdrop of the fire, Egan chronicles the social, cultural, and political history that led to the formation of the U.S. Forest Service. Pioneers in this new notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot created the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by and preserved for every citizen.

A variety of UCSB Reads events, including faculty panels (look for Bren School faculty members to be part of the panel), book clubs, and exhibits, will take place throughout the winter quarter—on campus, at local public libraries, and at other local venues. These will culminate in a special talk by the author on March 4 in UCSB’s Campbell Hall.

Find out more at the UCSB Reads 2014 website.