Topics: Speakers, Administrative

September 8, 2008

The author of "Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change" will speak Sept. 16 at Ball State University.

Acclaimed reporter Elizabeth Kolbert will discuss her book at 7:30pm in Emens Auditorium as part of Ball State's Freshman Connections program. The talk is free and open to the public.

Kolbert's book has been read by the incoming freshman class and will be used as a basis for events in the university's nationally recognized Freshmen Connections program. The program encourages students to read a common book to create a shared learning experience for freshmen and ease the transition into college.

"Field Notes from a Catastrophe" discusses climate change and its scientific, social and cultural implications.

"The university has a long history of being committed to sustainability issues," said Melinda Messineo, chair of Freshman Connection's book selection committee. The committee chose Kolbert's book for its ability to explain a complicated issue to a broad audience.

"We view the book to be the starting point for a year long conversation about personal responsibility and sustainable communities," Messineo said. "We hope the book will sensitize students to the topics of environmental degradation and help them think about how their actions impact the environment."

Kolbert developed the book from a three-piece series on climate change she wrote for the New Yorker. She describes the science in layman's terms and reports on those communities most dramatically affected by global warming.

The book received critical acclaim as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year (2006) by The New York Times Book Review.

By Hillary Tribbett