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UC Santa Barbara to host March 5 webchat with author Timothy Egan

UC Santa Barbara wants you to join its book club, better known as UCSB Reads.

This year, UCSB Reads is tackling Timothy Egan’s The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America. The book tells the story of a 1910 wildfire that burned three million acres across three western states in just a few days and how the nation’s response to the disaster affected the still-young U.S. Forest Service and the country’s approach to conservation.

To boost interest and encourage participation in this year’s program, the UC Santa Barbara Library is inviting faculty and staff from across the UC system to a webchat with the book’s National Book Award–winning author on March 5, from noon to 1 p.m.

Anyone with a Google account can watch and participate at Egan will be interviewed by a UC Santa Barbara professor for 20 minutes and will answer questions from the online audience for the rest of the hour.

Other UCSB Reads events this year will include book club discussions, faculty panels, exhibitions and film screenings. The events will be on UC Santa Barbara’s campus, at local public libraries and other places.

“Using The Big Burn as a starting point, we aim to engage readers in intellectually stimulating dialogue about issues of significant local and national interest, including conservation, wildfire management and the politics of environmentalism,” UC Santa Barbara Library said in a statement.

In order to ask questions during the live broadcast, you must be signed into a Google account. The library recommends that you sign in before the broadcast by selecting the blue “Sign In” button at the top right of the event page. You can create a Google account for free if you don’t have one. If you have a Gmail account, you already have a Google account.

UCSB Reads is in its eighth year and aims to bring readers from the university and the Santa Barbara community together in discussions of relevant social and intellectual topics.

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