On February 29th, 2020 American environmentalist, author, journalist, and professor Bill McKibben delivered the keynote address "Our Changing Climate: A Global Movement of Reform" as part of UC Santa Barbara Environmental Studies Program's weekend long celebration of its 50th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Reunion. Co-sponsored as part of UCSB's Arts & Lectures "Forces of Nature" lecture series celebrating the five decades of environmental activism, education, and research at UCSB, and building upon Santa Barbara's legacy as the birthplace of the modern environmental movement, Bill's talk was given in front of a full house in Campbell Hall filled with UCSB administrators, faculty, alumni, students, and community members.
About the ES Program at UCSB:
Just six months after the disastrous Santa Barbara Oil Spill in January 1969, the chancellor approved creating one of the first of a new breed of educational programs in the country. The Environmental Studies Program at UCSB was set up as a multidisciplinary program drawing on the strengths of many fields and providing an interdisciplinary approach to addressing today’s complex environmental issues.
In the Fall of 1970 the first courses in environmental studies were taught and the ES Program’s first graduating class in 1972 consisted of 12 students. In 2018-19 ES graduated 337 students.
Today, with more than 1,100 enrolled students, 43 faculty, affiliated faculty, and lecturers teaching over 90 courses, and over 7,250 alumni actively working to preserve and protect our environment, the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara is considered one of the oldest, largest, and most successful undergraduate environmental programs in the world.