News Source: 
UW Today
March 29, 2007

It's official: The next Common Book is Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change.

Earlier this month, 16 UW faculty members, administrators and students recommended Elizabeth Kolbert's collection of essays about global warming as the 2007-2008 Common Book,

"The committee felt it time for the University to have this conversation," said Jill McKinstry, director of Odegaard Undergraduate Library and co-chair of the selection committee.

Ed Taylor, UW vice provost and dean of undergraduate affairs, said Field Notes "will prompt our students to recognize it is vital to understand our global environment and to be good stewards of our world." Taylor co-chaired the committee with McKinstry and approved the book choice.

The book grew out of "The Climate of Man," a three-part series in The New Yorker during the spring of 2005. The series won wide recognition: the National Magazine Award, the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award and an award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Field Notes will be distributed to approximately 5,500 new students this summer as part of their introduction to campus.

The book will also continue an all-campus discussion that began with the inaugural Common Book, Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. He visited the Seattle campus as part of the program, as did Dr. Paul Farmer, subject of the story. As part Common Book events this coming year, the University plans to invite Kolbert to campus.