50th Anniversary Celebration & Alumni Reunion

Thank You!

On behalf of the Environmental Studies Program's 50th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Reunion Organizing Committee Environmental Studies would like to thank all alumni, students and community members for their participation in this year's quinquennial (every 5 years) event dedicated to honoring fifty years of Environmental Studies as an academic program at UC Santa Barbara. We hope you enjoyed the festivities. 

A huge THANK YOU goes out to the Environmental Studies 50th Organizing Committee who spent countless hours preparing, organizing, and coordinating this event:

Professor Carla D'Antonio, event co-chair, Alex Garcia, Professor Summer Gray, Bethany Innocenti, Professor David Pellow, Martin Rodriguez and Eric Zimmerman, event co-chair. 

We also wish to recognize and thank the following for their major contributions and time spent making sure the event ran smoothly:

  • Environmental Studies Staff:  Elijah Baker, Valerie Gonzalez, Erinn Magann O'Shea, Boris Palencia, and Vivian Stopple
  • Members of UCSB's Development Office:  Cynthia Alexander, Lynn Hawks, Bryan Kerner, and Erin Kozaki
  • UCSB Alumni Association Staff: Michaela Nash and Samantha Putnam
  • UCSB Arts & Lectures Staff:  Roman Baratiak, Megan Bush, and Dana Loughlin
  • The 35 student volunteers who work at the event
  • All student group representatives who tabled outside Campbell Hall
  • ES faculty who moderated and the ES alumni who participated in the numerous alumni panels and breakout sessions

Finally, Environmental Studies would like to give special recognition to those who contributed financially or with in-kind donations. Without their generosity we would not have been able to orchestrate such an incredible event:

  • Major event sponsors: Christopher and Malin Fletcher, The Schuyler Family, Howard and Lisa Wenger, and Dean Pierre Wiltzius
  • Donors: Carla D'Antonio, Community Environmental Council, and Greg Mohr and Wendy Wittl
  • Wine donors: Carla Frisk & Jeff Newton, Adam Tomach & Helen Hardenburg, Ojai Vineyards, Paul Wack, Donna & Patrick Will, Seyburn Zorthian, and Charles Kolstad
  • Beer donor: M Special Brewing Company


New Initiatives  

At the 50th Anniversary Weekend Environmental Studies Chair David Pellow announced a number of new Initiatives and fundraising efforts being launched by Environmental Studies. One of which is the Paul Wack Environmental Studies Alumni Scholarship in Planning. Established in part through a generous gift from Mr. Paul W. Wack this is an annual scholarship(s) for students pursuing a career in planning. The scholarship may be used to sponsor planning internships secured independently by the student or as part of the Center for Undergraduate Environmental Leadership (CUEL). This Fund is being established to honor Retired Senior Continuing Lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program, Paul Wack. 

We are excited to announce a MATCHING DONATION program is currently underway for this scholarship. Through the generosity of Paul Wack and Environmental Studies alumnus Terri Lynn Langsev for every dollar donated up to $15,000 they will match dollar for dollar. If you would like to contribute to this fundraising effort you may donate online through UCSB's secure giving portal here or contact UCSB Development Officer Erin Kozaki by email at or phone at 805-893-5254.



Bill McKibben's Talk

The ES 50th Anniversary Weekend Celebration keynote lecture was given by environmentalist, author, journalist, and professor Bill McKibben titled Our Changing Climate: A Global Movement of Reform.  Of all the challenges the planet faces, none is as large as its fast-heating climate – and no one has worked longer or harder than Bill McKibben to both document and fight that ever-growing crisis. McKibben wrote the first book about global warming for a general audience – 1989’s The End of Nature. He went on to found, the world’s largest grassroots climate campaign, and write a dozen more books including his latest bestseller, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? 

McKibben now offers a call to arms 30 years after he first set the stage and we are thrilled he has given us permission to share with you a complete recording of his lecture given on February 29, 2020 as part of the ES Program's 50th Anniversary. 

View Our Changing Climate: A Global Movement of Reform.

The Greening of Higher Education at UCSB 

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Environmental Studies at UCSB, professor emeritus and founding chair, Roderick Frazier Nash, wrote a letter to highlighting the beginnings of the Environmental Studies Program. View the letter here.

The Documentary

 We are excited to share with you and the world the 27 minute documentary Building a Movement: 50 Years of Environmental Studies at UCSB.  Completed just days before the 50th Anniversary it had it's world premiere at the ES Program's 50th Anniversary Weekend Celebration.  This inspiring documentary created by director Isaac Hernández and Mercury Press International shares the 50-year history of the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California at Santa Barbara, recounted by professors, students and graduates. Narrated by Jon Zuber and original score by Sheena Birrittella, we are confident you are going to love watching this film.  

Attendee Survey

 If you attended the ES 50th Celebration we would love to know what you thought about the event.  We want to learn what went well and what we could improve on for the 55th Anniversary Celebration.  Please take five minutes to complete this short Google Forms Survey

Click Here.