Freshman Reading Program book chosen

The Freshman Reading Program steering committee has announced that the Class of 2012 will be reading and studying “Field Notes From a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change” by Elizabeth Kolbert.

Over the summer, incoming freshmen will receive copies of the book along with a reader’s guide and are expected to have completed the book before arriving on campus. During orientation, freshmen participate in faculty-led discussions, and programs are planned throughout the year based on the key topic or themes of the book.

Comprising a series of short pieces originally published in the New York Times, “Field Notes” explores the debate over global warming through accounts and observations from scientists, laypeople and the author.

“I’m excited for our incoming students to be able to discuss the ideas presented in this book,” said Karen Levin Coburn, assistant vice chancellor for students, dean for freshman transition and a member of the reading program’s steering committee. “We will be working with campus partners, including an advisory group led by Matt Malten, assistant vice chancellor for campus sustainability, to plan programs and symposia throughout the year addressing the issues Kolbert raises in her book.”

The Freshman Reading Program began in 2003 and aims to provide a common intellectual experience for incoming students, introduce them to a spirit of debate and inquiry and provide an opportunity for increased student-faculty interaction both in and out of the classroom.

Last year’s book was Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams.”