Local Author Elizabeth Kolbert to Deliver Vandais Environmental Issues Lecture at MCLA


NORTH ADAMS, Mass - Award-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert will present "Field Notes from Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change" at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) annual Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Issues Lecture on Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in Murdock Hall, room 218.

The event is free and open to the public.

"Field Notes from Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change" grew out of a three-part series in The New Yorker after Kolbert traveled from Alaska to Greenland and visited top scientists to get to the heart of the debate over global warming. The book was selected as one of the "100 Notable Books of the Year" in 2006 by The New York Times Book Review

Kolbert's research and writing brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what might be done to save our planet. She explains the science and the studies, draws parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most - the people who make their homes near the poles - and are watching their worlds disappear.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, "If you have time this year for just one book on science, nature, or the environment, 'Field Notes' should be it."

Kolbert is at work on a new book about mass extinctions that will weave intellectual and natural history with reporting in the field (2012). As with "Field Notes from a Catastrophe," the book began as an article in The New Yorker.

She has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999, and has written dozens of pieces for the magazine, including profiles of Senator Hillary Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Her series on global warming, "The Climate of Man," appeared in The New Yorker in the spring of 2005 and won the American Association for the Advancement of Science's magazine award. Also in 2006, she received the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award in the newspaper/magazine category and was awarded a Lannan Writing Fellowship.

In September 2010, Kolbert received the prestigious Heinz Award which recognizes individuals who are addressing global change caused by the impact of human activities and natural processes on the environment. 

Kolbert's stories also have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue and Mother Jones, and have been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Political Writing. She edited The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009.  A collection of her work, "The Prophet of Love and Other Tales of Power and Deceit," was published in 2004.

Prior to joining the staff of The New Yorker, Kolbert was a political reporter for The New York Times.

The Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Lecture Series is named for Professor Lawrence H. Vadnais and his wife. For more information, call (413) 662-5185, or go to speakers.