When: Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (“Water: Global to Local, Present to Future”) and Saturday, May 3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (“Sustainable Home and Garden”)

Where: Santa Barbara City College, 721 Cliff Drive: BC Forum on West Campus (Thursday evening lecture) and EBS 309 on East Campus (Saturday workshop)

The Lowdown: Okay. Earth Day 2008 has come and gone and you’re all set to protect the environment with reusable shopping bags and a solid intention to buy locally grown organic produce, to drive less and walk more, and reduce, reuse, recycle. Excellent. Now you’re ready to expand your commitment to sustainable living by expanding your knowledge of what environmental scientists, researchers, and ecological designers are doing.

This coming weekend you’ve got the opportunity to attend both a lecture and a workshop that focus on one of the most crucial environmental issues confronting us at the local and state level: water.

Thursday night’s lecture titled “Water: Global to Local, Present to Future” features UCSB geography professor Catherine Gautier, author of Oil, Water and Climate: An Introduction and co-editor of Facing Climate Change Together. As the former director of the Institute for Computational Earth System Science and current Head of the Earth Space Research Group at UCSB, Gautier has an impressive body of work examining the links between energy, water, climate, and population. But she doesn’t stop with the science; she also proposes viable options for addressing these issues collectively.

On Saturday, ecological designer Art Ludwig, will lead an all-day workshop, “Sustainable Home and Garden,” that connects the large-scale environmental challenges we face with home and landscape design. With an emphasis on the importance of water and how to use it responsibly, there will be discussion, an on-site design clinic at local homes, and examples of relevant, practical ways to make living spaces part of the solution.

So make your way to the SBCC campus on Thursday evening or Saturday morning, or both. You’ll need a parking permit for the Thursday lecture, by the way (though not for the Saturday workshop), so why not plan on walking, car pooling, or taking public transit. The planet will appreciate it.


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