Museum open Wed–Mon, Sea Center open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
January 3, 2020

Two Years After Fire and Flood: A Community Conversation About the Impacts of the Thomas Fire and January 9 Debris Flow

UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, the Community Environmental Council, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, and the Santa Barbara Foundation invite the public to a free community conversation in the Museum’s Fleischmann Auditorium on Sunday, January 26 from 3:00–5:00 PM to hear from local experts and discuss the impacts of the Thomas Fire and January 9 Debris Flow two years later.

In addition to the terrible direct impacts of these events on our community, ash from the fire and mud relocated to beaches also affected the health of the Santa Barbara coast and channel. The public will hear about the latest ongoing research assessing the extent of these impacts, and what it might tell us about how to improve our response to future disasters.

”We, the partnering organizations for this important conversation are committed to continuing to keep our community informed and actively engaged in our continued preparation for and response to the dynamic impacts we are experiencing in our natural systems.”

A series of flash talks by experts in the biological and social sciences will be followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A with experts and local policymakers. Confirmed experts include:

– Sarah Anderson Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
– Andy Brooks, UC Natural Reserve System
– Tom Fayrum, Santa Barbara County Flood Control
– Steven Gaines Ph.D., Dean, UC Santa Barbara, Bren School
– Mauricio Gomez, South Coast Habitat Restoration
– Trisha Holden Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara, Bren School and UC Natural Reserve System
– Ben Pitterle, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
– Sigrid Wright, CEO, Community Environmental Council

Thank you to Bank of America, the Christel Bejenke Fund, and Strategic Samurai for their generous financial and in-kind support.

For more information and to reserve free tickets, visit

Download Press Release (PDF)