Porterville College’s Cultural Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.) will continue its spring schedule on Friday, March 20 with a special C.H.A.P. talk entitled “Climate and Ancient Civilizations: An Archaeologist Looks at Cooling and Warming” with Professor Emeritus at UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Brian Fagan.
Did climatic shifts collapse civilizations? How did rising sea levels affect history? Have El Niños changed human societies beyond recognition? Dr. Fagan, renowned author and archaeologist takes us on a 10,000 year journey as he describes the complex relationships between a wide variety of human societies and long– and short-term climate change. He shows us how today’s warming world has roots that go back deep into the past.
Fagan was born in England and studied archaeology at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was Keeper of Prehistory at the Livingstone Museum, Zambia, from 1959-1965. During six years in Zambia and one in East Africa, he was deeply involved in fieldwork on multidisciplinary African history and in monuments conservation. He came to the United States in 1966 and was Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1967 to 2003, when he became Emeritus.
Since coming to Santa Barbara, Fagan has specialized in communicating archaeology and the past to general audiences through lecturing, writing, and other media. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is regarded as one of the world’s leading archaeological and historical writers and is a much-in-demand popular lecturer about the past all over the world. His many books include three volumes for the National Geographic Society, including the bestselling “Adventure of Archaeology.”
Other works include “The Rape of the Nile,” a classic history of archaeologists and tourists along the Nile, and four books on ancient climate change and human societies, “Floods, Famines, and Emperors (on El Niños),” “The Little Ice Age,” and “The Long Summer,” an account of warming and humanity since the Great Ice Age. “The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations,” a New York Times bestseller, describes the Medieval Warm Period of 1,000 years ago. His “Before California” (AltaMira Press, 2004) is a widely read summary of what we know about California before Europeans arrived.
His other books include “Chaco Canyon: Archaeologists Explore the Lives of an Ancient Society” and “Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting, and the Discovery of the New World” and “Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age gave birth to the first modern humans.” “Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind” (2011) extends his climatic research to the most vital of all resources for humanity. “Beyond the Blue Horizon,” a book about ancient seafaring appeared in June 2012. “The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels” appeared in June 2013. He is currently studying the human relationship with animals over the past 15,000 years.
Brian has been sailing since he was eight years old and learnt his cruising in the English Channel and North Sea. He has sailed thousands of miles in European waters, across the Atlantic, and in the Pacific. He is author of the “Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California,” which has been a widely used set of sailing directions since 1979. An ardent bicyclist, he lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Lesley and daughter Ana.
The talk will take place from 7-8 p.m.in the PC Theater. The event is open to the public and free to attend. Parking permits will not be required for the event.
The Porterville College Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) was organized in 2002 to enhance students' awareness of certain important aspects of our society to which they may previously have had little or no exposure. A theme is chosen by CHAP members each school year, and faculty members across the campus are encouraged to integrate elements of that theme into their coursework. Additionally, a variety of field trips, guest speakers, panel discussions and videos are presented throughout the year and are all open to the public. For more information about C.H.A.P. call Richard Osborne at (559) 791-2298.
Porterville College is located at 100 E. College Avenue in Porterville. For more information visit www.portervillecollege.edu or call (559) 791-2200.