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CSUB’s Kegley Institute of Ethics Panel Discussion to Explore ‘What Happened to All the Trees?’

California has been experiencing a five-year long drought, particularly in the southern part of the state. Warm temperatures have coincided with the low precipitation inputs connected to the larger issue of global warming. Throughout the drought, there has been the unprecedented die-off of forest trees: over 100 million in the last five years and 62 million in 2016 alone.

The Kegley Institute of Ethics (KIE) at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) will host a panel discussion titled, “What Happened to All the Trees? Climate Change and the Sierra Nevada Die-Off,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, in CSUB’s Student Union Multi-Purpose Room.

Panelists are:

  • Adrian Das, USGS Ecologist, Western Ecological Research Center.
  • Joyce Kohl, CSUB Art Department.
  • Max Moritz, UC Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.
  • Sheri Lee Smith, Regional Entomologist, Forest Health Protection, USDA Forest Service.

Brandon Pratt of CSUB’s Biology Department will moderate. 

“Anyone who spends time in the Sierra Nevada cannot help but be struck by the heartbreaking effects the drought and bark beetle have had on these majestic trees,” said KIE Director Christopher Meyers. “This panel of experts will address some of the causes behind the die-off and give us an indication of what we are likely looking at for the future.”

The discussion will explore the connection between drought and forest tree mortality, the role of climate change, what role insects and pathogens play, the effects on giant sequoias, how fire will be affected by the drought and dead/stressed trees, and the future of the forest trees.

The die-off of forest trees has prompted California to declare a state of emergency due the severity of tree loss and hazards related to their morality that include the falling of trees onto structures and heightened risk of high-intensity fires.

There will be free admission and free parking in Lots J, K1, K2 and J after 6 p.m.

For additional information, please call (661) 654-6263.

Like all KIE events, this panel discussion is free and open to the public, thanks to the generous support from Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, and partnership between Kaiser Permanente and San Joaquin Community Hospital. The panel is co-sponsored by CSUB’s CREST Grant and Art Department.

For Media Requests

Contact CSUB Public Affairs
(661) 654-2136