Volunteer facilitators are needed for the Freshman Discussion Groups to be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18 following a presentation about UAB’s 2008 Discussion Book topic, led by its author.

This year’s selection is Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, by Elizabeth Kolbert. E-mail Juanita Sizemore at jsizemor@uab.edu by May 1 to volunteer; facilitators will receive a copy of the book, and training sessions will be held Aug. 14 and 15.

The complex issue of climate change encourages the exchange of different perspectives on cause, significance, consequences and best responses. Kolbert, a former reporter for the New York Times and staff writer for the New Yorker since 1999, has provided a readable introduction to climate change that supports UAB’s mission to educate its students to be knowledgeable participants in a global society.

Joining Kolbert in the panel discussion will be Robert Mendelsohn, the Edwin Weyerhaeuser Davis Professor of Economics at Yale University, and Henry Pollard, professor emeritus in geophysics, University of Michigan. Afterward, freshmen will divide into small groups of around 20 students and participate in discussion groups led by UAB President Carol Garrison, Provost Eli Capilouto and other volunteer facilitators.