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One Campus, One Book

Finding common ground through a shared reading experience. This year, "Eat Like a Fish" by Bren Smith will serve as the centerpiece for explorations of mariculture, food security, local foods and our deep coastal community connections to the ocean.

Upcoming Events

Bren Smith: Ocean Farming and the Fight for Equality in a Changing World

Thursday March 9, 2023 @ 7:00 PM Sitka Harrigan Centennial Hall

Rising temperatures and sea levels bring rising inequality as climate change depletes our resources. Scroll to "All Events" below for additional event details. 

March 7, 2023 Recording


Eat Like a Fish book cover

Eat Like a Fish: My adventures as a fisherman turned restorative ocean farmer by Bren Smith is the One Campus, One Book Selection for AY 22-23.

  • All new UAS Students will receive a complimentary print copy.
  • Complementary copies are now available to community members at the Egan Library circulation desk (while supplies last).
  • Additional copies (print , ebook, audiobook) are available at the Egan Library and library locations throughout Juneau.
  • Complimentary books are made possible through funding support from UAS Orientation, UAS First-Year Experience, UAS One Campus One Book and a generous grant from the Alaska State Library.
  • In-person (Juneau and Sitka) and virtual events are planned for Fall 2022 and Spring 2023. In-person events with Bren Smith are made possible through funding from the Alaska State Library.

In the face of apocalyptic climate change, a former fisherman shares a bold and hopeful new vision for saving the planet: farming the ocean. Here Bren Smith—pioneer of regenerative ocean agriculture (mariculture) —introduces the world to a groundbreaking solution to the global climate crisis.

A genre-defining “climate memoir,” Eat Like a Fish interweaves Smith’s own life—from sailing the high seas aboard commercial fishing trawlers to developing new forms of ocean farming to surfing the frontiers of the food movement—with actionable food policy and practical advice on ocean farming. Written with the humor and swagger of a fisherman telling a late-night tale, it is a powerful story of environmental renewal, and a must-read guide to saving our oceans, feeding the world, and—by creating new jobs up and down the coasts—putting working class Americans back to work.

“Part memoir, part treatise on the life of a professional fisherman, part manual for the future of eating worldwide, this unique book cannot help but make readers think long and hard about the fate of the earth as it faces the challenges of global warming and the outlook for feeding the planet... Smith has now become a visionary leader in cultivating what may turn out to be a primary source of the world’s food. This is a book about a man as well as a book about an idea.” —Booklist (starred review)

Listen to a sample:

PRH Audio · Eat Like a Fish by Bren Smith, read by Bren Smith

All Events

  • circle icon with image of white male Bren Smith wearing a red and black flannel shirt with line of kelp over his right shoulder

    Bren Smith: Sea Farming, Sustainability and the Future of Food

    Tuesday March 7, 7:00 PM @ UAS Juneau, Egan Lecture Hall (EG 112)

    In this talk, Bren Smith looks at the relationship between agriculture and climate, explaining how he bridges land and sea farming to create a new model that brings a high yield with a low impact. Learn more about the exciting possibilities of 3D ocean farming, from fresh food sources and flavors to climate change protection and prevention. Audience Q&A + book signing to follow. This in-person event will be also livestreamed. In person events with Bren Smith in Juneau and Sitka are made possible through funding from the Alaska State Library.

  • circle icon with image of white male Bren Smith wearing a red and black flannel shirt with line of kelp over his right shoulder

    Bren Smith: Ocean Farming and the Fight for Equality in a Changing World

    Thursday March 9, 7:00 PM @ Sitka Harrigan Centennial Hall

    Rising temperatures and sea levels bring rising inequality as climate change depletes our resources. In this talk, Smith explains how ocean farming is not only sustainable for the planet, but as a career, and how this new industry represents an exciting opportunity to build a uniquely diverse workforce with a regenerative economy. Audience Q&A + book signing to follow.  Sponsored by UAS One Campus, One Book and the Sitka Public Library. In person events with Bren Smith in Juneau and Sitka are made possible through funding from the Alaska State Library.

  • circle icon that reads ocean to table

    Ocean to Table: Let’s Talk Mariculture in AK

    Tuesday Oct 25 7:00 PM | Recording available on YouTube

    Panelists will discuss their roles in mariculture and reflect on local foods, sustainability and growing a new industry in Alaska. Featuring Max Stanley (Barnacle Foods), Chelsea Goucher (Foraged & Found), Dr. Schery Umanzor (UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences), Hannah Wilson (Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation) and Dan Lesh (Southeast Conference).

  • circle icon that reads local foods tour

    Local Foods Tour: Barnacle Foods + Juneau Greens

    Thursday Oct 13 5:30-7:00 PM 
    Get a behind-the-scenes tour of two Juneau businesses using innovative approaches to produce sustainable, fresh and fantastic local foods. Space is limited and masks are required for this event. Transportation will depart from John Pugh Residence Hall at 5:40.

Bren Smith

Bren Smith is a former commercial fisherman turned ocean farmer who pioneered the development of restorative 3D ocean farming. Born and raised in Newfoundland, he left high school at the age of 14 to work on fishing boats from the Grand Banks to the Bering Sea. Smith is the owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm and Executive Director of the non-profit Greenwave, which trains new ocean farmers in building a climate-resilient food system. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. Smith’s genre-defying “climate memoir,” Eat Like a Fish was published in 2019. It won the James Beard Foundation Book Award for Writing and was a Finalist for the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award in the Food Issues & Matters category. Smith’s ocean farm also won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge for ecological design and earned him a spot in TIME magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2017.” For more information on Bren Smith, visit the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau

Bren Smith, Making Kelp our New Hope

How does kelp help fight climate change?

Alaska Kelp Farming

Sitka Locals Harvest Seaweed


Mariculture Resources

Alaska-based Mariculture Businesses, Products and Recipes

Program Information

Out of recognition that integrating One Campus, One Book selections into UAS courses takes time, two books will be announced each selection cycle.   

2023-24: Disability Visibility: 17 First-Person Stories for Today by Alice Wong.

2024-25: Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance by Nick Estes

Previous One Campus, One Book Selections

Information about previous OCOB selections and links to audio/video when available.  

2021: An American Sunrise: Poems by Joy Harjo

In collaboration with the Juneau Public Library's NEA Big Read Grant programming, events were held throughout the year around town and online. 

Big Read Juneau Kickoff, in-person event at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum (Fall 2021) during which visitors explored the exhibit "Echoes of War” which told the largely ignored story of Unangax̂ people who were forcibly removed from the Pribilof islands and held at Funter Bay in Southeast Alaska from 1942-44 while listening to a recorded soundscape of Harjo poems read by 17 volunteer Alaskan readers (Poetry in the Air). The poems and the exhibit both spotlight the history of forced displacement of Native people. The event received press coverage and was featured in a story by KTOO, "Juneau poetry event spotlights forced displacement of Native people.

A Most Powerful Song, virtual panel featuring Indigenous poets Vivian Faith Prescott, Marie Tozier and X’unei Lance Twitchell. Participants read from their work and discussed poetic lineage, the influence of U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and the importance of increasing visibility of Indigenous people and poetry. The event was  moderated by Sol Neely (Fall 2021). [Video Archive]

UAS Open Mic Night @ Auke Bay Cafe, in-person event co-sponsored by UAS Student Housing (Fall 2021). 

An American Sunrise: Southeast Alaskan Writers Celebrate the Work of Joy Harjo, in-person event at the Alaska State Museum co-sponsored by 49 Writers (Spring 2022). [Video Archive]

2020: If Our Bodies Could Talk: Operating and Maintaining a Human Body by James Hamblin

Invited speaker, James Hamblin, discussed his work as a public health professional and author in the midst of a global pandemic. The conversation included questions from participants and was moderated by Jonas Lamb [watch]. Complementary ebook (from Google Play, while supplies last). 

2019: Cancelled

2018: Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream by Joshua Davis 

Invited speaker, Oscar Vazquez, one of the teenagers whose trials and triumphs are documented in the book, visited with UAS classes (Spanish), had a luncheon with the UAS Student Veterans and Family Association and provide the afternoon keynote, "La Vida Robot, STEM, and Immigration"during the Power & Privilege Symposium. [watch]  

Campus screenings of the feature film, Spare Parts and the documentary Underwater Dreams, illustrated how the boys left an enduring legacy that has inspired generations of young Latino advocates to raise their voice on issues of immigration, the DREAM act and equitable access to STEM education.

Spare Parts author, Joshua Davis, recorded a welcome video for incoming UAS students.  [watch]

2017: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandell

UAS partnered with the Juneau Public Libraries on their NEA Big Read Grant.  An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.  Station Eleven served as a starting place for a community wide conversation on the themes of remembering and coping with historical trauma through cultural and artistic forms, boosting community knowledge of emergency preparedness and infectious disease prevention, and promoting kindness and respect for different perspectives despite humans’ sometime violent and intolerant nature.  Fewer events were hosted on campus this year due to the abundance of  community-wide events held by JPL and other Big Read partners. 

Dr. Micaela Martinez, Assistant Professor at the Columbia University, New York, UAS Biology and Math Alumna gave the lecture: The Clockwork of Epidemics, Health & Disease.

Two films interpretting future worlds (Mad Max and The Circle) were screened on campus.  A game night featuring the board game, Pandemic was held in student housing as were weekly book discussions. 

UAS created a website for the project [view the archived website]

2016: Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories

Invited speaker, Christina Gomez, co-editor of Mixed visited with 3 classes on the Juneau Campus (Humanities, Spanish, Sociology) and had a lunch time conversation about educational journeys, graduate school, advocacy and passions with the UAS students in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP). 

Gomez participated and lectured as part of the 1st UAS Power and Privilege Symposium on November 9th, 2016 and gave the talk, "The Act of Dreaming: Undocumented Students in the United States." 

Gomez also gave the One Campus, One Book lecture, "Negotiating Identity in America" as part of the Evening at Egan series on November 11th, 2016.

2015: Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir by Ernestine Hayes

“One of the most important books to come out of Alaska. There have been other great memoirs by Alaska Natives, but few if any have been made with such disarming humor, such bravery and such warmth.”  --The Anchorage Press

Hayes' visited 15 classes on the Juneau and Sitka campuses, attended a reception in her honor held by the UAS Honors Program and participated in 3 community events culminating in her Evening at Egan Lecture, "An Animate World", Nov. 6th, 2015.

Hayes moderated the panel, "The Making of Never Alone" an interdisciplinary discussion focusing on the video game, Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), winner of the 2015 British Academy Games Award: Best Debut.  The panel featured cultural ambassadors Ishmael Hope and Amy Fredeen and a team from E-Line Media appeared via video (Matt Swanson — Producer, Ian Gil — Lead Designer, David Koenig — Technical Director, Casey McDonnell — Art Director).  The discussion raised the question, how can new media platforms be used effectively to tell traditional stories in order celebrate indigenous language, contribute to decolonization efforts and share a vibrant, in-tact culture with younger generations? 

Hayes' donated the pre-publication Blonde Indian manuscript and author's correspondence to the Egan Library.  It can be viewed online in ScholarWorks@UA. Access to original manuscript materials are restricted to in-library use at the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Library and requires pre-approval from a reference librarian. Researchers are encouraged to use the online version of this collection.

Blonde Indian was selected by Alaska Writer Laureate, Frank Soos and the Alaska Center for the Book as the inaugural selection for Alaska Reads 2016, a statewide celebration of Alaskan literature.  Hayes' travelled extensively throughout the state during the month of February and free copies of Blonde Indianwere distributed to public libraries courtesy of the Alaska State Library.     

In March 2016, Hayes was featured on "The Artist" @ 360 North.  The event was recorded and rebroadcast later on 360 North public television and on YouTube.  Additional info about "The Artist @360". [watch]  

Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness an exhibition on loan from the National Library of Medicine was hosted @ Egan Library September-December 2015  

The  Juneau Public Library collected interviews on campus as part of their StoryCorps grant “Every Voice Matters: Recording and Sharing Alaska Native Educational Experiences”.  UAS students and faculty facilitated interviews at the Egan Library.  Recordings will be available on CD at the Juneau Public Libraries in Summer 2016.  Select interviews from the project can be streamed from KHNS (Haines, AK Public Radio).  

2014: Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck and Ricketts scholar Katie Rodger visited the Juneau campus for a series of class visits, reception and an Evening at Egan Lecture, 'Discovering Science: Finding the Story', Oct. 10th, 2014.   

Artist and socio-ecological activist Colleen Flanigan visited the Sitka and Juneau campuses for a series of class visits and presentations on Merging Art and Environmental Sciences.  

2013: At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson

Kij Johnson visited the Juneau campus for a series of class visits, the one-night only production of a staged reading and an Evening at Egan Lecture.

UAS Drama Club S.C.R.I.P.T performed "Finding True North", Nov. 6th 2013
Kij Johnson presented and Evening at Egan lecture, Egan Library, Nov. 8th, 2013 

Narrative Endeavors: Visual and Literary Art Exhibition.  One night only student art show with open mic and Google Hangout with Kij Johnson.  Downtown Gallery, April 4th, 2014.   

John Marzluff, author of Gifts of the Crow: How perception, emotion, and thought allow smart birds to behave like humans presented a different perspective on this year's OCOB theme of human-animal communication and communicating with the other at a Sound and Motion Lecture on April 18th, 2014.  

2012: Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer  

Karsten Heuer and Leanne Alison visited the Juneau campus for a series of lectures, film screening and classroom visits. Gwich’in elder Randall Tetlichi was elder-in-residence on the Juneau Campus and gave another perspective on related themes.

Gwich’in elder Randall Tetlichi presented an Evening at Egan lecture, Egan Library: Nov. 9th  2012 [watch ]
Leanne screened the related film, Egan Lecture Hall followed by a Q&A, Nov. 15th 2012 [watch]
Karsten presented an Evening at Egan lecture, Egan Library, Nov. 16th 2012 [watch]
Sarah Ray, OCOB 2012 Committee Chair

2011: The Truth About Stories by Thomas King

2010: Listening is an Act of Love by David Isay

One Campus, One Book is the common reading program at UAS-Juneau. It's a celebration of literature and the relationships and communities that develop between readers and writers. Discussing a common book can also provide a safe venue for beginning difficult dialogues. The program grew out of the Student Success Forum with the goal of helping foster community and compassion on campus. The program's first year (2010) featured David Issay's Listening is an Act of Love and a corresponding campus oral history project ( The UAS Listening Project) collected the stories of students, faculty and staff. In 2012 the program was formalized as a program of the Egan Library, a selection committee established and in 2013 these program goals and criteria were adopted.


The UAS One Campus, One Book program will:

  • Begin an exploration of interdisciplinary approaches
  • Create opportunities for learning in and out of the classroom.
  • Foster student, staff and community participation and identification as contributing members of an intellectual community.
  • Promote reading and "foster a page-turning togetherness".*

*based on DC We Read 2009

The One Campus, One Book (OCOB) program aligns with the mission and goals of the UAS First Year Experience (FYE) Program to support academic success and persistence, ease educational and social transitions to college, and foster student engagement in the UAS Community. OCOB activities incorporate two FYE student learning outcomes:

First year students participating in OCOB activities will:

  1. Develop a strong network of peers and professionals including:
    1. One faculty member they consider a mentor
    2. One staff member they feel can offer support
    3. Five peers that are conducive to their social and academic success
  2. Develop strong connections to the UAS campus by attending at least five events on the Don't Miss List

Criteria for book selection

  • The extent to which the book matches program goals (touches on interdisciplinary perspectives and has the potential for integration into curriculum, is not too challenging in terms of reading level or topic).
  • Has the potential for a variety of related program (themes).
  • The book won’t have likely been assigned reading during high school.
  • Accessibility: The book is between 250-350 pages in length, engaging, college-level reading and not a text-book
  • Accessibility: is available currently in paperback
  • Accessibility: bulk ordering of the book won’t require a reprint of the title.
  • The author may be available to visit campus (within our modest budget).

Planning and Selection Committee

Please email committee chair, Jonas Lamb ( if you are interested in participating on the committee or for information about the next selection.