Community Colloquium: Riki Ott
Environmental Studies
at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
the University of California, Santa Barbara
Riki Ott
Marine Toxicologist, Author

Tuesday, Oct. 12
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414
"From Exxon Valdez to BP’s Gulf Disaster: Changing the Endgame"

Sponsored by:

Environmental Studies, Coastal Fund Outreach,
William Freudenberg, Oran Young, Gail Osherenko


As an eyewitness and a participant in the nation’s two largest oil spill disasters, Riki Ott compares and contrasts her experiences dealing with the impacts of oil on ecosystems, people, and communities. Over more than twenty years, the Exxon Valdez spill morphed from an environmental disaster into a democracy crisis: All three branches of the federal government ultimately failed to hold Exxon accountable for the damage it wrought, and the nation deepened its oil dependency. BP’s oil disaster is rapidly headed toward the same endgame – covering up damages to return to (oil) business as usual. Ott inspires the audience to take action by engaging them in imagining what it would take to change the endgame.


Bio Riki Ott, PhD, is a trained marine toxicologist, an author, and a former commercial fisher who was on the scene during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. For 21 years, she has been the voice and face of efforts for justice. She has written two books about the impacts of the spill — Sound Truth and Corporate Myths and Not One Drop — and starred in the award-winning film Black Wave. In 2010, Ott brought her expertise to the Gulf of Mexico, volunteering for five months to expose BP’s attempts to cover up public health problems and other spill-related impacts, and to empower local residents to take action. She co-founded Ultimate Civics, a project of Earth Island Institute, and is a member of the national grassroots coalition In October, Ott received Huffington Post’s Game Changer 2010 Award.


NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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