Plenary Speaker

Dr. Peter Alagona


Bear Essential?: The Past and Potential Future of Grizzlies in California 


In 1848, California contained an estimated 10,000 grizzly bears: more than any current US state other than Alaska, and a ratio of 1 grizzly for every 11 people living in California at that time. By 1925, all of California's grizzlies had disappeared--relegated to the status of memories, mascots, and merchandise. In this Science Pub lecture, I will discuss the history and possible reintroduction of grizzlies in California, based on more than 7 years of study by UCSB's California Grizzly Research Network.


Peter Alagona is a professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UCSB. Before coming to UCSB, he studied at Northwestern, UCLA, Harvard, and Stanford. He is the author of two books, including The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities, published by UC Press in 2022, (the subject of a Science Pub talk several years ago), and has been the founder and facilitator of the California Grizzly Research Network since 2016.