The Fresno State Interdisciplinary Water Cohort will host The New York Times bestselling author Charles Fishman, who will speak at a public forum at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9 at The Leon S. and Pete P. Peters Educational Center on campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

Fishman’s book, “The Big Thirst,” details how vital water management is to daily existence. Fishman suggests usage patterns have become outdated and a renewed emphasis on innovation is needed.

The book is part of a campus-wide reading initiative that includes 600 students in 20 courses representing each of Fresno State’s eight colleges and schools.

“We’re thrilled to host Charles Fishman as the main event in our first campus reading initiative,” said Frederick Nelson, Interdisciplinary Water Cohort member and science education professor. “His writings and speech will provide an authentic learning experience to develop awareness and understanding of the many perspectives needed to address our local and global water challenges.”

Fishman will also speak earlier in the day to Fresno State students and faculty and at the Water Resources and Policy Initiatives Annual Conference on campus.

Fishman is an award-winning investigative and magazine journalist who has spent the past 20 years trying to get inside, understand and explain important organizations from NASA to Wal-Mart.

Since 1996, he has been a senior writer at Fast Company magazine, and his writing has been included in the “Best Business Stories of the Year” book.

In 2005 he won a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished business journalism. His original story for Fast Company about Wal-Mart, “The Wal-Mart You Don’t Know,” won best business magazine story of 2004, awarded by the New York Press Club.

“The Wal-Mart Effect,” his first book, made the bestseller lists of The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek.

In 2012, Fishman served as the keynote speaker for a Fresno State International Center for Water Technology conference.

As part of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, the center is one of several water research organizations on campus that include the Center for Irrigation Technology, the California Water Institute and the Water, Energy and Technology Center.