A campus-wide reading initiative culminates April 27 with a talk by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of the best-selling book “Blue Mind.” During the free, public event, Nichols will discuss how science shows that being around water can make people happier and more successful.

Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Water Cohort at Fresno State, the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Nichols will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 27 at the Leon and Pete Peters Educational Center Auditorium. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

Pizza and refreshments will also be available at 5:30 p.m. to the first 100 students.

Nichols’ best-selling book is part of a campus-wide reading initiative that includes over 400 students in more than a dozen classes that represent all of Fresno State’s eight colleges and schools.

The book details how healthy oceans and waterways create physical, ecological, economic, cognitive, emotional, psychological and social benefits. Nichols uses evidence from respected athletes, scientists, military veterans and artists to show how their proximity to water has improved their performance, poise, relaxation and success.

“Although we don’t live at the beach, water is nearly always on our minds, and often we think about it with some anxiety here in the Central Valley,” said Dr. Frederick L. Nelson, professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Fresno State and member of the Interdisciplinary Water Cohort. “We are excited for Dr. Nichols to share how we can experience the behavioral, emotional, physical and mental benefits of interacting with water. In previous years, our water reading initiative has considered economic, environmental and climate aspects. These new ideas that are presented in ‘Blue Mind’ will help us continue our development of water literacy for our students and community.”

Nichols, called “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine and “a visionary” by Outside Magazine is a research

scientist, marine biologist, explorer and wild water advocate. He has written more than 200 scientific papers, technical reports, book chapters and articles.

His research, expeditions and work as a guide have taken him to North, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe in efforts to build a stronger and more diverse blue movement.

He is currently a senior fellow at the Middlebury Institute for the International Studies at Monterey Center for the Blue Economy, research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Ocean Revolution.

A former senior scientist at Ocean Conservancy, he holds a Ph.D. degree in wildlife ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona.

More information on the author, event and other campus water-related activities are available at Water Reading and www.wallacejnichols.org.