Join us on March 14, 2024, for a special Solutions-Focused Community Book Club meeting where we will discuss Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter Planet by John Vaillant.

In addition to our traditional book club discussion, this meeting will also feature a panel discussion with local climate and environmental experts Molly Hunter, PhD, Ojas Sanghi, and Michael Zellner. The panel will be moderated by Caitlin Schmidt, co-founder of the Tucson Agenda.

When: March 14, 2024 | 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Where: Community Foundation Campus
Book: Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter Planet by John Vaillant

Please RVSP using the form below. Light refreshments will be provided.

About the Book

Fire has been a partner in our evolution for hundreds of millennia, shaping culture, civilization, and, very likely, our brains. Fire has enabled us to cook our food, defend and heat our homes, and power the machines that drive our titanic economy.

In May 2016, Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada’s oil industry and America’s biggest foreign supplier, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster melted vehicles, turned entire neighborhoods into firebombs, and drove 88,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon.

John Vaillant’s book Fire Weather takes us on a riveting journey through the intertwined histories of North America’s oil industry and the birth of climate science, to the unprecedented devastation wrought by modern forest fires and into lives forever changed by these disasters.

About Our Panelists

Molly Hunter, PhD, serves as the Science Advisor to the Joint Fire Science Program, a national interagency program dedicated to funding research related to wildland fire. Prior to joining the federal workforce, Molly held faculty positions at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, where she developed and taught numerous undergraduate, graduate, and continuing courses and maintained an active research program in fire ecology and management.

Ojas Sanghi is a sophomore at the University of Arizona studying Computer Science and Future Earth Resilience. He is the Tucson Co-Lead of the AZ Youth Climate Coalition, the Vice-President of UArizona Divest, and also serves as a Commissioner on the City Commission on Climate, Energy, and Sustainability.


Michael Zellner joined the Sonoran Institute as chief executive officer in October 2020. Mike has 30 years of experience building award-winning collaborations for global organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Dow Jones & Co., and Euromoney. At The Nature Conservancy, Mike collaborated with international, regional and local stakeholders to conserve more than 450,000 acres, raise more than $30 million, build advisory boards in Latin America, and secure the largest corporate partnership in the history of the organization.

Caitlin Schmidt has been reporting on Tucson for the last 10 years, covering public safety, local government, sports, courts, health and more for the Arizona Daily Star. She left the Star in June to launch the Tucson Agenda, a Substack newsletter and online vertical that offers a clear-eyed look at the decisions that affect Tucson and Tucsonans. She teaches at the University of Arizona School of Journalism and sits on the boards of several professional organizations.