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The Sixth Extinction (First Year Reading Pick, 2019)

The 2019 selection of Stevens' First Year Reading Program.

The Sixth Extinction Resource Guide

My hope is that readers of this book will come away with an appreciation of the truly extraordinary moment in which we live.

-- Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction (p. 3)


Welcome to the guide for the First Year Reading Program's 2019 pick, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert. The information you'll find here will help you better understand the science of The Sixth Extinction and the ongoing effects of the Anthropocene era on the planet.

The staff of the Samuel C. Williams Library looks forward to meeting you when you arrive at Stevens in August!

Image source: "The Great Mastodon" from Researches on fossil bones, in which are established the characters of various animals whose species have been destroyed by the revolutions of the globe, Baron M. Frederic Cuvier (1834), via the Internet Archive

Find The Sixth Extinction on reserve at the Library:

If you have any questions regarding the First Year Reading Program, please contact Chris Shemanski, Associate Director of the Office of Undergraduate Student Life (

For more on the program and the First-Year Orientation, see:

First Year Reading Program Summer Contest

FYRP 2019 Summer Contest flyer

First Year Reading Program 2019 Contest

Dig deeper into The Sixth Extinction and enter the summer contest!
Email with questions or to submit your entry.

Learn More About Our Climate Crisis

From the PBS web series It's OK to be Smart: Climate Science: What You Need To Know

Greta Thunberg is a teenage Swedish climate activist who initiated a worldwide climate movement by young people, "School Strike for Climate" (also known as Fridays for Future, Youth for Climate and Youth Strike 4 Climate).

Greta touches on the concept of the sixth mass extinction beginning around 4:00. You can view more of her speeches at #fridaysforfuture.

Guide Creators