Resources and updates on the Thomas fire

By UCSB Graduate Division Staff
Thursday, December 14, 2017 08:00 AM
Fall quarter extends to January

UCSB is monitoring the impact of the Thomas Fire on our campus community.  Currently, the Thomas fire poses no physical danger to our campus.

Due to these extraordinary circumstances, final exams were rescheduled for the week of January 8.  Read Chancellor Yang's message.

The university has posted a list of FAQs and associated resources for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and staff related to the extension of fall quarter and the rescheduling of final exams due to the Thomas Fire.

Understanding that members of our community are struggling to make choices to manage their individual and family needs, the campus is implementing an Emergency Leave policy, which allows the Executive Vice Chancellor, Deans, and Vice Chancellors to grant up to two days of administrative leave with pay for the period of December 5-15. The Chancellor urges administrators at all levels to exercise maximum flexibility for staff who have endured hardships as a result of the Thomas fire. Read Chancellor Yang's update on staff resources and emergency leave guidelines here.


Due to the ongoing Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, which has resulted in recurring power outages on campus and in the surrounding areas, many December 15 graduate application deadlines have been extended to December 18, 2017.  

Please be sure to complete and submit your application, and any corresponding application materials, by December 18th at 11:59pm Pacific Time if you have not already done so. You may check the status of any materials already submitted by logging into your eApp. 

If you have any questions, you may contact us at or at our Graduate Division main office line at 805-893-2277


If you were scheduled to graduate at the end of Fall quarter, the quarter is being extended into January 2018. Technically, you will still graduate during fall quarter. However, your degree conferral date will be in 2018, not 2017.

Fall 2017 Thesis and Dissertation Filing Deadline, and Advancement to Candidacy Deadline

The thesis and dissertation filing deadline and the advancement to candidacy deadline for fall 2017 will now be January 12, 2018, the last day of fall quarter.

  • If you have scheduled your dissertation defense, comprehensive exam, or qualifying exam for the coming week, you are welcome to do so if faculty are available. 
  • If no one is available, the defense date can be extended to January 12. Note that people can also attend doctoral defenses by Skype or conference call, if necessary. 

Should you have further questions, contact the UCSB Graduate Division team at or call (805) 893-2277. The Graduate Division office on the third floor of Cheadle Hall is open during regular business hours this week. 

The UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications is regularly updating a page linking out to advisories and campus resources. Please consult this page for updates on campus operations, information on the evacuation center on campus, and other resources for students and staff.

The UCSB Division of Student Affairs has released a comprehensive list of of current services and department closures on campus.

Parking & Evacuation Information: UC Santa Barbara and the Red Cross have set up an evacuation center at the UCSB Recreation Center for those individuals displaced by the Thomas Fire. A portion of Parking Lot 16 is being reserved for the Red Cross shelter evacuees. Please refer to the lot diagram and observe the posted signage. Mesa Structure 18 will remain available for University business. UCSB campus permit holders and visitors should park in alternate locations such as Parking Lot 18 and Lot 22 in order to provide an area in Parking Lot 16 for the fire evacuees.

Air Quality Advisories and Masks for Students and Staff: Student Health advises restriction of outdoor activities until the air quality improves, and avoiding strenuous activity, particularly for persons with underlying medical conditions. Please seek medical attention if you experience any breathing difficulties. More than 8,000 N95 masks have been distributed on campus and more have now arrived.

Masks are available on campus:
If you are on campus, N95 masks continue to be available at Human Resources, Student Health, and Housing. Departments can email to pick up additional masks. For more information, please refer to the Student Health website.   

For the most recent updates on air quality, visit the Our Air website.

Masks which seal off the nose and mouth can be helpful outdoors to block particulates, but do not block all of the adverse effects of unhealthy air. Visit the Santa Barbara County Health Department page for more information. 

If you are off campus, check the Public Health Department website for N-95 mask distribution sites in Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria.

To stay up-to-date on current emergency alerts, evacuation notices, and advisories, sign up for Santa Barbara County's Aware & Prepare Emergency Alerts.

For the latest fire maps, check out WIFIRE and Google's Statewide Fire Map

Financial Support:
If ​you are experiencing a short-term financial crisis as a result of the fires, you should email and can expect a reply within 24 to 48 hours. Students who wish to talk in more detail about fire-related problems should contact Rebecca Plotkin, lead contact at Financial Crisis Response Team, at​

Data Backup and Storage: Don't forget to safeguard and back up important data and other research materials to ensure their safekeeping during this time. The UCSB Student Informations and Technology team has released an advisory on data backup and storage.

The UCSB Data Curation Program supports active and ongoing management of data produced by UCSB researchers throughout the research process to cultivate broader awareness of the continued utility of data within, and aims to ensure that data are well-described and findable; accessible and usable; citable; and sustainably preservable.

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