Resources and updates on the Thomas fire

by UCSB Graduate Division Staff
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 8:00 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.

The campus is also extending the emergency leave policy for all staff and directing the managers, deans, and vice chancellors to exercise maximum flexibility in granting additional emergency leave and/or allowing people to work remotely. "Members of our community – staff, faculty, and students – should feel empowered to make decisions about their own safety and health, and that of their families, during this stressful time." Read Chancellor Yang's update on staff emergency leave guidelines here.


Please note the new WINTER 2018 FEE DEADLINE for graduate students is January 16, 2018. For more information, please email


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. Portions of Parking Lot 23 are also being utilized by the National Guard for staging of equipment. Please observe posted signage and maintain areas clear for official vehicles. Parking Structure 22 and Parking Lot 24 are available for staff and faculty parking.

Law Enforcement and National Guard at The Club and Guest House: At the request of Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Services, The Club and Guest House has been opened to Law Enforcement officers including National Guard troops to assist with their housing needs as they support local officials with the fire response over the next few days. The facility is currently housing over 100 official personnel -- that number may increase as additional support personnel continue to arrive. 

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.