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Boise State Campus Read fosters common discourse

“The Odyssey of KP2: An Orphan Seal and a Marine Biologist’s Fight to Save a Species” by author Terrie M. Williams has been enthusiastically selected as the Boise State Campus Read for 2014-2015

The Boise State Campus Read Program provides a common experience to foster community amongst students, faculty, staff and the city of Boise; promotes academic discourse and critical thinking; and increases engagement in culture and current issues through books and discussions.

New students will receive the book during summer orientation with the expectation of reading the book prior to the start of classes.  President Kustra has said of the book, “I must say it’s not often, hardly ever, I read a book and go to the end to find out what happens but I had to know where this pup would wind up.”

The Odyssey of KP2 will be incorporated into University Foundations courses, the author will speak on campus, and all-university events will be held.  Students will be enrolled in a Campus Read Blackboard course to be completed over the summer and fall semester, and earn 1 credit.  The goal of the course is to engage students with the book and introduce the Blackboard course system that is used in most courses to post course information, assignments, and grades.

About the Book

When a two day-old Hawaiian monk seal pup is attacked and abandoned by his mother on a beach in Kauai, environmental officials must decide if they should save him or allow nature to take its course. But as a member of the most endangered marine mammal species in U.S. waters, Kauai Pup 2 (KP2) is too precious to lose, and he embarks on an odyssey that will take him to the only qualified caretaker, the eminent wildlife expert Dr. Terrie M. Williams.

The local islanders see KP2 as an honored member of their community, but government agents and scientists must consider the important role he could play in gathering knowledge and data about this endangered and rare species. Only 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals survive in the wild; if their decline continues without intervention, they face certain extinction within fifty years. In a controversial decision, environmental officials send KP2 to Williams’ marine mammal lab in Santa Cruz, California, where she and her team monitor his failing eyesight and gather crucial data that could help save KP2’s species.

The Odyssey of KP2 is an inside look at the life of a scientist and the role that her research plays in the development of conservation efforts, bringing our contemporary environmental landscape to life. It is also the heartwarming portrait of a Hawaiian monk seal whose unforgettable personality never falters, even as his fate hangs in the balance. KP2, now known as Hō’ailona, lives in the Waikīkī Aquarium.

Print and digital copies are available at Albertsons Library and the Boise Public Library, and for sale at the Boise State Bookstore.  Visit