The book is "Field Notes from a Catastrophe" by Elizabeth Kolbert. It's on a pretty controversial topic and so SMC hopes it will inspire a lot of good conversation. It'll cost about $15 for a paperback copy.
Over the summer 3 professors will post their responses to the book at http://academics.smcvt.edu/KolbertReports
More info can be found on page 13 of your New Student Manuel