It takes only one inspired student or one scientific discovery to change the world—to save a species from extinction, discover a habitable planet, cure diseases, revolutionize energy… the list is endless. The UC Santa Cruz Division of Physical & Biological Sciences has been doing just that since 1965, and it’s all been made possible by generous gifts from people like you. Find the opportunity that inspires you below and make your own impact on science today.

If you need assistance making a gift or have questions, contact our philanthropy team.

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Photo of student researchers kayaking
Gifts to the excellence fund maximize your impact on student scholarships, diversity, research projects, and new research facilities in the sciences at UC Santa Cruz.
Your gift carries on the legacy of the founding chair of Earth Sciences at UC Santa Cruz and his wife by providing graduate fellowships in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.
Your gift provides a community where students from culturally, ethnically, and economically varied backgrounds achieve academic success through science problem-solving sessions, study and communication skills, and networking.
Photo for UC Santa Cruz.
Your gift supports local community college students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in pursuing careers in biomedical research.
Your gift supports research, teaching, student experience, public service, and stewardship on an important breeding ground and home for dozens of species, including northern elephant seals.
Your gift supports the search for evidence of life beyond Earth, the limits of planetary habitability, and the origins of life on other planets and ocean worlds.
Your gift supports students, faculty, instrumentation, and research at one of the world's leading centers for observational and theoretical research in astronomy and the most fundamental questions of cosmology.
student and faculty researchers on a coastal cliff
Your gift honors the memory of a founding science faculty member who helped make UC Santa Cruz a science powerhouse and a supportive incubator of student excellence. The annual Garrison award recognizes outstanding Ocean Sciences graduate students who have shown exceptional scholarship, teaching and mentoring, and service to their community.
Building a Better Fieldwork Future prepares students, researchers, and instructors to maintain well-being in field settings through trainings to prevent, intervene in, and respond to sexual harassment and assault, to make scientific fieldwork a safe and inclusive place.
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Your gift supports an annual academic symposium in our Department of Chemistry, honoring Dr. Joseph Bunnett.
Back view of elementary student raising arm in order to answer a questing during a class.
Your gift coins new, highly qualified science and math teachers for high-need California public schools. Cal Teach provides internships in K–12 schools along with seminars, advising, and financial support to foster undergraduates' interest in, and successful preparation for, teaching careers.
Three people standing on a small boat that has the word "research" printed on the side.
Your gift supports students from the first day of class to graduation and beyond by linking them with resources that prepare them for careers or graduate school in ecology and conservation. CAMINO offers diverse, well-trained mentors, connects students with funded research and field-based opportunities, and sustains a supportive, inclusive community.
Your gift supports a state-of-the-art chemical screening center—modern equipment, libraries, technical assistance, screens, and data analysis—for identifying new agents to address neglected and complex diseases.
Impacts of interfacial charge transfer on nanoparticle electrocatalytic activity towards oxygen reduction, Shaowei Chen, credit Royal Society of Chemistry
Your gift supports education in chemistry and biochemistry with cross-disciplinary emphasis, including research in biomedical and biotechnology, diseases and drug discovery (natural and synthetic compounds), energy conversion of nanomaterials, nanophotonics, and imaging.
Your gift supports an interdisciplinary graduate program that prepares students to design and implement solutions to the complex social, ecological, and technological problems facing the world’s coastal communities and ecosystems.
Students in biologist Jeremy Sanford's undergraduate research lab work on projects directly connected to his research on disease-causing genetic mutations.
Your gift supports lab courses based on faculty-led research projects, where students gain intensive lab experience, including data analysis, critical thinking, and soft skills necessary for successful careers in the life science industry.
Your gift supports unique training opportunities for astronomy graduate students at UC Santa Cruz—educational activities, mentorships with outstanding leaders, and leadership experiences conceived and executed by students themselves.
Your gift supports research, education, and alumni activities in Earth and planetary science, including hydrogeology, tectonics, geology, paleontology, climate studies, environmental science, seismology, mineral and rock physics, atmospheric science, and planetary physics.
tent on glacier
Your gift supports graduate and undergraduate students in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department as they conduct thesis-related research involving topics such as water resources, climate change, and the evolution of landscapes and aquatic systems.
Photo of Kristy Kroeker's team research diving.
Your gift trains undergraduates and graduate students in conducting original research on plants and animals to understand behavior and physiology, conservation biology, ecology, and evolution.
Your gift honors professor emeritus Eli Silvers's numerous scientific achievements, outstanding teaching and mentoring contributions, and distinguished service by supporting EPS undergraduate majors and graduate students with costs for professional development, education, and living expenses.
Eschscholzia californica on hillside overlooking the Monterey Bay at the UC Santa Cruz Landels-Hill Big Creek Natural Reserve
Your gift supports university teaching, research, and public service on five natural reserves operated by UC Santa Cruz: Año Nuevo Island, Landels-Hill Big Creek, Fort Ord, Younger Lagoon, and the Campus Natural Reserve.
Your gift provides grants to undergraduate students working on research projects in science and technology, covering costs associated with conducting research and a stipend.
Your gift supports university teaching, research, and public service on this 600-acre former army base, and protects at-risk habitats and species in the maritime chaparral ecosystem.
Photo of UCO Lick telescope at sunset by Willie Martini for UCO Lick.
Your gift enables astronomers throughout the University of California to receive state-of-the-art research support at Lick Observatory, with a special emphasis on projects and initiatives that support public outreach and education.
Portrait of UC Santa Cruz Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences Gary Griggs
Your gift supports research and professional development for undergraduates and graduate students in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.
Your gift makes it possible for undergraduates in Earth and Planetary Sciences to participate in summer field camp, an iconic experience that satisfies the capstone course requirement for all undergraduates.
Your gift supports rich experiential learning and research opportunities for students in the biological sciences. Our instructional greenhouses host over 5000 students each year for hands-on activities exploring an alluring botanical collection. These opportunities change lives and potentially our planet for the better by inspiring the next generation of scientists.
Your gift supports an undergraduate Earth sciences major who demonstrates ability and enthusiasm in applying science to present environmental issues, shows leadership and character in non-academic activities, and enjoys the outdoors.
Your gift supports world-class research and education on local, regional, and global issues that affect the health of our oceans and, ultimately, our own quality of life.
Your gift supports thesis-related research by graduate students in our Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and honors one of the department's most influential and inspiring faculty members, J. Casey Moore.
Give in memory of Dr. John Pearse and his legacy of dedication to students and experiential education through field courses.
On June 7, the Alumna Kathy Sullivan visited Challenger Deep, which sits 10,928 meters (35,853 feet) deep in the western Pacific Ocean, as part of the Ring of Fire Expedition organized by bespoke adventure company EYOS Expeditions and undersea technology specialist Caladan Oceanic. (credit Enrique Alvarez/EYOS Expeditions)
Your gift supports awards for students in Earth and marine science: one is an individual undergraduate award, and the other is for a research project by an undergraduate mentored by a graduate student.
Your gift supports a summer program that introduces students from local, diversity-serving community colleges to methods and tools for state-of-the-art astrophysical simulations. Students who participate stay in science and graduate at higher rates than their peers.
Photo for UC Santa Cruz.
Your gift supports university teaching, research, and public service on a wild, pristine coastal ecosystem on the Big Sur coast—a natural laboratory for tackling the state’s environmental issues.
Your gift supports the care of a variety of exotic animals trained to voluntarily participate in numerous conservation endeavors and educational experiences.
Named in honor of the Mary Silver, Emeritus Professor of Ocean Science, this fund supports graduate students in the Ocean Sciences (OS) Department at UCSC as they conduct thesis-related research.
Your gift supports fellowships for graduate students in our Department of Mathematics.
Your gift supports the exploration of fundamental questions in mathematics and ensures students develop expertise needed for advanced training.
Michael Tudor at Wilder Ranch.
To continue alumnus Michael Tudor’s legacy of intellectual inquiry and exploration of the natural world, the Michael Tudor Memorial Award has been established to celebrate and realize Michael's passion through undergraduate scholarship in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Your gift supports research and graduate training aimed at studying how environmental poisons and pathogens harm humans and other living things.
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Your gift supports training for underrepresented minority students and women who aspire to professional research careers in the biomedical sciences.
Your gift will support students conducting original research aimed at understanding the basic building blocks of life and the molecular foundations of human health and disease.
Your gift will promote diversity by supporting Ocean Sciences PhD students who have experienced situations or conditions that have adversely impacted their advancement in their field of study.
Your gift supports excellence in teaching and research in ocean ecology, ocean biogeochemistry, paleoceanography, and ocean circulation and climate.
Credit GettyImages
Your gift supports discovering and exploring the planets of our solar system and planets around other stars (exoplanets) using world-class telescopes and supercomputer resources.
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Your gift enables graduate students to conduct original research—both theoretical and experimental—in particle physics, condensed matter, materials science, biophysics, and astrophysics and cosmology.
Your gift supports research and educational projects and other initiatives in the domains of particle physics, condensed matter, materials science, biophysics, and astrophysics and cosmology.
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Your gift supports research and education programs for all students at UC Santa Cruz doing plant studies.
Your gift supports raptor conservation that uses the example of the Peregrine Falcon recovery as an inspiration for tackling today's environmental challenges and engages students and citizen scientists to get involved.
Your gift supports the development of innovative approaches to protect, enhance, and improve the availability and reliability of groundwater resources.
Your gift supports the world’s premiere center for RNA research, with 16 laboratories representing every area of RNA science conducting work key to future breakthroughs in treating disease and in understanding life itself.
Graduate student studying chromosome structure in the Bhalla Lab UC Santa Cruz Science (credit Elena Zhukova,2019)
Your gift supports an outstanding graduate student selected annually by the Department of Molecular, Cell, & Developmental Biology in memory of professor Bob Ludwig.
Your gift supports the the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP) in its core mission of world-renowned research and technology development focusing on experimental and theoretical particle physics and particle astrophysics.
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Your gift turns scientists into journalists through an intensive nine-month boot camp that includes newswriting, feature writing, profiles and essays, investigative and policy reporting, international reporting, and multimedia storytelling.
A large whale skeleton sits in front of a building.
Your gift plays a vital role in presenting and interpreting marine science research to young visitors, their parents, and the general public.
A group of eleven students in lab coats pose for a group picture.
Your gift promotes diversity in the sciences by providing direct services that support students and bolsters their science identity through research training, professional development, academic support in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math), and activities that foster a sense of inclusion, acceptance, and community.
students in the field
Student research can have a profound impact on young scientists, the environment, and society. Your gift supports EPS majors as they conduct thesis-related research.
Photo of Mary Zavanelli interacting with a Weddell seal in Antarctica.
Your gift supports undergraduates conducting independent research projects in faculty laboratories to gain important hands-on experience in health science research that can help launch their careers.
Your gift supports university teaching, research, and public service on the 410-acre natural reserve set aside on the UC Santa Cruz campus.
SCU Lighting Complex Fire burning at the Lick Observatory
Lick Observatory was heroically saved from wildfires that swept over Mt. Hamilton this weekend. In the weeks ahead, we will learn the full extent of smoke, fire, and water damage, including soot that has settled on sensitive scientific equipment. Your gift to the UCO Director's Discretionary Fund today will provide the flexible support necessary for Director Max to address needs as they arise in this rapidly changing emergency situation.
Vera Rubin at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ in 1965.
Your gift supports a unique kind of faculty chair designed to advance the cause of diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence in astronomy. It can support fellowships, research support, travel for grads, and special needs.
Look, pelicans!
Your gift supports university teaching, research, and public service on a 72-acre protected natural area located on the UC Santa Cruz Coastal Science Campus—a natural laboratory for coastal wetland study and restoration.
Your gift supports graduate students as they conduct thesis-related research in geophysics, with an emphasis on students seeking careers in exploration industries.