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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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Blue Marble image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument, photo credit NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring
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.
Support COVID-19 research and testing for the virus at UC Santa Cruz. Our scientists have implemented a testing process that identifies active cases in a newly created Molecular Diagnostic Lab and are working to develop a test to detect antibodies of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 virus in blood.
These unprecedented times are challenging for all of us—but for some, the situation is dire. This is why our campus has created the COVID-19 Slug Support Campaign. Together, our Banana Slug community can help support students who are experiencing a financial or personal crisis because of the coronavirus.
While the visitor center, staff residences, and research cabins at Big Creek Reserve have been saved from the Dolan Fire, campgrounds and critical infrastructure have been lost. Support us as we restore Big Creek Reserve to a living laboratory and outdoor classroom for students and researchers to learn to protect our coastal habitats.
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.
Help provide immediate relief for UC Santa Cruz community members affected by disasters like the active wildfires.
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.
Exoplanet
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.
Photo for UC Santa Cruz.
Your gift supports an annual academic symposium in our Department of Chemistry, honoring Dr. Joseph Bunnett.
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.
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.
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 monetary awards to undergraduate students working on research projects in science and technology, covering summer living expenses and costs associated with conducting research.
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.
Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta for UC Santa Cruz.
Your gift supports graduate and undergraduate student research teams studying natural and human impacts on the coastal zone.
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 a vast greenhouse system for the campus community that feature a large instructional plant collection, support campus restoration projects, and facilitate research on invasive plants, evolution, and California native plants.
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.
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.
Your gift supports research and graduate training aimed at studying how environmental poisons and pathogens harm humans and other living things.
Photo for UC Santa Cruz.
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 help 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.
Photo for UC Santa Cruz.
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.
Photo for UC Santa Cruz.
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.
Photo for UC Santa Cruz.
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.
Your gift plays a vital role in presenting and interpreting marine science research to young visitors, their parents, and the general public.
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.
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.