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Astronomy & Astrophysics
201 Interdisciplinary Sciences Building (ISB)
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Phone: (831) 459-2844
Fax: (831) 459-5265
Email: dept@astro.ucsc.edu
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Related Links:
UC Observatories
Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO)
  Laboratory for Adaptive Optics (LAO)
Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics
Center for Origin, Dynamics, and Evolution of Planets (CODEP)
Division of Physical & Biological Sciences
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Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP)
Supernova Science Center
Physics Cosmology Group
Lick Observatory
W.M. Keck Observatory
Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)
Theoretical Astrophysics Santa Cruz (TASC)

Support Astronomy

Gift Opportunities to Astronomy & Astrophysics

Unlike many other sciences, progress in astronomy has traditionally relied on the generosity of informed public benefactors and our department and observatories are no exceptions. Our long list of scientific achievements over the years has been possible only by the patronage of many individuals and philanthropic foundations, beginning with the 19th century gift from James Lick. Private gifts are particularly valued in opening ways in which we can expand our educational and research programs, providing our students with opportunities that State and Federal funds do not support. Your gift can make a enormous difference to the education and research careers of our students and faculty. Those who support these programs can become personally involved with our department and enjoy firsthand the excitement of astronomical research. Donors can discuss the progress of astronomical research with the scholars they support and become a regular participant in department-sponsored functions. Fund-raising for the academic development of our Astronomy Department is closely coordinated with fund-raising for UCO/Lick Observatories, which provides a wide array of different kinds of support opportunities for astronomy (see the UCO/Lick webpage for more information).

The UC Santa Cruz Astronomy Department is currently seeking support for the following programs:

Sponsor an Undergraduate Student

Undergraduate students at UC Santa Cruz having an interest in astronomy typically major in Physics or Earth and Planetary Science and establish an astronomy minor, which requires a Senior Thesis on some astronomical topic or problem. In completing their Senior Thesis, students come to us needing extra funds to cover computing fees, observing trips, summertime salaries, etc. Often our limited departmental resources restrict the type or scope of thesis projects that can be attempted. Additional funding would greatly enhance this first experience with astronomical research. No fixed amount of funding is required, but even small donations can make a big difference to an undergraduate's research experience. Donors can meet the students they sponsor and follow their progress through their Senior Thesis.

Sponsor a Graduate Student

You can become the personal sponsor of one of our graduate students. Support is needed for living expenses, tuition and fees, and travel to attend conferences, collaborate, go observing, and to participate in professional development activities. You'll be able to meet with your student(s), learn about their research, and even accompany them on observing trips. Donations can range widely, from full fellowship support to more limited research support. Multi-year involvement is desirable and appropriate since graduate student careers typically last from 4 to 6 years. Fully supported students will carry a fellowship named for the donor and this recognition will accompany all the student's scientific publications.

Continuing support is greatly appreciated .

Create Prize Postdoctoral Fellowships for UCSC Astronomy

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz is virtually the only astronomy department of its stature in the nation that lacks its own prize postdoctoral fellowships. Typically these are funded from private giving and are named after the donors. Prize fellowships are highly sought after by young scholars because they allow fellows complete freedom to structure their own research projects free of supervision or other obligations. Prize fellowships thus attract the very best scholars.

Typical yearly funding for a Prize Fellow is $60,000 and three years of funding are needed per Fellow. A fully endowed fellowship would be preferred, but they may also be directly funded for a limited term. Donors can meet regularly with the Fellows and gain an intimate up-close understanding of their research activities. All scientific publications completed by the fellow will recognize his/her source of fellowship funding.

Contribute to our Departmental Endowment

Enhance the intellectual climate of the Astronomy Department by contributing to departmental endowment funds. Unrestricted endowment income is extremely important in managing an academic department as it provides crucial flexibility to create innovative academic programs and to respond nimbly to new astronomical opportunities. Endowment funds are used to support the research of new faculty, experiment with new classes, purchase instructional equipment, support faculty in the form of matching funds for their scientific proposals, or to help initiate new programs of research. Right now, for example, we are seeking support to expand a new Center for the Origin, Dynamics and Evolution of Planets in partnership with the UCSC Earth and Planetary Sciences and Applied Math departments.

These are only some of the areas that are of immediate interest to us; donors may wish to support new initiatives not mentioned. Please contact our development team at (831) 459-4240 or send an email (by clicking the button below) to explore ways in which you can become part of the UC Santa Cruz Astronomy family.

To make an immediate gift to Astronomy and Astrophysics, go to the secure on-line gift form at UCSC. We'll get in touch with you personally to thank you and ascertain how we can respond to any further interests you may have in our department.

Thank you for your generous support of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department at UC Santa Cruz!

Send an email to inquire about our funding needs.

Send an immediate gift to our department.

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