Dear Friends and Alumni,
We are the UC Berkeley Department of Earth & Planetary Science. In 1868, Joseph Le Conte taught the first class in geology thus marking the incipient year of the founding of a world-class public university in Berkeley, California. In 1892, Andrew Lawson led students up the Berkeley Hills, beginning the first systematic field geology course in North America, a course we continue to teach. Almost a century and a half later, a legacy of excellent teaching and scholarly inquiry drives all members of the department.
The department is considered one of the top two earth science graduate programs in America, in terms of research activity and using survey-based weighing, in the comprehensive 2010 National Research Council rankings. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks our department as the best in scholarly faculty productivity, and the American Geosciences Institute finds that the department produces the second largest number of Earth Science faculty in US universities. More PhD recipients in the Earth Sciences receive their undergraduate education at Berkeley than at any other university. I am proud that eight of my colleagues are members of the National Academy of Sciences.
As a public university, our mandate remains to teach students and the public about Earth science. This can be challenging during times of reduced state funding and uncertainty in Washington. Therefore, as the chair of the department, I ask that you please consider supporting us. It is the generosity of friends and alumni that fuels our educational mission and shores up our teaching and research capabilities against further funding reductions. For example, the field camp for undergraduates – the highlight of my year -- is not possible without the support of alumni and the Ramsden Fund. Friends of Earth & Planetary Science help us maintain a vibrant seminar program. While it is not possible to list all of our generous donors, rest assured that contributions support our socially-relevant research and teaching.
In the department’s 150 years, our alumni and friends have made a difference. In whatever way you can help, your contributions are deeply appreciated.
Michael Manga, Department Chair and Professor