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 Earth & Planetary Science department has a highly distinguished reputation. Indeed, in the most recent survey of earth science graduate programs conducted by the US News & World Report, we are ranked third and number one among public universities. The department is also 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.
We invite you to be involved with our department by participating in our exciting seminars and colloquia. Additionally, I personally welcome your input via our website and by contacting me on how we can better serve the university and the Earth science scholarly community. I would be happy to talk with you about how small and large contributions, appreciated stock, or other gifts to the department can (and do) facilitate our student’s academic endeavors. We also welcome your partnership with us financially to name a fellowship fund in the memory of a past alumnus, alumna or professor. You may also make a gift on this Berkeley webpage.
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