Research Programs

UCSC researchers explore our world from the smallest particles to the total universe. The problems examined impact our lives from health and the environment to developments in technology. Research projects often involves collaborations that cross disciplines, divisions, and campuses. Research is organized within formal organized research units, research centers, interdisciplinary research clusters, and individual departments.

Research Units

Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences: Astrophysical and planetary sciences address some of the most fundamental scientific questions, from the structure of the early Universe, through the evolution of galaxies and planetary systems, to the origin of life. At UC Santa Cruz, several departments and interdisciplinary centers are engaged in answering these questions.

Biomedical Research: UCSC supports a broad range of biomedical research in the Division of Physical & Biological Sciences and the Jack Baskin School of Engineering. Interdisciplinary and collaborative research is emphasized.

Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO): The CfAO focuses on advancing and disseminating the technology of adaptive optics to science, health care, industry, and education.

Center for the Molecular Biology of RNA: The RNA Center promotes interdisciplinary study of the structure, function, and biological roles of RNA. Membership spans the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences and the Jack Baskin School of Engineering.

Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS): IMS provides facilities, staff and support to UCSC marine science researchers on main campus and at our Coastal Sciences Campus, which includes the Long Marine Laboratory, the Center for Ocean Health, and the Seymour Discovery Center (a public education facility), as well as a National Marine Fisheries Service Laboratory and the Marine Wildlife Center of the California Department of Fish and Game.

Natural Reserves: The UC system has more than 35 Natural Reserves. Five of these reserves form the UCSC unit and are spread out along 60 miles of the Central Coast from Año Nuevo Reserve in the north to Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve on the Big Sur coast.

Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP): SCIPP is an organized research unit primarily focusing on experimental and theoretical particle physics and particle astrophysics and also involved in neural systems research. The institute is a leader in development of custom readout electronics and silicon micro-strip sensors for state-of-the-art particle detection systems using these developments.

Theoretical Astrophysics Santa Cruz (TASC): TASC is a research unit spanning four affiliated departments: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Applied Mathematics and Statistics.

University of California Observatories (UCO): UCO conducts leading-edge research to answer the most profound questions in observational astronomy. UCO provides technical resources to design and fabricate leading instrumentation, optics, programming and detectors, and oversees the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton, California, and co-manages the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Departmental Research Programs

See Also