UCSC's Environmental Studies faculty believe the future's environmental problem-solvers must have immersive, hands-on learning. They know that students learn best when they leave the classroom behind and engage with the world.
Demonstrating their commitment, all 16 of the department's faculty members donated to a campaign to raise funds for experiential learning programs.
Faculty also made calls to alumni asking for pledges.
"Rather than succumb to pressures to have larger classes because of statewide budget cuts, the faculty decided to take it upon ourselves to raise the money and offer these classes long-term," said Karen Holl, professor and chair of the Environmental Studies Department, who pointed out that these courses require extra time and resources.
The fundraiser began in earnest when Environmental Studies Professor Brent Haddad stood up at a faculty meeting and announced, "I am going to donate $1,000."
While Holl led the initiative, "Brent helped set the bar for everybody else," she said.
So far, faculty and alumni donors have raised $50,000 toward the endowment. They are aiming to raise an additional $150,000 in the next six months to meet a generous matching gift from an alumnus's family foundation.
For information on the endowment or to donate, contact Marcus Frost, assistant director of development, Social Sciences, at email@example.com.