Resources for Learning and Research

2015-16 General Catalog

University Library | Computing Facilties and Technology ServicesNatural Reserve System | Arts Division Research Centers and Institutes | Baskin School of Engineering Facilities | Humanities Division Research Programs--The Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) | Physical and Biological Sciences Research Programs and Centers | Social Science Division Research Centers and Institutes | Interdisciplinary and Systemwide Research Programs and Resources

University Library

The Science & Engineering and recently renovated McHenry libraries house the impressive holdings of UCSC’s University Library—the largest library collection between Santa Barbara and San José. In nearly five decades, the collection has grown from a few shelves of books and a substantial dependence on the libraries of UC Berkeley to more than 2.3 million volumes, over 56,000 periodical titles (including online journals), nearly 39,000 microforms, and more than 411,000 non-print items including films, slides, and audio and video recordings. 

As part of the statewide University of California library system, the University Library also serves as a gateway to millions of other books and periodicals. The library’s efficient Interlibrary Loan service is heavily used, facilitated by the online request service of the systemwide Melvyl® Catalog. 

The University Library collection is divided into two parts. Resources in the humanities, arts, and social sciences are contained in McHenry Library at the heart of the campus, while the engineering, mathematics, and physical and biological sciences collections are housed in the award-winning Science & Engineering Library, conveniently located on “Science Hill.”

Collections librarians manage the growth and development of UCSC’s collection and provide in-depth research assistance and instruction.

Most of the holdings of the University Library are shelved in open stacks. Students and faculty are encouraged to help themselves, using information found via the local Cruzcat online library catalog, the Melvyl Catalog, and the library web site. The library home page provides a convenient gateway to the Cruzcat and Melvyl catalogs, the California Digital Library, and a host of other electronic information resources, such as article databases and online journals. The library staff is also eager to offer its assistance at any of its service desks.

At the McHenry Library reference desk, as well as by e-mail and appointment, librarians and reference specialists give individual guidance: general orientation for the newcomer and specialized help for the researcher. They assist in the use of a wide range of resources—in print and online—including more than 200 online article databases to which the library subscribes.

The Reserves service, located at the respective circulation desks, lends copies of assigned class readings on a short-term basis and provides protection for vulnerable circulating materials and heavily used periodicals.

Special Collections at McHenry Library contains rare, valuable, and often fragile materials that do not circulate. Holdings focus on local and campus history, and 20th-century literature and book arts. Special Collections also houses the official campus archive, as well as the archives of George Barati, Gregory Bateson, Thomas Carlyle, the Grateful Dead, Lou Harrison, Robert Heinlein, Kenneth Patchen, Brett Weston, and the Shameless Hussy, Trianon, and Turtle Island presses.

Other important collections and services include:

  • The Digital Collections web site, containing a growing treasury of digitized photographs, maps, artwork, oral history transcripts, and sound recordings, as well as “born digital” materials, focusing on the most rare and unique.

  • Government Publications, a selective depository for documents published by U.S., California, and Santa Cruz government agencies

  • The Media Center, which provides access to audio and video in all formats; CD-ROMs; support for music study, including music scores and music course reserves via iTunes; and language-related audio and video recordings

  • The Mary Lea Shane Archives of the Lick Observatory, a national resource for the history of astronomy

  • The Regional History Project’s documentation of Central California history

For more information, see the University Library web site.

Computing Facilities and Technology Services

Information Technology Services (ITS)

Information Technology Services (ITS) at UCSC provides a broad spectrum of IT-related resources, services, and support to students, faculty, and staff in the areas of computing, network, telephones, media services, information systems security, web, e-mail, and instructional technology.

ITS operates the campus network, which interconnects computers, workstations, instructional computing labs, and computer-equipped classrooms with each other and the Internet. In addition, wireless access is available across campus. ITS also provides the campus with technical services and computer support through the ITS Support Center.

Purchasing a Computer?

If you are planning on buying a new computer, UCSC recommends purchasing a laptop with both wired and wireless network capability. The campus supports both PC and Mac computers. An excellent source for purchasing computers and computer products is the campus Bay Tree Bookstore, (831) 459-2082. Through university-negotiated contracts, pricing is almost always below outside market prices.

UCSC Account (CruzID) and E-mail

All students, faculty, and staff have a UCSC account called CruzID and a UCSC e-mail account, for example All official UC and UCSC communication is e-mailed to the address. In addition to e-mail, CruzID gives individuals access to many campus systems and applications. More information is available at UCSC E-mail Services.

Residential Network

ITS provides in-room Internet access (called ResNet) to students living on campus. Network services are available to undergraduate and graduate students living in university housing (except for the Camper Park). For assistance with network connections, contact ResNet at or call (831) 459-HELP (4357).

Computing Labs for Drop-in Use and Academic Classes

ITS manages 12 computer labs throughout the campus. These labs have more than 300 computers available for students to use that include PC, Mac, and Sun workstations. Wireless access is available in all labs. More extensive lab information, including hardware and software specifications and hours of operation, is available at the Computer Labs page.

Academic Course Materials on the Web

eCommons is the campus online course-management system used to create sophisticated web-based course materials to supplement, but not replace, classroom instruction. eCommons uses a web browser as the interface for the course.

Faculty using eCommons can incorporate a wide variety of tools in their course site, such as a course calendar, student conferencing system, electronic mail, group projects with student-created web pages, and quizzes. Outside of class time, students can use eCommons to view course materials, participate in web-based class discussions, collaborate on student group projects, and take quizzes.

Disability Accommodations for Instruction

UCSC computing labs have common adaptive technologies—such as enlarged type for students with low vision and Dvorak keyboards for students with repetitive strain injuries. If you have a disability and require adaptive or assistive technology to use lab computers, library facilities, or other campus services, please contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) so that they can coordinate services for you. You can also reach the DRC at (831) 459-2089 (voice), or (831) 459-4806 (TTY)..

ITS Support Center for Technical and Computer Help

The ITS Support Center is open to all students, staff, and faculty and provides general computer help, assistance with CruzID accounts and e-mail, and other technical-support needs. The Support Center is located at 54 Kerr Hall and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Computing Policies

Individuals using UCSC computing services must comply with the University of California, state, and federal policies and laws. These policies define how ITS will approach security, how faculty, staff, and students are to approach security, and how certain situations will be handled.

Natural Reserve System (NRS)

The purpose of the NRS is to establish and maintain, for teaching and research, a system of natural areas that encompass diverse and undisturbed examples of California’s terrain, both aquatic and terrestrial. The reserves are open to all qualified individuals and institutions for scholarly work concerned with the natural environment. Such work usually deals with ecological topics or experimental studies in a natural setting. At UCSC, the reserves play an important role in supporting experiential learning (course support, internships, and research support) for undergraduate students interested in ecology and environmental sciences in general.

The University of California administers 38 natural reserves throughout the state. Santa Cruz has responsibility for four—the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve, Fort Ord Natural Reserve, Año Nuevo Island, and Younger Lagoon Natural Reserve—in addition to the campus’s own Natural Reserve. Information about these reserves is available at the UC Santa Cruz Natural Reserves web site. Information about the UC system's holdings and management is available at the University of California Natural Reserve System web site.  You may also contact the UCSC Natural Reserve director, c/o Environmental Studies Department, 467 Natural Sciences 2 Building, at (831) 459-4971, or by e-mail at

Research Programs and Facilities

Research at UC Santa Cruz is thriving, facilities are excellent, and the amount of external funding received for research continues to grow. In addition to their individual research projects, faculty are involved in organized research on various scales, from small focused activities within academic divisions, to large research units, some with campuswide scope and others with wider connections to the whole 10-campus University of California system.

Research programs and facilities are described below by academic division: Arts Division; Baskin School of Engineering; Humanities Division; Physical and Biological Sciences Division; and Social Sciences Division. Interdisciplinary and Systemwide research programs are also listed.

Specialized research facilities in addition to those listed below are described in the Programs and Courses section.

Arts Division Research Centers and Institutes

The Arts Research Institute (ARI)

The Center for Documentary Arts and Research (CDAR)

Center for Force Majeure Studies

The Innovation and Design Lab (IDL)

The OpenLab Network

The Social Practice Arts Research Center (SPARC)

Teaching, Research, and Performance Facilities

Arts Information Technology Services (ITS) Labs (Porter Arts Mac Lab and the Music Lab)

Baskin Visual Arts Center

Digital Arts Research Center (DARC)

UCSC's Music Center

The Theater Arts Center

Baskin School of Engineering

Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE) Research Centers and Institutes

Center for Games and Playable Media/

Center for Maximizing Abilities Through Technology, Education and Research (MATTER)

Center for Research in Intelligent Storage (CRSS)

Center for Sustainable Energy and Power Systems (CenSEPS)

Information Technologies Institute (ITI)

Institute for Scalable Scientific Data Management (ISSDM)

Storage Systems Research Center (SSRC)

W. M. Keck Center for Adaptive Optical Microscopy

W. M. Keck Center for Nanoscale Optofluidics

UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute

UCSC Genome Technology Center

Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE) Facilities

BSOE Computing Infrastructure

Research Laboratories

Advanced Visualization and Interactive Systems Lab

Applied and Nano-Optics

Autonomous Systems Lab

Biomolecular Engineering Research Facilities

Computer Communication Research Group (CCRG)

Database Group

Design and Verification Laboratory

Geospatial Visualization Laboratory

Group Researching Advances in Software Engineering (GRASE)

Hybrid Systems Laboratory

Image Processing and Multimedia Laboratory (IPMML)

Information Retrieval and Knowledge Management Lab (IRKM)

Internetworking Research Group (i-NRG)

Materials Synthesis and Characterization Research Lab

Micro-Architecture at Santa Cruz (MASC)

Multidimensional Signal Processing Research Group (MDSP)

Network Management and Operations Lab

Systems Research Lab

UCSC Broadband Communications Research Group

UCSC Computer Vision Lab

UCSC Scientific Visualization Laboratory

VLSI Design Automation

W. M. Keck Seismological Laboratory

Humanities Division

Research Programs

The Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) at UC Santa Cruz is a laboratory for theorizing and implementing new visions of the humanities.

UC Santa Cruz’s Humanities Division plays crucial role in the university’s mission to inspire and educate students for both personal and professional success. Our students question what it means to be human and investigate the impact that language, culture, and gender have on the human experience.

The IHR cultivates faculty and student research, supports multi-campus research projects, and fosters community engagement through internships and public programming. In addition to the research centers listed below, the IHR houses a multitude of research clusters whose projects tackle topics relevant to an international, multicultural audience.

Institute for Humanities Research centers and projects include:

Center for Cultural Studies

Center for Jewish Studies

Center for Labor Studies

Center for Mediterranean Studies

Center for the Study of Pacific War Memories

Center for World History

Dickens Project

Linguistics Research Center

Ray Film and Study Center

Physical and Biological Sciences Division

Research Programs and Centers

Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) (also see

Center for Molecular Biology of RNA

Center for Origin, Dynamics, and Evolution of Planets (CODEP)

Center for the Study of Imaging and Dynamics of the Earth (CSIDE)

Center for Remote Sensing (CRS)

Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS)

Microbiology and Biomedical Research

Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC)

Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group

Research Facilities and Laboratories

Chemical Screening Center (CSC)

Climate Change and Impacts Laboratory (CCIL)

Crustal Imaging Laboratory (CIL)

Earth System Modeling Laboratory

Hydrogeology Facilities

Life Sciences Microscopy Center

Macromolecular Structure Function Core Facility (MSFCF)

Marine Analytical Laboratories

Mass Spectrometry Facility

Microarray Facility

Mineral Physics Laboratory

Molecular Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics Facility

Nanosecond Time-resolved Laser Spectroscopy

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

Paleomagnetism Laboratory

Rock Preparation Facility

Scientific Diving and Boating Safety

Stable Isotope Laboratory

UCSC Greenhouses

W. M. Keck Isotope Laboratory

W. M. Keck Seismological Laboratory

Social Sciences Division

Research Centers

Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS)

Center for Analytical Finance (CAFIN)

Center for Integrated Spatial Research (CISR)

Center for Labor Studies (CLS)

Center for Statistical Analysis in Social Sciences (CSASS)

Chicano/Latino Research Center (CLRC)

Science & Justice Research Center

UC Santa Cruz Blum Center on Poverty, Social Enterprise, and Participatory Governance

Research Initiatives

Bruce Initiative on Rethinking Capitalism

Everett Program

Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educators (ISEE)

South Asia Studies Initiative (SASI)

Interdisciplinary and Systemwide Research Programs and Resources


California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3)

Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering (CBSE)

Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California (CCREC)

Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

Educational Partnership Center (EPC)

Monterey Bay Education, Science, and Technology (MBEST) Center

Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP)

University Affiliated Research Center (UARC)

University of California Observatories (UCO)

University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HiPACC)

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Revised 09/01/15