Resources for Learning and Research

2017-18 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 UC Santa Cruz University Library supports the research and learning needs of the campus community from two locations: McHenry Library at the center of campus, and the Science & Engineering Library on “Science Hill.” The Library is a second home for many students, providing space for individual quiet study as well as reservable group study spaces. Each library’s Information Commons offers computer workstations, scanners, and printers as well as circulating laptop and Chromebook computers. McHenry Library hosts the Global Village Café, a perfect place to recharge during marathon study sessions.

The University Library provides access to a wide variety of scholarly resources. Access to eBooks, ejournals, and streaming media is available on campus and off, the latter via the campus’s Virtual Private Network. While the majority of the Library's print materials are housed in open stacks and accessible to all faculty, students, and staff, the campus community also has access to millions of other books and journals through shared licensing and the Interlibrary Loan service.

The Reserves service lends copies of assigned class readings and media on a short-term basis so that all students can access the course materials they need to succeed.

Special Collections acquires and manages rare book and primary source collections that are accessible to students, faculty, and the general public. Holdings include a significant book collection including an unusually large number of artists’ books, fine press, and early printing, as well as over 500 archival collections, with particular strengths in 20th century photography, literature, art, music, and astronomy.

The David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons (DSC) at McHenry Library provides access to new work spaces and high-end computer software. The DSC invites all members of the UCSC community to build digital and web-based projects, collaborate on research, and experiment with innovative tools and methods.

Other important collections and services include:

  • The Digital Collections website contains 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 collections.

  • Government Documents, a selective depository of print and digital documents, websites, data, and statistics issued by U.S., California, and Santa Cruz government agencies.

  • The Media Center, which provides access to audio and video in all formats.

  • 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.

  • The Video Game Lab at the Science & Engineering Library provides access to more than 2000 games and 30 gaming consoles as well as books to support game design and studies.

  • The Ask-A-Librarian service provides expert in-person and online research assistance.

For more information, see the University Library website.

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, email, 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 Email

All students, faculty, and staff have a UCSC account called CruzID and a UCSC email account, for example All official UC and UCSC communication is emailed to the address. In addition to email, CruzID gives individuals access to many campus systems and applications. More information is available at UCSC Email 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

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

Faculty using Canvas 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 Canvas 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 email, 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 University of California administers 39 natural reserves throughout the state. UC 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 UCSC’s own Campus Natural Reserve. 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 the ecological, physical, and environmental sciences. The close proximity of two of the reserves (Campus Reserve and Younger Lagoon) makes it possible for faculty and students to walk out the classroom door and into a living laboratory and outdoor classroom. These two reserves serve over 3,500 students, dozens of courses across multiple disciplines, and 150 undergraduate internships each year.

Information about the reserves is available at the UC Santa Cruz Natural Reserves website. Information about the UC system's NRS holdings and management is available at the University of California Natural Reserve System website.  You may also contact the UCSC Natural Reserve director, c/o Environmental Studies Department, 467 Natural Sciences 2 Building, at (831) 459-4867, or by email at

Arts Division

Arts Division Research Centers and Institutes

Arts Research Institute (ARI)

Center for Creative Ecologies

Center for Documentary Arts and Research (CDAR)

Center for the Study of the Force Majeure

Contemporary Print Media Research Center

E.A.R.T.H. Lab

Innovation and Design Lab (IDL)

Institute of the Arts and Sciences

OpenLab Collaborative Research Center

Social Practice Arts Research Center (SPARC)

Arts Division Teaching, Research, and Performance Facilities

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

Digital Arts Research Center (DARC)

Music Center

Theater Arts Center

Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE)

BSOE Research Centers and Institutes

California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3)

Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering (CBSE)

Center for Data, Discovery and Decisions in Data Science (D3)

Center for Games and Playable Media

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

Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS)

Center for Research in Storage Systems (CRSS)

Cyber-Physical Systems Research Center

Information Technologies Institute (ITI)

M. Keck Center for Adaptive Optical Microscopy

M. Keck Center for Nanoscale Optofluidics

BSOE Research Groups and Laboratories

Advanced Visualization and Interactive Systems Lab

Applied and Nano-Optics Group

Autonomous Systems Lab

Center for Sustainable Energy and Power Systems (CenSEPS)

Computer Communication Research Group (CCRG)

Database Group

Design and Verification Laboratory

Geospatial Visualization Laboratory

Group Researching Advances in Software Engineering (GRASE)

Hybrid Systems Laboratory

Information Retrieval and Knowledge Management Lab (IRKM)

Institute for Scalable Scientific Data Management (ISSDM)

Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC)

Internetworking Research Group (i-NRG)

Micro Architecture at Santa Cruz (MASC)

Network Management and Operations Lab

Robotics and Control Lab

Storage Systems Research Center (SSRC)

Systems Research Lab

UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute

UCSC Computer Vision Lab

UCSC NanoEngineering Group

UCSC Genome Technology Center

VLSI Design and Automation Group

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 a 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 collaborative and 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. IHR centers and projects include:

Center for Cultural Studies

Center for Jewish Studies

Center for Labor Studies

Center for Mediterranean Studies

Center for Public Philosophy

Center for the Study of Pacific War Memories

Dickens Project

Digital Humanities Initiative

Language of Conservation Project

Linguistics Research Center

Shakespeare Workshop

Undergraduate students in the humanities actively participate in the work and the activities of the centers and projects above. In addition, the IHR gives out 10 research fellowships annually to undergraduate students working on humanities projects. The students’ work is showcased at the annual divisional award ceremony in the spring quarter. 

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)

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

M. Keck Isotope Laboratory

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 Research on Equity and Collaborative Evaluation (CRECE)

Center for Statistical Analysis in Social Sciences (CSASS)

Chicano/Latino Research Center (CLRC)

Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History

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)

Interdisciplinary and Systemwide Research Programs and Resources

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

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)

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED)

Educational Partnership Center (EPC)

Institute of the Arts and Sciences

Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP)

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

University Affiliated Research Center (UARC)

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

University of California Observatories (UCO)

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Revised 09/01/17