Support the Institute of Marine Sciences

The University of California now receives approximately 25% of its total budget from the State of California, while the rest comes from a combination of contract and grant funds from state and federal agencies, tuition and other fees, and gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations. 

Students, faculty members and research scientists affiliated with the Institute of Marine Sciences are working on issues, locally, regionally and globally that affect the health of our oceans and, ultimately, our own quality of life. Private giving often makes the difference between whether a graduate or undergraduate student has the necessary tools, travel, equipment or facilities to undertake an important field or laboratory project; whether the Institute can contribute matching funds to help purchase a new piece of equipment that allows for improved analysis of pollutants in ocean water samples.

The Institute has a number of existing endowments or gift accounts that are designated for specific uses and that can be added to, but we would also be delighted to talk to you about your own ocean interests and priorities, and how we might be able to match your desires with the diverse needs of our scientists, students, research projects, facilities and education programs. We believe that there is something for everyone with ocean interests, and that we could work with you to achieve your own giving goals. There is lots of flexibility within the Institute and University regarding the nature of gifts, how gifts can be made, and over what time period.

Through post-doctoral fellowships, the Institute can attract bright young scientists who can focus their creativity and skills on any of a number of challenges or problems that the world oceans face today, whether the continuing acidification of the oceans and its potential impacts on marine life; ways to monitor and rebuild our commercial and recreational fisheries; the difficulties facing the recovery of the southern sea otter population from the fur industry of more than a century ago; impacts of changing climate on the oceans and their ecosystems, to name a few. Funding through an endowment or a one-time contribution would allow the Institute to restart a successful annual competitive post-doc program, which was terminated over a decade ago when budget reductions took place.

The technology for ocean research, whether at sea or in the laboratory, changes rapidly. New equipment allows our scientists to make more precise measurements and analyses more rapidly and with more confidence in a changing world where precision is important. Yet the Institute has no dedicated funding to stay abreast of new technological innovations, although we are frequently asked to contribute matching or seed funding for new state-of-the-art equipment for a particular research group. A program or fund that could be used exclusively for this purpose would provide important assistance to our scientists when new sampling or analytical equipment would make a significant difference in our ability to undertake new and vital research on our changing global ocean environment.

There are also a number of potential opportunities for donor naming, whether scholarships, fellowships, endowed chairs, rooms, laboratories, facilities or buildings.

In addition to some of the specific needs described above, there is also a general Institute of Marine Sciences fund, where donated funds can be used as opportunities or needs arise at the discretion of the IMS Director. There are also a number of potential opportunities for donor naming, whether scholarships, fellowships, endowed chairs, rooms, laboratories, facilities or buildings.

Please contact Catherine Hsu, Director of Development, Coastal Initiatives,, or 831-459-1614 to discuss your interests and potential giving opportunities.