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University of California, Santa Cruz

The University of California, Santa Cruz, established in 1965, is one of the University of California's nine campuses, located just north of Santa Cruz, California, built amidst redwood forest and former ranchland in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

The 2000-acre UCSC campus is located 75 miles south of San Francisco. It is bounded on the south by the city's upper west-side neighborhoods, on the east by Harvey West Park [1] and the Pogonip [1] [1], on the north by Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park [1] [1] [1] in the town of Felton, and on the west by Gray Whale Ranch, a portion of Wilder Ranch State Park [1] [1].

The university is currently organized into 10 residential colleges: Cowell College, Stevenson College, Crown College, Merrill College, Porter College, Kresge College, Oakes College, College 8, College 9, and College 10. These colleges provide a residential hub for students, including services such as housing, academic assistance, activities and a selection of college-related coursework. Each college has its own theme, housing style and a core course taken by incoming freshmen. College membership numbers vary by college, but one third of students generally live on campus within their college community. Coursework, academic majors and general areas of study are not limited by college membership, though colleges "host" the offices of various departments and faculty. Until recently, very few classes offered letter grades, and progress was instead communicated through the use of written evaluations.

The mascot of UCSC is the banana slug, which can be found in wetter years all over campus. A favorite trick played on incoming students is to claim that the banana slug actually smells like bananas (it doesn't).

The Santa Cruz campus was designed and built in the 1960s, when student protests on college campuses across the US were common. Incoming students are told that the campus was designed on a decentralized plan, with no central quadrangle or central administrative buildings that would lend themselves readily as rallying points for such protests. However, the campus opened in 1965 and was designed several years prior, so this story is considered unlikely to be true. (The protests in question didn't begin until the mid 1960s.) Regardless, the result was the development of one of the world's most beautiful university campuses.

Santa Cruz is undergoing rapid changes - from a liberal, alternative institution to a high-tech powerhouse with the creation of the Baskin School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The Banana Slugs participate in the NAIA's California Pacific Conference.

Table of contents
1 Geology and History
2 Sources
3 External Link

Geology and History

The campus itself covers 2,000 acres, and has an elevation change of about 900 feet from the base of campus (285 feet) to the upper boundary (1,195 feet). The lower portion of campus primarily consists of the Great Meadow, and most of upper campus is redwood forest.

The geology and history of the campus are closely tied. The campus was a gift to the University of California from the Cowell Family, which donated a portion of their ranch. The original living quarters for ranch employees are still (mostly) standing at the base of campus, as is the stonehouse which served as the paymaster's house. The stonehouse was home to the campus newspaper, City on a Hill, from the 1970s to the mid 1990s.

The Cowell Ranch was a part of the Henry Cowell Lime and Cement Company. The limestone that runs under most of campus was pulled from one of several quarries, the most notable being the Upper Quarry. There is an amphitheater in this quarry that is used for most of the large gatherings on campus. The original campus plan indicated a stadium in the Lower Quarry, but this plan never was realized.

Once the limestone was quarried, the lime was extracted by burning it in limekilns adjacent to the quarries. The fires were fueled by the redwood trees that were logged from adjacent land. Although most of these kilns are fenced off, they are still visible in several locations on and around campus.

Another interesting geologic feature of UCSC are the creeks running through several ravines traversing the campus. Footbridges span these ravines on pedestrian paths linking various areas of campus.


External Link

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