FY16 Projects

Migration, Mobility, and (Non-)citizenship

Submitted by Catherine Ramirez, Director, Chicano Latino Research Center and Associate Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies

Sponsored by David Korduner

Approved August 4, 2015


UCSC’s Chicano Latino Research Center (CLRC) and graduate program in Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) will be hosting a reception for donor prospects and key friends of UCSC and a free, public, film screening, to be held at an off-campus, centrally located venue on Friday, April 29, 2016, during Alumni Weekend.  Both events will launch “Migration, Mobility, and (Non-)citizenship,” an international conference on migration and migrant incorporation that will take place at UCSC May 6-7, 2016.


The reception and film screening aim to build a base of donors interested and invested in the CLRC and LALS, particularly our work on migration.  Founded in 1992, the CLRC fosters scholarship on the movement of people, ideas, and commodities in and beyond the Americas.  Meanwhile, the graduate program in LALS examines the relationship between Latin America and the relatively wealthy countries of the Northern Hemisphere, including and especially the United States and its Latino population.  LALS welcomed its first cohort of students in the fall of 2014 and are proud to be UCSC’s newest doctoral program, as well as the only doctoral program in Latin American and Latino studies the world.   

The private reception will provide donor prospects and key friends of UCSC with the opportunity to learn more about migration studies at UCSC by meeting faculty and students working in that field.  The public film screening following the reception will initiate an open dialogue on migration, one of the most pressing social, political, and economic issues of our time.

Immediately following the film screening, UCSC faculty with expertise in migration studies will facilitate a Q&A, during which members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of the invited filmmaker.  Via this dialogue, the aim is to shine a spotlight on UCSC as a vibrant and innovative site for the study of migration and to demonstrate the vital role the campus can and should play in enriching the intellectual and artistic life of the community.

Amount funded: $10,000

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Catherine Ramirez, Associate Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies

Adrián Félix, Assistant Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies

Kirsten Silva Gruesz, Professor, Literature

L.S. Kim, Associate Professor, Film and Digital Media

John Jota Leaños, Assistant Professor, Film and Digital Media

Steve McKay, Associate Professor, Sociology

Juan Poblete, Professor, Literature

Cecilia Rivas, Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies

Felicity Amaya Schaeffer, Associate Professor, Feminist Studies

Patricia Zavella, Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies

Melissa DeWitte, Web Presence Coordinator, Division of Social Sciences

Joni White, Events Coordinator, Division of Social Sciences

The Ghetto at 500

Submitted by Murray Baumgarten and Nathaniel Deutsch, Co-Directors, Jewish Studies

Sponsored by Ted Goldstein and Richard Moss

Approved August 25, 2015


The Center for Jewish Studies requested a $20,000 grant to create a research fund for faculty, graduate students and undergraduates.  The impetus for the research fund is the 500th Anniversary of the Venice Ghetto, which is being marked by conferences and other academic events internationally and in California.  The Center for Jewish Studies has already undertaken a number of research projects in connection with this anniversary, but it needs to establish a research fund to continue this work and to support research on other topics of relevance to the Center.  In particular, the grant will enable faculty, graduate students and undergraduates to investigate archives located in international libraries and various memorial sites.


In addition to using the BOF grant to support the digital archive mentioned above, the funds would also support book and journal publications of research, as well as presentation of the research on the UCSC campus and publicly in the Bay Area, such as the planned 2016 Venice Ghetto Forum at the Jewish Community Library and Magnes Museum.  In this regard, the BOF grant will assist the Center in continuing its tradition of scholarly activities, such as its past presentations at the Koret Center in the San Francisco Public Library, at Stanford University, at last year’s Association for Jewish Studies Conference and at the European Association for Jewish Studies in Paris.

Amount funded: $10,000

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Murray Baumgarten, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of English & Comparative Literature

Nathaniel Deutsch, Professor, Neufeld-Levin Endowed Chair in Holocaust Studies

Erica Smeltzger, Graduate Student, Literature

Katharine Trostel, Graduate Instructor, Literature

Preserving and Curating the Randall Morgan Insect Collection

Submitted by Karen Holl, Professor, Environmental Studies & Faculty Director of Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History

Sponsored by Alec Webster

Approved December 1, 2015


The new Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History (norriscenter.ucsc.edu) at UC Santa Cruz houses an amazing collection of plants and pollinators amassed through the detailed work of Santa Cruz’s own Randall Morgan. Morgan is one of the premier naturalists along the Central California Coast.

Morgan’s pollinator collection, by far his most impressive contribution to Santa Cruz Natural History, includes over 70,000 specimens collected over an 11-year period from 39 sites in Santa Cruz County. In addition to each specimen, Morgan also recorded specific host-plant data as well as detailed information about the presence, abundance and flowering status of every plant species at each site. His success at capturing plant-insect interactions at a community-wide level within rare, diverse habitats over a long time period make this collection a unique and vital resource for understanding how plant-pollinator dynamics have been impacted by environmental change.

The Norris Center aims to advance local natural history research and education to better understand the complex ecosystems on which we all depend. One major way we accomplish this goal is by studying the important local natural history collections that we steward. The Morgan insect collection is important not only to better document and understand the diversity of the insects and plants in this region, but it presents a rare opportunity to pursue a host of research questions about how plants-pollinator interactions are responding to a changing climate.

In 2014, a generous endowment from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation provided the start-up funds to establish the Norris Center as a leading center for natural history teaching and research in California. Curating and digitizing Morgan’s insect collections is a key step in one of the Norris Center’s four key priorities, namely Curating Strategic Collections. Moreover, it advances two other Norris Center Priorities: (1) Expanding Natural History Training by offering student workers an opportunity to gain training in entomology and museum sciences, and (2) Engaging the Broader Community as we will work with the Natural History Museum of Santa Cruz to develop an exhibit on this collection once the curation is complete.


The long-term collections management goal is to both preserve Morgan’s specimens and encourage further research by making the information associated with Morgan’s collection accessible to the scientific and local conservation community in Central California and beyond.

This will be done over the next three years by first completing curatorial tasks, which include re-housing the collection, sorting and labeling specimens, and sending samples to experts in different taxonomic groups to make species determinations. Once completed, the task of photographing and digitizing the data from each specimen will be made. The digital data will be added to an existing online database managed by UC Berkeley’s Essig Insect Museum, making both images of Morgan’s specimens and his associated notes available for anyone with web access. Finally, the Norris Center will build a web interface to facilitate use of the data by scientists and the local community. 

The objective of this proposal is to complete the labeling and broad taxonomic sorting of the collection. Funding will allow for the hiring of undergraduates and Morgan to carefully label ~3,000 remaining specimens by location, date, and serial number, and complete the sorting of ~18,000 specimens into broad taxonomic groups. Completing this task will allow the Norris Center to move onto detailed identification and digitization of the collection.

Amount funded: $9,800

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Karen Holl, Professor, Environmental Studies & Faculty Director of Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History

Randall Morgan

undergraduate students

Summer Entrepreneurship Academy

Submitted by Manel Camps, Provost Crown College (Undergraduate Education)

Sponsored by Brandon Allgood

Approved February 20, 2016


Crown College, working closely with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial

Development (CIED) and College 8, would like to sponsor a new 5-unit practicum class in entrepreneurship in summer of 2016. This course is part of Crown’s efforts to brand itself as the entrepreneurship college, and College 8’s efforts to support entrepreneurship related to sustainability.

Seed funding is needed to develop the website, curricular materials and workshops, get all the mentors in place for the student teams, and also develop the on-line/remote component by incorporating the free on-line material and webinars from NSF and ensuring that they all work seamlessly.

This course will be open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Only undergraduate students will register for the Crown college course, paying the standard summer session fees. Graduate students will register with Sue Carter as an independent study, paying the graduate independent study fee.


The desired outcome is to be able to offer this class every summer and to attract both UCSC and non-UCSC students. The goal is to increase our students’ access to effective mentorship and training in entrepreneurship and thereby increase the diversity of participation in entrepreneurship.

Amount funded: $10,000

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Sue Carter, Professor in Physics, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and Director of the

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development

Nada Miljkovic, Crown Lecturer and founder of Artist on Art, a website development local company

Ronnie Lipschutz, Professor of Politics and Provost of College Eight

Public Philosophy and the Language of Conservation

Submitted by Jonathan E. Ellis, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director, Center for Public Philosophy

Sponsored by Richard Moss

Approved May 14, 2016


A group of faculty on campus led by Daniel Guevara (Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy) and Claudio Campagna (Visiting Research Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) seek to dramatically redefine the terms and philosophical framework of the contemporary conservation movement by applying insights drawn from philosophers of language (especially Ludwig Wittgenstein), biologists, sociologists and others. 

Underlying their work is a fundamental insight about the relationship between language and thought, an appreciation for the wide variety of ways in which our language and terminology can limit, shape, and sometimes distort our thinking. 

With this in mind, the group seeks to create a professionally-produced digital animation that will help to introduce wide audiences to the ways in which the current language and terminology of environmentalism (e.g., sustainability, extinction, conservation, and perhaps even environment itself), and the values they embed, have shaped contemporary conservation in ways that are frequently invisible and unexamined by conservationists and by the wider public alike.


The goals for this project are to produce and distribute widely a professional-quality digital animation as part of two larger initiatives: first, as a crucial component of Professors Guevara and Campagna’s larger project, “The Language of Conservation: A Program for a Radical Change in the Discourse of the Conservation Movement,” which will also include a campus research cluster (under the umbrella of the Institute for Humanities Research [IHR]), co-taught courses, co-authored publications, as well as grant applications to support their work; second, the animation will constitute the second in the series What Do You Think?, a pioneering initiative to introduce philosophy, logic, and critical thinking to a wide variety of public demographics via digital animation. Led by Professor Jonathan Ellis, and designed by philosophers, educators, and artists in close collaboration, these digital shorts promise to animate difficult, sometimes perplexing but important themes, engaging viewers while also capitalizing on explanatory tools unavailable in traditional pedagogical formats. 

Both initiatives are under the aegis of the newly launched Center for Public Philosophy at UC Santa Cruz, which seeks to nurture a public that is philosophically informed and adept, and able to apply philosophical insight to solve pressing problems.

The Center engages broad publics in the practice of philosophy, making philosophy alive for them.  It facilitates programs at local grade schools, retirement centers, and correctional facilities, hosts regional ethical debate competitions, and produces captivating online media.  In this manner the Center aims to provoke and inspire members of diverse demographics to think, to think about thinking, to think about their own thinking, and how this is relevant to them as individuals and as members of society.

The Center also finds substantial importance in the identification and development of projects, such as “The Language of Conservation,” in which philosophers, in close collaboration with colleagues both inside and outside the walls of academia, explore what both groups conceive to be a promising application of a specific philosophical idea, perspective or tradition to a distinct issue of urgent public importance. 

Both kinds of activity constitute a substantial public good—precisely the sort of good that a public university such as UC Santa Cruz should seek to provide. 

Amount funded:  $9,000

Key UCSC faculty and staff:

Jonathan Ellis, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Director, Center for Public Philosophy

Daniel Guevara, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy 

Claudio Campagna, Adjunct Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Senior Conservation Scientist, Wildlife Conservations Society

Miriam Greenberg, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Director, Critical Sustainabilities: Competing Discourses of Urban Development in California

T.J. Demos, Professor, Department of History of Art and Visual Culture and Director, Center for Creative Ecologies

Irena Polic, Managing Director, Institute for Humanities Research