An interdisciplinary research institute of the University of California Santa Cruz 


Dear Colleagues,

The STEPS Institute began in 2002 with the mission of promoting interdisciplinary environmental research on campus. After seven successful years of award programs, public lectures, newsletters, community workshops, and developing research initiatives, I am sorry to say that the institute will officially cease operations as of the end of this fiscal year (30 June 2009). Like many others, we are a casualty of the economic downturn and the many associated cuts and program reductions that are occurring within the UC system.

In bringing STEPS to a close, I want to thank John Thompson for his efforts as the Institute’s founding director, and the many people who have participated in our programs and supported our goals and visions over the past 7 years. We all owe a particular debt of gratitude to Abby Young for her energy, commitment, initiative, and competence in support of the Institute and its developing visions.

For the many of you who have financial commitments from STEPS that extend beyond the end of this year, please be assured that I will do everything I can to make certain these commitments are honored. This applies mainly to those graduate and undergraduate students with ongoing or recently approved STEPS fellowships and grants, and to a small number of faculty who were promised support for initiative development.

The need for innovative research on environmental issues is more pressing than ever and the UC Santa Cruz campus is still in possession of a truly spectacular array of related talent through its faculty, staff, and students. I urge you all to continue to use this unprecedented human resource to achieve the goals, visions, and ideals that founded the STEPS Institute.It has been a privilege to serve you.

James A. Estes
Interim Director
STEPS Institute

Last updated: <2/23/2010>