Giving Overview

In the department of Earth System Science, at UC Irvine, we study how the atmosphere, the land, the cryosphere and the oceans interact and manifest natural/man-made variability and change over a human lifetime. Our goal is to understand the cause of causes of global climate and environmental changes, the impacts they have and will continue to have on human systems and natural ecosystems, and what solutions we need to promote to adapt  to these upending changes and to mitigate more severe changes in the future. 

We educate our young researchers to conduct groundbreaking research in key areas of climate science, including atmospheric chemistry, land and ocean biogeochemistry,  physical climate, water cycle, sea level rise, natural hazards, etc. using a variety of information sources from satellites, field data, coupled with numerical models. We educate our researchers about communicating the results and their implications to the public and stake holders who need access to this information in order to make informed decisions based on science, from the community level, to states, the federal government, and other countries. 

If you care about this research and the impact it has on our lives and on protecting our future, there are many ways that you can help. We need funding to support our graduate student program, a five-year program which we support through school funds, research grants, and donations. This can take the form of simple donations or endowed fellowships that last forever. We also need core funding to support our group development, buy new instruments, try new ideas that we can then promote to funding agencies to get larger grants. Seed funding has often lead the way to the most creative and innovative discoveries in science. This can take the form of Endowed Chair positions that last forever or general donations to the operating budget of our educational or research programs. These donations might help us fund another graduate student, buy equipment for their research, or upgrade our department facilities, invite speakers, organize workshops and campus activities. 

At ESS, we have connected with partners across campus, in other departments, and other schools. Our BA program in Environmental Science and Policy joint with the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy is an example of that. But we are building a much larger network centered around science. We see it as our mission to educate the future climate change leaders. These leaders will have a broad view of climate and environmental issues and will connect the natural sciences to engineering solutions and communication with stake holders. We welcome your support to create fellowships that will support these cross-disciplinary activities that are more challenging to fund through direct federal grants yet are crucial to our future. The amount of money that we will invest in science will help us better adapt to ongoing changes, which will cost billions of dollars at the city level, and perhaps more important will help us take the right measures to mitigate future changes and better protect our environment, our health, and our lives. 

The support we get from donations has been and will always be essential to our operation, not only to have a functioning budget that promotes the highest quality science and communication, but also to bolster our younger generation of researchers to work on these issues, empowered by the support of the community and also engaged with that community. You can be part of this global effort to understand our planet and better protect our future. We warmly welcome your participation and would love to get back to you on how important this investment has been to the enterprise.

Eric Rignot 
Chair and Professor, UCI Department of Earth System Science

The Department of Earth System Science acknowledges our presence on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples, who still hold strong cultural, spiritual and physical ties to this region.