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Charles Marshall  Letter from the Director, September 2011

The summer of 2011 has come to an end, and the UCMP community has reunited after our annual dispersal to do field work, attend meetings and workshops, and retreat to quiet quarters to recuperate, think, write, and plan. Here, at base camp in the Valley Life Sciences Building, I must confess to being a little jealous of everyone able to enjoy a summer warmer than ours was in Berkeley — while most everyone was out and about, here we spent much of the summer writing grants and laying down plans for the future. Our goals are many: improving the collections' infrastructure, improving the collections themselves, finding ways of funding the positions lost to the State budget cuts in 2009, sustaining and developing new directions for our education and outreach efforts, funding our graduate student research, and working with our campus colleagues on the Berkeley initiative for Global Change Biology (BiGCB) to fund integrative research that incorporates both paleontological and neontological data. I am pleased to say we have submitted, or will submit shortly, grants to support all of these activities to NSF, NASA, California State agencies, and private foundations, including the Moore and Keck Foundations.

Regretfully, we also share the sad news of the passing of Bill Berry. Bill, in his staggering 53 years of service to Berkeley, made outstanding contributions to paleontology; and towards the end of his career, much of his energy was spent in sharing his knowledge and inspiring others to explore and appreciate the natural world. In honor of Bill's outstanding career and contributions, we are in the process of establishing the William B.N. Berry Memorial Research Fund to support fieldwork, primarily in invertebrate paleontology. We have been fortunate to receive donations both from Berkeley alums and faculty within UCMP and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, but we have not yet accumulated enough funds to establish the endowment. Your support of our graduate student research program through donations to this Memorial Fund would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your ongoing interest in, and support for, UCMP.

Sincerely,
Charles Marshall
Director, UCMP
 

Photo by Jennifer Skene